DCTV Announces New Dedicated Documentary Theater In Lead Up To 40th Anniversary Celebration | Movie City News

DCTV Announces New Dedicated Documentary Theater In Lead Up To 40th Anniversary Celebration | Movie City News

By Ray Pride | October 8, 2012

New York City-funded theater to break ground in Spring 2013

In anticipation of its 40th anniversary celebration, Downtown Community Television Center Inc. (DCTV) has announced they will begin construction on a documentary-only movie theater, the first of its kind in the United States. This 73 seat state-of-the-art public cinema equipped with 4K digital cinema technology will screen first-run documentary films throughout the year and host special events showcasing the work of established and emerging filmmakers. The theater will be constructed inside the DCTV headquarters, the landmark firehouse on Lafayette and White Street in Lower Manhattan.

The announcement comes in advance of DCTV’s upcoming 40th Anniversary celebration. This momentous occasion will be celebrated on October 11, 2012, when DCTV will transform their firehouse into a party space in order to celebrate their well-deserved legacy as well as their promising future. Sheila Nevins and the HBO Documentaries Team will be honored at the event as well as DCTV Board Chair and longtime supporter, Cora Weiss.

Founded in 1972 by husband and wife filmmakers Jon Alpert and Keiko Tsuno DCTV’s early educational programs operated out of a dilapidated old truck. Since then, DCTV has grown into one of the leading documentary film education and production resources in the country, providing resources for thousands of filmmakers and students, including equipment and facility rentals, post-production services and of course, educational programs.

DCTV is also a renowned production entity for documentary films. Over the past 35 years, DCTVʼs landmark documentaries have earned 15 Emmy Awards, 3 DuPont Columbia Awards, and every other major award in the television industry. Each year, DCTV Productions are seen by millions each year on networks that include HBO, PBS, the Discovery Channel, Hallmark, MTV and more.

New Theater

DCTV co-founder Jon Alpert said, “This is an important moment for both the growth of our organization and the city itself. New York City is a major hub of documentary cinema — there are great documentaries being made here and New Yorkers love documentaries. There should be a dedicated place in the city that celebrates them.”

The construction of the new theater is being supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as part of their continuing investment in the cultural infrastructure of the city. The groundbreaking is currently scheduled for March 2013 and construction is expected to take one year.

“Over the last 40 years DCTV has fostered an extraordinary community of documentary filmmakers in New York City,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “From producing award-winning feature films to providing students and professionals alike with the training and equipment they need to develop compelling work, DCTV cultivates the very best storytelling from across the five boroughs and beyond. We are thrilled to join the public-private partnership that will create a state of the art theater in this landmark facility and allow the organization to welcome even more artists and audiences for generations to come.”

Keiko Tsuno added, “We are very excited to be creating a new home for documentary cinema and to give both emerging and more established filmmakers an opportunity to share their work with engaging audiences. It is our hope that New Yorkers who want to share their appreciation for documentary cinema are going to find a community at the new DCTV theater.”

Capital funding for the DCTV Cinema will be provided by the following organizations: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (funded through Community Development Block Grants); US Department of Housing & Urban Development; Office of the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg; Office of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn; The City Council of New York Office of the Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer; The Manhattan Delegation of the New York City Council; The Rockefeller Foundation; The Samuel Rubin Foundation; The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; NY State Assembly Member, Deborah Glick; The New York State Council on the Arts and The Hyde & Watson Foundation.

Celebrating the Anniversary

Said Alpert and Tusno in a joint statement, “Our simple survival is something to be proud of. When we started, there were half a dozen similar organizations that were committed to helping young filmmakers – but sadly they’re all gone. Not only did we survive but the work we’re doing now in all areas is better than at any time in our 40 years. The youth programs are more effective and our students are accomplishing more. The films we produce are stronger, the equipment has improved and more filmmakers are coming to DCTV for master classes, screenings and affordable production resources than ever before. We’ve taken a building that was falling apart in the 1970s and turned it into a thriving community center. Watching our organization continue to excel and expand is really exciting.”

Education & Filmmaker Support

Over the past 40 years, DCTV has seen more than 50,000 young people come through its doors, many as part of PRO-TV, their free youth media arts training program, the most successful in the country.

After attending seminars, hands-on workshops and internships, including training in video production, post- production, producing, and graphic & web design, almost 100% of PRO-TV media fellowship students go on to attend college and/or gain employment in the media industry.

While assistance to working filmmakers and educating the next generation of young people might be the two most high-profile of DCTV’s functions, they have many other goals, says Alpert. “For example, we are very active with our own productions and that’s really how we started, by making our own films. We’re lucky that we’re still able to do that and more than ever, more people see them.”

As a one-stop-shop for filmmakers ranging from the “wet behind the ears” beginner to the established documentarian, DCTV provides everything a filmmaker needs to realize their vision and DCTV’s training and education initiatives reach far beyond the youth aspect. Alpert, Keiko and other award-winning producers on the staff take an active role in working with and mentoring the youth.

A vital part of the organization is DCTV Training & Resources, through which DCTV supports filmmakers and media artists by offering affordable and accessible resources to everyone, including 150 hands-on workshops in production, post-production, producing, and graphic & web design, taught by working industry professionals in an intimate and interactive environment.

Rentals & Resources

From equipment rental (DCTV Equipment Rentals is one of the only rental houses that does not require production insurance and is open 7 days a week) to editing, color correction, and mastering suites to accessing a pool of freelance film professionals for hire, DCTV gives the filmmaking community access to otherwise prohibitively expensive professional video equipment at rates significantly below market.

In addition, there’s DCTV Presents, a screening and event series, designed to showcase innovative and provocative work from emerging artists and renowned groundbreakers in the industry.

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