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‘Ear Hustle’ Podcast Becomes Docu-Series In Project Led By Lori McCreary And Morgan Freeman.

Ear Hustle, the award-winning podcast that offered a first-hand account of prison life, is heading for the big screen. Film producer Lori McCreary and actor Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment are partnering with Ear Hustle to develop the podcast into a documentary series. The podcast, part of PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, has had 78 million downloads since it first debuted in 2017. It says even as Ear Hustle makes the leap into the visual realm, it will continue to release new podcast episodes into the future. 

“This premium documentary series aims to capture authentic, raw, and surprising stories of prison life by delving even deeper into narratives that have resonated with listeners worldwide,” PRX says in the announcement. The public media company says the Freeman-led production company is known for its commitment to elevating under-served voices, and it sees the potential to amplify Ear Hustle’s storytelling power by adapting it to a visually compelling and emotionally resonant documentary series. “Revelations knows bringing stories to screen can promote empathy and compassion while strengthening our collective understanding of the human experience,” PRX says.

Ear Hustle has just begun to release its 13th season. The podcast is made by a team both inside and out of San Quentin State Prison in California, traversing stories such as finding romance, grappling with a life sentence, trying to parent via 15-minute phone calls, getting out and starting over, and beyond. Those very real, very human stories will offer plenty for the documentary makers to work with. 

The film series will be directed by Erika Cohn, an award-winning filmmaker who recently directed and produced “Belly of the Beast” in 2021. Cohn will also serve as an executive producer. Also serving as executive producers of the documentary are Nigel Poor, the creator of Ear Hustle, and Earlonne Woods, the former convict featured in the first season who has since become a co-host of the podcast. Other EPs include Revelations Entertainment’s Younger, Lori McCreary, and Kelly Mendelsohn.

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