17 Blocks



The Story

In 1999, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington, D.C. family began to film their daily lives in America's most dangerous neighborhood — just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building. They've been filming ever since.

Made in a unique collaboration with filmmaker and journalist Davy Rothbart, the film focuses on four generations of the Sanford Family, including Emmanuel, a promising student, his brother Smurf, a local drug dealer, his sister Denice, an aspiring cop, and his mother Cheryl, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper.

Spanning two decades, 17 BLOCKS illuminates a nation's ongoing crisis through one family's raw, stirring, and deeply personal saga.




Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

Thur 10/17* 7 PM / Jean Cocteau Cinema

Heartland Film Fest (Indianapolis, IN)

Tue 10/15 5:15 PM / DeBoest Lecture Hall at Newfields
Fri 10/18* 7:20 PM / AMC Castleton Square Theatre 9
Sat 10/19* 2:50 PM / AMC Castleton Square Theatre 9
Sun 10/20 2:30 PM / DeBoest Lecture Hall at Newfields

Milwaukee Film Fest

Sun 10/20* 7 PM / Oriental Theatre

Ridgewood Public Library Film Series (Ridgewood, NJ)

Fri 11/1* 7 PM / Ridgewood Public Library

Antenna Doc Festival (Sydney, Australia)

Sat 10/19 4 PM / Verona 3

Flyway Film Festival (Pepin, WI)

Sat 10/12 1:30 PM / Broadway Theatre
Sun 10/13 1:30 PM / WideSpot Performing Arts

Hot Springs Film Festival (Arkansas)

Sun 10/20 2:30PM

*Director Davy Rothbart will be present.

Many more screenings to be added soon!

View Past Screenings



Susan Norget Film Promotion


Submarine - Ben Braun


Contact the Film Team!