Spacing co-presents “Gut Renovation” documentary

Gut Renovation by Su Friedrich – Trailer from Images Festival on Vimeo.

WHAT: Screening of “Gut Renovation” followed by on-stage conversation with Su Friedrich
WHEN: Tuesday, October 9th
WHERE: The Royal, 608 College Street
COST: $10 regular, $5 for Images Festival members
LINK: Film listing on Images Festival web site

In partnership with The Images Festival, The Royal, Coach House Books, and The Grid, Spacing co-presents a documentary screen of “Gut Renovation”, a documentary by Su Friedrich.

It’s sad and familiar story. Artists move into a previously derelict area, attracted by affordable rents, and rehabilitate the neighbourhood with vitality and safety. Then the money follows, and mom-and-pop cafes are replaced by Starbucks, long-established mechanics replaced by designer dog food boutiques, affordable apartments replaced by luxury condos. Gentrification displaces artists from the communities they created, and replaces them with a sterilized facsimile out of their economic reach.

Su Friedrich documents this story as it happened to Williamsburg, the neighbourhood she called home in Brooklyn, NY for 20 years, in her new film, Gut Renovation. The Images Festival, The Royal Cinema, Coach House Books, The Grid and Spacing Magazine are proud to present the Canadian premiere of Gut Renovation, followed by a live-on-stage conversation that will ask the question, “Can gentrification become a positive force that works FOR the arts community, instead of a negative force that happens TO it?” The conversation will include the filmmaker, Su Friedrich and developer Alan Saskin of UrbanCorp, a company leading the way in arts-friendly development in Toronto, and will be led by urban affairs writer Ed Keenan of The Grid and Spacing Magazine, whose first book, Some Great Idea, will be published this fall by Coach House Books.

Gut Renovation tells the inside story of the rezoning, demolition and repurposing of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Friedrich details the heart-rending loss of a thriving community of working class residents and artists, as well as the loss of many beautiful old industrial buildingsthat accommodated hundreds of small businesses, manufacturers, and artists’ studios, including the eccentric communal loft that was her home for 20 years. Along the way, Friedrich slyly skewers the city planners, ad men, developers and architects, as well as the new homeowners they attract with their offers of tax-free luxury living “with a bohemian twist.”

About the filmmaker
Since 1978, Su Friedrich has produced and directed 18 films and videos, including From the Ground Up (2007), Hide and Seek (1996) and Gently Down the Stream (1981). Her films have won many awards, including the Grand Prix at the Melbourne Film Festival and Outstanding Documentary at Outfest. Friedrich has received fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations aswell as grants from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA and ITVS, and in 1995 she received the Cal Arts/Alpert Award. Her work is widely screened internationally and has been the subject of numerous retrospectives at venues worldwide. Friedrich teaches film & video production at Princeton University. Her work is distributed by Outcast Films.