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arts & leisure

Local filmmaker produces 9/11 documentary


September 13, 2012

SOMERSET, PA — Eleven years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, a local filmmaker has joined the production team of a documentary that uncovers a story from that day that most people don’t know.

Ryan Balton, who grew up in Dingman Township and graduated from Delaware Valley in 2007, is supervising the post-production of “We Were Quiet Once,” a feature-length documentary film that tells the story of people on the ground in Somerset County who witnessed the tragic crash of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

“We Were Quiet Once” is currently featured on Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects. The production team is hoping to raise $6,000 by the end of September to cover the costs of editing, finishing and distributing the film. To contribute, visit www.wewerequietonce.com.

Balton has teamed up with executive producer and director Laura Beachy, who grew up in Somerset and was one of Balton’s classmates at Syracuse University. Balton and Beachy hope to screen “We Were Quiet Once” at a future Black Bear Film Festival and other events in the tri-state area.

The film follows three people in particular to memorialize the tragedy: Father Al, a former Catholic priest who found purpose by opening a non-denominational memorial chapel; Terry, who was working in a junkyard next to the crash site that morning and saw the plane go down; and Rick, a volunteer firefighter who responded to the call and now organizes an annual motorcycle ride among the three crash sites. The expected release is January 2013.