Eighteen years ago, the United States of America experienced one of the worst terrorist attacks the country had ever seen. September 11, 2001 – it’s a date America will never forget. Thousands of lives were lost, and every American life was forever changed. Last year on Sept. 11, 2018, Lake Nona residents Nicole LaBosco and James Rayner of nona.media released a documentary short sharing six stories of firsthand experiences at Ground Zero and the White House.
· Adam Fallon, an FDNY firefighter
· Angie Fallon, a nurse
· Ed Juarbe, an NYPD officer
· Anthony LaBosco, a United States Secret Service Agent
· Renee Palma, a survivor
· Michael Troisi, an NYPD Sergeant
These six individuals shared their memories of some of the worst days of their careers and lives. Rayner immediately knew this documentary needed to be shared to film festivals, and with the support of LaBosco and those who starred in the film, they never looked back. Ground Zero was accepted, screened, and took home first place (gold) in the documentary-short category at the Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards and Festival. The festival took place in the backlot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, on Nov. 2.
Both LaBosco and Rayner flew out to experience the festival and to accept the award. Around 100 people attended, filling nearly every seat, and when the film concluded, a round of applause erupted and sniffles were heard throughout.
“It was a surreal feeling … kind of like things were beginning to come full circle. It was my first documentary, and it won first place in the first film festival I’ve ever been a part of! I knew it was a great film, but it was never about receiving recognition for it. James and I really just wanted to focus on those who sacrificed so much on that day and were willing to sit with us and go back to that moment. They were the stars, the heroes that deserve the recognition,” LaBosco described. “I’m just so grateful to have met Adam, Angie, Ed, and Renee, and I’m glad to have reconnected with Michael (I’ve been friends with his daughters since middle or high school), and Anthony is my father. I never would’ve thought that I’d be having IMDb credits for director, producer, and writer of an award-winning documentary, and the film was even laureled!”
The documentary took just three days to come to life from concept to reality … and coffee, lots and lots of coffee. LaBosco still keeps in touch with those she interviewed for the film, and those connections will never be forgotten.
“The attacks on 9/11 are events most of us experienced from different parts of the country, but what really made this film special to us is that these six individuals were all there for different reasons and didn’t know the others, but 17 years later, they discovered they had brethren, and they were all neighbors … they were all OUR neighbors. It made me love our community even more,” declared LaBosco.
Ground Zero has also been accepted into and is screening at the Culver City Film Festival in Culver City, California, from Dec. 6-12 and has been submitted to several other film festivals spanning California, New York, New Jersey and Florida. The determination dates of festival acceptance range from February 2020 to August 2020.