Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más (formerly MTV Tr3s), MTV2 and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, announced today that the networks have acquired the television rights to the 9500 Liberty. The critically acclaimed documentary chronicles the social and economic impact that a contentious immigration law – closely resembling Arizona’s SB 1070 bill – had on a county near Washington D.C. in 2007. 9500 Liberty makes its television debut simultaneously on Tr3s, MTV2 and mtvU on Sunday, September 26th at 8pm (ET/PT), as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Directed by Annabel Park and Eric Byler, 9500 Liberty examines the outcome of an immigration law adopted in Prince William County, Virginia in 2007, requiring police officers to question anyone they had “probable cause” to suspect was an undocumented immigrant. Film critic Roger Ebert praised the documentary as a story which “possibly foretells what lies ahead in Arizona.” Park and Byler are founders of the Coffee Party, which will hold its first national convention on September 24th -26th in Louisville, KY.
“It is important for Tr3s to serve as a platform to create dialogue with our bilingual/bicultural audience around important issues; particularly the issues that affect their communities and will somehow have an impact on their future,” said Jose Tillan, GM & EVP of Tr3s. “We’re thrilled that our sister networks have joined us in helping to create awareness around this issue among their respective audiences. The documentary takes a raw and vulnerable look into the incidents that took place in Prince William County and documents the story in a way that we feel will connect with our audience’s emotional and activist nature,” he added.
“MTV has a rich legacy of raising the consciousness and sparking a dialogue around issues that affect our viewers most,” said Stephen Friedman, General Manager, MTV. “Sharing this powerful film with our audience is an important way that we can engage American’s youth in the debate around immigration that is raging both nationally and in communities where they live.”
The award-winning documentary 9500 Liberty reveals how Prince William County, Virginia’s controversial police mandate for immigration status checks — a precursor to Arizona’s SB1070 — became law in March of 2008, and, why it was repealed after only two months of implementation. 9500 Liberty provides an inside look at the real-life impact this law had on the residents, the local economy, and the county government. Faced with uncertain circumstances, the community rallied behind two stay-at-home moms, a grocery store owner, and faith-based leaders to advocate for the law’s repeal, setting up a tense showdown in the seat of county government.
“Tr3s, MTV2 and mtvU are the perfect fit for 9500 Liberty because it really resonates with young voters under 35, as well as the Hispanic audience young and old alike,” said Director Eric Byler. “Screenings attended by these groups have been followed by insightful discussions that have led to on-going collaborations. Our film engages them and they inspire us.”
“To compete in the 21st century, America needs a new generation of leaders who have grown up thriving in the richness of diversity. People under 30 know intuitively where we need to go as a nation,” commented Director Annabel Park. “We need to hear from them more often.”