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Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and The New York Times Launch First Ever "One Film, One New York" Campaign to Get New York City to Unite Around One Film

Building on the success of "One Book, One New York," the star-studded initiative invites New Yorkers to vote for one noteworthy NYC film – out of five great selections – to watch together

Free screenings of the winning movie in parks and independent movie theaters in all five boroughs on September 13

NEW YORK – Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin and The New York Times today announced "One Film, One New York," a citywide campaign to unite New Yorkers around one great film. Times chief film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis selected five noteworthy New York films, and beginning today and all through the month of August, New Yorkers will cast their vote for their favorite. The winning movie will be announced the first week of September, and then be screened for free in all five boroughs on September 13th.

The five nominees were all shot on the streets of New York, reflecting the unique, diverse sounds and musical traditions of The Big Apple. They are:

  • Crooklyn, directed by Spike Lee (1994)
  • On the Town, directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (1949)
  • New York, New York, directed by Martin Scorsese (1977)
  • Desperately Seeking Susan, directed by Susan Seidelman (1985)
  • The Wedding Banquet, directed by Ang Lee (1993)

To help New Yorkers decide, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment has enlisted the help of 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. Those celebrity videos, trailers for the five films, and instructions on how to vote are available at

The winning film will be screened on September 13th for free in all five boroughs in parks and select independent movie theaters. The aim is to give every New Yorker access to a night out at the movies, and to support these vital cultural institutions.

"We are thrilled to be launching this program to unite New Yorkers around one film, and provide the opportunity for all New Yorkers to watch it for free on the same night," said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. "Film has the power to bring people together and to spark a civic conversation. These five films all raise important themes in their respective genres, and they all celebrate New York in creative and memorable ways."

Itself quintessentially New York, The New York Times has contributed to the life, culture and vibrancy of the city since its inception in 1851 reporting on the interwoven cultural fabrics that make New York City unique.

"New York and movies are two of the things I love most, and I'm not sure it's possible to love one without the other," said New York Times chief film critic A. O. Scott. "Since the very beginning of motion pictures, New York has presented many faces to the camera. It's glamorous and gritty, tough and magical, an inexhaustible landscape of skyscrapers and tenements, bridges and tunnels, rooftops and sidewalks. It is also an endless sea of human faces and stories. No single movie can capture all of it, but hundreds if not thousands have tried to be true to the city in some ways. We all have our favorites. Even though, as New Yorkers, we like to argue, maybe we can all come together and agree on a movie--one that reflects who we are or who we dream of being, one that finds the true music of the city amidst the noise and chatter."

"New York is a great movie city - its theaters were my first film school - so I was delighted to be a part of One Film/One New York," says Times film critic Manohla Dargis. "I'm especially thrilled that New Yorkers will be able to see the winning movie on the big screen, where it belongs."

Highlights and dates for the One Film, One New York campaign:

  • Month of August: New Yorkers cast their vote online at
  • August 16th: A. O. Scott will lead a discussion with Commissioner Menin about the seminal role the five nominated films have played in the city's film history on the BUILD Series NYC before an audience of movie lovers and film students from Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and livestreamed.
  • September 6th: The winning movie will be announced
  • September 13th: Public parks in every borough will host an outdoor screening of the film. Select independent theaters throughout the city will present free screenings the same night. Screening locations will also be available at
  • Month of September: MOME will engage in programming for students at Feirstein, New York's first public film school, including a panel discussion with technical talent from one of the five nominated films.

A robust marketing campaign, designed by The New York Times and MOME, will include advertising in the subways, bus shelters, sidewalk kiosks and LinkNYC. Videos produced in collaboration with The New York Times will feature famous New Yorkers sharing their "One Film" favorites. All of the videos can be viewed on the One Film, One New York website.

"New York City was a place that I embraced - and a place that embraced me," said Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox. "That's why I'm teaming up with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment to help create a one-night event that will bring all New Yorkers together." Her pick: Desperately Seeking Susan.

Hugh Jackman said he and wife Deborra-Lee Furness picked On the Town. "It's the first musical ever shot on location in New York City. Not only did Gene Kelly star in the movie but he also choreographed and directed it with Stanley Donan. And with songs from Brooklyn-born Leonard Bernstein, what could be better?" Added Furness: "This movie is an absolute musical love letter to New York City."

Katie Holmes called The Wedding Banquet "both hilarious and poignant," adding that director Ang Lee "made this indie break-out comedy in 1993 – just a few years before he cast me in my very first film [The Ice Storm]."

Sting and his wife Trudie Styler love Martin Scorsese's New York New York. "It tells the story of a saxophone player and a singer who fall in love and marry – and I know a little bit about falling in love with a singer," said Styler. Sting added that the movie's "romance plays-out against some of the world's greatest jazz standards. But the film's biggest claim to fame is that it gave audiences New York's greatest musical anthem."

Native New Yorker John Leguizamo called Spike Lee's Crooklyn "a great choice – and not just because Spike is one of my oldest friends!"

"One Film, One New York" follows the inaugural "One Book, One New York" campaign, which launched last February. Nearly 50,000 votes were cast in the country's largest citywide reading program. After choosing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Americanah as the winning book, New Yorkers engaged in three months of lively discussions on its themes of immigration, feminism, and race.

The One Film, One New York program is among a number of efforts spearheaded by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment to inspire the next generation of storytellers—including screenwriters, directors, producers and film critics.

September 13th Screenings of the Winning Film Free at the Following Parks and Theaters:


  • Brooklyn — Fort Greene Park
    • Rain location: To be confirmed
  • The Bronx — Crotona Park
    • Rain location: St. Mary's Recreation Center
  • Manhattan — St. Nicholas Park in Harlem
    • Rain location: Highbridge Recreation Center
  • Queens — Windmuller Park / Lawrence Virgilio Playground
    • Rain location: Al Oerter Recreation Center
  • Staten Island — Cloves Lake Park
    • Rain location: Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex


  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Brooklyn
  • Atrium Stadium Cinemas, Staten Island
  • Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, Manhattan
  • Museum of the Moving Image, Queens
  • BAM Rose Cinemas, Brooklyn
  • Symphony Space, Manhattan
  • Kew Gardens Cinemas, Queens
  • Nitehawk Cinema, in Brooklyn
  • Quad Cinema, Manhattan
  • Williamsburg Cinemas, Brooklyn
  • Cobble Hill Cinemas, Brooklyn

"Parks have always been places for lively discussion and debate," said Adena Long, NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner for the Urban Park Service and Public Programs. "We hope this campaign inspires more of that spirited debate, and brings New Yorkers of all backgrounds out in the fresh air to enjoy a quintessentially New York movie together."

"Film is a universal language that can unite even the most opinionated New Yorker," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Vivierito. "New York is a global hub for the bold and creative, and home to some of the world's best in film and entertainment so I'm excited about the "One Film, One New York" campaign launch and for the winning film. I want to thank, the New York Times, Commissioner Menin and the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for their commitment in finding innovative ways to bring New Yorkers together through our city's vibrant storytelling."

"A great story told through film has the power to convey universal truths and help us recognize common struggles and experiences that unite us," said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. "In a city known for its size, diversity, and quick pace, it's difficult to find time to pause and connect with those next door, on the subway, and on the street. With the One Film, One New York initiative, a city of millions will come together to vote and share in a night out at the movies that will strengthen our sense of community. I thank the administration for their work on this initiative, and I encourage all to vote and join us on September 13th for a free movie night in a number of parks, cinemas, and cultural institutions in every borough."

"The film and television industries are contributing greatly to our borough's renaissance and I am delighted to support the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and Commissioner Julie Menin's new 'One Film, One New York' campaign," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "New York is an iconic city that adds flavor and layers to many Hollywood productions, something that heavyweights like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Ang Lee all appreciate. 'One Film, One New York' displays the rich diversity of the New York City movie scene."

"On the heels of MOME's successful campaign to inspire greater citywide consumption of thought-provoking literature, 'One Film, One New York' is an exciting venture that celebrates the Big Apple's proud cinematic legacy," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "With several of these movies having strong connections to Brooklyn, this is sure to be a competitive campaign."

"As Chair of the New York State Assembly's Committee on Arts, I look forward to the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment's celebration of art that highlights the culture and history of New York City, and applaud its goal of uniting diverse communities," said Assemblymember Daniel J. O'Donnell. "One Film, One New York will do just that. I commend Commissioner Menin, the Mayor's Office, and all others involved in bringing our communities together through film."

"New York City actors, writers, directors and production crews have created some of the most iconic movies ever made," said Assemblymember Robert Carroll, chair, Subcommittee on Museums and Cultural Institutions. "I am happy that the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York Times have come together to select five quintessentially New York films to be shown and voted on this Summer. I hope that next year's 'One Film, One New York' includes one of my favorite New York films, Moonstruck!"