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30 Days of Philly Arts

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30 Days of Philly Arts: Out of the Clear Blue Sky at Bryn Mawr Film Institute - Day 23

Bryn Mawr Film Institute was founded in 2004 to save the historic Seville Theater in Bryn Mawr, built in 1926 as one of six film palaces of the day along the Main Line. The building had been neglected for decades and was in danger of being repurposed by a health club franchise. After the Institute bought the building in 2004, it was named to the National Register of HIstoric Places in 2005. Restoration of the building is expected to be completed next year.

In that historic space, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute has established itself as a center of film education and a hub for community activities, There are film series, runs of recent films, like the latest Woody Allen movie Blue Jasmine this week, and special screenings like the documentary Out of the Clear Blue Sky this evening.

Out of the Clear Blue Sky is an inside look at Cantor Fitzgerald, the investment bank and brokerage house that was hard hit by the devastation of New York's World Trade Centers on 9/11, losing 658 employees in the attacks. The film focuses on CEO Howard Lutnick, the struggle to save the business, the shock and subsequent community forged among the employees' surviving families.

As a side note, Howard Lutnick has his own Main LIne connection, as a graduate and now Board of Managers Co-Chair of Haverford College.

Danielle Gardner's documentary has been called "Devastatingly original" by The Documentary Channel and the Hollywood Reporter said it has "Enough dramatic twists and turns to fuel a miniseries." It grew out of her own experience losing her brother Doug on 9/11. Here's a Q&A with the filmmaker.

After the film there will be a discussion with Dr. Tim Horner of the Villanova University Center for Peace and Justice Education.

For tickets look here.

Clip from Out of the Clear Blue Sky: