Category Archives: The City Dark

WD Gala + New Ways to Watch

In May we had a grand time hosting a Wicked Delicate spring showcase (and calling it a gala) at Anthology Film Archives in NYC. The gala featured previews of some works in progress – including Bluespace, Project Dad, Positively Beautiful, and The Search for General Tso – and a screening of Amanda Murray’s short film WORLD FAIR, fresh from its premiere at IFFBoston. It was especially fun to have several characters from that film in attendance – Hi Helene, Stanley, Jim, and Seymour! – along with a lot of folks from near and far who make our work possible. Thanks to all the friends, family, and filmmaking partners who came. Here are a few highlights from the red carpet circles:


And hey! There are some new ways to see our recent films:

THE CITY DARK is now featured digitally on iTunes and Amazon Instant. DVDs of WORLD FAIR are for sale on Amazon. As always, if you’d like to host a screening, drop us a line at [email protected]

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Noche Zero

We wanted to share a few highlights from Ian’s fall trip to the Atacama Desert in Chile to participate in the Noche Zero symposium exploring the disappearing darkness. THE CITY DARK was showcased in the town square of San Pedro de Atacama, and lighting designers, architects, photographers, scientists, and policymakers from around the world shared their research on light at night.

The trip began with a special tour of ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array, an array of radio telescopes in the desert’s high and dry Chajnantor plateau. The largest astronomical project in existence, ALMA is the result of an international partnership between Europe, the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Chile. The project aims to provide insight into the early formation of the universe, stars, and planets.


Ian on the tour of ALMA with other Noche Zero guest speakers: above, Dr. George Brainard, Neurology Professor and Director for the Light Research Program of Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University (and an expert featured in THE CITY DARK); below, National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson.

After each day’s conference presentations, the group ventured into the desert to visit the Valley of the Moon and the salt-encrusted Cejar Lagoon, and finally, to stargaze under the Atacama’s famously dark night skies.

The symposium culminated in participants’ signing of the Noche Zero Manifesto, a pledge to keep working to deepen human understanding of the value of darkness. Big thanks to all the Noche Zero organizers and participants. Here’s a parting shot by Ian of the Milky Way, as seen from San Pedro. Not a bad view at all.

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WD in the Balkans

Not long ago we had the pleasure of traveling to a Bosnia and Herzegovina (“the BiH”), where we were hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, to show THE CITY DARK and TRUCK FARM and speak on issues of energy efficiency, sustainability, and advocacy.

With our inimitable host and guide, Cultural Attaché Sunshine Ison, we held screenings and talks at American Corners—small libraries created to help increase understanding between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the U.S. by making available all kinds of books, magazines, and films about America. We also visited schools in Tuzla (Bosnia’s “Salt Lake City”, in the northeast) and Banja Luka (on the lovely green Vrbas River, in the northwest) to lead workshops, show films, hear from students, and meet up with local film festival organizers.

on the road in Bosnia

talking about Truck Farm in Tuzla

cheerful (and energy-efficient!) school windows in Tuzla

with our Cultural Attache and American Corner host in Sarajevo

Ian even managed to meet up with some local amateur astronomers and catch the Transit of Venus from high in the hills outside of Sarajevo.



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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 listings.

We’re heartened by the recent media coverage around light pollution in conjunction with our PBS run. Here’s a sampling:

- “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

- “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 a recent POV | PBS  filmmaker interview with Ian Cheney:

Watch The City Dark: Filmmaker Interview with Ian Cheney on PBS. See more from POV.


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


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THE CITY DARK on PBS this summer

We’re thrilled to share the news 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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THE CITY DARK’s NYC theatrical run

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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Save the date!

We’re thrilled to announce the New York theatrical premiere of THE CITY DARK at the IFC Center on Wednesday, January 18. Ian will do a Q&A after the screening on opening night. The film runs through January 24. Spread the word! Here’s the IFC trailer for THE CITY DARK:

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Fall updates from WD

It’s been a busy past couple of months for the Wicked Delicate team! And it’s about time we share a few highlights:


In September, one of WD's new projects in development, THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, had a terrific week at the prestigious Independent Film Week in New York, and the WD team is planning further film shoots. Stay tuned as the project progresses! (Photo taken by collaborator Jennifer 8. Lee during a Wicked Delicate filming trip to Taiwan last year)


In October, THE CITY DARK made its Middle East premiere at the vibrant Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It was an honor to share the stage and screen with so many fantastic filmmakers from all over the world! While in Abu Dhabi, Ian and Wicked Delicate producer Amanda Murray visited Masdar City to do some filming for another work-in-progress, THE GREENING OF QATAR, about sustainable building projects in Qatar and the Gulf region.


Later in October, Ian traveled to northern Italy to teach a course on food and the media at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, founded by Slow Food in 2004. Ian taught students working toward Master's Degrees in Food Culture and Communications.


The Truck Farm enjoyed some much-needed fall pruning!


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)


Ian traveled to Washington, DC, to accept a 2011 Heinz Award alongside long-time collaborator Curt Ellis. The award recognized their humor-infused documentary films and innovative advocacy work around food, sustainability, and the environment. (Photo by proud dad Bryan Cheney)


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.


…And on that last note, we’re thrilled about THE CITY DARK’s San Francisco theatrical premiere this TUESDAY, December 6, at the San Francisco Film Society. Don’t miss it!



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News from the festival front

Audiences and hosts at the Port Townsend Film Festival a few weeks ago gave a warm welcome to screenings of TRUCK FARM and THE CITY DARK. A true highlight of the festival weekend was a visit from Truck Farm Seattle! Thanks to our farmers, Kathy and Todd, and their 1972 Ford for making the trip! (Check out more photos on our TRUCK FARM Facebook page.)

Ian with Seattle truck farmers Todd and Kathy at the Port Townsend Film Festival

TRUCK FARM and THE CITY DARK make another festival appearance in tandem this week at the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne, and today the Wicked Delicate team is thrilled to head to the United Arab Emirates to show THE CITY DARK at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

For other upcoming festival and theatrical screenings, check our Wicked Delicate screenings calendar–updated frequently!


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Northwest greetings!

This weekend, September 23-25, THE CITY DARK and TRUCK FARM screen at the Port Townsend Film Festival in Washington.


Friday, 9:30am, Uptown Theatre
Sunday, 6pm, Pope Marine Theatre


Saturday, 6pm, PS Free Cinema
Sunday, 12:15pm, The Rose

But first, TRUCK FARM screens September 21 in Moscow, Idaho. Thanks to our hosts, the Moscow Food Co-op and the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre!


To host a screening of THE CITY DARK or TRUCK FARM in your community, visit our Wicked Delicate Screenings page, or email Laura Tolkoff at [email protected]


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