Netflix Picks Up Doc on Cyntoia Brown Case and Upcoming Prison Release

Cyntoia Brown (Credit YouTube/CBS News)

Netflix has acquired a documentary on the Cyntoia Brown case.

The untitled film from Daniel H. Birman will follow Brown’s incarceration and her scheduled August prison release, the streamer said in a press release on Monday, July 1.  

Birman previously explored Brown’s case in the documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, which aired in 2011 as part of the PBS Independent Lens project.

After the earlier film, the case received international attention with politicians and celebrities, including Rihanna, raising awareness on social media.

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Brown was granted full clemency by Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in January 2019, following a years-long fight by supporters for her release.

“This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” Haslam said at the time.

In 2006, Brown was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery for killing a man who solicited her for sex when she was 16 years old.

The killing occurred two years earlier, when 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen picked Brown up and took her home.

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During her trial, Brown stated that she feared for her life when she shot and killed Allen after a confrontation. She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Brown shot Allen while he was sleeping and stole money. She countered by saying she killed Allen in self defense, adding that she was forced into prostitution by a pimp named “Kut Throat” after a difficult childhood.

Brown is scheduled to be released on Aug. 7, after serving 15 years in prison. Now 31, she will remain on parole for 10 years.

The new film will expand on her story, giving additional insight on her years in prison and her path to freedom.

The feature documentary is directed and executive produced by Birman, with Susy Garciasalas Barkley serving as producer. Megan Chao is editor and supervising producer.