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“Out of the Clear Blue Sky,” Director Danielle Gardner

Director Danielle Gardner shares her story of losing her brother in the 9/11 attacks, and gives voice to the family members of the civilian victims in her astounding film, Out of the Clear Blue Sky.
Taking years to process the information and come to terms with the event, Danielle has released the film and presented the perspective of the most overlooked people surrounding the event: the families of the victims. We are very proud to feature it here on BYOD during Docuweeks.

Guest Bio

Danielle Gardner is a director and producer of documentaries. Her feature documentary, “Soul in the Hole”, about street basketball in New York City, won the IFC’s Independent Spirit Award in 1998 and was named one of the Top 10 Films of the year by the Village Voice. Gardner has written feature film scripts for Universal and Focus Features and completed documentaries for PBS. Previously based in London, she worked for ITN, Channel 4 and the BBC in both news and documentaries. She holds an M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Columbia University. She lost her brother Douglas Gardner, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, in the September 11th attacks.

Episode Breakdown

00:01 BYOD Docuweeks intro.
00:08 Welcoming Danielle Gardner
01:08 The incredible toll of 9/11 on Cantor Fitzgerald and how Danielle got to finally tell the story.
03:48 Balancing perspectives of 9/11.
05:20 “Out of the Clear Blue Sky,” Clip.
06:44 A story of how Cantor Fitzgerald went back to business.
09:37 Creating a gripping story out of the confusing events.
11:08 Having to stage reenactments of the events.
12:24 Howard’s story and his family’s dedication, and lessons in grief.
15:14 Trying to put funerals in order without bodies, and the hierarchy of victims.
17:10 The families get overlooked and the face of civilian loss.
19:26 Interviewing people and the unprecedented loss. Learning to process.
21:20 Exploiting your own pain as a filmmaker, and wanting to shut down as a family member.
24:21 Family reactions to the film.
25:40 Where to follow the film.
26:15 “Out of the Clear Blue Sky,” Clip.

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Guest Bio

Danielle Gardner is a director and producer of documentaries. Her feature documentary, “Soul in the Hole”, about street basketball in New York City, won the IFC’s Independent Spirit Award in 1998 and was named one of the Top 10 Films of the year by the Village Voice. Gardner has written feature film scripts for Universal and Focus Features and completed documentaries for PBS. Previously based in London, she worked for ITN, Channel 4 and the BBC in both news and documentaries. She holds an M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Columbia University. She lost her brother Douglas Gardner, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, in the September 11th attacks.

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