Features Mayor Cory Booker
Executive Produced by Oscar-Winning Actor Forest Whitaker
Directed by Acclaimed Filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin
New York, November 17, 2008 – Sundance Channel Executive Vice President and GM, Laura Michalchyshyn, announced today that principal photography has wrapped on season one of the series "Brick City," a multi-part documentary that takes an in-depth look at the intense challenges facing the city of Newark, New Jersey. "Brick City" is slated to air on Sundance Channel in third quarter 2009.
Against great odds, Newark’s citizens and its Mayor, Cory Booker, continue to fight to raise the city out of nearly a half century of violence, poverty and corruption. The Mayor and his Police Director Gary McCarthy have achieved some impressive results, including a 40% reduction in homicides this year as well as significant improvements in housing, employment and education. Despite progress, the current economic downturn makes the city’s comeback even more challenging.
In the six half-hour episodes of "Brick City", the lives of Mayor Booker, citizens on the front lines, and key figures re-making the city – from real estate developers to ex-gang members – intertwine in a portrait of a city at a critical moment in history.
Known as ’Brick City’ for its architectural style, urban strength, and human resilience, Newark, New Jersey, is transforming itself from being a symbol of national urban decline into being ’America’s leading urban city in safety, prosperity, and the nurturing of family life,’ as defined in the mission statement of Mayor Cory A. Booker and his administration. Newark, New Jersey has consistently been a battlefield of high stakes drama. In the first two years of his term, Mayor Booker and his team struggle with challenges that grapple an urban city. They have made some progress in restoring parks and accountability and ethics in municipal government, and empowering Newark residents with jobs and career development opportunities. The Mayor, his Administration and average everyday Newarkers fight to dispel the label that Newark, after the riots and rebellion that exploded more than 40 years ago has become a symbol of the great American urban decline.
"Brick City documents Mayor Booker and the people of Newark as they face tough challenges and urgent issues but also work very hard to realize their dreams and make progress in a tough city," Michalchyshyn commented. "Sundance Channel audiences will find their stories riveting. Given the way that the Presidential election went, Sundance Channel viewers will be even more receptive to this story as we enter a new era, with a renewed sense of community and purpose."
"Brick City" is executive-produced and directed by acclaimed filmmakers Marc Levin (Slam, Gang War- Banging in Little Rock and "Street Time"); and Mark Benjamin (The Last Party, Jails Hospitals and Hip-Hop). Oscar -winning actor and producer Forest Whitaker also executive produces. Executive producers for Sundance Channel are Laura Michalchyshyn, Lynne Kirby, and Mala Chapple.
About Sundance Channel:
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel’s website address is www.sundancechannel.com.
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.