Death Row Documentary About Nun Who Inspired ‘Dead Man Walking’ Set gets world premiere at 2024 Tribeca Festival

Universal Pictures Content Group and Passion Pictures have wrapped on a new documentary about the nun who inspired 1995 Oscar-winning hit Dead Man Walking.

Titled Rebel Nun, the documentary follows the story of Catholic nun and leading death penalty abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean. Susan Sarandaon won her first and only Oscar playing Prejean in Dead Man Walking, which was written and directed by Tim Robbins and co-starred Sean Penn as a convicted murderer.

Rebel Nun will explore Sister Helen’s life to date and her ongoing fight against the death penalty.

“Sister Helen Prejean was a humble nun from Louisiana who embarked on a controversial battle that would change the world,” reads the logline.

“Now 84 years old, Sister Helen is currently fighting to stop the execution of a Death Row inmate in Oklahoma even lawmakers are convinced is innocent.”

The documentary is directed by Dominic Sivyer (The Masked Scammer), who was granted unprecedented access to Sister Helen as well as unseen archive footage dating back six decades and interviews with key people involved in her work, including victims’ families.

“Sister Helen has been such an inspirational force for justice, it was a true honuor to join this talented team,” said Dawn Porter, and Executive Producer on the film.

“There is so much work to do to reform the criminal justice system in the United States. Films like these shine a light on pressing social justice issues.”

“We knew a project like this needed creative powerhouses behind the scenes to match Sister Helen’s passion, dedication, and commitment; and we have found just that in the team at Passion Pictures.”

Rebel Nun is an honest, unflinching portrait of Sister Helen, tireless advocate against the death penalty. Director Dominic Sivyer isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions, blasting through the public, at times controversial, persona to reveal a character of both incredible strength and fragility.”

The 2024 Tribeca Film Festival takes place in New York from 5th-16th June.