Sky So Blue A Feature Length Documentary Film


United for days after, divided for years since - a story about how we can unite a nation, told through the voices of families who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks. The United States of America was brutally attacked on September 11, 2001. Following these attacks, our nation was united, despite age, race, religion or gender. Years later, the ripple effects of the attacks finds the nation polarized and divided. This documentary will show us, how, as a nation, do we unite a divided America like the nation was directly following the 9/11 attacks?


Nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes on a large-scale suicide mission to attack the United States on September 11th, 2001, killing more than 2,500 people in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

In the days after the attacks, airplane travel was suspended. Many families stayed glued to the television as networks repeated footage of planes striking the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an open field in Pennsylvania while rescue workers sifted through the massive piles of rubble in a desperate search for survivors.

The terrorist attacks sparked a surge in patriotism in America. In one poll, just days after 9/11, 82% of Americans said they had displayed a flag because of the terrorist attacks.

A stunned, but determined nation united around President George W. Bush and Congressional representatives of both political parties as the American military sought revenge in the mountains of Afghanistan, the training center for Al-Qaeda terrorists. Almost 50% of poll respondents came to the sobering conclusion that 9/11 would permanently change the American way of life. They were right.

The ripple effects of the attacks brought fear, disunity, anxiety and powerlessness to our nation that continues to this day. We have turned inward as a country and as citizens. Events, trends and even inventions have contributed to the polarization of the United States. Air travel is not 100% safe even after going through long security lines before boarding. Today, shootings can occur in schools, shopping malls or the movies. Even your bank account can be hacked. The Great Recession of 2008 led to massive layoffs and a loss of personal wealth for many. The income disparity has never been greater. Television has been dominated by petty fights between reality “stars” and political death matches between our elected officials, where party takes priority over country. The rise of the Internet allows people to spew hate against each other in mostly anonymous, vicious postings. The smart phone makes it easy for us to have virtual relationships while ignoring the actual person next to us on the subway and coffee shop. There is no shared sacrifice in a country where less than 1% of its citizens are active military. The future of immigration is being debated. We have become the “selfie” generation.

There is a sense of loss of control; a loss of determining our future. It started with the attacks on 9/11. We beat the terrorists on the battlefield, but here at home, have the terrorists won? Have we let them change us?

To answer those questions, we return to 9/11. We will interview the families of some of the innocent Americans who were killed that day. We will connect with the audience showing that the 9/11 families don’t live in fear of their futures because horrible things have already happened to them. They pursue their dreams perhaps to honor their loved ones and because they know that life is precious and things can change in an instant. We will ask them: “What unites us? We knew the answer on September 12th after we were attacked. Do we know now? How can we get the united feeling back that we had in the aftermath of such horror in 2001?” We will accompany them to a grammar school to ask the youngest American citizens—the post 9/11 generation— “What unites us? What makes us Americans?”

Ultimately, we hope the documentary resonates with viewers to answer those questions for themselves, inspires them to overcome their fears, help them realize they live in the greatest country in the history of the world—a country that still values the American Dream for all Americans.

The Crew


Tim Oliver worked on the 22nd Floor of One World Trade Center, the shining new symbol of a city determined to rebuild after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Oliver is the longtime Art Director at Golf Digest magazine. He came up with the idea for his book, “Finding Fifteen,” during his daily walks through the 9/11 Memorial on his way into the office. In “Finding Fifteen,” Oliver takes the reader on a six-month journey to locate families, friends and colleagues of 15 victims of that tragic day 15 years later. He interviewed more than 55 people in his desire to remember and honor the lives of these innocent Americans who were caught up in the attacks on New York City, Washington D.C., and rural Pennsylvania.

A graduate of Fordham University, Oliver has vast media experience, having worked as a staff art director at the New York Times, Time Magazine and major metropolitan newspapers in Atlanta, Detroit and New Jersey. He also was a political and education reporter for Gannett Westchester Newspapers in suburban New York City. Oliver has lectured nationally about creative possibilities for content-driven design. He was an adjunct professor at Monmouth College in New Jersey. Oliver has won more than 40 awards for his design work from the Society of Publication Design, Society of Newspaper Design, the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Illustrators.

Oliver has won more than 40 awards for his design work from the Society of Publication Design, Society of Newspaper Design, the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Illustrators. Oliver also designs specialty products for the New York Times and Steiner Sports. Book projects include: Best-selling instruction books for Hall of Fame golfers Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson and some of America’s top professional golf instructors; New York Times Travel guides; “official” book of the national champion University of Tennessee football team; a book on the history of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.


Michael Finnegan, an Army veteran, freelance filmmaker, photojournalist and documentarian from New Haven, Connecticut and owner of Film Haven Productions LLC. He studied film and journalism at Southern Connecticut State University and The Institute of Advance Media in Hartford Connecticut. He enjoys every minute of telling stories visually. He has fallen in love with the art of visual storytelling and documentary production. Moreover, he is truly inspired by the stories of people and the social issues we face day to day.

Michael loves reality filmmaking or cinéma vérité. His professional goal is to produce documentaries and photojournalism projects that shape our future, unfolding the most interesting stories in our communities and throughout the world. He has produced and directed a few short and insightful documentaries. He has worked for the Connecticut Arts Department, creating a series of small documentaries for their Power of Place mission, the Veteran Artist Program creating a successful fundraising video and documentary, and the Kennedy Center, creating a mini documentary about the Autism Project that helped the organization raise funds for the project. Additionally, he produced multiple award wining documentaries that have screened at various local, regional and international film festivals and directed a few PSAs, commercials and promotional videos for a variety of clients.

Co-Director/ Camera Operator:

David Trapasso, was an artist at a very young age. In high school his teacher, Mr. Vansteenburg, inspired him to go to college for video production. Since that day he has been building a demo reel full of narrative, experimental, documentary, commercial, music videos and motion graphics. Onirico, one of his shorts, won an award for best experimental at SCUFF, Southern Connecticut University Film Festival in 2015.

After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor in communication with a concentration in video production, he continued to produce videos with friends and local business establishments. Another Day in Paradise, his first gangster/cop film will begin production in 2017.

Director Of Photography:

Maher Shakir, has five years’ experience in videography and photography. He began his journey as a photographer in Iraq, photo-journaling personal stories from the War in Iraq. From there, he helped photograph weddings, sporting events, and government functions. After falling in love with photography, he naturally progressed into videography. As a refugee in Jordan, he worked hard to capture the refugee experience through his video lens. He worked with the Royal Film Industry in Jordan, helping to film many international movies and commercials before moving to America.

Maher believes photographs are more than a piece of paper. They are a connection to our past and a gift to our future. They are the representation of all that the mind forgets and what the heart will always remember.

For the last five years, Maher has had the privilege of helping people capture the most important moments of their lives from war to weddings. He began his journey as a photographer by documenting life in Baghdad during the Iraq War. In Jordan, he used his lens to capture the refugee experience.

Sound RecordisT:

Albert Silva Sr. is an Air Force veteran, biologist, film maker, medic and real estate investor from Los Angeles, California. He studied biology and psychology at Southern Connecticut State University where he earn his bachelor’s degree and ultimately a master’s degree at the same university studying biology. Although Albert’s education and training is chiefly in the life sciences, he always maintained a fascination with film.

Growing up in the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood, Albert attended tapings of different shows and even worked as an extra on various movies, commercials and television programs before joining the military.

During his studies in college, he befriended a young filmmaker, Michael Finnegan. Recognizing Albert’s talents for creative writing, and natural ability to infuse life and sincerity into demanding scenes, Michael recruited Albert to form their company, Film Haven. Their first collaboration was a short film that was written, produced, and edited all in 48 hours. It was considered by most to be the best film of the contest. Albert also teamed up with Film makers David Trapasso Jr and Conner Etter in Film Haven to produce various documentaries, commercials, and public service announcements.

Camera Operator:

Connor Etter is a filmmaker who has a passion for telling good stories, whether it’s documentaries, narratives, etc. Connor, growing up, was a fan of movies made by James Cameron; such as Terminator and Titanic. Connor’s interest to James Cameron was his motivation on portraying human emotion in films.

Connor attended Southern Connecticut State University and studied video production; he met two other students with a passion in film — Dave Trapasso and Michael Finnegan. They worked on student films while attending Southern.

After graduating Southern, Connor worked different crew positions for TV networks, mainly on reality shows, and then went to D.C. to work on a short horror called Rotary, as the co-producer. Rotary has been selected for multiple festivals, both in the U.S. and international. Soon after, Connor, Dave, and Michael went on to found Film Haven Productions.


Teresa Oliver is a freelance photographer from Huntington, N.Y., less than 40 miles from the World Trade Center. A lifelong Long Island resident, Teresa is a graduate of Berkeley College in Long Island. She has had careers in both medicine and real estate.

With her camera always beside her, Teresa is behind the scenes documenting the making of “Sky So Blue.” She interviewed and photographed many subjects for the 2016 non-fiction book “Finding Fifteen,” about 15 victims of 9/11 written by her husband, Tim. Teresa was an editor/researcher on the project and organized a successful book launch party in Long Island.

Teresa serves as Tim’s guiding conscience to make a film that will help unite Americans through the wisdom of the 9/11 families. Teresa’s dream is to open a bed and breakfast and photograph her visitors enjoying a happy experience away from their hectic lives.

Contact & Support

Sky So Blue documentary is a independent documentary film. Funds for this documentary have been raised through crew, donations, grants and the help from everyone that supports the film.

If you would like to donate to this film please make a tax deductible donation at http://www.documentary.org/project/sky-so-blue

This documentary is fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association which is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Thank you for helping us bring this documentary to the big screen and get this very important message to the nation. It wouldn't be possible without the help of each and everyone of you.

Website: www.skysobluedocumentary.com

Tax Deductible Donations: http://www.documentary.org/project/sky-so-blue

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skysobluedocumentary/

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SkySoBlueDoc

Email: skysobluedocumentary@gmail.com

Phone: 203-589-4826


Producer ……………………………….................Tim Oliver

Director ……………………………….................. Michael J. Finnegan

Assistant Director ………………...................... David Trapasso

Director of Photography ……………................ Maher Shakir

Sound Recordist ……………………................... Albert Silva

Camera Operator ……………………................. Conner Etter

Production Assistant ……………….................. Robert Hinshalwood

Photographer ……………………….................... Teresa Oliver

Financial Strategist ………………….................. Jason Torres

Legal Strategist ………………………................. Anthony G. Mango

This is a feature length documentary to be released Spring 2019. Please stay in touch with our website & facebook page for screening locations, Dates & times.

Created By
Michael Finnegan

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