There are some stories that need to be told, and Ray Brown of Bowie wants to make sure those stories are heard.
Bowie-based Pleroma Studios Entertainment has announced that they are in development for their first feature film, 83 Days: The Murder of George Stinney Jr. It is story of a 14-year-old African-American teenager who in 1944 became the youngest person ever executed by any state in the 20th century, according to several published reports including a 2005 article by The New York Times.
Stinney was put to death for murder just 83 days after he was first accused.
“It’s part of history that’s never been told, partly because South Carolina doesn’t want it to be told,” said Ray Brown president and producer at Pleroma.
In South Carolina in 1944, George Stinney was arrested and charged with the murder of two Caucasian girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. He was convicted and sentenced after a trial that lasted only one day.
There has long been speculation that the trial was a fraud intended to cover up for the real murderer, alleges the Pleroma media statement.
“All of our projects speak to something, all of them have something to say,” said Brown. “In this particular case, this is a tool to give this young man a voice.”
Brown has secured acclaimed director Charles Burnett to direct, co-write and co-produce the project. Pleroma is also in talks with actors Viola Davis and Angela Bassett to play Stinney’s mother in the film.
In the next few weeks, Brown will travel to South Carolina to speak to a historian there about the Stinney case, and then up to New York to meet with Stinney’s brother, who has been very involved with the project.
Pleroma is an independent production studio, but Brown is confident this project will go far.
“People have been jumping on board,” he said. “When you have a great team and a great director, resources become available.”
Brown hopes the film will start shooting next spring and be ready to premiere in January or February 2014.