The result of a filmmaking journey into living history, the story of REBIRTH follows the transformation of five people, over the course of 10 years, whose lives were forever altered on September 11, 2001 – and simultaneously tracks, via unprecedented multi-camera time lapse photography, the evolution of the space where the Twin Towers once rose over lower Manhattan.
Whitaker seamlessly weaves these personal stories of hope and healing and reveals a universal truth, one which shows human beings will overcome and aspire to renewal, even when the very fabric of their lives has changed.
Oscilloscope will release REBIRTH in theatres in August 2011. SHOWTIME will broadcast REBIRTH on the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11th.
The film as well as other original programming created by the REBIRTH team will eventually be housed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum located at Ground Zero. All proceeds from REBIRTH will go to the Project Rebirth Center to develop and provide new multi-media tools to aid the therapists, academics, first responders and others working with people dealing with grief.
The project’s founding sponsor is the Aon Foundation. The principal sponsors of the project are OppenheimerFunds and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
“We are proud and honored to be associated with this film from my old friend Jim Whitaker who has emerged as an amazing filmmaker,” said David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “His skillful telling of the personal journeys of a remarkable group of people touched by the tragic events of September 11 makes for an extremely powerful and moving film.”
“It’s inspiring for all of us to be able to work with a film that has a unique perspective of how time and healing are connected. Jim and the team have captured something distinctive within the historical context of the events of September 11, yet its emotional truths are completely universal,” said Oscilloscope Laboratories’ David Fenkel.
“I am delighted and grateful to both David Nevins of SHOWTIME and David Fenkel of Oscilloscope and their teams for acquiring REBIRTH. It is especially gratifying to everyone who has worked so hard on the film for so many years that REBIRTH, which offers a very hopeful message, will be released theatrically and televised around the 10th anniversary of September 11th,” stated REBIRTH director and producer Whitaker.
“All of us involved in REBIRTH are thrilled to be partnering with Showtime and Oscilloscope for the distribution of the film. Both companies have shown tremendous passion for the project, and their commitment to its optimistic message of healing and recovery will ensure that the film receives the best possible distribution,” said REBIRTH producer David Solomon.
Forged through the generous support of hundreds who helped shepherd the epic, ten-year production, REBIRTH is directed by Jim Whitaker and produced by David Solomon and Whitaker, with Danielle Beverly serving as field producer. The director of photography is Tom Lappin and the editors are Kevin Filippini and Brad Fuller. The film’s original score is composed by Academy Award® winner Philip Glass.
Whitaker began his career as a documentary filmmaker to raise money for nonprofit organizations. He previously wrote and directed LOADED, an award-winning public service announcement against drinking and driving, in memory of a Georgetown University classmate. Whitaker had been President of Motion Pictures at Imagine Entertainment where he worked on such notable films as 8 MILE, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, AMERICAN GANGSTER and CHANGELING, among many others. He is currently the Chairman and Producer of Whitaker Entertainment at Walt Disney Studios and a producer of the upcoming THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN from director Peter Hedges.
WME Global’s Liesl Copland and Graham Taylor brokered the sales on behalf of the filmmakers. Foreign sales for REBIRTH are being handled by Shine International.