Espresso Media International has acquired new feature documentary "Cynara" (1x88’ 4K / HD) for worldwide sales. The film, produced by Frequent Flyer Films and commissioned by CBC’s documentary Channel, will make its world premiere on the 30th April as an Official Selection at Hot Docs 2023.
After a break-in, a mother calls 911 seeking help for her disabled daughter, Cynara. Hours later, Cynara is dead, and her mother, Cindy Ali, is the prime suspect. When Cindy is charged with Cynara’s murder, the police and the prosecution present a dramatically different picture. Cindy is portrayed as an exhausted, financially-strapped immigrant who murdered Cynara and concocted an elaborate story of armed intruders to shift away blame. Cindy is convicted of first degree murder and given a life sentence. Canada’s justice system is put on trial, as a defence team challenges a mother’s murder conviction for the death of her disabled child.
With exclusive access to Cindy, her family, lawyer, witnesses and court documents, "Cynara" is both a thoughtful crime story and an investigative drama about a mother trying to clear her name.
Director Sherien Barsoum, says: “I wanted to tell a human story first, one that centred a mother who experienced profound loss and a family that found itself caught in a broken legal system. I'm thankful to have found a partner in Espresso to bring this film to the world.”
Jess Reilly, Espresso’s Head of Sales and Acquisitions, says: “'Cynara' is a unique, thoughtful and genre-defining true-crime story, which raises sensitive questions about societal biases against immigrants, disabled people, and who suffers at the hands of broken systems. The filmmaking style is a work of art in itself, and the documentary will have worldwide appeal to premium buyers and audiences, especially those seeking something different to the more sensationalised style of true crime releases as of late.”
The filmmaking style is a work of art in itself, and the documentary will have worldwide appeal to premium buyers and audiences, especially those seeking something different to the more sensationalised style of true crime releases as of late” Jess Reilly Espresso’s Head of Sales and Acquisitions