Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency, a death row drama written and directed by the filmmaker herself has been selected to screen at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The festival, regarded as one of the most influential film festivals in the world, screens more than 300 films from over 60 countries, and draws in an estimated 400,000 attendees annually.
Clemency premiered earlier this year at the sundance film festival and with it, Chinonye Chukwu set the record of being the first black woman to win the festival’s biggest prize, the Grand Jury Prize.
Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency stars Alfre Woodard as Bernadine Williams, a prison warden struggling with the emotional demands of her job. Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.
The film also stars Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce, Richard Gunn and Danielle Brooks. Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency got an award season friendly December release date after it was picked up by US distribution giant, NEON.
This year’s edition of TIFF will run from September 5 to September 15.