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Saturday, June 15
6:00 PM - 7:45 PM

Landmark E-Street Cinema

555 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Emergent City


Kelly Anderson, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg

Executive Producers

Stephen Maing, Carrie Lozano


Brenda Avila-Hanna, Kelly Anderson


Jay Sterrenberg


Sean Hanley, Alex Mallis, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Viola Wan

Over a decade, within the borders of a single Brooklyn community district, a microcosm of American democracy emerges. Residents of Sunset Park face a tangled web of rising rents, a legacy of environmental racism, and the loss of the industrial jobs that once sustained their community. When a global developer purchases Industry City — a massive industrial complex on the waterfront — and begins to transform it into an “innovation district,” a battle erupts over the future of the neighborhood and of New York City itself.

Emergent City is a meticulously crafted civic epic. It 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, it tracks an ensemble of participants, including the local council members, Industry City’s developers, and community members with divergent stakes. 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.

Co-director, Emergent City

Kelly Anderson is a Sunset Park-based documentary filmmaker whose most recent films are Rabble Rousers: Frances Goldin and the Fight for Cooper Square (w. Ryan Joseph and Kathryn Barnier). Her 2012 film My Brooklyn, about the hidden forces driving gentrification, was broadcast on PBS’s America ReFramed. Kelly produced and directed Every Mother’s Son (PBS, 2004, with Tami Gold) about mothers whose children were killed by police, which won the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award and aired on POV. She also produced and directed Out At Work (HBO, 2000, with Tami Gold), which premiered at Sundance and won a GLAAD Best Documentary award. From 2015-17, she co-chaired the cooperative distribution company New Day Films. Kelly is the Chair of the Department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College (CUNY).

Co-director, Emergent City

Jay Arthur Sterrenberg is a director and editor based in New York City. His documentary editing credits include Academy Award-shortlisted Dark Money (PBS, 2018), Emmy winning Trophy (CNN Films, 2018), Tribeca award-winning Untouchable (2016), Academy Award-shortlisted Netflix Original After Maria (2019), and the 2020 Netflix doc series Immigration Nation, which won a Peabody Award and Best New Documentary Series at the Independent Spirit Awards. Jay is a co-founder of the Sunset Park-based Meerkat Media Collective. His short documentary Public Money (PBS, 2018) is an observed portrait of an experiment in participatory democracy in Sunset Park.