Production company Women Rising has unveiled the project “We Go Higher,” touted as the first-ever documentary by and about the surviving children of the 9/11 attacks, Variety has learned exclusively.
A total of 3,051 young people from the ages of 0-18 lost a parent on Sept. 11, 2001. Delaney Colaio — who lost her father Mark and two uncles, Stephen and Thomas, at the age of three — will serve as a co-writer and co-director on the project. Production is scheduled to begin in July with distribution planned for 2018.
“I’ve always been defined by 9/11,” Colaio said. “I feel grateful that this film will give me the opportunity to give my pain a sense of purpose while also sharing what this tragedy has taught me and other children. We all grieve differently, but this film will show how you can reach a sense of hope through loss.”
“We Go Higher” will follow Colaio’s story and five others that will explore the unique journeys to rise above and bring strength, love, and peace to those around them.
Women Rising founder and CEO Sara Hirsh Bordo will produce the film and Michael Campo will direct the film and also serve as a co-writer. Bordo was producer and director on the 2015 documentary “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story,” which centered Velasquez becoming a motivational speaker and dealing with a rare congenital disease that prevents her from accumulating body fat and gaining weight.
“’We Go Higher’ aims to be a tool for recovery and will work to inspire a new and renewed sense of hope and unity,” Bordo said. “Delaney’s bravery and the bravery of the kids to step forward and cast a new light on darkness in a positive way, represents the strength of a new kind of American hero.”
Fundraising is being handled through the International Documentary Association’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Proceeds from the film will benefit Tuesday’s Children, a response and recovery organization who cares for communities impacted by loss, which was formed in the aftermath of 9/11.
“Tuesday’s Children is honored to be a part of this project,” said Terry Grace Sears, exec director. “It is rewarding to know that some of the children of 9/11 are being given the opportunity to participate in their own way on their own terms about their healing process after losing their parents. There is no greater voice to uphold the American spirit than the children of 9/11 and to show the world how we can rebuild and be stronger than before.”
Adobe has signed on as a technology and film-editing partner. Picture Motion will be supporting community outreach.