Spike Lee, HBO Films team up for documentary commemorating 20 years since 9/11

'With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God's earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so,' the legendary filmmaker proclaimed

Spike Lee is teaming up with the HBO Films team for a “monumental documentary event” commemorating 20 years since September 11, 2001.

Entitled NYC EPICENTERS 9/11→2021½, this new documentary event is currently in production with HBO Documentary Films and Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. The documentary is described as “an epic chronicle of life, loss, and survival in the city of New York over the twenty years since the September 11th attacks.”

The official release for the project reveals, “The multi-part documentary event will offer an unprecedented, sweeping portrait of New Yorkers as they rebuild and rebound from a devastating terrorist attack through the ongoing global pandemic.

Capturing the history through a staggering amount of visual imagery, and featuring first-hand accounts from a panoply of citizens from all walks of life, the documentary event will debut later this year on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max in commemoration of the September 11th attacks.”

"American Skin" Red Carpet Arrivals - The 76th Venice Film Festival
VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 01: Spike Lee walks the red carpet ahead of the “American Skin” screening during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Giardino on September 01, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

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Spike Lee, a native New Yorker himself, has a special connection with the project and feels a certain pride collaborating with HBO films on the event.

He revealed in a statement, “As a New Yawker who bleeds orange and blue (the colors of New York City), I’m proud to have a ‘Spike Lee Joint’ about how our/my city dealt with being the epicenters of 9/11 and COVID-19. With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God’s earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so.”

Lee then went on to detail his pride for his city, saying, “Over centuries pundits and straight haters have proclaimed NYC was dead and stinkin’, only to be proved wrong. You will lose ya money betting against New York, New York. And dat’s da truth, Ruth. Be Safe. Peace And Love.”

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The co-heads of HBO Documentary Films, Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to have another groundbreaking HBO documentary event from Spike Lee.”

The duo continued to say, “From documenting the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the 9/11 attack on New York City and beyond, we treasure Spike’s singular capacity to chronicle and pay tribute to the human toll of these historic events while bearing profound witness to the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.”

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Lee was recently honored with a special award for his short film, New York, New York, at the New York Film Critics Awards. The 3-minute film set to Frank Sinatra’s classic song of the same name was filmed during the pandemic.

Spike described the film in an Instagram caption, writing, “My Short Film-NEW YORK NEW YORK Is A Love Letter To It’s People. Plain And Simple. Special Love Shout To Ms. TINA SINATRA, SONY/ATV, KERWIN DEVONISH (Camera), ADAM GOODE (Editor), TIM STACKER And KODAK For The Super 8 Film And Cameras.”

The documentary event will air on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max later this year.

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