Free Angela And Other Political Prisoners is a new documentary produced by Shola Lynch that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September. Lynch is best known for her 2005 documentary Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, on Shirley Chisholm’s historic 1972 Presidential run, which won a peabody award in 2006.

Free Angela And Other Political Prisoners is a feature-length documentary about Angela Davis and the high stakes crime, political movement, and trial that catapults the 26 year-old newly appointed philosophy professor at the University of California at Los Angeles into a seventies revolutionary political icon. Nearly forty years later, and for the first time, Angela Davis speaks frankly about the actions that branded her as a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide political movement for her freedom.

“I wanted to make the film because what I knew of her was the afro,” said the film’s director Shola Lynch during its Q&A panel in Toronto. “I thought I knew the story, and as I began to do just the bare minimum of research, I realized there is a woman behind the icon, and I was interested in knowing how she developed from a young philosophy professor into a political icon. What are the choices that she made, what were the intended and unintended consequences? And as I researched that, I realized that it was a political crime drama. And I said, ‘This is a great story.’”

Carol Lambert, Carine Ruzniewski and Sidra Smith are also producing the film.

Will & Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation have come on-board as executive producers of the Realside Productions De Films Aiguille-produced documentary.

“We at Overbrook Entertainment are very proud to support this intriguing documentary about the life of Angela Davis. Filmmaker, Shola Lynch has done an incredible job in revealing a piece of American history we thought we all knew,” said Jada Pinkett Smith.

Meanwhile, Jay Z, added: “Shola Lynch has crafted an intricate and compelling film about Angela Davis. Roc Nation is honored to be a part of a creative collective that can present such a riveting story.”

BET has also come on-board to provide funding and distribution for this film, which will air on BET after it’s theatrical run.

Here is the trailer for the film.

Here is the Q&A session that was held at the press conference after the premiere of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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