New Yorkers are invited to watch the winning movie absolutely free in select parks and movie theaters in all five boroughs.
September 6, 2017 — During the month of August, New Yorkers were invited to decide which of five New York-themed films would unite the city for simultaneous free screenings on September 13th. Today, Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin and the chief film critics of The New York Times announced Crooklyn, director Spike Lee's ode to brownstone Brooklyn, has won the first ever One Film, One New York contest. The contest sparked a lively citywide discussion online and around water-coolers about great New York movies. On September 13th, New Yorkers are invited to come out and see Crooklyn in select parks and independent theaters throughout the five boroughs.
"Crooklyn was written by my younger siblings Joie, Cinque Lee and I," said Spike Lee. "It's a semi-bio story of our family--the Lees growing up in the pre-gentrified black and Puerto Rican hood of Fort Greene in 'Da Republic of Brooklyn' during the early 70's. More than anything, Crooklyn is a love letter to our long gone mother--Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. Our mom died of cancer of the liver at the too young age of 41, didn't smoke either. Crooklyn was the way we grieved and at the same time celebrated her brief but bold life. The Lee family thanks everyone who voted for Crooklyn; the support actually started May 13th, 1994, the day of its release. Also, shout out to the other great films too in #OneFilmNY."
"We are thrilled that native son Spike Lee's film is the one New Yorkers have chosen to watch together on September 13th," said Julie Menin, Media and Entertainment Commissioner. "Film has the power to unite us in these tumultuous times, and this film celebrates New York in such a creative and resonant way. We're also delighted to provide the opportunity for all New Yorkers to come out, and bring the whole family, at no cost, and to support for the city's culturally vital independent theaters."
"Crooklyn is a warm and vivid picture of a Brooklyn family in the 70s," said A. O. Scott, New York Times chief film critic. "It's full of memories and personal details but also irresistibly familiar to anyone who has been a child or a parent in this challenging, wonderful city." Scott and fellow chief Times critic Manohla Dargis helped whittle the list of potential movies down to five titles that all celebrate New York's diversity, vibrancy and its unique soundtrack. Scott described the task as "an unusual and irresistible assignment" in a recent New York Times article. The choices were:
Throughout the month of August, New Yorkers were invited to cast their vote for their favorite. To help them decide, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment enlisted several prominent New Yorkers. Sting and Trudie Styler, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, Laverne Cox, Katie Holmes, and John Leguizamo each shot videos where they touted their personal favorites. Leguizamo went to bat for Spike Lee's film and announced its victory. Spike Lee also waged a lively social media campaign advocating for "Crooklyn."
The movie is a slice-of-life story that depicts Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn in the 1970s, complete with kids being kids, parents trying to make ends meet and everyone in the neighborhood getting in their way. Crooklyn also boasts an amazing soundtrack composed completely of music from the era. And of course, Spike Lee makes a cameo. "Spike Lee's autobiographical film is one of his most heartfelt," Manohla Dargis said.
A.O. Scott and Commissioner Menin will host the free screening of Crooklyn at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, at 6 p.m. on September 13th, an event that is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Scott and Menin will congratulate director Spike Lee and assist him in introducing the film. To thank New Yorkers for choosing his film, Lee will make surprise visits to some of the other venues that evening. Trudie Styler, who was vital to the success of the campaign, will also be in attendance at the Walter Reade Theater.
Crooklyn also will be shown FREE throughout the five boroughs at the following parks and independent movie theaters on September 13th. In the parks, seating for the screenings starts at dusk. Times for individual theaters vary as detailed below and on our website nyc.gov/onefilm.
As an extension of the One Film, One New York campaign, this Fall, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment will engage students at Feirstein, New York's first public film school, in a creative discussion about filmmaking in New York City with talent from one of the five nominated films. The One Film, One New York program is among a number of efforts spearheaded by the agency to inspire the next generation of storytellers—including screenwriters, directors, producers and film critics.
"Spike Lee's Crooklyn is a beautiful coming of age story of love, adulthood and family – values that define and shape New Yorkers. We are grateful to Spike Lee for sharing his film with us and generations to come through the One Film, One New York contest. I thank the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Commissioner Julie Menin and The New York Times for hosting this contest, and I encourage my fellow New Yorkers to enjoy the masterpiece that is Crooklyn." – Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
"As the Chair the New York State Assembly's Subcommittee on Cultural Institutions and Museums and someone who was born, raised and represents Brooklyn – I am proud that Crooklyn, a film by Spike Lee, a true Brooklyn auteur with a unique voice was chosen as the winner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and The New York Times' inaugural One Film, One New York contest!"—Assemblymember Robert Carroll.