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The Newburgh Sting


Through a dramatic, insider look at the case of the "Newburgh Four," THE NEWBURGH STING exposes the FBI's nationwide practice of targeting Muslim communities by luring unsuspecting citizens into traps where they agree to commit acts of terrorism, and then selling their arrests to the public as major law enforcement coups. As told by the defendants, lawyers, local Imams and a former career FBI agent, the film depicts how four men living at the margins of society were entrapped by an FBI informant and lured into a wild plot involving bombing a wealthy Riverdale synagogue and shooting Stinger Missiles to take down a US supply plane. Their arrest was pawned off on the public as a counter-terror victory. A deeply sobering examination of post 9-11 Islamophobia and how the War on Terror is really fought in our own communities.


Learn more about THE NEWBURGH STING and connect with the film:

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The Filmmakers

Kate Davis Producer/Director

Davis taught and studied documentary filmaking at Harvard University, where she worked with verite documentary filmmakers Ross McElwee, Ricky Leacock and Fred Wiseman.  She directed SOUTHERN COMFORT (2001), which portrayed the life of a male transsexual.  The Emmy-nominated film won over 25 awards, including the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival (2001), Special Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Grierson Award for Best International Documentary.

David Heilbroner Writer/Producer/Director

David Heilbroner, Harvard University (B.A. cum laude, 1979), Northeastern Law School (J.D. 1984.  For A & E Television Networks, he wrote and produced "Untying the Straitjacket," "Anti-Gay Hate Crimes," and "The Dark Side of Parole."  He was Senior Producer on CRIME STORIES, a series for Court TV, as well as on AMERICAN BABYLON (2003) a feature Court TV documentary.  A former prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney's office, and Federal District Court law clerk, David wrote the critically acclaimed non-fiction books Rough Justice (Pantheon 1990) and Death Benefit (Crown/Harmony 1993).

Davis and Heilbroner

In 2013, Davis/Heilbroner produced THE CHESHIRE MURDERS for HBO, also broadcast on CNN.  The film is a 2 hour in depth look at the 2007 triple homicide of the Petit family from Cheshire CT.  Davis and Heilbroner also directed/produced HBO films including the Emmy-winning JOCKEY (2004), PLASTIC DISASTERS (2006), THE ADOLESCENT ADDICT (2007), and DIAGNOSIS: BIPOLAR (2008).

For PBS' "American Experience" series, they co-produced STONEWALL UPRISING, about the birth of the gay power movement.Ă‚  The film won a Peabody Award and was theatically released in over 60 U.S. cities.  For The History Channel, they wrote, co-directed and produced SCOPES: BATTLE OVER AMERICA'S SOUL (2006) for the Emmy-winning series "Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America."

Other films include PUCKER UP: THE FINE ART OF WHISTLING and WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON, both released theatrically.


December 31, 1969

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Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival 2014

Official Selection

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AFI DOCS Documentary Film Festival 2014

Official Selection

+ Festival Website

Traverse City Film Festival 2014

Winner of Special Founders Award

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-The New York Times

Shocking... a present- tense, cinematic experience of what went down in this desperately poor, forgotten corner of America.”

-New York Magazine

Rigorous and incendiary”

-Screen Daily

MUST SEE... It's like a thriller, except this stuff is real.”

-New York Post

A powerful expose”

-The Boston Globe


-The Miami Herald


THE NEWBURGH STING has had a substantial impact through an extensive screening campaign across the country at law schools, community centers and with Muslim advocacy groups. The film was also screened before a closed briefing of the US Senate and at the Cato Institute in conjunction with presentations by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU.  The film was also honored to win the prestigious Peabody Award.

Outreach Resources

Human Rights Watch: Counterterrorism

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. In July 2014, HRW released the report, “Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions,” which examines 27 federal terrorism cases from initiation of the investigations to sentencing and post-conviction conditions of confinement.


American Civil Liberties Union: National Security

The ACLU seeks to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in the United States.


Center for Constitutional Rights

CCR uses litigation proactively to advance the law in a positive direction, to empower poor communities and communities of color, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources, to train the next generation of constitutional and human rights attorneys, and to strengthen the broader movement for constitutional and human rights.


Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.


Muslim Public Affairs Council

The Muslim Public Affairs Council is a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives. MPAC’s Safe Spaces Initiative seeks to help communities create spiritual safe spaces for open dialogue and debate while also providing physical safe spaces by helping mosque and community leaders deal with any misguided individuals.


Council on American-Islamic Relations

America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.