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First Look: DocuWeek's Untold 9/11 Story of Cantor Fitzgerald, 'Out of the Clear Blue Sky'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood July 30, 2012 at 7:00AM

From August 10-16, Danielle Gardner's 9/11 documentary “Out of the Clear Blue Sky,” a behind-the-scenes, intimate story of the devastation of 9/11, will screen at DocuWeeks 2012. The film delves into the untold story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm that occupied the top five floors of the World Trade Center.
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Out of the Clear Blue Sky

From August 10-16, Danielle Gardner's 9/11 documentary “Out of the Clear Blue Sky,” a behind-the-scenes, intimate story of the devastation of 9/11, will screen at DocuWeeks 2012 (NY: August 10-16; LA: Aug 17–23). The film delves into the untold story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm that occupied the top five floors of the World Trade Center and lost 658 of their employees (almost twice the casualties of the Fire Department of New York) in the 9/11 tragedy. Gardner's brother Doug was one of those employees, giving the documentary both a personal touch and unmatched insight through interviews with family members as well as Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick.

Garder explains that "on a personal level, the film allowed me to investigate every angle of September 11. If I thought about the events as a family member, I couldn’t bear it. If I approached it as a filmmaker, I could explore, delve into, uncover, and ask questions. There are no answers, but the exploration allowed me to think."

She continues:

"Part of the reason I made the film was because I knew I spoke the same language as the family members. There was no one else who could ever gain real entry into this horrible, but very specific new world. A common language of shared feelings and sentiments and experiences emerged. And you could only be part of it if you were a fellow sufferer and traveler. I had a privileged position here and I could talk to everyone involved in a wholly different way than any outsider ever could."

Check out the complete synopsis and a clip below:

This article is related to: Documentary, Documentaries, New York, First Look, Video, Clips, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.