2002-08-31 / Front Page

Oprah’s Network Showcases "Women of Rockaway"

Film Captures the Courage and
Pain of 9/11 Widows and Relatives
By Gary G. Toms

Oprah's Network Showcases "Women of Rockaway"
Film Captures the Courage and
Pain of 9/11 Widows and Relatives
By Gary G. Toms


With backers like Paul Allen and America Online, and partners like Oprah Winfrey and production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, Laybourne has been able to raise several hundred million dollars to help develop the network and innovative programming to insure its success.With backers like Paul Allen and America Online, and partners like Oprah Winfrey and production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, Laybourne has been able to raise several hundred million dollars to help develop the network and innovative programming to insure its success.

With September 11 fast approaching, many television networks will be broadcasting a number of special programs honoring those who were killed during the attacks. "Women of Rockaway", a documentary film produced by Kevin and Rosemary Breslin (the son and daughter of legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin) and Tony Dunne, is expected to have a major impact on audiences across the nation.

The film, which will air on the Oxygen Network (Time Warner Cable - Channel 61) on September 11, at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., is a documentary that features women of the Rockaway community sharing stories about how they have coped, how they have helped each other, and how they continue to face each new day with the support of the community.

The Breslins, and Dunne, acknowledge that they made "Women of Rockaway" as a testament to the spirit of community that lives inside Americans.

"The neighborhoods of Rockaway are a shining example of how neighbors, friends, and families come together in times of crisis and emerge stronger. This is our way of honoring the women and the heroism of these brave firefighters, police officers and civilians," said the filmmakers.

The network, brainchild of former Nickelodeon chairwoman Geraldine Laybourne--one of the most accomplished women executives in the cable industry--has substantial financial support and an unrivaled stable of talent. With backers like Paul Allen and America Online, and partners like Oprah Winfrey and production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, Laybourne has been able to raise several hundred million dollars to help develop the network and innovative programming to insure its success.

Time Warner Cable, working in tandem with the Oxygen Network to broadcast the film, has come forward to offer assistance to the children who have lost their fathers, mothers, and other family members in the aftermath of the attacks.

"In an effort to not only honor your community, but to strengthen it as well, Time Warner Cable will underwrite an Art Therapy program to begin later this year at P.S. 114 in Belle Harbor," said Barry Rosenblum, President of Time Warner Cable.

"It is our sincere hope that this program will give the children who attend that school, and face such extraordinary challenges, a means of healing through artistic expression."

The Wave served as a research and resource center for the filmmakers during the pre-production stage of the project. Front-page stories, contact names, special features on the victims who perished, and unlimited access to Wave archives were all provided to the production team.

"This is a very important project because Rockaway is a microcosm for women all over the city, and because Rockaway was so hard hit by not just September 11, but by the crash of Flight 587," said Kevin Breslin.

Laybourne, believes the film serves as a moving tribute to women in the Rockaway community who are fighting to overcome their of sense of pain and loss.

"We are so proud to be able to bring this film to you and to remember the heroes of September 11, your heroes, in this way," said Laybourne.

The Wave contacted Harpo Studios in effort to obtain commentary from Winfrey about the film, and one of her staffers informed us that she is currently on hiatus.


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