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"Behind Blue Sky" Receives Praise and Awards

A high contrast black and white photo of a woman's face against a black background

Behind Blue Sky, co-produced by Maria Hodermarska and Nisha Sajnani of the NYU Program in Drama Therapy, is a short documentary that explores the psychosomatic impact of 9/11 twenty years later in the lives of people of color living in New York City. We're thrilled to share that this film just won Best Documentary at the Feel the Reel International Film Festival and Best Black Lives Matter film at the Amsterdam International Film Festival. Behind Blue Sky was directed by Armand Volkas, filmed by Jesse Bonnell, and features original music by alum Lynn Hodeib.

Stories in the media about 9/11 have often ignored the voices, concerns and experiences of people of color and the stories of Muslim Americans impacted on that day. The film explores the impact of 9/11 on members of the ensemble, all of whom identify as Black or Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Through memories, dream work and Playback Theatre, the visceral experience of 9/11 and its ongoing impact is explored within our current political and social context.

“This felt like the right project to do now,” said Sajnani. “Especially as we are going from one uncertainty to the next. This is the legacy of trauma. You can’t close the chapter by tying it up in a neat bow.” 

Further details about the making of Behind Blue Sky are shared in “What Does 9/11 Mean to New York City Today?”

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