@radical Turns Camera On FDNY

When Rick Boyko asked Jon Kamen of @radical.media to adapt Brotherhood, Ogilvy & Mather’s coffee-table book about the Fire Department of New York, into a documentary film, Kamen didn’t hesitate. “I said to Rick that I was thrilled to support the project, but it shouldn’t be about 9/11. It should be about brotherhood.”

The resulting movie, directed by Lilibet Foster, follows firefighters in three units beginning 15 months after 9/11. While that day is a constant presence—one unit has the roll-call board from 9/11 encased in plexiglass—the film touches on everything from who cleans the sink in the firehouse to the life-threatening travails firefighters face and the strong bonds they share.

The film premieres tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. Several hundred firefighters and their families and Mayor Bloomberg are expected at the screening. A gala reception at the Winter Garden afterward will feature fireboats deployed in the Hudson River and the Emerald Society, a pipes and drums band of firefighters. “It’s a proud moment for us,” Kamen says.

One thing could make it better. Unlike the book, which American Express helped to bankroll, the movie lacks a sponsor that could distribute it to schools and firefighters around the world. “This is an opportunity for an intelligent company to contribute to something meaningful that will be far more appreciated than any product placement,” Kamen says.