Produced in official partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, National Geographic will premiere 9/11: One Day in America, a six-part documentary series which chronicles the events of that day – at times minute by minute – through gripping first-person narratives of the first responders and survivors who were there.
Directed by Daniel Bogado, the first episode, “First Response,” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival as an official selection, and is also an official selection of AFI DOCS and Sheffield International Documentary Festival.
The series will air over four consecutive nights on National Geographic beginning Aug. 29 at 9/8c with limited commercial interruption. Episodes will be made available next day on Hulu.
To create this docuseries, the filmmaking team sifted through 951 hours of archival footage – some never seen before – to make an immersive and emotionally charged seven-hour account of that fateful day 20 years ago. It offers a comprehensive and intimate look at how the tragic events of that day impacted so many lives – capturing the heroic acts of selflessness and bravery of strangers saving one another at all costs and revealing the triumph of the human spirit when tested beyond belief.
Over the course of three years, filmmakers interviewed 54 people for a total of 235 hours to tell the comprehensive, chronological story of Sept. 11 – all in the first person.
With a cinematic approach to documentary filmmaking, viewers are immersed in the archive and testimony of those who experienced these events 20 years ago. From the moment when the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and New York Police Department (NYPD) were first called onto the scene of the World Trade Center that September morning to the devastating moments of collision and the chaos that ensued, National Geographic follows the timeline of the day through remarkable archival footage and photographs captured by journalists and bystanders.
The archive includes never-before-seen moments, such as footage taken of the towers from apartments and streets nearby just after the planes hit, the triage area right in front of the towers at the very early stages following impact, and intimate rescue missions during that terrifying day.
Each episode of the series sheds light on the heroism prompted by the events of 9/11, as individuals who risked their lives to save those around them recount their experiences entirely in first person. From first responders to employees in the World Trade Center and good Samaritans watching the events unfold, they share their experiences – some for the first time.
Testimony includes that of the first FDNY chief to arrive at the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, a firefighter who escapes the North Tower just before it collapsed, paramedics first to the scene who recall their devastating encounters of searching for life in the rubble, and bystanders who share their rescue stories after being trapped inside the towers under mountains of concrete.
In addition, we will capture parallel stories – those of individuals inside the buildings who were on the brink of death, alongside the perspectives of their rescuers for whom saving a stranger’s life was all that mattered.
Watch the trailer for “9/11: One Day in America”