"Rebirth at Ground Zero" Opens at the National 9/11 Museum

- A work a dozen years in the making, honoring the resilience of the human spirit and the legacy of 9/11, dedicated to those who serve community and country

May 19, 2014, 17:11 ET from Project Rebirth

NEW YORK, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Project Rebirth, Inc., (www.projectrebirth.org) the resilience resource for those who serve community and country, announced that its ten minute immersive film experience "Rebirth at Ground Zero" has opened at its permanent home at the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. Developed by the not for profit founded by filmmaker Jim Whitaker, "Rebirth at Ground Zero" completes a series of films that includes the Peabody award winning documentary Rebirth and nine short films following the eight year journeys of nine people directly affected by the 9/11 attacks. Project Rebirth's films and media are the centerpieces for scalable and measurable programs that facilitate healing, foster hope and build resilience, working with:

  • First Responders
  • Military & Veterans
  • Medical & Mental Health Professionals
  • Community Leaders
  • Educators

Project Rebirth is offering interviews with some of the 9/11 survivors whose voices are heard in the "Rebirth at Ground Zero" exhibit, and who also feature in "Rebirth."  Several film participants continue to help lead Project Rebirth's work using their short films as the basis for presentations and workshops with the communities listed above. The films' Director Jim Whitaker is also available to discuss his work.

The "Rebirth at Ground Zero" Experience

In a darkened, private room surrounded by three screens and a state of the art surround sound system, visitors first hear the rumble of the World Trade Center towers collapsing. Screens covering the walls on three sides then illuminate with the still-smoldering site. Composer Philip Glass's score begins in somber tones, then brightens as time-lapse photography reveals the hum of activity clearing the pit and the Freedom Tower building skyward.  Finally, there are the voices. Their words are brief, initially filled with shock and despair.  As their narratives progress, the five New Yorkers impacted by the 9/11 attacks learn to cope, find their resilience and experience joy -- while honoring and bearing their losses. Their resolve, the progress of the steel and glass construction, soaring music and poignant reflections at the conclusion carry "Rebirth at Ground Zero" audiences to a place of strength and hope.

The Most Complete Video Record of People Coping with Grief and Loss

  • Fourteen 35-millimeter time-lapse film cameras were employed
  • Cameras filmed Ground Zero 24/7 from March 2002 to the present
  • Project Rebirth represents the world's largest time lapse project
  • Rebirth and "Rebirth at Ground Zero" Directed by Jim Whitaker / Produced by Jim Whitaker and David Solomon / Original score composed by Philip Glass
  • Peabody Award winning Rebirth chronicled over eight years the emotional journeys of a teenager, a firefighter, a construction worker and a young woman who lost loved ones on 9/11, as well as a woman seriously injured in the South Tower
  • Project Rebirth's suite of films and film archive is the most complete video record in existence of people coping with grief and traumatic loss. They serve as the basis for Project Rebirth's resilience resources.
  • Sponsors include Aon, Oppenheimer Funds, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., and Polaris Capital Management

Interview Opportunities: Film Participants & Project Rebirth Team Leaders

Project Rebirth is offering interviews with four of those involved in these exhibit and the organization:

  • Tanya Villanueva Tepper's fiance Sergio died in the 9/11 attacks. The now married mother of two speaks to widows nationwide about healing and moving forward and to students about a day most were too young to remember.
  • Tim Brown was a firefighter at Ground Zero on 9/11 and lost 93 colleagues that day, including his best friend. Today he shares his story of recovery with military and veterans, first responders and educators and students.
  • Helen Rafferty, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a retired New York City firefighter, serves pro bono as the Executive Director of Project Rebirth.
  • Lt. Colonel Aaron Leonard is a US Army combat veteran, and volunteer firefighter, who among other leadership roles, conducts Project Rebirth resilience-building programs for military, veterans, first responders and at risk youth.
  • Project Rebirth founder and the films' Director and Producer Jim Whitaker.

Project Rebirth's Mission: Built on Unique and Powerful Films

From the earliest showings of Project Rebirth's content, it became clear its stories of recovery were powerful and unique tools to facilitate healing and foster hope, and to study the journey of grief.  The not-for-profit Project Rebirth uses its films and the resources and talents of its diverse team to create resilience programs created to be scalable and to work in collaboration with organizations and individuals aligned with Project Rebirth's mission.

Project Rebirth: a resilience resource for all who serve community and country

Rebirth at Ground Zero Facebook page:

Project Rebirth Facebook page:

Project Rebirth Twitter feed: @ProjectRebirth

CONTACT:  Kathleen Koch, Project Rebirth, kathleen.koch@projectrebirth.org, 202-841-2710


SOURCE Project Rebirth