IFC Films


Documentary Makes Its U.S. Premiere Tonight As Opening Night Film For DOC NYC

NEW YORK, NY (November 10, 2016) – Sundance Selects announced today from DOC NYC that the company has acquired U.S. rights to Matt Tyrnauer’s CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY. Tyrnauer’s film was produced by Robert Hammond, Corey Reeser, Jessica Van Garsse, and Tyrnauer, and was executive produced by Pierre Lagrange, Bernard Lagrange, and Juliet Page. The film made its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and makes its U.S. premiere tonight as the Opening Night Film for DOC NYC. Sundance Selects will release CITIZEN JANE in 2017.

CITIZEN JANE chronicles the life and work of Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and how she changed the way we look at cities and urban living. The documentary focuses not only on Jacobs’ writing, but also on her activism, detailing her most dramatic battles for the city in the 1960s, when she went up against New York City’s most ruthless power broker, Robert Moses. At stake was whether the city’s historic neighborhoods, including Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, and TriBeCa, would stay intact or be torn apart by expressways and urban-renewal projects. CITIZEN JANE also explores the link between Jacobs’ and Moses’ confrontations in the mid-century and the battle for just cities today in a world that is urbanizing at an unprecedented speed. It delivers an inspiring lesson in the power of the people to become active in their own cities.

“At a time when cities in the U.S. are starting to recover from the long after effects of Urban Renewal, it’s exciting to examine the work and legacy of Jane Jacobs’ ideas,” says Tyrnauer. “Jacobs’s writing has everything to do with how individuals today can organize to make their cities more livable and more just places. She was a prescient public intellectual with a timely ‘power-to-the-people’ message. Her legacy is a global one, which can help people all over the world see ways to make their cites more equitable.”

“By the end of the century nearly three-fourths of the world’s population will live in urban areas,” says Hammond, who is also co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line. “With this kind of over-success of cities, it’s imperative we get development and urban planning right. We hope this film shows people that everyday citizens—non-planners, non-experts, and people without political power or money—have the power to change their cities by observing and by getting involved. That’s what Jane did.”

Sundance Selects stated: “We are very excited to be working with Matt Tyrnauer to help tell Jane Jacobs’ story and to explore a fascinating chapter of New York City’s history. Jane’s activism is as inspirational and as timely as ever, and we cannot wait to bring this film to U.S. audiences.”

The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, EVP of Acquisitions and Production for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.


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Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films focusing on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. Upcoming releases include Mia Hansen-Love’s award-winning THINGS TO COME starring Isabelle Huppert. Recent releases include Josh Kriegman and Elyse Sternberg’s Sundance Documentary grand jury prize winner WEINER; Andrew Haigh’s Oscar-nominated 45 YEARS, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay; Olivier Assayas’ CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, starring Juliette Binoche and Kirsten Stewart; Christian Petzold’s PHOENIX; and Laura Gabbert’s CITY OF GOLD. Previous releases include the Dardenne Brothers’ Oscar-nominated TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT; David France’s Oscar-nominated documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE; Wim Wenders’ Oscar-nominated documentary PINA; Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS; Abdellatif Kechiche’s award-winning BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, starring Adèle Exarchopoulos; and John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Oscar-nominated FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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