Filmmaker: Rudy Valdez
Runtime: 85 min
Synopsis: For generations, the Public Theater has been the beating heart of New York City’s cultural scene. And now, as New York City staggers back after a deadly pandemic, the Public Theater is once again in the spotlight with a new all-black production of Merry Wives – bringing back Free Shakespeare in the Park after Covid shut it down for the first time in its 67-year history. Reopening Night chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of the Public Theater as it returns to the stage, and shows New Yorkers and the world that despite everything, art and artists will always survive and indeed thrive.
About the Filmmaker
Rudy Valdez is an Emmy Award-winning Michigan-raised, New York City-based filmmaker committed to creating social, cultural, and political stories through a cinematic and meaningful lens. He got his start in film as a Camera Operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City and went onto direct a true passion project, The Sentence (HBO). Shot and directed by Valdez over the course of a decade, this feature documentary tells the very personal story of his sister’s plight in the criminal justice system while tackling subjects like mandatory minimums and sentencing reform. For this work, the filmmaker won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, US Documentary Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was a 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Best New Director nominee.