[06/22/09 - 07:51 AM]
Sundance Channel Hits the Streets of Newark in 'Brick City,' a Powerful Week-Long Docu-Series Event Premiering September 21-25 at 10pm ET/PT
The series "takes an in-depth and no-holds-barred look at the immense challenges facing the city of Newark, New Jersey and its outspoken and charismatic mayor, Cory Booker."

[via press release from Sundance]

Sundance Channel Hits the Streets of Newark in 'Brick City,' a Powerful Week-Long Docu-Series Event Premiering September 21-25 at 10pm et/pt

Executive Produced by Oscar(R)-Winning Actor Forest Whitaker and Acclaimed Filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin

Encore Presentations Will Air Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 9 PM

NEW YORK, June 22 -- Sundance Channel's provocative and eye-opening documentary series "Brick City," executive produced by Forest Whitaker and filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, takes an in-depth and no-holds-barred look at the immense challenges facing the city of Newark, New Jersey and its outspoken and charismatic mayor, Cory Booker. Making its television debut Monday, September 21st at 10:00pm et/pt and airing for five consecutive nights at 10:00pm et/pt, the program puts an illuminating spotlight on this inner city's struggles and the resilient community leaders, civil servants and life-long residents committed to making Newark a model for urban renewal in America.

"These personal stories are riveting," commented Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel Executive VP and GM." She added: "The series plays out like a high-stakes drama -- about life and death, dreams and disappointments, danger and determination and poverty and promise -- but most importantly, it is storytelling at its finest."

Marc Levin, who executive produced and directed the docu-series, added: "Mark Benjamin and I were captivated by this city and Mayor Booker's charisma. I grew up near Newark and I can testify, change is real here. But change is hard. It's authentic human drama and that's what we wanted to capture. From the personal to the political, the stories were so compelling, we used to joke, 'We're going to put the real back in reality programming'."

In the five one-hour episodes of "Brick City", the lives of Mayor Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy intertwine with Jayda, Blood gang member turned youth mentor, who lives with her Crip boyfriend Creep, and other citizens on the front lines. With unprecedented access to both the powerful and the disenfranchised, the series organically brings to life the true challenges and adventures of social transformation. From City Hall to the streets, it creates a vivid portrait of a city at a critical moment in history.

Newark is known as 'Brick City' for its architectural style, urban strength, and human resilience. 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. With Booker, one of the most dynamic young politicians in the midst of the Obama era, and his Police Director Garry McCarthy at the helm, the city has achieved some impressive results. In 2008, the city has seen a 32% reduction in homicides and continues to work on improvements in housing, employment, ethics reform in municipal government and education. The Mayor, his Administration and everyday Newark residents redress the label that Newark had become a symbol of the great American urban decline. Despite progress, the current economic downturn makes the city's comeback even more challenging.

The "Brick City" episode titles are as follows:

Episode 1: Summer is Ours - Monday, September 21 - 10:00pm et/pt

Episode 2: Struggle - Tuesday, September 22 - 10:00pm et/pt

Episode 3: Central - Wednesday, September 23 - 10:00pm et/pt

Episode 4: Circus - Thursday, September 24 - 10:00pm et/pt

Episode 5: Red October - Friday, September 25 - 10:00pm et/pt

Sundance Channel will present encore airings of the series each Sunday at 9:00pm, Monday at 12:00am and Saturdays at 12:00pm et/pt thru October 31.

"Brick City" is executive-produced and directed by acclaimed filmmakers Marc Levin (Slam, Gang War - Bangin' in Little Rock and "Street Time"); and Mark Benjamin (The Last Party, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop). Oscar(R)-winning actor and producer Forest Whitaker also executive produces. Executive producers for Sundance Channel are Evan Shapiro, Sarah Barnett, Lynne Kirby, and Mala Chapple.


Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries and original programs. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a 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 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.

  [june 2009]  


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