Battle For Brooklyn (Brooklyn Film Fest)
Friday Jun 3, 2011
8:00PMFilm Begins
10:00PMAfter Party with open bar at the powerHouse Arena 37 Main St in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Heights Cinema
(Cinema 1)
Cinema 1
Brooklyn Heights
70 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
2, 3 to Clark St. or A, C to High Street


This Show Presented in Partnership With
Brooklyn Film Festival
US Premiere

A group of people in Rooftop’s beloved Brooklyn come together to fight the Atlantic Yards Project—a massive real estate development that threatens to destroy their homes and neighborhood—in this epic tale of how far people will go to fight for what they believe in.

Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) and Rooftop Films are proud to announce the US Premiere of Battle For Brooklyn, a controversial look at the Atlantic Yards project. The film will open the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival on June 3rd at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas at 8pm. The film will be also shown as a part of the Rooftop Films Summer Series on June 9th in Fort Greene Park. Prior to both Brooklyn screenings, the documentary will have its world premiere

“Directors Suki Hawley and Michael Galinski, BFF alumni, have been working on this project since 2003 and we are proud to give voice to a Brooklyn community that has been fighting with limited resources and without much external support an enormous battle to save their own homes,” said festival director Marco Ursino. “We are also excited about the collaboration with Rooftop Films. Battle for Brooklyn is an important documentary that belongs to the community and we feel that this partnership will ensure a truly broad outreach.”

“We at Rooftop Films believe strongly in the value of partnerships and always strive to do everything that we can to assist filmmakers in our community. So we are very excited to be teaming with the Brooklyn Film Festival to present these two screenings and to support the theatrical release of Michael and Suki’s Battle For Brooklyn. The dedication that Rumur Inc. has shown to documentary filmmaking and to the borough of Brooklyn has been an inspiration to us for more than a decade, and we believe that their latest work is essential viewing for fans of documentary film and for those who care about the future of their communities," said Dan Nuxoll, Program Director at Rooftop Films.

Brooklyn Film Festival has received over 2,400 films from 111 countries of which 1,200 are US productions. The competitive event will run from June 3rd through June 12th at indieScreen, a brand new venue in Williamsburg, and the Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. The festival will present 120 film premieres and each film will be shown twice. The full festival lineup will be announced in May 2011.


Battle For Brooklyn (Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, David Beilinson | Brooklyn, NY | 93 min.)
In 2003 filmmaker Michael Galinsky read a NYTimes article about a New Jersey Nets stadium coming to Brooklyn. Eight years and three lawsuits later, the Forest City Ratner vs. The People vs. The State of New York vs. The Borough of Brooklyn saga has played out for all of New York City to bear witness. A main character in this real estate tragedy has been Daniel Goldstein, the Prospect Heights man who refused to be bought out by Ratner developers. His organization, Develop Don’t Destroy, led the anti-Atlantic Yards movement and mobilized thousands of people toward his cause.

Battle for Brooklyn starts at the very beginning of this debate and follows it through its devastating conclusion. We see how Goldstein’s life was upended when he took on Ratner, and how he changes over the course of this near decade long struggle. New Yorkers pride themselves on being stubborn and vocal, and Goldstein certainly earns this pride. If you’re a Brooklyn resident who heard about all the hoopla but didn’t understand what people were actually fighting for, now is your chance to learn about the (anti-) development in your own backyard.

Of course people want more jobs and affordable housing in their communities. We should have those things without question; they are worth fighting for. Battle for Brooklyn sheds light on the realities of the promises made by Forest City Ratner, however, and shows us how those empty pledges divided our unified Borough. The brilliant and fiery Councilwoman Leticia James leads the charge, challenging the “backdoor deals” that eliminated local city involvement from Atlantic Yards and exposing the twisted truths about the effects this development will have on our community. Though it may appear that the battle is lost, the story, as we see here, is far from dead.

- Stephanie Skaff

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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