|• Visit the National September 11 Memorial Museum, opening May 21
• Explore Downtown Manhattan
• Learn more about the new World Trade Center complex
• Follow the ongoing development of the World Trade Center Site
• Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter
• Download 16 Acres on iTunes
• Preorder the DVD featuring bonus videos
Praise for 16 Acres
"Incisive and absorbing"
- Los Angeles Times
"Riveting and emotional"
- New York Post
"Amusing and heartbreaking"
- The Hollywood Reporter
"Uncommonly engrossing and articulate" - Variety
"A unique look at
civic strife and a
- NY Daily News
- Baltimore Magazine
"A riveting, gossipy slice of recent history"
- Video Librarian
| Dear Friends,
We are pleased to announce that 16 Acres is now on Netflix and iTunes and available on DVD May 20. When we first started the project, back in early 2010, we didn't expect it would be four years until the film's release. At the time, the "Freedom Tower" was projected to be completed by 2012, yet construction had barely begun. We were also skeptical that the 9/11 Memorial and surrounding buildings that the site's master plan called for would ever be completed. Aside from the staggering engineering challenges of the site itself, a major complicating factor in the rebuilding was the sheer number of interested parties. Various constituencies - politicians, developers, architects, insurers, local residents, and relatives of 9/11 victims - had all professed conflicting claims to the site. Deadlock was the norm.
The story of the rebuilding of Ground Zero is deeply complex, with endless layers and thus endless possible story tangents for us to explore. It took us almost a year just to research and boil it all down to the central storyline. We shot more than 300 hours of footage and poured over another 3,000 hours of archival footage. Not to mention thousands of architectural renderings, sketches, photographs, and newspaper articles.
We set out in search of an answer to the question, 'What's the real story behind why it's taken so long to rebuild?' We wanted to tell the story fundamentally as a first-person narrative - without any narration - told by the key players themselves. Luckily we were able to persuade all of them, including former Governor George Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, Port Authority chief Chris Ward, developer Larry Silverstein, and architects Daniel Libeskind, David Childs, and Michael Arad, among others, to participate. They all wanted to tell their sides of the story, and each generously gave us hours and hours of their time. Thanks in large part to their contributions, we believe we've created the definitive account of the city's struggle to rebuild the site.
16 Acres is very much a New York story. Perhaps author and architecture critic Philip Nobel put it best in 16 Acres: "It's an incredibly healthy thing that the city responded to September 11th in classic New York fashion by beating each other up and grandstanding and political manipulation, and you can say, oh, that's awful, or you can say, what a wonderful thing that New York healed this big wound with more New York." Mike, Richard, and I have called New York City home for a combined 75 years, and we each witnessed 9/11 with our own eyes, as so many New Yorkers did. Despite its challenges, flaws, and frustrations, we take great pride in this city and its spirit. We're proud to be New Yorkers and to share this important story with the world.
16 Acres has played more than three dozen film festivals worldwide, won several awards, and garnered many wonderful reviews, for which we are grateful. We have also produced an enhanced, interactive e-book companion to the film, the first of its kind to be released in conjunction with a documentary, which will be available on iTunes on May 20. The e-book includes slide shows, architectural renderings, video extras, animation, and a narrative that provides background and context to the movie.
We hope you'll take a minute - well, 2 minutes and 52 seconds to be precise - to watch the trailer and help spread the word about 16 Acres.
Many thanks and warm regards,
Richard, Mike, and Matt