True Crime on Netflix and on Toronto’s Big Screens

If you can’t get enough of true crime series like Manhunter, Manhunt: Unabomber, and Making a Murderer, Netflix is here to deliver the goods. Here are a couple of upcoming series that should be on your radar.

Evil Genius, May 11

Netflix’s synopsis refers to this as an extraordinary criminal case known as the “pizza bomber heist” and mentions that the producers are Mark and Jay Duplass and I’m already interested in watching.

Here’s more:

In 2003 in Erie, Pennsylvania, a robbery gone wrong and a terrifying public murder capture the nation’s attention, and a bizarre collection of Midwestern hoarders, outcasts, and lawbreakers play cat-and-mouse with the FBI. Eventually, a middle-aged mastermind named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong — once a town beauty, now a woman grappling with mental illness — is arrested. But 15 years later, Evil Genius proves there’s more to the conspiracy and murders than was ever thought.

Evil Genius is written and directed by Barbara Schroeder. If you want to read more about the story, check out this 2010 article in WIRED. In the meantime, you can follow the show on Facebook and Instagram.

The Staircase, this summer

Netflix will also be premiering new episodes of The Staircase, the story of crime novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife after she was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in the couple’s house. The original French series, aired in 2004, so Netflix will also be adding those episodes to its roster. The new episodes will also be premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival on April 28.

The Staircase is produced by What’s Up Films, directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and produced by Matthieu Belghiti and Allyson Luchak. According to Netflix, director De Lestrade’s cameras were “on hand to capture every moment of this extraordinary story from arrest to verdict, following in intimate detail Peterson’s home, the family and his defense team as it considered its strategic options.”

Here’s a sizzle reel of both shows to give you an idea of what to expect.

True Crime on the Big Screen

If you still want more true crime, may we recommend the first Toronto True Crime Film Festival, which will be held June 8 – 9 at The Royal Cinema. The fest is devoted to true crime on the big screen, which includes both documentary films and fictionalized films based on true crimes.

The list of people behind the fest is impressive. Collectively, this group has programmed for Alamo Drafthouse, Blood in the Snow Film Fest, Calgary Underground Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Hot Docs, The MUFF Society, Toronto After Dark, TIFF, and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

TTCFF just reached its $3500 goal on Indiegogo and their crowdfunding venture offered some pretty neat perks. Visit the festival’s website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for programming updates.

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