August 8, 2017, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office], the USC African American Cinema Society (AACS), Amazon Studios, and IFC Films, invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

Crown Heights

Written and Directed by Matt Ruskin
Produced by Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Galazka, and Matt Ruskin

Followed by a Q&A with Matt Ruskin

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



Winner: Audience Award - U.S. Dramatic, 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Official Selection: 2017 Sundance Film Festival, 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

In theaters on Friday, August 25th, 2017.

About Crown Heights

In the spring of 1980, a teenager is gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressure a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner, an 18-year-old kid from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Colin’s childhood friend Carl 'KC' King devotes his life to fighting for Colin’s freedom. He works on appeals, takes loans for lawyer fees and becomes a legal courier to learn the court system. This incredible true story is based on the acclaimed This American Life piece and adapted by writer/director Matt Ruskin, with Lakeith Stanfield playing Colin Warner and Nnamdi Asomugha as Carl King.

Provided courtesy of Amazon Studios and IFC Films. Not rated. Running time: 99 minutes.

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Director's Statement

I first heard Colin’s story on the radio show This American Life. Anya Bourg (a producer at 60 Minutes) traced the course of events that unjustly sent Colin to prison. It was a story I couldn’t get out of my head. Colin not only survived unimaginable injustice, but emerged from two decades of incarceration with his humanity and his dignity intact. Carl ‘KC’ King refused to accept a world in which an innocent man could die in prison, and so he devoted his life to fighting for Colin’s freedom. There are critical social issues ingrained in this film, but at its core this is an inspiring story about love, integrity and the resilience of the human spirit.

I worked closely with Colin and KC while writing the script. I recorded hours of interviews with them, as well as with the lawyers and key witnesses involved. I worked from the trial and appeal transcripts and included actual court proceedings in the film. The ‘parole hearing’ scene was pulled entirely from the transcripts. Throughout the process of making the film we aimed to capture the spirit of their story in the most honest and authentic way.

-- Matt Ruskin

About the Guest

MATT RUSKIN (Writer, Director, Producer)

Matt Ruskin is a writer/director/producer. Ruskin has produced a range of documentary and narrative films, including The Hip Hop Project documentary (released by THINK Film) and his first narrative feature, Booster, which received one of the Special Jury Prizes at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival. Matt worked for Darren Aronofsky on Requiem for a Dream while studying film at NYU.

About the African American Cinema Society (AACS)

The mission of the African American Cinema Society is to highlight and promote art and artists who are invested in showcasing complex and sophisticated representations of blackness and the black diaspora.

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About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago