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west memphis

In news that developed Thursday night, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, also known as the “West Memphis 3,” could be freed later today after spending over 18 years in prison for the charge of murdering three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993, though strong evidence over the years has pointed to their innocence. UPDATE: “West Memphis 3” have been set free.

The subjects of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s landmark Paradise Lost documentaries, the filmmaker’s latest, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and as its synopsis on the TIFF site states “this new film revisits the case and presents surprising new information.”

Well, that new information is still ongoing as Berlinger and Sinofsky have rushed back down to Arkansas to capture what may be the final chapter of this story that’s been ongoing for the two filmmakers since 1996.

Regardless of the outcome today, a new ending for the film is eminent, but as Berlinger told Michael Fleming over at Deadline last night, he and Sinofsky agreed that this would be the final film: “Stopping at three films seems right. We have just enough time to include what happens in the ending of the film, and it’s the most incredible feeling knowing that your work had an impact.”

Over the years the support to free the “West Memphis 3” has stretched out to Hollywood as people like Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder and the Dixie Chicks have expanded the awareness on the case, but it’s now been revealed that one of the biggest supporters has been Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. According to Deadline, the two have funded key investigative efforts on behalf of the defense’s day-to-day efforts, including paying for private investigators and unearthing DNA evidence for the last seven years.

After playing at Toronto, Paradise Lost 3 will air on HBO in November. No word yet on a theatrical release. UPDATE: Paradise Lost 3 will have Oscar-qualifying theatrical run.

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