EXCLUSIVE: PBS’ documentary series POV has acquired U.S. broadcast rights to Landfall, Cecilia Aldarondo’s feature-length film that looks at the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria through the stories of farmers, fishermen, educators, real estate agents and newcomers.
The doc, which had its premiere at the mostly shuttered Tribeca Film Festival, will now air as part of POV’s 34th season set to launch on PBS stations in June. Before that, it will screen at DOC NYC which runs November 11-19.
The island and its 3.4 million residents (and U.S. citizens) was ravaged by the September 2017 storm, which shuttered electricity to the entire commonwealth and caused billions in damages, leaving behind a crippled infrastructure and a multibillion-dollar debt. Outside investors descended not as much to bail out communities but to cash in, leaving the next generation of Puerto Ricans finding themselves at an inflection point between the dream of a socialist utopia and the reality of recolonization.
Here’s the trailer:
Landfall is a co-production of Blackscrackle Films, ITVS, and American Documentary | POV in association with Field of Vision and Latino Public Broadcasting, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“Landfall is a cautionary tale about unjust recovery, and what happens when powerful interests try to privatize public services in the wake of disaster,” Aldarondo said. “Now that we’re all facing the biggest disaster of our lifetimes, we need public media like POV to champion the visionary, ethical, and independent media we need for a healthy society. I can’t think of a better home for my film.”
The rights deal to Landfall was negotiated by POV’s Justine Nagan and executive producer Chris White and Ines Hoffman Kanna on behalf of the doc.
“Cecilia’s masterpiece is both a sharp condemnation of the continued colonial exploitation of Puerto Rico and a warm embrace of the land and her people,” White said. “Rendered with a singular vision and deep affection, you’ll be swept into solidarity with these native Puerto Ricans who resist and rebuild.”