Roughly five years ago, a group of rent-stabilized tenants in an East Village building started receiving Notices of Non-Renewal from their Landlord. His goal was to turn their fifteen-unit building into his own private residence, a huge mansion with a nanny suite and an elevator. Their goal was to stop him.
This is a growing trend in New York City, and the law is on the owner's side. A loophole that allows building owners to kick out rent stabilized tenants has encouraged others to buy up buildings, convert them, live there for the legal minimum of three years, and then flip the building for a major profit.
While some of these East Village tenants took a buyout, others held out hoping the law would eventually be on their side. It wasn’t, and they would not be allowed to keep their homes. The case lasted years, and their “Yuppie Landlord” even moved in to the building, living side by side with the tenants who saw him as the source of all their troubles.
In true East Village fashion, they organized themselves and staged a raucous protest through the neighborhood. Hundreds came out in support.
Here lies the inspiration for March, the story of an overzealous tenant who stages a rally, a march, and a protest in order to stop the evictions.
But what would happen if no one showed up?
And what does the Landlord have to say about not being able to construct his dream house using a building that he all ready owns?
Apt. 21 Productions (Damon Cardasis, Tyson Kaup, Samantha Sherman, and Shannon Walker) needs your help in raising funds for this project. A comedy shot in mockumentary style, March! is a road trip film from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn and begins filming in the fall of 2009.
- (36 days)