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Press release from Business Wire

The New York Times Unveils Today a Special 'Op-Docs' Series Created Exclusively for NYTimes.com Based on 2012 Sundance Film Festival Documentaries

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Debuts New Collaborations with Sundance Institute and Ford Foundation</i> </p>

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The New York Times Unveils Today a Special 'Op-Docs' Series Created Exclusively for NYTimes.com Based on 2012 Sundance Film Festival Documentaries09:00 EST Thursday, January 19, 2012 NEW YORK (Business Wire) -- The New York Times, in collaboration with the nonprofit Sundance Institute, debuts today a special series of Op-Docs created especially for The Times by filmmakers presenting at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, a program of Sundance Institute. The series will consist of three original short films, each based on a feature-length documentary premiering at the Festival, which begins today and runs to Jan. 29. This special Op-Docs series expands on groundbreaking feature documentaries in competition at the Festival and includes never-before-seen footage and commentary by the documentary directors. Launching the Sundance Institute Op-Docs series today is the premiere of the Op-Doc “Dismantling Detroit,” by Oscar-nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. The Op-Doc is a surprising look at young men who salvage scrap metal from Detroit's derelict buildings, set against the backdrop of globalization. It is based on the directors' documentary “DETROPIA,” which is featured in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition. “Collaborating with The New York Times on this innovative series is a unique opportunity to champion independent film and enhance the documentary experience,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute. “Our work with The Times provides another important avenue for cultivating an informed, discerning independent film audience.” The New York Times is also launching today a collaboration with Ford Foundation to present Op-Docs produced by independent filmmakers who have been supported in part by Ford Foundation's JustFilms initiative. “Dismantling Detroit,” the first in the Sundance Institute Op-Docs series, is also the first video in The Times's collaboration with Ford Foundation. “The Ford Foundation's JustFilms initiative is proud to work with The New York Times to support Op-Docs and filmmakers who further our goal of advancing social justice worldwide with eye-opening documentaries,” said Orlando Bagwell, director of the JustFilms initiative, Ford Foundation. “These filmmakers bring unique perspectives, original voices and some strong opinions about what's happening in the world. For Op-Docs, we asked them to create new short films that begin to engage the public around the issues in their Sundance Film Festival features. We hope these films will spark some interesting dialogue,” said Jason Spingarn-Koff, series producer and curator for Op-Docs, The New York Times. In addition to “Dismantling Detroit,” the Sundance Institute Op-Docs series includes the film “Ai Weiwei: The Evolution of a Dissident” by Alison Klayman, which premieres on NYTimes.com on Monday, Jan. 23, and is an exclusive look at the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. The Op-Doc is based on the feature documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which is in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition. The Sundance Institute Op-Docs series also includes the film “The Justice of Occupation” by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, which premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and explores the impact of Israel's High Court of Justice on Palestinian rights. This Op-Doc is based on the feature documentary “The Law in These Parts,” which is in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Documentary Competition. All three Op-Docs films were supported by Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program, now celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Institute. The New York Times will present additional Sundance Institute-affiliated and Ford Foundation-affiliated projects later this year. “It's an honor to collaborate with these filmmakers, and to work with the Sundance Institute and the Ford Foundation, to help expand the global reach of independent film,” said Spingarn-Koff. The Op-Docs program, which debuted in November 2011, is The Times's editorial department's forum for short, opinionated documentaries produced by both renowned and emerging filmmakers who express their views in the first person. The series, and all New York Times Op-Docs, can be viewed at NYTimes.com/Opinion. About The New York Times Company The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading global, multimedia news and information company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, About.com and related properties. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment. Sundance Institute Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This press release can be downloaded from www.nytco.com. The New York TimesStephanie Yera, 212-556-1957stephanie.yera@nytimes.com