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Friday, April 29 • 4:00pm - 5:15pm

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Worst to First - World Premier
United States
Directed by: Mitchell Stuart
64 minutes

Worst to First Is a feature-length documentary that portrays the against-all-odds inspirational story of the launch of the iconic and most successful radio station in history, New York City’s Z100. In 1983 Z100 launched from the swamps of New Jersey, where no artist would venture and the DJs had to buy their own records just to have music to play on air.

Fun, poignant and aspirational, the film features Scott Shannon and several other Hall of Fame radio personalities as well as industry legends like Clive Davis and Elvis Duran. Iconic artists who got their start on Z100 such as Jon Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Nile Rodgers, and era superstars, Debbie Gibson and Taylor Dayne all share their personal stories of the importance of the station, their love of radio and passion for performing music.

Up against the well-funded titanic broadcasting companies of the time, Scott and his cast of misfits and unknowns took over a local easy listening radio station that resided at the bottom of the ratings in America's #1 market. Their David vs Goliath odds of success was best characterized by the powerful career maker-breaker radio reporter George Maksian of The New York Daily News as, “I hope Shannon has a round trip ticket back to Tampa,” because his style would get him run out of New York.

But the listeners heard something else. Something that spoke directly to them and in their own musical language regardless of whether they were rock, R&B or dance fans. Z100 played the hits regardless of which charts they came from or who they were intended to appeal to. They played music that was color blind and audiences began to take notice.

With their sense of what was happening on the street emboldening them, Shannon took the crushing news that Z100 landed in last place of their first ratings book and used it as a rallying cry to inspire millions of listeners. Declaring on air that with the support of the audience, he would lead the station from Worst to First, he ignited a viral campaign that predated the creation of the internet by decades. Worst to First became a movement that the city and the medium had never witnessed. In just 74 days this band of fearless and passionate oddballs and mavericks, toppled the reigning giants of the industry and brought Z100 to #1.

Capturing the times, personalities and music of the era, Worst to First portrays the ultimate David and Goliath story that built the foundation for the world's biggest radio station and the people behind the legacy that endures and continues to grow, reaching eight digit audiences daily, and continuing to influence the face of media and entertainment.

Friday April 29, 2022 4:00pm - 5:15pm EDT
AMC Sundial, Theater #3