Sundance Channel Hits the Streets of Newark in 'Brick City,' a Powerful Week-Long...

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:50am EDT

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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 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.  

ABOUT SUNDANCE CHANNEL
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.


ABOUT 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'sGreenwich 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.

SOURCE  Sundance Channel

Sarah Eaton, Sr. Vice President, Public Relations, Sundance Channel,
+1-646-273-3541, sarah.eaton@sundancechannel.com, or Katie Lanegran, Sr.
Director, Public Relations, +1-646-273-7154,
katie.lanegran@sundancechannel.com, both of Sundance Channel; or Desiree
Peterkin Bell, Director of Communications, City of Newark, +1-973-733-6368,
peterkind@ci.newark.nj.us
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