Green Streets Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3-24-16                                                            

The Historical Society of Woodstock
Contact: Letitia Smith 845 246-3436

GREEN STREETS at Upstate Films/Woodstock
Screening Benefits Historical Society of Woodstock
Filmmaker Maria DeLuca to Introduce

Green Streets, an award-winning film on community gardening, will be screened at 1 pm on Saturday, April 23 at Upstate Films/Woodstock. The film documents a wide-range of culturally diverse community gardens that were established in each of New York City’s five boroughs during the 1970s and 1980s.

Carrying on the mission of the “urban community gardening movement” that sprang up informally in the 1970s, adults and young people alike took up spades and shovels to clear abandoned, rubble-strewn lots for flower and vegetable gardens. Maria DeLuca visits 35 locations from Park Avenue to the South Bronx, including a “soul food garden,” a penthouse farm, a circular garden designed by a modern-day “Adam and Eve,” and a therapeutic rooftop retreat for recovering substance abusers. At the film’s upbeat conclusion, urban tillers proudly display prizes won at the annual gardening competition.

Green Streets is a positive, inspiring, and informative feature-length documentary film on community gardening in all socio-economic neighborhoods of NYC during the late 1970s and 1980s. Called “the definitive film on community gardening,” it is not only a historical document, but also serves as a portrait of New York City during this time. 

Premiering on PBS “P.O.V. – The American Documentary” on August 21,1990, Green Streets went on to be screened around the world at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlin, Germany), the Creteil International Women’s Festival (Paris, France), and the American Film and Video Festival (San Francisco, California). The documentary also had prestigious screenings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

The film reflects neighborhood pride, racial tolerance, and a budding sense of hope for hundreds of enthusiastic gardeners in the “urban jungle.” As one gardener in the film says:

'Gardening is a spiritual experience. You gotta have hope to garden. You put something in the ground, you nurture it, a sense of dedication, a little sweat, and you see the effects of your labor. If you translate that into your everyday life, there's a small sense of hopefulness.'

Maria DeLuca is an independent filmmaker living in Olivebridge, NY. Over the decades, she has worked on over 50 independent and commercial film projects. Green Streets, her most widely distributed independent work, has been in active distribution for over 25 years and has garnered many grants and awards.16 mm prints are in various collections including the Lincoln Center Film Library. The original negative is archived at the Smithsonian.

Admission is $10 and tickets will be sold at the door. The doors open at 12:00 pm, and the film begins at 1:00 pm. Maria DeLuca will introduce the film and take questions from the audience after the screening. Reception to follow. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Historical Society of Woodstock Building Fund. 

Sponsored by: Ulster Savings, Paraco/Kosco, H. Houst & Son, Inc. Blue Mountain Gardens, & Adams Fairacre Farms.

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Photo Credits:    

“Filmmaker Maria Deluca, 1980s”. Photo: Ray Donohue
“Banana Kellly Community Garden, South Bronx”. Photo: Maria DeLuca