Media Kit
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Media Stills Available HERE for download with permission

Vito After articles …

Vito interviewed about his thoughts on death of Osama Bin Laden
For the VALLEY STREAM HERALD May 12, 2011

Bin Laden’s death ‘bittersweet’ for Valley Streamers

“...Vito Friscia, a now-retired New York Police Department detective, was just a block away from the World Trade Center when the north tower collapsed. He spent several months helping dig through the rubble, and was the subject of a documentary, “Vito After,” about health issues 9/11 workers have dealt with.

“It was great news,” said the Valley Stream father of two about bin Laden’s killing. “I just can’t believe they finally got him.”

Friscia said he found out from his mother, who called him at home and told him to turn on the news. He said the U.S. military should be proud, and he hopes this “cuts the head off” Al Qaeda.

There will never be true closure for Friscia, however. “It’s just one piece of the puzzle that’s taken care of,” he said. “There were a lot of other people involved.” Still, he added, “It was a good moment for America....”

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Vito Friscia was featured in NY1 news, October 2010
(see video segment and article)

A decade later, retired NYPD detective shares story of 9/11 health struggle

“Vito Friscia doesn’t like to talk about September 11th.

The now retired New York City Police Department homicide detective responded that day and spent several months after the terror attacks at the World Trade Center site and at the Fresh Kills landfill. He calls the recovery effort the toughest time in his life…”

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Read about "Vito After" in
MovieMaker Magazine

Winter 2007 Issue (See Pages 70-71)
Cinema 9/11...
by David Geffner


Read about "Vito After" in the Daily News
September 12, 2006


Post-9/11 saga of Ground Zero cop is documented in film

by Ernie Naspretto

A FILMMAKER WHO felt a need to speak for her detective brother-in-law has made a documentary showing his life in the wake of the 9/11 recovery efforts.

"Vito dealt with 9/11 and the months of recovery work with courage and humility. It left me in awe." said filmmaker Maria Pusateri.

"Knowing he was just one of so many that gave of themselves, I wanted to tell his story, not only for him but for all of them," said Pusateri.

"Vito" is Det. Vito Friscia, 40, a New York City homicide detective assigned to Brooklyn, who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and remained at Ground Zero for two weeks.

He then worked at the Staten Island Fresh Kills landfill until March 202, going through debris in search of signs of victims in hopes of bringing closure to their families....Read the rest here

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Sept. 11 Documentary to make L.I. Premiere

Long Island Press - July 7, 2006

A documentary film dedicated to raising awareness about chronic physical illness among 9/11 rescue workers is being screened this month at two Long Island locations.

"The Sept. 11 documentary, Vito After, directed and produced by Maria Pusateri of Syosset, provides an intimate portrait of Vito Friscia—a Brooklyn homicide detective who grew up in Lynbrook. He was one of the 40,000 responders who contributed to rescue and recovery efforts after the terrorist attacks..."

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March 19, 2006

For Documentary Maker, Marketing Is Last Hurdle

by Natalie Canavor
Sunday Late Edition - Final Section 14LI Page 10

EARLIER this month Maria Pusateri of Syosset showed the documentary film she had spent three years making. The film, ''Vito After,'' portrays the recent life of her brother-in-law Vito Friscia, a New York Police Department homicide detective who worked on site during the World Trade Center collapse and later spent months sifting its rubble at a Staten Island landfill. Like many other workers who responded on Sept. 11, he developed a debilitating respiratory illness.

The audience at a Manhattan gathering of the Mystery Writers of America shed a few tears during the 47-minute film and then asked some authorlike questions.

''Did you have an idea of the story beforehand?'' Ms. Pusateri was asked. ''No, I just followed him for two years,'' she said. ''Originally I was interested in the emotional impact of his experience. Who knew that his medical problems would last and be the center of the story''... Read the rest here

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July 31, 2005
by Frank Main

“...The film…deftly shifts from his cop family to his biological family.”
“…it drew praise from Chicago Police Officer Deanna Maldonado…she said the film exposed a side of Friscia that the public rarely sees…

(she) thinks other…Police officers—and their bosses—ought to watch the film. 'The brass should be the first to see it,' she said.”


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Vito After Reviews…

AMC Movie Guide (previously on FilmCritic.com)

“An intriguing and powerful documentary that uses one man's story to personalize the devastating aftermath from the deadliest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil...
While we are living with the political toll every day, the personal side of 9/11 seems mostly forgotten. A fine film like Vito After should remind us that, even if the world realigns itself toward a more peaceful path, that horrific fall event will remain with many of us forever -- whether we like it or not.”
Read the full review here

December 2009

"Vito After...could have easily been schmaltzy and sanctimonious in the hands of a lesser-skilled filmmaker. To the contrary, in this subtle and provocative character study, award-winning director and producer, Maria Pusateri, gives us a poignant and intimate portrait of Detective Friscia's battle with the emotional and physical toll the events of 9/11 have taken on him, his family, his squad, and really all of us. ...He is indeed representative of the overwhelming majority of cops in this country: a dedicated and hardworking professional and family man who is deeply concerned about his community. It is a story whose lessons the rest of us too often forget or ignore, brilliantly told, and that every American should experience."
Read the full review here

December 2009

"Vito After...follows Vito Friscia, a New York City homicide detective who spent months after 9/11 sifting through toxic rubble without adequate face or body protection. Years later he, along with other detectives, is suffering from respiratory-related and other maladies. Friscia is a normal guy with a family who lived through a very abnormal time. This touching film exposes this tragedy's human side and would be an excellent companion to 9/11 classroom instruction."
Read the full review here

December, 2007

"Vito After is highly recommended for academic library collections in the health sciences, particularly environmental health, as well as collections devoted to the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center."

Read the Full review here

June, 2007

"As evidence builds about 9/11's deadly toll on first responders, Maria Pusateri's documentary, "Vito After," tells the moving story of one police officer's journey toward physical and emotional recovery...."Pusateri...succeeds in revealing how the power of family and youth can heal the soul."

Read the Full review here

December, 2006

This tale needs telling
Documentary explores plight of Ground Zero worker
by Robert Mladinich

"....It brilliantly shows the humility that defines true heroism and the often terrible price that real heroes have to pay for their sense of duty." 

Read the full review here

August 2006

"VITO AFTER is a gentle, touching and illuminating chronicle of a deeply unforgettable American story."
-- Jordan Hunter, Indieville

Read the full review here

October 26, 2005

"Vito After is Maria Pusateri's seamless look at the post-9/11 troubles of an NYPD detective who happens to be her brother-in-law. Along with fellow cops and firefighters, he never questioned the dangerous rescue efforts or months of sifting through toxic rubble for evidence of the human toll. Serious health problems now plague many of these public servants. Pusateri observes universal truths through the struggle of one individual, and accomplishes this task with sensitivity and, surprisingly, a few good laughs."

---Susan Green, SEVEN DAYS


July 29, 2005

Vito After is a powerful debut documentary by a filmmaker with a clear knack for what counts: Honesty, detail and compassion.

--- S.T. VanAirsdale, THE REELER

What people are saying about Vito After

"No matter what your involvement with 9/11, Vito After is a must-see documentary. This film captures the realistic reaction of a first responder who has been exposed to a traumatic event and the effects on his/her family."
-- Michael J. Arcari, Director, Faithful Response - www.faithfulresponse.org

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"As evidence builds about 9/11's deadly toll on first responders, Maria Pusateri's documentary, "Vito After," tells the moving story of one police officer's journey toward physical and emotional recovery...."Pusateri...succeeds in revealing how the power of family and youth can heal the soul."

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"An elegant character study ... provocative yet low-key"
-- David Geffner, MovieMaker Magazine

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"The film is as riveting as it is heartbreaking."
-- Ed Mullins, President, NYC Sergeants Benevolent Association

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"In the midst of heavy political propaganda and media exploitation of September 11th, it was a breath of fresh air to watch this profoundly sensitive and unpretentious film about love.  This gem of a film is a powerful reminder of what life is really about." -- Ela Thier, Screenwriter

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"Vito After is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man. Maria Pusateri's documentary focuses on the quiet determination and upbeat attitude of one police officer who was there for us on 9/11, whose life and health were affected by it. Her thoughtful approach and masterful restraint place this hero--and, by extension, all the heroes of that day-- in a clear perspective. The result is an eloquent tribute to the power of the human spirit."
-- Tom Savage, Author

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Vito After chronicles the physical, emotional and spiritual difficulties of just one first responder to the 9/11 attacks. The subject bore witness to things that no human being should ever bear witness to, yet he never seeks solace in a perceived sense of victimization. He is a true hero because his humility will not allow him to see himself in heroic terms. Maria Pusateri's film is a glowing tribute to her brother-in-law, as well as every other rescue worker who put their own safety aside to save the lives of countless strangers. This film is not to be missed!"
-- Retired NYPD Detective Robert Mladinich, Communications Director, NYC Sergeants Benevolent Association
Author of “From the Mouth of the Monster: The Joel Rifkin Story” (Pocket 2001) and “Lethal Embrace” (Kensington, January 2007).

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In one man's story, "Vito After" offers a touching and honest look at the matter-of-fact dedication of New York City's police officers and the consequences they and their families continue to endure almost five years after 9/11.
-- Elizabeth Zelvin, LCSW, CASAC - www.LZcybershrink.com

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"My wife and I simply loved Vito After. ...We both had to laugh a few times during the film because there were so many similarities between Vito's family and our own. As for me, it did stir up some emotions. I felt you did an excellent job in capturing everything Vito (and the rest of us detectives) went through in this post-911 world.

I also want to thank you for making the film. As time goes by, I believe more and more people are going to be sick from working at Ground Zero. I'm not going to blame any one person or group for not properly equipping or warning rescuers ...it was the first time we ever went through anything of this magnitude. I'm a realist...I don't believe anyone could have envisioned that toxic mess. BUT...people must not be allowed to forget that there were people who put others needs before their own and did a job that had to be done. As more people get sick the City, State, and Federal governments have to be held to task to take care of these people.
So, thank you for keeping the whole thing fresh in people's minds 5 years later, and for putting a name and a face to a "rescue worker."

I'm going for my second 911 physical--at my wife's prodding--thanks to your film.

Good luck,
William Kern, NYPD

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