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THE 75TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS | SHORT TAKES / Documentary
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The best of the rest

March 24, 2003

"Twin Towers"

Bill Guttentag, Robert David Port

"Twin Towers" is the story of two brothers who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 collapse of the World Trade Center buildings.

The 34-minute film, directed by Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port, had its origins in a reality-show pilot that was being produced by Dick Wolf ("Law & Order") about the New York City Police Department's Emergency Service Unit in the summer of 2001.

Although the film is a tribute to the 14 members of that unit who were killed, the focus is on Det. Joe Vigiano and his firefighter brother, John Vigiano Jr., who along with their father is one of the most decorated firefighters in the history of the New York Fire Department.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on New York, Wolf's team decided to use the reality-pilot footage to pay homage to the brothers and the units they worked for. Both filmmakers thanked Wolf and talk-show host Maury Povich, who functioned as producers on the project.

It was a second Oscar for Guttentag (executive producer of Wolf's "Crime & Punishment"); he previously won in 1988 for "You Don't Have to Die" and was nominated three other times. This was the first nomination for Port, who produced Wolf's "Arrest & Trial."

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