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First Run Features Presents the Critically Acclaimed
World Trade Center Documentary

Featuring Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, Daniel Libeskind,
David Childs, Larry Silverstein and other major players
in the world's most scrutinized construction project

DVD release date on May 20
Now available on VOD

Watch the trailer here >>

NEW YORK, NY (May 15, 2014) - The critically acclaimed documentary on the politics and drama behind the World Trade Center rebuilding project, 16 ACRES, will be released on DVD to coincide with the May 21st opening of the long-awaited National September 11 Memorial Museum at The World Trade Center site.

The rebuilding of Ground Zero is the most architecturally, politically, and emotionally complex construction project in recent American history. From the beginning, the effort has been fraught with controversy, delays and politics. The struggle to develop these 16 acres of 'sacred' land has encompassed 12 years, 19 government agencies, and over $20 billion. Aside from the engineering challenges, various constituencies – politicians, developers, architects, insurers, local residents, and relatives of 9/11 victims – profess conflicting claims to the site.

16 ACRES is the inside story of how and why this historic project got built. At the heart of the story is the dramatic tension between noblest intentions, the desire of everyone involved to "get it right," and the politics, hubris, ego and ideology that is the bedrock of New York City.

"We were looking for an answer to the question: what's the real story behind why it's taken so long to rebuild?" said writer/co-producer Matt Kapp (producer, Valentino: The Last Emperor and The Education of Gore Vidal). "To our surprise, no books, TV shows or documentaries had attempted to answer that question. Few Americans, even New Yorkers, know much about what has really gone on behind the scenes."

As with all great urban projects, from the Pyramids to Rome's Coliseum to Rockefeller Center, a small group of powerful people dictate the outcome. Who are they and what motivates them? "Our core creative approach was to tell the story fundamentally as a first-person narrative – without any narration – told by the key players themselves," said director/editor Richard Hankin (director, producer and writer, Home Front; co-producer and editor, Capturing the Friedmans). "Many of them are true New York characters, and in many ways it's a quintessentially New York story."

Exclusive access to the World Trade Center site and extensive archival research allowed the filmmakers to colorfully and precisely illustrate and guide the narrative without traditional narration. They used never-before-seen footage, photographs, and architectural renderings to create an unprecedented historical visual experience of the rebuilding effort. "We were privileged to have had exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the world's highest-profile building project," said Mike Marcucci, the film's producer. "I hope this film will be seen as the definitive account of New York's struggle to rebuild the World Trade Center." 

The filmmakers have also produced an enhanced, interactive e-book companion to the film, which will be available on iTunes May 15th. 16 ACRES + : Companion to the Acclaimed Documentary About the Struggle to Rebuild Ground Zero, the first of its kind to be released in conjunction with a documentary, includes slide shows, architectural renderings, video extras, animation, and a narrative that provides background and context. "We did so much research and compiled so many great materials in the course of making the movie, and we didn't want to let it all go to waste," said Kapp. "An enhanced, interactive e-book seemed to be the ideal platform to share it." The exclusive behind-the-scenes video extras in the e-book include architect Daniel Libeskind visiting the site, David Childs touring One World Trade Center, and developer Larry Silverstein visiting the first building he owned. 16 ACRES + will be available exclusively in the iTunes bookstore for iPad and iBooks and available for additional e-readers at a later date.

"Incisive and absorbing. A fascinating portrait of trying to make headway in the charged atmosphere of devastating personal loss and wounded national pride. Hankin's evenhanded film builds a concise, enlightening account from a decade of confusion." - Los Angeles Times

"Riveting and emotional." - New York Post

"Uncommonly engrossing and articulate." - Variety

"A unique look at civic strife and a city's spirit." - New York Daily News

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