Ever since the appearance of Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was surrounded by news reporters, at Ground Zero 19 years ago, much has been written about the deadly 9/11 attacks back in September of 2001. The terrorist attempt, which took the lives of over 3,000 innocent men, women, and children, is still highly discussed until today. And Paul Eliacin has a lot to offer to this discourse.
As a first responder, Paul witnessed the traumatic experience firsthand. He was among the people who braved the dangers of rescuing others who were caught in the terrorist attack. Paul has never-before-seen footage that stretches over five hours, and 300 unpublished photos and interviews on Ground Zero. He wants to share these with the world, not to inflict more emotional distraught to the victims but to be a message of hope and communion.
Paul shared, “I can humbly reveal that I am a 9/11 First Responder, who in effect gave his life trying to rescue others. Because of my efforts at the tragic site, I am now sick with a life-threatening respiratory disease that has so far killed hundreds of my fellow responders.” To him, it is high time that the priceless information he has in his possession be revealed to the world—as part of the country’s history.
New Yorkers always come together in time of needs, like the beautiful story of the film industry selflessly helping in ground zero by donating generator lights, grip stands, cable, and local #52 IATSE motion picture studio mechanics. Along with local 817 IBT, theatrical teamsters did the very same thing that they do each and every day on a movie set: lighting the pile so that the firefighters could see at night to save lives.
They say experiences are your best teachers. This is true to Paul’s life—both in the tragedy and his early years. He spent his teenage years behind bars, and it would seem that Paul had nothing but a bad record. However, he persevered, motivated himself, and found a purpose for his life as a filmmaker and entrepreneur. Paul is the CEO and founder of Up In Harlem LLC, a filmmaking company in the States. Paul grew to be a reputable filmmaker in the entertainment industry because of the knowledge he gained while collaborating with other filmmakers. According to Paul, he learned to create movies by observing the careers of many big directors in the industry.
He became part of the production of a myriad of films, including Straight Out of Brooklyn, Boomerang, One Fine Day, Conspiracy Theory, Men in Black, and First Wives Club, among others. He’s held correspondent positions in television programs like New York Under Cover, Sopranos, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: SVU, and The Week in Review. Paul also worked with notable personalities in the media like director Matty Rich, Bob Slade, Bob Pickett, Peter Noel, James Mtume, and Charles “The Cut Man” Etheridge.
Paul uses the learning and experiences he has amassed to lead Up in Harlem LLC. He is now partnering with the incredible Ice-T for an upcoming independent film Up In Harlem, an urban action film about a family struggling to survive the ghetto.
The 180-degree turn Paul took has gained him a highly esteemed career, an up-and-coming company, and vital records for the country’s most talked-about event. He is ready to partner with any company or producer to produce a docuseries containing all of his footage, photographs, and interviews.
In all of Paul’s experiences, he always looks up and thanks God for it. He knows that nothing would be possible without the Man behind all Creation. For Paul, without the protecting hands of God, he wouldn’t have made it out alive back in 9/11. But here he is—with life, a passion, and a mission. “I hope my experience will inspire others to do the same, and more. The message I am sending is that you put God first in everything you do; he will help you take a positive step in the right direction. Trust me on this, I am the perfect example of redemption in action,” Paul concluded.