Film
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

17 BLOCKS

Directed by Davy Rothbart
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 96 Minutes World Premiere
FILM GUIDE 17 BLOCKS
Nine year old Emmanuel began filming himself and his family with a home video camera in 1999, capturing his Washington D.C. neighborhood through the eyes of an innocent child. Growing up just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol, however, proved more difficult than expected. Filmmaker, journalist, and frequent This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart befriended the Sanford family as they continued to document their daily life over a 20-year period in a city plagued by poverty, addiction, and gun violence.

What resulted from this uniquely collaborative effort between Rothbart and the family is a transcendent portrait of the unwavering strength of familial bonds. The film follows the characters through periods of joy and sadness, all captured on tape with stunning intimacy. This incredibly touching non-fiction odyssey offers a remarkable look into the lives of one family who was brave enough to share their story with the world.

—Loren Hammonds
Documentary
About the Director(s)
Davy Rothbart is a journalist, bestselling author, Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker, creator of Found Magazine, and contributor to public radio's This American Life. His latest documentary, Medora, aired on PBS and won a 2015 Emmy® News & Documentary Award. He's the founder of Washington To Washington, an annual hiking trip for city kids.

Film Info
  • Section:
    Documentary Competition
  • Year:
    2019
  • Length:
    96 minutes
  • Language:
    English
  • Country:
    USA
  • Premiere:
    World
  • Connect:
Cast & Credits
  • Cast:
    Cheryl Sanford, Emmanuel Durant, Jr., Akil "Smurf" Sanford, Denice Sanford-Durant, Justin Sanford, Carmen Payne
  • Screenwriter:
    Jennifer Tiexiera
  • Director:
    Davy Rothbart
  • Composer:
    Nick Urata
  • Producer:
    Alex Turtletaub, Michael B. Clark, Marc Turtletaub, Rachel Dengiz, Davy Rothbart
  • Editor:
    Jennifer Tiexiera
  • Cinematographer:
    Zachary Shields
  • Associate Producer:
    Paul Smith, Annette Smith, Dan Amorello, Jason Orfanon

Contacts
  • Press Contact
    Susan Norget
    Susan Norget Film Promotion
    New York, NY 10010/NY
    Phone: 212 431 0090
    susan@norget.com
  • US Sales Contact
    Ben Braun
    Submarine Entertainment
    New York, 10013
    Phone: 212 625 1410
    ben@submarine.com
  • Print Source
    Apoorva Charan
    Los Angeles, CA 90034-5954
    Phone: 925 209 1543
    apoorva@beachsidefilms.com
  • International Sales Contact
    Apoorva Charan
    Los Angeles, CA 90034-5954
    Phone: 925 209 1543
    apoorva@beachsidefilms.com