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Frederick Wiseman’s ‘In Jackson Heights’ Explores One of the Most Diverse Neighborhoods in the World

Frederick Wiseman's 'In Jackson Heights' Explores One of the Most Diverse Neighborhoods in the World

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Logline: Frederick Wiseman’s 40th documentary “In Jackson Heights” is about the racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood in Queens, New York City.

Elevator Pitch: Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the United States and the world. There are immigrants from every country in South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. Some are citizens, some have green cards, some are without documents. The people who live in Jackson Heights, in their cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, are representative of the new wave of immigrants to America. The film raises issues of assimilation, integration and immigration, as well as the cultural and religious differences that exist in all the major cities of the Western world.

Production Team:

Frederick Wiseman (Director, Editor, Sound, Producer): Mr. Wiseman has made 40 documentaries. Among them are “Titicut Follies,” “High School,” “Welfare,” “La Danse,” “At Berkeley” and “National Gallery.”

About the Film: Fred chose to make “In Jackson Heights” because of its reputation as a multicultural community. This is Fred’s third film in a trilogy about communities, the others being “Aspen” and “Belfast, Maine.” Fred has said, “I am trying to present a broad, complex, and diffuse portrait of contemporary life.” The subject of the film is the daily life of the people in this community—their businesses, community centers, religions and political, cultural and social lives—and the conflict between maintaining ties to traditions of their countries of origin and the need to learn and adapt to American ways and values.

Current Status: “In Jackson Heights” is in the post-production stage. We expect a fall 2015 release in theaters and at festivals, as well as a 2016 PBS broadcast and DVD release.

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