Producer Harry Wiland was intrigued about Syracuse, since they are now filming in Elgin, Illinois - another small city facing similar challenges. After learning about the variety of conversations being held and programs being implemented here on issues that include sprawl, water management, transportation, and food policy, they selected Syracuse for the series. Dr. Jackson will also be present during the filming.
"Dr. Jackson is a visionary whose work has finally been given the recognition it deserves. We feel honored to be working with him on such a groundbreaking PBS series," said Wiland and co-producer Dale Bell at a recent press conference introducing the series.
The Media & Policy Center (www.mediapolicycenter.org), based in Santa Monica California, was founded by Wiland and Bell, whose individual projects have won numerous awards including an Academy Award, five Emmys, one Peabody, two Christophers, and two Cine Golden Eagles. In 2006 they were elected as Ashoka Fellows for their innovative media model, the only media professionals to be so honored.
The Center's productions for PBS, network television, cable, cinema, and the web reflect Wiland and Bell's philosophy: "We formed the MPC to apply our talents and experience to issues of social welfare, public policy, education, the environment, and health care. The MPC's primary goal is to inform, challenge, and ultimately engage a responsive citizenry and to encourage full and meaningful debate and participation across the political, social, and economic spectrum. We work towards this end by using our media talents to create televised and coordinated multi-media projects that enlighten, educate and empower those members of our society who seek to change their lives and their communities."
"The Media & Policy Center's interest in Syracuse shows that the challenges we face here resonate with those faced by cities nationally and globally," says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "At the same time, it shows that our home-grown model of cross-sector collaboration is yielding world-class innovations to address those challenges."
Harry Wiland will be present for a Q&A session at Redhouse Arts Center on th corner of West Fayette and West Street next Wednesday evening after Gifford presents an encore screening of Philadelphia: The Holy Experiment" at 7:00 PM.