Film director Rachel Grady to speak following screening of her award-winning film DETROPIA, September 25, 2015

Documentary about Detroit was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance

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Rachel Grady, award-winning film director

ALBANY, NY (09/10/2015)(readMedia)-- Rachel Grady, codirector of the award-winning film, DETROPIA (2012), a visually-stunning exploration of the disintegration of the city of Detroit that David Denby of the New Yorker called, "the most moving documentary I've seen in years," will speak following a screening of the film on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall on the University at Albany downtown campus, 135 Western Avenue, Albany. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice's Crime, Justice, and Social Structure Film Series.

DETROPIA (United States, 2012, 90 minutes, color, directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing) is a poignant and visually stunning exploration of the disintegration of Detroit. Writing in the New Yorker, David Denby called it, "the most moving documentary I've seen in years.... an ardent love letter to past vitality and a grateful salute to those who remain in place.... a beautiful film." The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won the Editing Prize.

Rachel Grady and frequent collaborator Heidi Ewing shared a 2006 "Best Documentary" Oscar nomination for JESUS CAMP, about children attending a charismatic, evangelical Christian summer program. Michael Sragow of the Baltimore Sun said in praise of JESUS CAMP, "This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it." Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer said, "No matter your religious or political affiliation (or lack thereof), this supremely even-handed documentary from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady is cinematic dynamite."

Other films by Grady and Ewing include THE BOYS OF BARAKA (2005), winner of the grand prize (Gold Hugo) at the Chicago International Film Festival, and 12TH AND DELAWARE (2010), which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. THE BOYS OF BARAKA follows the experiences of twenty at-risk 12-year-old boys from inner city Baltimore who are enrolled in an experimental and extremely strict boarding school in Kenya, East Africa. 12TH AND DELAWARE examines the conflict between opposing camps in the abortion debate in the community of Fort Pierce, Florida.

The codirectors also contributed a segment to the 2010 anthology film, FREAKONOMICS, together with Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and Eugene Jarecki, based on the New York Times column by economist Steven Levitt and journalist and Delmar, NY, native Stephen J. Dubner.

A continuation of the Justice & Multiculturalism in the 21st Century film and speakers series, the Crime, Justice, and Social Structure Film Series represents an ongoing partnership between the University at Albany's School of Criminal Justice and the NYS Writers Institute. The current series addresses issues related to inequalities, social support networks, the breakdown of communities, outcasts, family bonds, class structures, and intergenerational relationships.

For additional information visit or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at