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WORLD TRADE CENTER

A Story Of Courage And Survival
"Will and I feel an obligation to all those men that we lost that day,” says Port Authority Police Dept. Sgt. John McLoughlin. "Through us, we're able to get the story out of all those men that sacrificed themselves that day. There is no doubt in my mind that the filmmakers wanted to show honor and respect to those who perished too.”

"John and me, we're down-to-earth people, we're just regular American families,” says Jimeno, "but a lot of regular Americans were doing the best they could that day. I am very honored to represent that.”

The motion picture based on their experiences, "World Trade Center,” is directed by three-time Academy Award®-winner Oliver Stone, who says that from the moment he read Andrea Berloff's screenplay, he knew this was a story that he wanted to tell.

"Andrea Berloff's screenplay is one of the best that's ever come to me out of the blue – I guess like that day. It walloped me – and many others – with its emotion and simplicity. It hit this horrific event in a way I had not seen before, in a way that deeply personalized it for me,” says Stone.

Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher have produced other true stories, including "Erin Brockovich,” which was an Academy Award®-nominee for Best Picture. They were struck by the way in which the experiences of the two men spoke to larger themes. "The story of John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno and all the people who helped rescue them is just one story from 9/11, but it shows the larger story of how on a terrible, tragic day, people risked everything to help each other. We must remember that,” Shamberg notes.

"It appealed to us because it is about heroism in the sense that it reveals the best in humanity as people came together to help each other,” Sher adds. From the beginning, the filmmakers' mandate was to make a film that not only honored the men and women involved in the story of John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, but told it accurately. This meant including not just McLoughlin and Jimeno, but their wives, their families and, ultimately, as many people connected to their rescue as possible.

"I've always felt that we were entrusted with this story by the real people – John and Will and Donna and Allison,” says Shamberg. "So it was our responsibility to be as authentic and accurate as possible at all times. We had to get it right.”

An important part of that commitment to authenticity was shooting as much of the film as possible on location in New York City. "The story of what happened on that day is also a story of the city of New York,” says producer Moritz Borman. "To be honest to that and the people of the city, there was never any question – we would chronicle what happened as truthfully as we could, and part of that meant we would film in New York.”

Stone, a native New Yorker, had not shot extensively in the city since 1987's "Wall Street” or 1991's "The Doors.” "It was reinvigorating to go back to New York and work with policemen and firemen, and working men and women. Everyone seemed to go out of their way – particularly the Port Authority, which became our base in New York.”

"World Trade Center” was also a chance for Stone to explore the themes that have defined his career. "To treat 9/11 in this way – deeply personal, exact, austere – challenged me,” says Stone. "We tried to make as realistic a film as possible: two men, buried in the middle of those towers, for 24 hours. What makes a person live? What makes him survive these horrible circumstances? They probably would've died if they hadn't been able to communicate with each other, or experience the memories of their families. I believe, in the end, they survived because of these deeply personal and spiritual reasons.”

Stone never saw "World Trade Center” as a political film, but as an intensely human story. "Altho

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