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World Trade Center's Rocky Rise After 9/11 at Center of New Documentary

LOWER MANHATTAN—A new documentary chronicling the post Sept. 11, 2011 development of Downtown will soon make its debut at Lincoln Center.

“16 Acres,” a 90-minute film delving into the political tensions surrounding the redevelopment of ground zero after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, will premiere October 18 at the 2012 Architecture & Design Film Festival at the Allen Room in Lincoln Center.  

Director Richard Hankin, who began working on the project in March 2011, said that exploring the conflicting perspectives of those who were instrumental in rebuilding Downtown is a key component to the film.

“On 9/12, all of a sudden there this huge vast piece of real estate in Lower Manhattan,” he said. “Everyone knows it needs to be developed, but there are all of these conflicting ideas on how best to do that.”

A large cast of characters appears in the doc, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Daniel Libeskind, the architect who won the 2003 competition to conceive a new vision for ground zero. 

Hankin said he wanted the story to unfold through the divergent perspectives of the key players, including the developers, architects, politicians and family members who have a stake in the site.

 “I knew there was going to be conflicting perspectives and I wanted to leave some space for the audience to draw their own conclusions,” he said.

“Many people think of it as sacred ground and want the entire site to be a memorial. Well, that excludes anything else. Others wanted to redevelop the entire area as it once was. The idea is how do you take all of these conflicting visions and come out the other side.”

The documentary, produced by Matt Kapp and Mike Marcucci, who began the production process in 2004, will be screened at Tribeca Cinemas October 19 and 21 after the film’s premiere. A question and answer session with the filmmakers will follow all three screenings.