The City Dark now on PBS

THE CITY DARK premiered on PBS July 5, and the response has been terrific! Until August 5, you can stream the 60-minute, PBS version of the film online, or check your local PBS listings.

We’re heartened by the recent media coverage around light pollution and THE CITY DARK, in conjunction with the PBS run, and thought we’d share some of it:

- “We barely see the stars in Chicago, and that’s dangerous” in the Chicago Sun-Times

- “Where Have All the Stars Gone?” on PBS News Hour

- “Lost In ‘The City Dark’: Documenting Missing Stars” on NPR’s Weekend Edition

- Q&A with director Ian Cheney on Michigan Public Radio (Michigan has one of only six International Dark Sky Parks in the country!)

- “PBS’s The City Dark Will Change the Way You Look at the Night Sky” on Vulture

- “PBS film laments vanishing night sky” on CBS News

And here is the POV filmmaker interview with Ian Cheney:


Thanks to everyone who has supported the film and tuned in!


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Original soundtrack now on iTunes

THE CITY DARK soundtrack – 2011 SXSW winner of Best Score/Music – is now available for download on iTunes! Check it out. (And congrats again to our talented friends The Fishermen Three & Ben Fries.)

The Fishermen Three rocking out at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival




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Dark sky awareness in April

April is Global Astronomy Month! Astronomers around the globe are organizing events for the world’s largest celebration of astronomy in all its forms. Check out these 10 ways to get involved, and a full program schedule–star parties, solar observing, remote observing sessions, cosmic concerts, programs for planetariums and people with disabilities, competitions, art events and more.


The International Dark-Sky Association will be celebrating from April 14-20 with International Dark Sky Week–a time to appreciate the beauty of the night sky and to help raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution.


If you’d like to watch or screen THE CITY DARK to raise a little dark-sky awareness this month, just visit our Screenings Page!



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Airing on PBS this summer!

We’re thrilled to announce that THE CITY DARK will air on PBS this summer, starting July 5!

POV (Point of View) launched on PBS in 1988 to showcase challenging, contemporary, point-of-view documentaries. For the full press release and roster of this season’s POV films, click here! We’re honored to be part of such a fantastic 2012 program.

Visit to check your local listings!


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New York theatrical update

There are still a couple of days to catch THE CITY DARK at the IFC Center in Manhattan (through Jan 24), and last week’s premiere was a terrific success! The film was named an NYT Critics’ Pick – check out the full New York Times review.

Joining director Ian Cheney for the premiere event and post-film Q&A on January 18 were special guests Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Susan Harder of the International Dark-Sky Association, and Rori Baldari, Joe Delfausse, and Jason Kendall of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Thanks to all our guests, the IFC Center, and our distributor Jim Browne at Argot Pictures!

Here are some photos from the premiere (for more updates, visit our Facebook page!):

IFC marquee at our Manhattan theatrical premiere

Pre- and post-screening Jupiter-gazing courtesy of Rori Baldari, Joe Delfausse, and Jason Kendall of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

Pre- and post-screening Jupiter-gazing courtesy of Rori Baldari, Joe Delfausse, and Jason Kendall of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

THE CITY DARK at IFC through January 24!

Post-premiere Q&A with director Ian Cheney, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos co-writer Ann Druyan, and Susan Harder of the International Dark-Sky Association

Susan Harder of the International Dark-Sky Association speaking during the Q&A

THE CITY DARK was an NYT Critics' Pick!


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New York theatrical premiere Jan 18

Save the date! THE CITY DARK makes its New York theatrical premiere at the IFC Center on Wednesday, January 18! Director Ian Cheney will make an appearance after the screening on opening night. The film runs at IFC through January 24. Here’s the trailer:



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Fall snapshots

In October, THE CITY DARK made its Middle East premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It was an honor to share the stage and screen with so many fantastic filmmakers from all over the world!


Last month, after a screening of THE CITY DARK hosted in London at the BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank, Ian spoke on a panel with environmental lawyer Gwion Lewis, Bob Mizon of the Campaign for Dark Skies, Martin Morgan-Taylor from the International Dark-Sky Association, and David Elvin QC. The venue, turnout, and audience response were terrific! Thanks to Landmark Chambers for organizing and hosting a great event. (Photo courtesy of Landmark Chambers)


THE CITY DARK's community and theatrical runs are going strong. Here's a shot of the quirky Colonial Theatre in Belfast, Maine, where THE CITY DARK got a warm welcome in November.


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Meet a young dark-sky advocate

In Utah last month, eighth-grader Erin Rush turned passion into action to promote Ojai’s City Light Ordinance. After moving to Ojai from metropolitan Park City, Erin considered her new hometown lucky to have such a wonderful public resource: a dark night sky. Then, as Erin recalled in an email to the Wicked Delicate team, she realized, “The night sky isn’t any more beautiful in Ojai than in Park City, it’s just easier to see!”

To keep the stars bright in Ojai, Erin brought together community partners including the Ojai Valley Green Coalition and the local chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association, and organized the Dark Skies & Starry Nights event, held October 22. Dark Skies & Starry Nights featured a screening of THE CITY DARK followed by a star-gazing party and discussion with experts from the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.

Over 150 people came to Dark Skies & Starry Nights. Erin tells Wicked Delicate: “Everybody loved the movie…and the discussion kept going during the star gazing. The night was completely clear, it could not have been better!” Erin’s event even inspired change beyond City Council; her school Headmaster plans to work with school facility managers to create a light reduction plan for the campus.


Read more about Erin’s efforts in the Ojai Valley Green Coalition’s October E-News.

Erin Rush, center, with participants in Dark Skies & Starry Nights (photo courtesy of Erin Rush)


Way to go!

Want to share a success story from your dark-sky event? We’d love to hear it! Email to share your story, or to find out how to bring THE CITY DARK to your community.


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Recent press for THE CITY DARK

THE CITY DARK enjoyed recent theatrical runs in Boston and Minneapolis, and screens at the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington, October 15-17.

Euan Kerr of Minnesota Public Radio says that “everyone should go and see” THE CITY DARK. Juxtaposing city lights with starry nights, the film struck these reviewers as “thought provoking” and “gorgeous.”

The Boston Globe says:

“The City Dark’’ is no diatribe. [Ian Cheney] acknowledges our species’ passion for light–and distrust of darkness. He also admits mankind’s unintentional mimicking of the stars above, and how beautiful “constellations of cities glowing below’’ can look when seen from an airplane–“like someone has taken the night sky and flipped it upside down.’’

Wonder, open-mindedness, and curiosity are the best things about “The City Dark’’ (the title’s very good, too).


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Light pollution, bird migration in the NY Times

It’s fall—the days are getting shorter, streetlights are turning on earlier, and birds are heading south! It’s a perfect time to think about the impact of light pollution on bird migration. In THE CITY DARK, Ian heads to Chicago to follow a team that collects, catalogs, and rehabilitates birds that are killed or injured by brightly-lit skyscraper windows.

Last month, the New York Times published an article about the hazards that city skyscrapers pose to bird migration. “New York is a major stopover for migratory birds on the Atlantic flyaway, and an estimated 90,000 birds are killed flying into buildings in New York City each year,” says a representative from New York City Audubon quoted in the article.

Recognizing the hazards posed by light pollution in a city built of glass, the US Green Building Council is set to introduce a bird-safety credit this fall as part of its LEED environmental certification standards. The credit will create awareness about the impact of indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures on bird migratory patterns, and will help reduce the glare and glazing that cause birds to fly into buildings. It will also encourage the use of bird-friendly glass and protective landscaping materials.


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