"United 93" to Premiere at Tribeca

by | March 30, 2006 | Comments

The Tribeca Film Festival and Universal Pictures today announced that "United 93," the feature film which chronicles the unfolding drama of the hijacked September 11th flight that crashed outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, will have its world premiere as the Opening Night film of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. The premiere will take place on Tuesday, April 25th; the Festival will run through May 7th.

Joining the filmmakers and Festival founders at the premiere will be family members who lost loved ones aboard the United Airlines Flight 93, as well as other 9/11 groups and family organizations and first responders whose lives were forever altered on that day.

Universal Pictures and StudioCanal’s United 93 is written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Greengrass, known for such films as "Bloody Sunday" as well as the international blockbuster "The Bourne Supremacy." The film is produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, of Working Title Films, Lloyd Levin and Greengrass.

"The events of 9/11 had a massive effect on me, like everyone, and I wanted to use my position as a filmmaker to contribute something so they are not casually forgotten," stated Greengrass. "’United 93′ tells one story of that morning and I hope that by showing the film at Tribeca, whose roots and inspiration grew in response to the devastation of 9/11, we will be reminded of the courage of all those on board and also the thousands of men and women who confronted similarly unimaginable scenarios in New York and Washington. By honoring the families who lost those they loved, I hope we can ensure that their sacrifice is remembered and hopefully seek wisdom in the future."

"9/11 changed us, in indescribable personal ways, but also by forever altering our downtown community," said Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal. "As we enter our fifth Festival, we are honored to showcase a film that portrays a story of bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who dedicated their lives that day aboard United Flight 93. We are humbled to host their families, first responders and others who were most profoundly affected that day."

Gordon Felt, whose brother Edward was among those on board Flight 93, added, "The families of Flight 93 wish to thank the Tribeca Film Festival for honoring the memory of our loved ones and providing us with an opportunity to join in unity with the other families affected by 9/11 in New York City. It is never easy to relive the events of 9/11, yet I support ‘United 93’ as a tribute to the heroism of my brother and the 39 other passengers and crew who collectively chose to say ‘no’ on that fateful day. It is my hope that this film is one step in the process of memorializing all of the brave Americans that faced violent adversity on 9/11 and that the meaning of their sacrifice will endure."

The unflinching drama tells the story of the passengers and crew, their families on the ground and the flight controllers who watched in dawning horror as United Airlines Flight 93 became the fourth hijacked plane on the day of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil: September 11, 2001.

"United 93" recreates the doomed trip in actual time, from takeoff to hijacking to the realization by those onboard that their plane was part of a coordinated attack unfolding on the ground beneath them. The film attempts to understand the abject fear and courageous decisions of those who — over the course of just 90 minutes-transformed from a random assembly of disconnected strangers into bonded allies who confronted an unthinkable situation.

Greengrass brings to "United 93" a history of compassionate filmmaking that has explored some of the most troubled incidents of recent world history — when politics turns to violence, when beliefs slip into zealotry. As there is no perfect record of the hijacking’s exact details and hostage retaliation, Greengrass takes a careful hand and partially improvises the events with an ensemble cast of little-known actors who were given studies of their UAL Flight 93 counterparts.

"United 93" intends to dignify the memory of those on that flight, the men and women whose sacrifice remains one of the most heroic legacies of the incomprehensible tragedies that unfolded on that autumn morning.

"United 93" will open in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 28th.

We invite you to join Universal Pictures in making a donation to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund. For information, visit HonorFlight93.org.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. Conceived to foster the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival’s mission is to promote New York City as a major filmmaking center and help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience.

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