A documentary project that I was alerted to over the weekend that immediately got my attention…
The filmmaker, Brian Banks, tells his own story as follows:
When I was 16 years old, I was just like any other typical high school junior, but I played football for one of the greatest high school football programs in the country. Dozens of colleges were actively recruiting me. I had dreams of playing football in the NFL after college. Then the unimaginable happened. I was accused of a crime, a terrible crime, that I didn't commit. A female student accused me of raping her during summer school. I was tried as an adult, convicted, and was locked away for five years and two months. I lost everything: my hopes, my dreams, my entire world. Now, nearly 10 years later, the alleged victim has come forward. She recanted all the allegations against me and explained her reasons for lying. With the help of the wonderful people at the California Innocence Project (http://www.californiainnocenceproject.org/) I am on a mission to take my life back. I need to make this film so I can tell the whole world my story as I experienced it; a story that tells it exactly as it happened, so that everyone who has ever known me can understand the truth. I want to finally set the record straight. I hope my story can serve as a catalyst for change.
Brian recently completed a fundraising campaign that raised just over $47,000 (he'd asked for $40,000), and is about to embark on this new journey that will see a completed film hopefully in the next year or two.
Brian also made a 5-minute video summarizing his story and new mission. Watch it below (it was his fundraising pitch, and not footage from the upcoming film; but it gives you a glimpse of what to expect):