NEW YORK, April 21, 2004 — Independent Film Channel (IFC), the first and most widely distributed cable network devoted to independent film, announced today that Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, White Men Can’t Jump, Fearless, The 24 Hour Woman, Subway Stories) will make her directorial debut with a documentary on New York City’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, chronicling the ethnic pride the parade has provided American Puerto Ricans and exploring the political and cultural history between the United States and Puerto Rico. This untitled project will be filmed on location in New York City and will feature footage from this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, taking place June 13, 2004.
The film will be aired exclusively on IFC in 2005 and will be produced by Moxie Firecracker Films in association with TenInACar Productions. Moxie Firecracker is headed by Academy Award-nominated producer Liz Garbus (Girlhood, The Farm: Angola, USA, The Execution of Wanda Jean) and Emmy-nominated producer Rory Kennedy (A Boy’s Life, Pandemic, American Hollow). TenInACar Productions is headed by Rosie Perez, who will also executive produce the project. Alison Bourke, IFC’s Director of Original Programming, will executive produce the project for the network. IFC’s Susan Heimbinder will serve as supervising producer.
The project will feature Perez as an on-camera documentarian, enabling her to discuss the close, emotional, and passionate bond she has had with the parade from the time she was a child. Using parade traditions including the Miss Puerto Rican Day Parade pageant contestants, the float-makers, political and community activists, as well as the parade’s three million spectators, the feature-length documentary will explore the many characters involved in the parade, while also exploring deeper issues about the history of American involvement in Puerto Rico and the complex feelings of native Puerto Ricans about America. In addition, Perez will trace the historic roots of the parade and America’s perception of the event.
“As a New York-based film company, it was important for IFC to chronicle and celebrate this important New York-based tradition,” stated Alison Bourke, IFC’s Director of Original Programming. “Ten years ago, IFC was created to support the independent passions of filmmakers and provide those filmmakers with a voice. IFC is proud to be working on Rosie’s directorial debut and supporting her passion project.”
“The political and cultural history between the United States and Puerto Rico has always been extremely important to me,” stated Rosie Perez. “Since the mid-fifties, the Puerto Rican Day Parade has celebrated the successes and obstacles within this relationship. Being a part of the 3 million people who come together each year to participate in this emotional explosion of heritage and pride is a very powerful experience. It is my hope that our documentary will be an honest reflection of the Parade and what the Puerto Rican People have endured, overcame and triumphed.”
“When Rosie approached us about her vision for this film and the possibility of working with her and IFC, we were immediately hooked” says producer Liz Garbus. “Off the bat, we knew that the film would give us the opportunity to collaborate with Rosie and allow us to explore in depth an extremely complex and important issue: the not so unblemished history of the relationship between the Mainland United States and the island and people of Puerto Rico, all seen through the lens of the parade.”
“The Puerto Rican Day Parade Film Project will celebrate the ethnic pride of millions of Puerto Rican-Americans, but also define new influences now in the mainstream of American culture. We appreciate the freedom IFC has given us on this project and look forward to sharing it with their millions of viewers,” stated producer Rory Kennedy.
Today’s announcement is the first programming announcement for IFC’s 2005 programming slate. This year, IFC is marking its 10th anniversary with the most ambitious slate of original programming in the network’s history. IFC will present eight originals this year, up from two in previous years. The original programming slate for 2004 includes Season III of Dinner For Five, Rocked with Gina Gershon, Nanette Burstein’s Film School, Ultimate Film Fanatic, Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, In the Company of Women, Slasher and In Search of Ted Demme. In addition to its 2005 broadcast on IFC, the film will be shown at film festivals worldwide.
Credits for The Puerto Rican Day Parade Film Project
Executive Producers – Alison Palmer Bourke, Ed Carroll
Executive Producer – Rosie Perez
Supervising Producer – Susan Heimbinder
Producers – Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy
Director – Rosie Perez
About Independent Film Channel
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial free. IFC celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2004 with its most extensive original programming line-up ever. Original programming premiering in 2004 includes Nanette Burstein’s Film School, Ultimate Film Fanatic, Rocked With Gina Gershon, the third season of Dinner For Five and John Landis’ Slasher. In 2003, IFC made its mark with originals including BaaadAsssss Cinema, The American Nightmare, Indie Sex: Taboos and A Decade Under the Influence. IFC Television is a part of IFC Companies, which has created a unique end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent, and maximizing the value of independent film. With a television network, a film distribution and production unit, and a VOD service, IFC Companies represents the future of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique position to broaden the independent film audience nationwide and to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Entertainment Services, which also includes the AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment television networks.