Following up on the popularity of its One Book, One New York program, in which New Yorkers were invited to share in reading and discussing a single, New York-centric book, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin today announced “One Film, One New York.” New York Times chief film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis selected five films, all shot in the city. Beginning today and all through the month of August, New Yorkers will cast their votes for their favorite. The winning movie will be announced the first week of September and then screened for free in all five boroughs on September 13.
The campaign bears the heavy promotional imprint of both the Mayor’s Office and the Times, which is spearheading the project and will promote it in the paper’s print and online editions.
• Crooklyn, directed by Spike Lee (1994)
• On the Town, directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (1949)
• New York, New York, directed by Martin Scorsese (1977)
• Desperately Seeking Susan, directed by Susan Seidelman (1985)
• The Wedding Banquet, directed by Ang Lee (1993)
As the choices indicate, the Times critics were dissuaded from choosing films with a dark image of the city. So no West Side Story, On The Waterfront, Taxi Driver, The Apartment, Fort Apache: The Bronx, The French Connnection or even All About Eve, etc. etc.
As part of the promotion, the Mayor’s Office enlisted John Leguizamo, Sting and Trudie Styler, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, Laverne Cox and Katie Holmes, shooting videos where they touted their personal favorites. The videos, trailers for the five films, and instructions on how to vote are available at NYC.gov/OneFilm and here:
The winning film will be screened September 13 for free in all five boroughs in parks and select independent movie theaters. The aim is to give every New Yorker access to a night out at the movies, and to support these vital cultural institutions.
“We are thrilled to be launching this program to unite New Yorkers around one film, and provide the opportunity for all New Yorkers to watch it for free on the same night,” said Menin. “Film has the power to bring people together and to spark a civic conversation. These five films all raise important themes in their respective genres, and they all celebrate New York in creative and memorable ways.”
Highlights and dates for the One Film, One New York campaign:
• Month of August: New Yorkers cast their votes online at NYC.gov/OneFilm.
•August 16: A. O. Scott will lead a discussion with Commissioner Menin about the seminal role the five nominated films have played in the city’s film history on the BUILD Series NYC before an audience of movie lovers and film students from Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and livestreamed.
• September 6: The winning movie will be announced
• September 13: Public parks in every borough will host an outdoor screening of the film. Select independent theaters throughout the city will present free screenings the same night. Screening locations will also be available at NYC.gov/OneFilm.
• Month of September: MOME will engage in programming for students at Feirstein, New York’s first public film school, including a panel discussion with technical talent from one of the five nominated films.