New York-based First Run Features has acquired the North American distribution rights to a documentary on the efforts to rebuild the World Trade Center, and the drama and politics that are ensuing.
16 Acres (pictured above), directed by Richard Hankin, promises exclusive access to the WTC site and archival research, including never-before-seen footage, photographs, and architectural renderings to tell the story of the urban renewal project without narration.
The rebuilding of Ground Zero has faced controversy, delay and political struggles, and has taken more than a decade and US$20 billion. The film tries to answer the question of why it has taken so long to rebuild.
“To our surprise, no books, TV shows or documentaries had attempted to answer that question,” said writer and coproducer Matt Kapp. “Few Americans, even New Yorkers, know much about what has really gone on behind the scenes.”
16 Acres premiered at the Zurich Film Festival last September, and a month later had its North American premiere at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York. Its festival run saw it nabbing an audience award at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
“It’s stating the obvious to say that 16 Acres is one of the most important documentaries of recent years,” said First Run VP Marc Mauceri. “Who would have thought a film about developers, politicians, and architects fighting over the design and development of a hallowed site could be so gripping?”