Subject of the documentary David & Me
Released from Prison
|(October 16, 2014 – Toronto, ON) There can be no greater sense of success for a documentary filmmaker than learning your work has had a positive impact on a situation, government, injustice or life. For the filmmakers behind the doc David & Me, the news yesterday that its subject, David McCallum, had been released almost 29 years to the day he was convicted for a murder he didn’t commit, must have been overwhelming.|
In a statement released yesterday the filmmakers Ray Klonsky and Marc Lamy said: “We cannot begin to express how happy we are with District Attorney Ken Thompson and the CRU`s decision. After filming with David and his family and following this case for almost ten years David`s release began to feel like a dream that might never be realized. That this day has now come to pass feels like a beautiful dream as well and we’re pinching ourselves to make sure it`s all real. David`s demeanor, patience, and determination has inspired us to no end and we look forward to watching him enjoy his new life as a free man — if anyone deserves it, it`s him.”
The story of David McCallum and the Canadian filmmakers who became his friends and championed the cause to free him is chronicled in the Markham Street Films documentary David and Me which had its World Premiere at the 2014 Hot Docs festival in Toronto this spring.
The filmmaker`s statement went on to say, “We’re so grateful to TVO and Markham Street Films for helping us make this film and to DA Ken Thompson for holding true to his commitment to righting wrongs by appointing Ronald Sullivan to head the Conviction Review Unit. The true heroes of this story are Oscar Michelen, David`s lawyer who has worked this case pro-bono for 10-years, Private Investigator Van Padgett, Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions Steve Drizin, Laura Cohen of Rutgers University, and Ken Klonsky of Innocence International — all of whom worked tirelessly to see justice finally prevail. Lastly, we must mention our hero Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter who, when learning that he had terminal cancer wrote a letter to the NY Daily News declaring that his dying wish was to see David McCallum`s case get back into the courts. Dr. Carter can rest in peace knowing that his last public act lead to this glorious day. David`s demeanor, patience, and determination has inspired us to no end and we look forward to watching him enjoy his new life as a free man.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said: “In the interest of justice, I will ask the Court today to vacate the murder convictions of David McCallum and Willie Stuckey. After a thorough and fair review of the case by my Conviction Review Unit and the Independent Review Panel, I have concluded that their convictions should not stand and that Mr. McCallum should be released from prison.” Which is exactly what happened.
Hoping that this day would eventually come, the filmmakers created a fund to help David McCallum get back on his feet after release from prison. Click here to learn more about the film, David & Me.