Filmmaker launches fundraiser for L train documentary

Filmmakers behind the L train documentary “End of the Line” are looking to raise $25,000 to finish the film.
Courtesy of Emmett Adler

A team of documentary filmmakers released a new trailer for their silver-screen investigation of the L-train shutdown, which will explore the narrowly averted transit catastrophe with pulse-pounding synth tunes and flashy editing techniques — as long as you can help fund the production!

The filmmakers are seeking $25,000 in donations through a Kickstarter campaign launched on Monday in order to finish their documentary, called “End of the Line,” which follows the dramatic events from when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority first announced the closure in 2016 to Governor Cuomo’s 11th-hour power move to avert the dreaded shutdown

The film’s director, Emmett Adler, lived off the L train’s Montrose Avenue stop in Williamsburg during the events depicted in his film.

“It was my total lifeline,” said Adler. “I couldn’t imagine how we were going to adapt and what it was going to do to the neighborhood.”


The film explores the shutdown through footage of press conferences and interviews with people affected by the transit crisis, including local businesses and residents, Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D–Bushwick) due to him being outspoken in favor of progressive transportation initiatives, and transit scribe John Surico.

Filmmaker Emmett Adler (right) followed MTA bigwigs, such as outgoing New York City Transit President Andy Byford, in the lead up to the L train shutdown.Courtesy of Emmett Adler

Cuomo’s decision to shutdown the shutdown exposed the dysfunction within the Transit Authority, according to Adler, and showed how politics undercuts the need to create better public transportation across the country, which the World Economic Forum ranked at 16th place internationally.

“We want to highlight these issues and say, ‘Enough it’s enough,’ it’s ridiculous that we’re 16th in the world,” he said. “We just want to bring the public into this and get all eyes on it so that it can be fixed.”

Adler is still looking to sit down with some transit experts form the US Department of Transportation and high-ranking officials, including Gov. Cuomo, outgoing New York City Transit President Andy Byford, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the documentarian believes the film will help clarify the complex machinations behind the MTA’s struggles.

“We think that a cinematic presentation can go a long way in making it accessible to the broader public,” he said.