Press Release

June 13 2024

‘POV’ Acquires Emergent City Following its World Premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival


Brooklyn, N.Y. – June 13, 2024 – POV announces the acquisition of the observational documentary, Emergent City, that made its World Premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival on June 11, 2024. Directed by New Yorkers and POV alumni, Kelly Anderson and Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, and produced by Anderson and Brenda Avila-Hanna, the film chronicles the epic story that unfolds when Industry City, the largest privately owned industrial property in New York, seeks to change land use rules on the Sunset Park waterfront. Emergent City will make its national broadcast premiere in 2025 as part of POV’s 38th season.

"This film by two POV alums shines a light on the fascinating and messy process of democracy, where the competing interests of community, corporate development, and governance come together, and collide,” said Chris White, executive producer, POV. “It's a well-balanced viewpoint of a neighborhood, like so many others across our nation, in the midst of change."

“We made the film to lift up the important work being done in Sunset Park to address the intertwining threats of gentrification, climate change and a planning process that asks so much of local community members yet circumvents the possibility of real neighborhood planning,” said Kelly Anderson, director and producer, Emergent City. “It’s a microcosm of what so many communities are facing.”

“Having worked with POV before, we are overjoyed to have them bring Emergent City to a public television audience and to communities beyond the broadcast who are having similar, often difficult conversations about development, displacement and how to address the looming threat of climate disaster in an equitable way,” said Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, director and editor, Emergent City.

In Emergent City, global developers seek to transform a waterfront Brooklyn complex into an "Innovation District," or what The New York Times called “the SoHo of Sunset Park.” Divergent stakes draw battle lines between the local, primarily Latino and Chinese immigrant communities, the city council and Industry City's developers.

Over a decade, within the borders of a single Brooklyn community district, a microcosm of American democracy emerges. Emergent City sheds light on power and process, illuminating systems and giving viewers a front row seat to the public and private spaces where the city is shaped. With extraordinary access, the film explores the profound intersections of gentrification, climate crisis and real estate development, and asks how change might emerge from dialogue and collective action in a world where too many outcomes are constrained by money, politics and business as usual.

Featured in the film are Andrew Kimball, former CEO of Industry City and now President and CEO of the NYC Economic Development Corporation; Antoinette Martinez, member of Protect Sunset Park and fellow at the Shape of Cities to Come Institute; Carlos Menchaca, the first Mexican American elected official in New York City and Brooklyn’s first openly gay legislator; Marcela Mitaynes, a representative of New York’s District 51 in the State Assembly; and Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE and Co-Chair of the Climate Justice Alliance.

TheEmergent City deal was negotiated by Chris White and Erika Dilday for American Documentary | POV and Michael Kinomoto and Jakgeem Mays on behalf of ITVS.

Emergent City is an ITVS co-production, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in association with Meerkat Media and Realistic Pictures. Kelly Anderson and Jay Arthur Sterrenberg are the directors. The producers are Kelly Anderson and Brenda Ávila-Hanna. The cinematographers are Sean Hanley, Alex Ramirez Mallis, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg and Viola Wan. The editor is Jay Arthur Sterrenberg. Original music by Gisela Fullà Silvestre, who is also supervising sound designer and re-recording mixer. The colorist is Natacha Ikoli. The supervising producer is Michael Kinomoto. The executive producers are Steve Maing and Carrie Lozano; and Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV.



Directors: Kelly Anderson, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg

Producers: Kelly Anderson, Brenda Ávila-Hanna

Executive Producers: Steve Maing, Carrie Lozano, and Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV

Participants/Cast: Andrew Kimball, Antoinette Martinez, Carlos Menchaca, Marcela Mitaynes, Elizabeth Yeampierre

Cinematographers: Sean Hanley, Alex Ramirez Mallis, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Viola Wan

Editor: Jay Arthur Sterrenberg

Sound Design and Re-Recording Mixer: Gisela Fullà Silvestre

Original Music By: Gisela Fullà Silvestre

Supervising Producer: Michael Kinomoto

Colorist: Natacha Ikoli

Country: USA

Languages: Chinese, English, Spanish

Year: 2024

About the Filmmakers

Kelly Anderson, Director, Producer, Emergent City

Kelly Anderson is a Sunset Park based documentary filmmaker whose most recent film is Rabble Rousers: Frances Goldin and the Fight for Cooper Square (w. Ryan Joseph and Kathryn Barnier). Her 2012 film My Brooklyn, about the hidden forces driving gentrification, was broadcast on PBS’ America ReFramed. Kelly produced and directed Every Mother’s Son (PBS, 2004, w. Tami Gold), about mothers whose children were killed by police, which won the Tribeca Audience Award and aired on POV. She produced and directed Out At Work (HBO, 2000, w. Tami Gold), which premiered at Sundance. Kelly chairs the Department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College (CUNY).

Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Director, Editor, Emergent City

Jay Arthur Sterrenberg is a New York City based director and editor. His documentary editing credits include Academy Award® short-listed Dark Money (PBS, 2018), Emmy® winning Trophy (CNN Films, 2018), Tribeca award-winning Untouchable (2016), Academy Award® short-listed Netflix Original After Maria (2019) and the 2020 Netflix doc series Immigration Nation, which won a Peabody Award and Best New Documentary Series at the Independent Spirit Awards. Jay is a co-founder of the Sunset Park based Meerkat Media Collective. His short documentary Public Money (PBS, 2018) is an observed portrait of an experiment in participatory democracy in Sunset Park.

Brenda Ávila-Hanna, Producer, Emergent City

Brenda is a Mexican filmmaker based in California. She is a recent Rockwood/Just Films fellow and part of the inaugural cohort of DOC NYC’s “Documentary Industry New Leaders.” Brenda’s work has been funded by ITVS, the Redford Center, the Ford Foundation, BAVC and the Central Coast Creative Corps. She was the first team lead for Equity and Representation at New Day Films and is currently producing three documentary films, one also as a first-time director. Brenda is an active member of BGDM, Color Congress, and the Video Consortium Mexico. She is a professor at UCSC and a board member of the Watsonville Film Festival.


About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied (1989), Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1992), Rabbit in the Room (1999), Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (2001), Made in L.A. (2007), American Promise (2013), Not Going Quietly (2021), While We Watched (2022), A House Made of Splinters (2022) and the mini-series And She Could be Next (2020). Throughout its history POV has featured the work of award-winning, innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras, Nanfu Wang, Frederick Wiseman, Emiko Omori, Janus Metz Pedersen and Ava DuVernay. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. In 2024, Indiewire named seven POV films in its roundup of “The 50 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century”: Faya Dayi (2021), The Mole Agent (2020), Minding The Gap (2018), Cameraperson (2016), The Look of Silence (2015), The Act of Killing (2013) and After Tiller (2013). All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 47 Emmy Awards, 28 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirm that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia organization dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, Acton Family Giving, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.