Short Film Profile

Breaking News, Breaking Down

They told the greatest stories of our time, they just didn't tell their own stories until now. Mike Walter, a 4 time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist as he tells how he was overwhelmed by his emotions following the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. At first he's puzzled by his response. He has seen a lot of bad stuff in his life chasing breaking news, and has always been able to handle it. But over time Walter learns that journalists can be impacted by trauma not unlike soldiers, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders. He focuses his film on himself, David Handshuh a photojournalist in New York who was physically injured in the 9/11 attacks there, and John McCusker a photojournalist who helped the New Orleans Times Picayune win two Pulitzer Prizes following Hurricane Katrina. This is a story of tragedy, trauma, and eventual triumph as Walter finds meaning as he travels with other trauma journalists to New Orleans following Katrina to help in rebuilding homes and the spirits of the journalists in the Crescent City.

Film notes

Breaking News, Breaking Down has been described by critics as "Inherently Gripping", the film is semi autobiographical.

Mike Walter never set out to become a Writer/Director of Documentary films. For decades he was a successful broadcast journalist. In 2001 he was working for USA TODAY when he witnessed the American Airlines jet dropping from the sky and slamming into the Pentagon. Thus began his journey as a filmmaker. He spent years trying to make sense of why he was impacted so severely by the attack. He handled lots of bad stories in the past, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and he had even spent some time in a war zone. But 9/11 impacted him in a way he never could have predicted. In his journey to learn more about why trauma was impacting him so intensely, he learned he wasn't alone. There were other journalists grappling with their emotions as well. The end result is a gripping 36 minute film. Walter left his job as a successful Monday through Friday anchor at the CBS station in Washington in February of 2009 to nurture along his film. "It was too important just to make it and send it on it's way! I wanted to make sure as many people could see this film as possible. I think it has done wonders for the journalists who have seen it, and I think it has left audience members with a deeper appreciation of what journalists do. That has made it all worth while." Walter is currently working on two film projects, one on award winning photojournalists, the other is a film about people with rare diseases who feel as though they don't have a voice in the current health care debate in Washington.
mike walter news david handshuh 9/11 hurricane katrina




Copyright © 2008 Walter Media

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Previous screenings

Accolade Competition | 2009
8 Apr | La Jolla, United States
16 Apr – 26 Apr | Washington, United States
15 Jun – 20 Jun | Toronto, Canada
24 Jul – 31 Jul | Long Beach, United States
22 Aug – 28 Aug | Garden Grove, United States
9 Sep – 13 Sep | Temecula, United States
Norrkoping Film Festival Flimmer | 2009
2 Oct – 11 Oct | Norrköping, Sweden
13 Nov – 15 Nov | Morgan Hill, United States
5 Dec – 6 Dec | Louisville, United States
17 Jan | Phoenix, United States
14 Apr – 18 Apr | Kansas City, United States
16 Apr – 18 Apr | Jackson, United States
12 May – 22 May | Cannes, France
12 May – 23 May | Cannes, France

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Related news

Breaking News, Breaking Down has received a new award at Kansas City FilmFest. | more...
29 April 2010
Breaking News, Breaking Down has received a new award at Moving Pictures Film Contest. | more...
3 February 2010
Breaking News, Breaking Down has received a new award at Dark River Film Festival. | more...
13 December 2009
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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 23 May 2010