Ahead of the 15th anniversary of the attack on America, CNN Films has acquired the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary 9/11.
The film is directed, filmed, and executive produced by Gédéon and Jules Naudet, French-born filmmakers and brothers, and by retired Manhattan firefighter James Hanlon. CNN Films will work with the team to update the film for the 2016 edition, and will retain worldwide broadcast rights for the film franchise and its archival material in perpetuity.
Award-winning actor, producer, and founder of The Leary Firefighters Foundation Denis Leary will introduce the new anniversary edition of the film, reflecting upon the heroism of the firefighters who responded that day. From the site of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City that commemorates the fallen, including 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, Leary will recall the bravery and emotions of the events in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, and beyond.
The CNN Films Presents premiere of the two-hour film ‘9/11 Fifteen Years Later’ will debut on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, at 8:00pm and 11:00pm on CNN/U.S. On CNN International, ‘CNN Films Presents 9/11 Fifteen Years Later’ will premiere Sunday, Sept. 11 at 6:00am, with encore broadcasts at 3:00pm and 8:00pm. All times Eastern.
“We are honored that our documentary has found a home at CNN. We hope that the courage and sacrifices of all of New York’s first responders that we witnessed on September 11th will be seen by a worldwide audience as a beacon of hope in the midst of one of the darkest days in our history,” said the Naudets and Hanlon.
The Naudets and Hanlon were on hand at the Duane Street New York Fire Department house on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to film the training of a rookie New York firefighter, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into Tower One of the World Trade Center. One of the only images of that fateful moment of impact was filmed by Jules Naudet, and first aired that evening on CNN.
Separated throughout that terrible day, and accompanying different members of the fire company, the brothers continued filming the heroic rescue efforts of the first responders. The film is a gripping, evocative, minute-by-minute account of that harrowing day through the lens of these filmmakers. Capturing the only video from inside the World Trade Center during the attack, Jules and Gédéon kept filming from within and around Tower One during the collapse of both towers.
In the update, the filmmakers revisit some of the firefighters and their families, to see how they now reflect upon that day. They introduce us to children and close relatives of the fallen firefighters, some of whom have followed in their loved ones’ footsteps to become firefighters themselves. Daniel Nigro, New York City’s Fire Commissioner, also answers tough questions about his department’s readiness in the event of another massive act of terrorism in this reborn city with so many new highrises, including the freshly completed One World Trade Center (“Freedom Tower”).