The BBC had commissioned the film to mark 20 years of the tragedy, which falls this year.
Keshet has finalized license deals with The Seven Network in Australia; Globo in Brazil; CBC in Canada for both the CBC network and its French network Société Radio-Canada; TVNZ in New Zealand; DPG Media in Belgium; RTV in Slovenia; NRK in Norway; Sky Deutschland in Germany; KAN in Israel; AMC Networks International Southern Europe in Spain and Portugal for its Odisea/Odisseia channel; and Rai Documentari in Italy. Hoopla Digital has picked up the library streaming rights in the U.S. and Canada.
Previous sales by Keshet on the documentary formerly known as “9/11: The Twenty-Year Anniversary,” directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Arthur Cary (“The Last Survivors”), were to Canal Plus Group in France, TV2 in Denmark, TV4 in Sweden, RTL in the Netherlands, and Discovery in the U.S. Talks are ongoing with broadcasters across the world.
“Surviving 9/11” takes the form of two intertwining narratives: the two-hour period when terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed three of them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and the story of the 20 years since. Blending testimony from American and British interviewees and personal and public archives, the story of the day unfolds almost in real time. Detailed storytelling of moments on the day are interspersed with contemporary scenes that explore how the lives of individuals continue to be affected by those events. The film also explores the effects 9/11 had on the wider world.
Cary said: “I was 18 when 9/11 happened and it feels like the defining historical event of my life. It happened in America, but it changed the world, and I’m so pleased that this film will reach a truly international audience through these sales.”
Keren Shahar, Keshet International’s COO and president of distribution, said: “It’s difficult to express just how profoundly moving, empathetic and affecting this film really is. Two decades may have passed, but Arthur has brought a fresh and touching perspective to these tragic events by giving survivors, and the families of those who lost their lives, a platform to share their memories and convey how they are still processing their experiences today. ‘Surviving 9/11’ is powerful, emotional and most definitely must-watch.”
“The tragic events of 9/11 are still felt today here in Italy and all around the globe,” said Monica Bartoli, commissioning editor of Rai Documentari. “Securing this landmark documentary for a primetime slot on Rai1 means we can acknowledge the 20th anniversary with a fitting tribute to those whose lives were changed forever.”
Produced by Top Hat Productions, “Surviving 9/11” is produced by Chery Hockey, with Darren Kemp and BBC commissioning editor Hamish Fergusson as executive producers.