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Gateways to New York Image

Gateways to New York

Impact | Insights

Martin Witz’s film pays tribute to one of the most influential figures of 20th-century America. Othmar Ammann was a reserved, recessive man, and it’s perhaps for that reason he’s not better known; he was a civil engineer who designed most of Manhattan’s bridges, helped establish innovations and safeguards in bridge building, and worked with the controversial urban developer Robert Moses to make New York City what it is today.

The Swiss-born genius set sail for America in 1904, and worked his way up to the top; Ammann’s biggest achievements were the George Washington Bridge and the considerably more controversial Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and he also worked as a consultant in the wake of some notorious disasters to help make the structures more durable and their construction less perilous. Witz charts the man’s progress through the reading of excerpts from his letters and other writings, and there is, of course, plenty of wonderful archival footage to illustrate the grand changes he helped usher in.


Canadian premiere
Director Martin Witz
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Year: 2019
Running Time: 88 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In English, German
Related Links: Article
Featuring: Edward Cohen, Margot Ammann Durrer, Tom F. Peters, Laura Norton, Alex Mayo, Paul Deer, Andrew L. Sichenze
Producer: Andres Pfaeffli, Elda Guidinetti, Silvana Bezzola Rigolini
Screenwriter: Martin Witz
Cinematographer: Patrick Lindenmaier
Editor: Stefan Kälin
Music: Marcel Vaid
Production Company: ventura film sa, RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, SRG SSR
Print Source: Ventura Film

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