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An Ava DuVernay documentary about mass incarceration is coming to Netflix in October

Selma director Ava DuVernay's next film, a documentary about mass incarceration, will open the New York Film Festival before it's released on Netflix and in some theaters October 7th.

First nonfiction work to open the festival

The 13th traces the history of racial imbalances in the criminal justice system, and features appearances from author Michelle Alexander, activist Angela Davis, and Senator Cory Booker, among others, the film festival said in a statement. The title itself comes from the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which outlaws slavery, "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."

The film will be the first work of nonfiction to open the New York Film Festival, which will be in its 54th year and run from September 30th to October 16th. Recent opening night entries have included Robert Zemeckis' The Walk and David Fincher's Gone Girl.

"This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation," DuVernay said in the statement.

Although this will be DuVernay's first film since the critically acclaimed best picture nominee Selma, it's not the first time she's tackled the subject of incarceration. The director's 2012 film, Middle of Nowhere, told the story of a young woman whose husband is imprisoned.