The 16 children that were with President George W. Bush when he learned of the 9/11 attacks are to be the subject of a new documentary.
The children, who were aged six and seven and attended Emma E. Booker Elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, are to appear in 9/11 Kids from Canada’s Documentary Channel. The feature-length doc is produced by Saloon Media and will be distributed by Blue Ant International, which will be launching the doc at Realscreen 2019 in New Orleans.
The film, which is to be delivered in August 2019, tracks down the kids to find out what’s happened since. They are all in their mid-20s, trying to find their footing in a country and world that changed so much after 9/11. Some have been remarkably successful, while others have fallen on hard times and the film follows their struggle to overcome shocking personal tragedies.
The kids, who were chosen because they were some of the best readers at Booker, were sitting with President Bush, who was at the school to promote his education program, No Child Left Behind, reading My Pet Goat, when White House Chief of Staff Andy Card ran to the Commander in Chief and whispered “America is under attack”, a incredible moment caught on camera.
The film is created and produced by Steve Gamester and was commissioned by Documentary Channel’s Jordana Ross and Sandra Kleinfield. Elizabeth St. Philip serves as director and writer with Michael Kot as executive producer.
“The footage is utterly captivating to watch to this day,” said Gamester. “The look of shock and anger on Bush’s face. Members of his staff and the press watching nervously. Meanwhile, the kids keep reading. It’s like watching history on pause, right before the storm.”
“This film is about the 9/11 Generation and the American Dream,” added Ross. “These children’s lives, like the country, were on one trajectory when they woke up that morning and by 9am everything had changed. 9/11 Kids provides a window into some of the most vital themes of the American experience: the spirit to succeed, issues of race and inequality, the state of public education and the impact of a national tragedy on the American psyche.”