A short film featuring Salma Hayek and director Jim Sheridan who co-wrote the script based on the real-life experience of an Irish journalist during the 9/11 attack in New York.
In 2001, I was a bartender in what could have been this same place, a very local Uptown bar, and I was also involved with a weekly dance party at the World Trade Center, so I know this story from my own experience. Jim brought me in to create our nostalgic Manhattan scene in London and infuse it with the spirit of the time. I used a lot of my own photographs and objects from that era, that place, those times. The real events were reflected in a very personal way as I based the environment of Salma's character on myself and my own very clear memory of that night. It was very cathartic sharing these stories with her and collaborating with them both to bring them alive.
Premiered on their website as a film that unites rather than divides, Underground Films is the production company that released the film. The Dublin based company is well known for its films to engage an audience in strong social representation, and want to keep their audience thinking even after they leave the cinema.
The eight minute short film was released days before the Presidential election in October 2016 online in the US, and screened for cast and crew in Dublin shortly after it's release. It also had it's official premiere in LA two weeks after it's release.
The oscar nominated director didn't have a large budget for the film, but said he had lots of support due to the nature of the film.
"Maria José (Salma Hayek Pinault) and her Irish husband run a bar in uptown Manhattan. On the evening of 9/11 it is heaving with shell-shocked locals and battle weary troops from the NYPD, united in disbelief, grief and anger. On the TV screens, the sports channels have been replaced by news channels which swirl with images of the collapsing Twin Towers and the face of terror suspect Osama Bin Laden. The atmosphere in the bar is very tense, with everyone looking for someone to blame for the horrific attack on the city. One angry member of the NYPD brandishes a loaded pistol: 'Just in case.' Others join him. An older cop tries to calm the perilous situation when a surprise visitor enters the bar. Maria José takes care of the young man who is clearly in shock and seizes the occasion to take back control of her bar in an unexpected and bold way, leaving everyone to reflect on how profoundly the entire landscape of America had been changed when the Towers fell." -IMDB
On Jim Sheridan, the In America director said, “I just made a little movie now about 9/11 with Salma Hayek, just a kind of movie to show that once, America was all immigrants working together, including Muslims. Whether you could call that an Irish-American movie, or an American movie, it’s something I feel I can do, you know, whereas if I’m working for hire I feel that’s very hard, you know?
“I think the lesson I learned most is to have a great cause, have something important to say, because that will make you keep going,” the helmer continued. “It’s very tiring making movies, you know, so once you get into the structure of making a Hollywood movie it becomes very different. It’s very difficult to make movies about societies that you didn’t grow up in,” said Sheridan, who, among his many projects, was hired to helm the 50 Cent starred Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005).
The filmmaker explained that having made features inside and outside of the system, “In the future I want to hold the power a bit closer to myself. You can make a movie by committee, but it’s very difficult.”
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