Producer's Statement
Initial Call to Filmmakers

One week after the events of September 11th, independent filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi put out a call to over 150 experimental and documentary filmmakers asking for contributions to a collective film project addressing those tragic events and their aftermath. The response was overwhelming and “Underground Zero” is the result.


Like everyone else in America, we both were glued to the television on the days immediately following September 11th. Although we felt shocked and horrified by the attacks and the devastation, we also felt frustrated by the media’s coverage. It was as if the media had decided what we, as Americans, were supposed to think and feel.

In reaction to the paucity of rational debate and soul searching, we felt a need both to speak out for ourselves and to create a forum for others to speak out for themselves as well.

Thus was born "Underground Zero," a collaborative project conceived as a means of counteracting the silencing of voices that was occurring in the mainstream media. We were able to quickly contact over a hundred fellow filmmakers and ask them to contribute shorts to a collective "omnibus" film project (see Initial Call).

The response was overwhelming, and the result is a historical document which we believe embodies the ideals upon which America was founded: pluralism, tolerance, and self-rule.

Today, more than ever, there is a need for diverse voices to be
heard. "Underground Zero" is our attempt to make a meaningful contribution to the current political and cultural discourse.

-Jay Rosenblatt & Caveh Zahedi

The producers wish to thank The Funding Exchange and The Ladder Foundation for their support.


© Copyright 2002. Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi.