HBO Takes US TV, Streaming Rights to Doc Feature Film ‘The Sentence’

Sundance 2018: First-time filmmaker Rudy Valdez focuses on the aftermath of his sister’s incarceration

Last Updated: January 30, 2018 @ 4:06 PM

HBO has acquired the U.S. television and streaming rights to the documentary feature film, “The Sentence,” which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Competition category.

First-time filmmaker Rudy Valdez focuses on the aftermath of his sister’s incarceration and the devastating consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing.

The doc follows Cindy Shank, a woman who received a 15-year mandatory sentence for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend. Valdez’s method of coping is to film his sister’s family for her, specifically the moments she can no longer share with them. At the same time, he finds his voice as an activist and begins to fight for Cindy’s release during the last months of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative.

“The Sentence” was produced by Park Pictures’ Sam Bisbee and Jackie Kelman Bisbee. Executive Producers are Wendy Neu, Lance Acord and Theodora Dunlap. Co-producers are Geeta Gandbhir and April Hayes.

“This film has been more than ten years in the making and we wanted to make sure we found the right home, especially given the intimate nature of the story,” said Valdez. “In partnering with HBO, we’re excited about working together to get this film out into the world and make as huge an impact as possible.”

HBO plans a release for the film later this year. Cinetic handled the domestic sales for the film.