Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9/11 DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER AND RESPONDER ATTEND SCREENING IN NYC SEPT 28th, 7:00pm


September 28, 2010 (New York, NY) – VITO AFTER (aka: Vito After: A 9/11 Responder Copes in the Aftermath), an award-winning documentary, will be screening tonight at the Anthology Film Archives, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th at 7:00pm (32 Second Ave., at 2nd St).  Director/producer/ writer Maria Pusateri and former NYPD detective Vito Friscia—the main subject of the film and Pusateri’s brother-in-law—will be attending for a Q&A session following the screening, and an afterparty nearby.(Interviews prior to screening by request.) Two short documentary films will be shown before VITO AFTER, in the NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) sponsored screening program entitled “Living in the Aftermath of 9/11”.

The highly-praised VITO AFTER has had several local screenings this month to commemorate the 9th anniversary of September 11th. For filmmaker Pusateri, these screenings also represent a tribute to the thousands of 9/11 responders, volunteers and others from all over the country who are still suffering, or who have died, from 9/11-related illnesses.  The film follows Friscia during the two years following his 9/11 rescue and recovery work as he copes and refocuses his life with support from his family, friends and colleagues. The film has been rated four stars by Filmcritic.com who calls it "An intriguing and powerful documentary that uses one man's story to personalize the devastating aftermath from [9/11]."

The 9/11 Health Bill will be voted upon again this week, and, hopefully, will finally be passed. Vito Friscia said: “It’s a disgrace that it’s taken this long to get these devastated responders the help they need.”  Pusateri is grateful that Vito isn’t as gravely ill as so many who are suffering serious 9/11-related illnesses. “However, thousands of people like him continue to cope with chronic 9/11-related ailments,” says Pusateri, “and they’re left wondering whether their conditions will worsen, if they’ll develop a life-threatening illness, and if so, will they get the help they’ll need.”   

Pusateri hopes her film will help bring greater awareness to the plight of the 9/11 responders: “People have already forgotten that the rescue and recovery workers worked tirelessly, under daunting conditions, sacrificing their safety, their emotional and physical health—and their lives, to help bring closure to victims’ families. They are truly unsung heroes.” 

WHAT:      SCREENING AND Q&A, “VITO AFTER” (aka “VITO AFTER: A 9/11 RESPONDER COPES IN THE AFTERMATH” - INTERVIEWS w/ FILMMAKER, MARIA PUSATERI and FILM’S MAIN  CHARACTER, FORMER NYPD DET. VITO FRISCIA

WHEN:      TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th - 7:00PM  (screening starts)  (Q&A approx. 8:10-8:30pm)
                  *INTERVIEWS BEFORE SCREENING UPON REQUEST STARTING 5:30PM, CALL 516-729-7455

                  32 SECOND AVE. (AT 2ND ST) , NYC
                  (AFTERPARTY FOR ATTENDEES AT DEMPSEY’S PUB, 61 Second Ave., NYC)
          
For additional information about VITO AFTER and to view trailers, visit www.vitoafter.com.  
NYWIFT SCREENING INFO:  “Living in the Aftermath of 9/11”.
DVD and high-res images available upon request.

ABOUT THE FILM:
VITO AFTER takes a vital look at the emotional impact of 9/11 and the emerging health crisis by going beyond the headlines and focusing on one NYPD detective's personal struggle. Vito Friscia, a dedicated homicide detective and devoted family man, selflessly helped others on September 11th, and then spent months sifting through toxic rubble hoping to bring closure to victims’ families. The film follows Friscia for almost two years as he copes in the aftermath, with the support of loved ones and colleagues. This intimate portrait of an everyday hero reveals a powerful renewal of the human spirit and insight into the lives of thousands of responders who are paying an emotional and physical price for their bravery.
FilmCritic.com rated the film four stars, calling it, "An intriguing and powerful documentary that uses one man's story to personalize the devastating aftermath from [9/11]."  Vito After was chosen to be part of the 9/11 film collection in the library of the USS NEW YORK, the battleship forged with steel from the World Trade Center. The film had its international premiere on September 11th this year in London at the FD4W Film Festival, and has been an official selection at numerous film festivals in the United States over the past five years, including the Vermont International, Rochester High Falls, and Global Peace Film Festivals. VITO AFTER received the Best Documentary Award at the Long Island Film Expo in 2006. The film is being distributed by Tribeca Film Institute’s Reframe Collection.


ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Maria Pusateri is the writer/director/producer/executive producer of Vito After. Maria has worked in various aspects of television and film production and publicity; and she has also performed as an actress.  Pusateri’s passion and vision for filmmaking—exploration of people's intimate worlds through the social issues impacting their lives, was inspired by witnessing her brother-in-law’s emotional trauma and health issues, and wanting to bring greater awareness to the problems faced by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

Prior to creating her debut documentary, Vito After, Maria was an associate producer at Cablevision for MetroTV’s Unblinking Eye, where she earned several Omni and Communicator Awards, plus a New York Emmy nomination for Programming About the Arts. The nomination was forFood For Thought, a play reading series featuring Elaine Stritch, Judith Light and John Shea, among others. Pusateri created over 40 shows forUnblinking Eye, covering cultural arts events in and around New York City, from literary arts to music and film. Her work included producing, directing and conducting interviews, ranging from man-on-the street to celebrities, such as Harrison Ford, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Pusateri also directed and produced lifestyle segments, shopping tips and film reviews for the channel. Maria’s film production credits include wearing many hats on the sets of the short "Kung Fu Granny," and "Split Ends," a feature film directed by Dorothy Lyman.

Ms. Pusateri is a programmer for New York Women in Film and Television’s (NYWIFT) film series and has served on their documentary committee. Pusateri is developing her next documentary project which will explore the educational gap in low-income communities, and works freelance in TV production and P/R. Maria is currently assisting Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Cynthia Wade (Freeheld), with her upcoming HBO documentary about women and cancer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vito After screening in filmmaker's L.I. hometown on Sept 11th as it premieres in London on same day

FILMMAKER AND RESPONDER APPEARING AT SCREENINGS
“VITO AFTER” A HIT AT LOCAL EVENT

September 10, 2010 (Syosset, NY) – VITO AFTER (aka: Vito After: A 9/11 Responder Copes in the Aftermath), an award-winning documentary, will be screening in the filmmaker’s hometown to honor the anniversary of September 11th.  Director/producer/ writer Maria Pusateri and former NYPD detective Vito Friscia—the main subject of the film and Pusateri’s brother-in-law—will be attending for a Q&A session following the screening, at the Syosset Library at 2:00pm. The film will also make its international theatrical premiere at London’s FD4W Film Festival (Film Directing For Women) earlier that day.

Pusateri is delighted to be sharing the film with her local community and happy that Vito will be speaking with her there and at upcoming screenings on Long Island and in NYC (see schedule below): “Vito hasn’t attended many screenings in the past. This will be the first time he’ll be at Long Island showings, which is great since he lives on the Island and local audiences look forward to meeting him.”

The documentary was a hit this Tuesday in Hewlett, NY; and the audience thoroughly enjoyed talking to Vito and had many questions for him. “It’s always so rewarding to see your film really connect with an audience and get such a fantastic response,” says Pusateri.  News12 LI covered the event, interviewing Vito and the filmmaker who said she thought “Vito handled it ‘like a pro’. It definitely was good for him to be talking about it again.”

Although the first-time filmmaker could not get to London for the film’s screening on the same day, she is thrilled VITO AFTER was selected to be shown in FD4W’s inaugural festival, noting there are too few film festivals celebrating women filmmakers. She is also thankful her film is screening in London on September 11th, a fitting commemoration to honor all those who died on that fateful day—including 67 Britons, and so many others from around the world.  

For Pusateri, these screenings also represent a tribute to the thousands of 9/11 responders, volunteers and others from all over the country who are still suffering, or who have died, from 9/11-related illnesses. “The film remains as relevant today as when it began screening at film festivals in 2005,” says Pusateri, “Perhaps even more so—unfortunately, because of the ongoing and growing health crisis from World Trade Center toxic dust exposures.” 

Maria is cautiously optimistic that the 9/11 Health Bill will, finally, be passed, and appreciates President Obama’s recent push for the bill to go through; but, like so many others, has been frustrated at the incomprehensibility of why it has taken this long. “The responders deserve better; and as Vito said, ‘it's a disgrace’ that they’ve had to fight for the past nine years to get the help they need," she says. "Thankfully, Vito isn’t as ill as those suffering from devastating 9/11-related illnesses. However, thousands of people like him are still coping with 9/11-related ailments; and although their conditions may not be very serious now, it’s like they’re 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'–wondering whether their conditions will worsen, if they’ll develop a life-threatening illness, or may die.”  Pusateri added, “Tragically, there is a huge second wave of 9/11 victims, not only these responders, but also thousands of non-responders who are ill and dying—including volunteers, local residents and office workers, even some children.”  

Pusateri hopes her film will help bring greater awareness to the plight of the 9/11 responders: “People should not forget, the rescue and recovery workers worked tirelessly, under daunting conditions, sacrificing their safety, their emotional and physical health—and their lives, to help bring closure to victims’ families. They are truly unsung heroes.” 
-
ABOUT THE FILM:
VITO AFTER takes a vital look at the emotional impact of 9/11 and the emerging health crisis by going beyond the headlines and focusing on one NYPD detective's personal struggle. Vito Friscia, a dedicated homicide detective and devoted family man, selflessly helped others on September 11th, and then spent months sifting through toxic rubble hoping to bring closure to victims’ families. The film follows Friscia for almost two years as he copes in the aftermath, with the support of loved ones and colleagues. This intimate portrait of an everyday hero reveals a powerful renewal of the human spirit and insight into the lives of thousands of responders who are paying an emotional and physical price for their bravery.

FilmCritic.com rated the film four stars, calling it, "An intriguing and powerful documentary that uses one man's story to personalize the devastating aftermath from [9/11]."  Vito After was chosen to be part of the 9/11 film collection in the library of the USS NEW YORK, the battleship forged with steel from the World Trade Center. The film has been an official selection at numerous film festivals in the United States over the past five years, including the Vermont International, Rochester High Falls, and Global Peace Film Festivals; VITO AFTER received the Best Documentary Award at the Long Island Film Expo in 2006.

For additional information about VITO AFTER and to view trailers, visit www.vitoafter.com


FOR PRESS/MEDIA: Ms. Pusateri and Mr. Friscia are available for interviews. DVD and high-res images available upon request.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Maria Pusateri is the writer/director/producer/executive producer of Vito After. Maria has worked in various aspects of television and film production and publicity; and she has also performed as an actress.  Pusateri’s passion and vision for filmmaking—exploration of people's intimate worlds through the social issues impacting their lives, was inspired by witnessing her brother-in-law’s emotional trauma and health issues, and wanting to bring greater awareness to the problems faced by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

Prior to creating her debut documentary, Vito After, Maria was an associate producer at Cablevision for MetroTV’s Unblinking Eye, where she earned several Omni and Communicator Awards, plus a New York Emmy nomination for Programming About the Arts. The nomination was for Food For Thought, a play reading series featuring Elaine Stritch, Judith Light and John Shea, among others. Pusateri created over 40 shows for Unblinking Eye, covering cultural arts events in and around New York City, from literary arts to music and film. Her work included producing, directing and conducting interviews, ranging from man-on-the street to celebrities, such as Harrison Ford, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Pusateri also directed and produced lifestyle segments, shopping tips and film reviews for the channel. Maria’s film production credits include wearing many hats on the sets of the short "Kung Fu Granny," and "Split Ends," a feature film directed by Dorothy Lyman.

Ms. Pusateri is a programmer for New York Women in Film and Television’s (NYWIFT) film series and has served on their documentary committee. Pusateri is developing her next documentary project and works freelance in TV production and P/R.





VITO AFTER September / October Screenings
(with Filmmaker Maria Pusateri & Vito Friscia attending for Q&A, unless otherwise noted):

Syosset Public Library: Saturday, September 11th, 2:00pm
Long Beach Public Library: Monday, September 13th, 2:00pm* (no Q&A, Pusateri & Friscia not attending)
Long Beach Public Library: Monday, September 20th, 7:00pm
Anthology Film Archives, NYC (NYWIFT screening): Tuesday, September 28th, 7:00pm

LONDON screening:  Lost Theatre - 208 Wandsworth Rd, London, SW8 2JU,  Saturday, September 11th, 10:30am
(Unfortunately, the FD4W Film Festival website has been down due to a virus, so no link can be given at this time.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Purchase VITO AFTER DVD here.

VITO AFTER makes international premiere in London on September 11, 2010...

"Vito After" has been selected to screen at the FD4W Film Festival in London, on September 11th -- making its international theatrical premiere.  It's rewarding to know that the film is just as relevant today as it was when it began showing in film festivals in 2005...or perhaps even more so.  Please support this vital film. If you know someone in London, or you'll be there during that time, please go and see it, and send your friends.  Info about "Vito After" can be found at vitoafter.com. Filmcritic.com rated it 4-stars, calling it “An intriguing and powerful documentary that uses one man's story to personalize the devastating aftermath from the deadliest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil.”  
...(more news coming soon.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Federal Judge orders more talks on 9/11 deal
NY TIMES March 19, 2010
The federal judge overseeing litigation between the city and workers at ground zero on Friday rejected a settlement, telling lawyers that it did not provide enough compensation to plaintiffs and needed to be renegotiated under his supervision. ...
Sound Judgement
NY DAILY NEWS - March 20, 2010
Finally, after almost nine long, painful, shameful years, someone has stood up for the rights and the well-being of the Forgotten Victims of 9/11....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why Do Sick 9/11 Responders Have to Fight So Hard to Get Help They Deserve?

Obama Admin. Opposes 9/11 Health Funding for First Responders dying from WTC Dust Inhalation
Vito had a birthday last week on February 2nd, and I'm so glad I was able to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY... Sadly, thousands of responders are not as fortunate. Please see this page and take a minute to watch the videos. Where's the justice in this and why do these 9/11 responders have to fight so hard to get the help they should be getting without question?

NY1 - Gillibrand and 9/11 Responders Demand Help from President

Gillibrand Urges President To Support 9/11 Health Bill - NY1.com

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand put President Barack Obama on the spot at a meeting with Democratic senators Wednesday, asking if he would commit to working with Congress to pass a fully funded and comprehensive 9/11 health bill....."Some people have even died, some people are incapacitated, some people are gravely disabled, so we need to do everything we can to protect them and make sure their health care is covered," said Gillibrand." ...(read more)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thank you Rep. Carolyn Maloney, we hope you get your meeting with the President!  Maloney asks for meeting with President Obama for 9/11 healthcare funding...