End of the Line

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


END OF THE LINE is a feature-length documentary about the New York City subway crisis and the dire state of America's transit infrastructure. Grounded in human struggles, this film tracks a trio of New York community leaders who, when faced with transportation devastation, rise to the challenge and illuminate instructive paths forward. 


Two compounding emergencies launch END OF THE LINE - the L train shutdown and the New York City subway crisis. While main character journeys illustrate the grassroots impacts of transportation disasters, an evolving expert discussion frames NYC's struggles within America's broader landscape of problems. Ultimately, the narrative finds hope in its protagonists' hard-won urban innovations.




STORYLINE 1: The L train shutdown...

is a dire emergency - brought about by subway tunnel damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy floods. This scenario sets our main characters in motion and establishes the dramatic impacts of climate-caused infrastructure problems (i.e. businesses closing, real estate prices dropping, residents fleeing). When a shocking twist occurs, the fallout sparks upheaval and exposes the broader mismanagement plaguing NYC's subways.

STORYLINE 2: The New York City subway crisis...

began in summer 2017 - a.k.a. the "Summer of Hell" - when a series of high profile derailments and malfunctions led NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to proclaim a state of emergency. The problems continued into January 2018 when the NYC subways posted the worst on-time performance of any major rapid transit system worldwide. Caused by decades of diverted funds, deferred maintenance, and deflected accountability, similar issues in Boston, New Jersey, and Washington DC point to a national epidemic. 

DISCUSSION: The decline of America’s mass transit... 

from coast to coast is evidenced by three key factors: (1) Massively important projects and systems are failing, (2) America is falling behind international standards, and (3) new development is being suppressed by auto and fuel lobbyists. Meanwhile, some - like this film's protagonists - are fighting for revolutionary remedies that account for modern problems (i.e. gridlock, climate change, handicapped accessibility, income inequality). A look at innovative ideas and implementations currently underway, presents hope amid America's troubled landscape.




New York City Councilman Antonio Reynoso... 

is a native son of North Brooklyn's "Los Sures" neighborhood and a sitting member of NYC’s Transportation Committee. Reynoso’s sensitivity to transit issues relates to the traffic polluted environment in which he was born, raised and now represents. As a leading voice for futuristic solutions, he secures some major victories and, ultimately, decides to dream bigger, running for Brooklyn Borough President in 2021. 

Transit Journalist John Surico...

covers the city and its subways for Vice and the New York Times while also teaching as an adjunct professor at New York University. Through his writing, he amplifies the struggles of ordinary citizens, promotes the findings of exceptional researchers and exposes the improprieties of top politicians. When an Oxford College graduate program beckons him to study in England, Surico continues his crusade by applying an international lens to America's transit woes.

The L Train Coalition...

is a group of North Brooklyn business owners, activists, and politicians. Their mission is to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of the L train shutdown and the NYC subway crisis within their shared locality. However, when the Governor dramatically upends the situation, they become victims of 3+ years of misinformation disseminated by the same government that now plays savior. Nevertheless, they continue to fight for the little people in an environment dominated by political titans.





Strong mass transit relieves gridlock, curbs emissions, and lifts up the weakest among us. Yet American mass transit is failing from coast to coast and has fallen behind international standards. To make matters worse, those who profit from cars and fuel are suppressing public projects for their own financial gain. END OF THE LINE is about fighting back and pushing these urgent concerns to the forefront of our national dialogue.


In 2016, END OF THE LINE director Emmett Adler began filming when the epic transit crisis known as the L train shutdown threatened to uproot his life. At the time, he had no idea that the entire New York subways would descend into chaos. Then similar transit emergencies developed across the nation and this project became about fighting for all Americans nationwide who deserve better. 


While transit-related documentaries don’t normally scream blockbuster, END OF THE LINE has all of the makings: famous characters, relatable challenges, and transcendent themes. Reveling in the grit and freneticism of the city it features, this narrative will be infused with vitriolic politics, hyperactive presses, and desperate struggles. Main protagonists' stories will be bolstered by expert interviews to provide historical and national context, while slow motion, timelapse, and drone footage will lace this film with a high end cinematic edge. 


END OF THE LINE has already:



Emmett Adler - Director

EMMETT ADLER is a New York-based filmmaker who has played key roles on Emmy and Telly teams. While Emmett has long specialized as a documentary film editor, END OF THE LINE will be his first feature as a director. Emmett’s past editing credits include Hulu's Design for All (2020), OWN’s Oprah’s Masterclass (2017), Discovery Channel’s The Dark Side of the Sun (2017), Fox’s American Idol: American Dream (2016), Refinery 29’s Daughters of Paradise (2016, Webby Nominee, Telly Recipient) and Oxygen’s Killer Motives (2019). He was also an additional editor on Showtime’s feature documentary 16 Shots (2019) and an assistant editor on Showtime’s Emmy-winning series Years of Living Dangerously (2014).

Ian Mayer - Producer

IAN MAYER is a Clio-Award winning freelance editor and graphics artist living in New York City. He was editor and associate producer for The Incomparable Rose Hartman, a feature-length documentary film that premiered at SXSW and has screened at 15 festivals. His other editorial credits include ESPN's Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil, MSNBC's Pot Barons, and various television commercials. He has also created visuals for two Super Bowl Halftime Shows, music awards performances for KE$HA and Beyoncé, and concert tours for Beyoncé, Roger Waters and Norah Jones. Ian studied filmmaking at the University of Arizona. To view his personal portfolio visit iancmayer.com

Mariah Wilson - Co-Producer

MARIAH WILSON has produced series for PBS, National Geographic, A&E, Animal Planet, Discovery, History, MSNBC, VICE, Vocativ, Google, and The Smithsonian Institution. Her recent films are KAZIRANGA (Humane Society ACE Award/Grant) about the rhino poaching crisis in India, and EEYA, about indigenous Baka tribes in Cameroon who are caught in the crossfire of poaching (featured on National Geographic’s “Wildlife Watch”). She is currently premiering SILENT FORESTS, about forest elephant poaching in central Africa. (Telluride Mountainfilm Commitment Grant, NYSCA Grant Recipient 2017, IFP Spotlight on Docs, World Premiere: 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival, Finalist in Feature Competition, 2019 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival). For more, please visit: www.mariahewilson.com

Brian Torres - Associate Producer

BRIAN TORRES is the founder of Mammoth Editorial and the co-founder of Búho, a video production studio in Bogota. His work as an editor and director of photography has been shown on the Discovery Channel, CNN, Univision, Fusion and Telemundo. He has worked with companies and brands such as Vox Media, The Verge, Fly, SB Nation, Nikon, Twitter, Avianca, Audi, Colombia and Ubeci.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2021


UPDATE - March 16, 2020

End of the Line has raised over $25k via a successful Kickstarter campaign!

UPDATE - January 14, 2020

End of the Line has received a $5k grant from the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund!

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