Any major change or innovation in a large area of a city usually means a certain population is getting left in the dust. World premiering at Tribeca Festival on June 11 and coming to Washington D.C.’s DC/DOX on June 15, Kelly Anderson and Jay Arthur Sterrenberg’s new documentary Emergent City zeros in on a turbulent decade at the edge of a changing Brooklyn, specifically as it relates to Industry City, the largest privately owned industrial property in New York, as rents and sea levels rise. Ahead of the premiere, we’re pleased to exclusively debut the first trailer and poster.

Here’s the synopsis: “Global developers seek to transform the waterfront Brooklyn complex into an ‘Innovation District,’ or what the New York Times called ‘the SoHo of Sunset Park.’ Divergent stakes draw battle lines between the local, primarily Latino and Chinese immigrant communities, the city council and Industry City’s developers. Over a decade, within the borders of a single Brooklyn community district, a microcosm of American democracy emerges. Emergent City sheds light on power and process, illuminating systems and giving viewers a front row seat to the public and private spaces where the city is shaped. With extraordinary access, the film explores the profound intersections of gentrification, climate crisis and real estate development, and asks how change might emerge from dialogue and collective action in a world where too many outcomes are constrained by money, politics and business as usual.”

Emergent City is about how cities evolve, who gets to shape the future of the built environment, how people work within – and outside of – existing systems to try to strengthen and protect their neighborhoods,” note the directors. “It’s an investigation of what we mean when we say “the community.” It is a film about people doing the hard work of democracy with a small “d” – showing up, night after night after a long day’s work, to try and hear one another, hash through differences, and have a voice even when it seems outcomes are decided beyond their reach. It is about how people who agree on outcomes may clash mightily over tactics, about when to compromise, about when to stand firm. It’s about the difficult conversations that need to be had as we confront the intertwining and daunting challenges of gentrification, economic development and climate catastrophe.”

Emergent City, produced by Kelly Anderson and Brenda Ávila-Hanna and executive produced by Steve Maing and Carrie Lozano, is a co-production of Emergent City LLC and ITVS in association with Meerkat Media and Realistic Pictures.

See the exclusive trailer and poster below.

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