2011 Mountainfilm In Telluride: The Making Of "From The Ground Up"

[click “Play”, Susan speaks with Andrea Garbarini and Beth Gage]


Andrea in Rwanda
Andrea Garbarini in Rwanda

The events of 9/11 marked a turning point in the history of our country: America lost its innocence. Even in Telluride we no longer lived in splendid isolation from the violence that  impacts lives across the globe every single day. Suddenly, violently, our corner of the Big Blue Marble acquired a discernible crack. We became vulnerable. 

For the families who lost loved ones, the implications of the tragedy of 9/11 go way beyond the geopolitical to profoundly personal. And the recent execution of Osama Bin Laden does not change much. Terrorism with a capital “T” has entered our vocabulary and there is still no turning back.

A new documentary by Telluride locals George & Beth Gage, “From the Ground Up,” is a tribute to those people, telling the story of five widows of  FDNY firefighters, men who lost their lives trying to save others. In just a half hour, the film gives depth and breadth to Mountainfilm’s motto: “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit.”

Beth & George Gage
Beth & George Gage

“From the Ground Up” recounts the trauma, recovery and rebirth of families, capturing the resilience, courage and indomitable human spirit embodied by those regular people who somehow managed to survive –  and then some. The Gages’ documentary also celebrates the myriad contributions these 9/11 families continue to make to their communities as a way to honor lost loved ones. And once “From the Ground Up” is released, 100 percent of the profits from the film are to be donated to non-profit charities affiliated with these 9/11 families.

The Gages made “From the Ground Up” at the request of one of the widows, Andrea Garbarini, also the film’s executive producer. Andrea conceived of the project and raised the majority of funds required to get the job done. She is thrilled to have the documentary premiere at Mountainfilm and looks forward to returning to Telluride. Andrea was one of the group of people who had lost a family member in 9/11 and came at the invitation of Wendy Brooks, the Telluride Academy and the Town of Telluride after the attacks.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Beth Gage and Andrea Garbarini.

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