Press Releases

Ellen Paris, Kiner Communications

On September 11th 2011, Camelot Theatres Presents the 2003 Emmy Award Winning Documentary, "Telling Nicholas." This Critically Acclaimed Film has Earned Honors as One of the Definitive "Must See" Films about the September 11th World Trade Center Attack. Director James Ronald Whitney will appear at both the 1pm Matinee and 6pm Red Carpet Screening for Post-Screening Q&A Sessions. Proceeds Benefit Variety—The Children's Charity of the Desert.

(Palm Springs, CA. – August 23, 2011) "TELLING NICHOLAS" documents the heart-wrenching, yet hopeful days, in seven-year-old Nicholas Lanza's life after his mother (who was initially thought to be missing) was killed in the 9/11 Twin Towers Attack. On the tenth day following the September 11th Attack, Nicholas' father finally tells his son the unthinkable, "Mommy is dead. She is not coming home." That is the subject of "Telling Nicholas," the documentary film that won an Emmy, was inducted into The Museum of Television and Radio, and was selected by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as "One of the most outstanding movies of 2002!" It was also included in the Academy's prestigious documentary series. To learn more about the film and its Director, James Ronald Whitney, visit and, respectively. The film will be screened in Camelot Theatres' 542-seat theater on their new 58' Christie Digital Screen, the largest in the Coachella Valley.

Honoring the tenth anniversary of the September 11th Attack, Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs will present two exclusive screenings of "Telling Nicholas." A matinee will be shown at 1:00pm and a Red Carpet Evening screening will begin at 6:00pm. Director James Ronald Whitney will appear at both Post-Screening Q&A Sessions. Ticket prices are $15 for the afternoon screening and $25 for the Red Carpet evening show.

Whitney also follows 16-year-old Thanbir Ahmed, a Muslim, whose father, a waiter at Windows on the World, also died that day. Whitney explores the evolving friendship between these two boys from very different cultures brought together by tragedy.

This riveting yet sensitive 90-minute film melds hope and loss, honoring all of the families whose lives were shattered on that brilliantly beautiful Tuesday morning ten years ago. All who have seen this film come away shaken yet thankful for this "insider's view" into a very private and personal dimension of the September 11th World Trade Center Attack.

Tickets can be purchased at The Camelot Theatre Box Office, by phone at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) Monday-Friday, 6am to 6pm, and online at, or

Camelot Theatres is located at 2300 East Baristo Road in Palm Springs. The phone number is (760) 325-6565.

James Ronald Whitney is a full-time, Palm Springs resident and chose Palm Springs over New York City for this Special Encore Feature Presentation of "Telling Nicholas" this September 11th honoring the ten-year anniversary of that tragic day.
Emmy Award Winning film director, James Ronald Whitney, won critical acclaim for "Telling Nicholas," and his other award-winning film prior to "Telling Nicholas," "Just Melvin." He has been interviewed by every major broadcast outlet and featured on The Oprah Show, Deborah Norville on Inside Edition, Anderson Cooper, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, Howard Stern, CNN Headline News and CNN Talk Back Live and The View—to name only a few. "Telling Nicholas" was prominently and positively reviewed by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, New York Newsday, Daily News, TV Guide, Boston Globe, Variety, Los Angeles Times, as well as countless other national publications. 
Film Critics Roger Ebert and The New York Observer's Rex Reed, as well as numerous major news and entertainment outlets, also gave Whitney the much-coveted "Thumbs Up!" for his other Award-Winning films, "Just Melvin," "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" and his 'work-in-progress,' ""  The former is another difficult, heart-wrenching story that needed to be told of James and his family's multi-generational history of child abuse.  In fact, of that film, in addition to his "THUMBS UP!,"  Roger Ebert furthered, "JUST MELVIN" is one of the best documentaries I have EVER seen!"

For more information about the Director, James Ronald Whitney, visit



September 11th, 2011 marks the
10-Year Anniversary of James Ronald Whitney's Emmy Award Winning film,

"Telling Nicholas"

On Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 6PM
Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA will be hosting a
Red-Carpet Gala and Special Feature Encore Presentation of Whitney's
documentary that was both inducted into The Museum of Television and Radio,
and chosen by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as
"One of the most outstanding movies of 2002," and included in the Academy's prestigious series.

TIME Magazine describes the film as,
"WRENCHING!...James Ronald Whitney does something different!...
"Telling Nicholas" can be cathartic and even funny, but it is not easy to watch...
Discomfortingly private, yet strangely mediated."

There will also be an earlier 1PM matinee screening of Whitney's film that same day,
and both screenings of "Telling Nicholas" will be followed by a Q&A with the director.
All proceeds will benefit Variety--The Children's Charity of The Desert!

or call (888) 71-TICKETS or (888) 718-4253
Camelot Theatres (760) 325-6565
2300 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs, CA

NEW YORK, September--AND THE EMMY GOES TO... Director, James Ronald Whitney, recieved the Emmy Award for his critically acclaimed movie, "Telling Nicholas," which premiered on HBO in 2002.

The film documented ten days in 7-year-old Nicholas Lanza's life after his
mother was killed in the fall of the twin towers. The film also follows
16-year-old Thanbir Ahmed, a Muslim, whose father was killed in the same
attack. Ahmed joined Whitney and Fire Island Films' executive producer
Richard Reichgut, at the Awards Ceremony.

In a grateful acceptance, Whitney thanked not only "... the two brave and
courageous young men and their families for telling their heart-wrenching
stories," but also the entire Home Box Office team, headed by executive
producer Sheila Nevins and producer Lisa Heller for helping to remind the
world that although the New York City skyline can and will be rebuilt, the
families who lost their loved-ones will be at a loss forever.

James recently completed his latest film titled, "Games People Play: New
York," which received 4 stars from the Chicago Film Critic's Association, and he is currently working on the sequel, "Games People Play: Hollywood."

"Telling Nicholas" will have an Encore Presentation Wednesday, September
10th on HBO (see your local guide for details). For more information on
" Telling Nicholas" visit Additionally, The ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES has chosen "Telling Nicholas" as one of the most outstanding movies of 2002. The Academy will be presenting this film to the general public as part of their prestigious series during the evening of Wednesday, October 1, 2003 at UCLA's James Bridges Theater. Whitney, will attend this special screening. For additional information, visit

'Telling Nicholas' Nominated for Emmy Award James Ronald Whitney's TV-Film Explores Child's Reaction to Losing Mom in 9-11

NEW YORK, July 22 -- How do you tell your son that his Mommy is never coming home? "Telling Nicholas," an HBO TV-film that documented tendays in a child's life after the fall of the twin towers, has been nominated for an Emmy Award. As images of falling towers, debris clouds anddisaster recede into the annals of history, award-winning filmmaker JamesRonald Whitney has poignantly captured one moment that seven-year-old Nicholas Lanza will never forget -- the moment of realization when he discovered that his mother was never coming home from her job at Fiduciary Trust on the 97th floor of Tower Two at The World Trade Center.

Although Whitney focuses on one American family, like so many, Nicholas' grandmother simply blamed all Muslims for the loss of her daughter."I want them all tortured," she explained, while sitting on her front porch."Their hair plucked out, their fingernails ripped off one by one ... men women and children, all of them." That was until little Nicholas befriended Thanbir Ahmed, a 16-year-old Muslim boy whose father was killed in the attack, explains James Ronald Whitney, whose premiere film "Just Melvin," won numerous awards at film festivals both nationally and internationally. "Ahmed becamepart of my film crew, and ultimately, these two American families -- one Christian, the other Muslim -- walked hand in hand to the memorial of Nicholas's 36-year-old mother, Michele Lanza."

Unlike the other nominated films which have several contributors sharing the category nomination, James Ronald Whitney single-handedly produced, wrote, directed, edited and even composed the theme song to his film. Whitney's gripping narrative moves the documentary rapidly from scene to heart-wrenching scene, as psychotherapist Dr.Gilda Carle compassionately guides Nicholas' family throughout the telling ordeal.

For more about "Telling Nicholas," visit the website at

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"Telling Nicholas-a look at a Staten Island family that, after 10 days of making excuses, has to tell a boy that his mother won't ever come home incredible microscopic look at the effect and devastation of the Twin Towers tragedy on one American family. The film reveals in intimate detail the suffering of one family and one can only imagine the reverberation and effect on the thousands of American families effected by September 11. This was something so horrible. It's dizzying and sadness. Somehow, though, it has made me feel useful about what it is I do as a programmer."
--Sheila Nevins
HBO's Executive Vice President of Original Programming


NEW YORK, NY, February 14, 2002 - Filmmaker James Ronald Whitney and HBO have signed a deal for his feature-length documentary TELLING NICHOLAS. The film is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Sunday, May 19, 2002 at 10:00 PM ET as part of HBO's new season of AMERICAN UNDERCOVER SUNDAYS following SIX FEET UNDER. HBO bought the exclusive broadcast rights to license TELLING NICHOLAS ( in the United States and the deal was brokered by Whitney's rep., John Sloss.

"TELLING NICHOLAS is an incredible microscopic look at the effect and devastation of the Twin Towers tragedy on one American family," said Sheila Nevins, HBO's Executive Vice President of Original Programming. "The film reveals in intimate detail the suffering of one family and one can only imagine the reverberation and effect on the thousands of American families effected by September 11."

Within hours of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, flyers depicting missing loved ones wallpapered New York City. Among the thousands posted was one that sought information about Michele Lanza, the mother of seven-year-old Nicholas. In TELLING NICHOLAS, James Ronald Whitney, chased from his apartment by the debris cloud caused by the falling towers and then temporarily left without a home, tells the powerful story of Nicholas and his father, who waited 10 days before telling him that his mother was dead. The film was completed just a few weeks after that conversation between Nicholas and his father about the loss of his mother.

"HBO's Sheila Nevins and Lisa Heller have been extremely supportive of this film," said Whitney, who in addition to being a filmmaker is also Vice President at the Wall Street investment banking division of The Royal Bank of Canada. "There are countless stories of loss and suffering as well as those of love and support. With the tremendous popularity of HBO, I'm certain that the story of Nicholas and his mother will forever remind people of the devastation caused by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center."

According to statistics in a recent article in New York Magazine about the effects of the September 11 tragedy on families and children, "Řas many as 10,000 children (sic) lost a parent on September 11th. That is the saddest figure that the day produced."

In 2001, HBO purchased James Ronald Whitney's award-winning film, JUST MELVIN: JUST EVIL, which premiered April 22, 2001 after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival.

Judy Twersky
Judy Twersky Public Relations, Inc.
(718) 263-6633
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Jennifer Bristol
Judy Twersky Public Relations, Inc.
(718) 263-2376
(718) 263-2394 Fax

From strippers to Sept. 11,
HBO's Sheila Nevins tells it like it is

Multichannel News

For Sheila Nevins, it has always been about keeping it real. Home Box Office's executive vice president of original programming has spent the past 23 years developing and producing documentaries for the premium service... Her annual output schedule includes 13 films for the America Undercover franchise, four late-night shows (Real Sex in its various iterations), three specials, and a baker's dozen worth of documentaries for Cinemax under the Reel Life banner.

Right now, she's charged up about a pair of projects centered on the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, an event that initially left Nevins traumatized.

"At first I was locked inside, watching TV," she said. "I felt like an idiot."

Working on the projects has, to some extent, helped Nevins to heal. In Memoriam: 9/11/01 New York City looks at the "macrocosm of the tragedy, the heart of the people and the city, their calm, their panic, their camaraderie, the work of [former New York Mayor] Rudy Giuliani," said Nevins.

By contrast, Telling Nicholas-a look at a Staten Island family that, after 10 days of making excuses, has to tell a boy that his mother won't ever come home again-is the microcosmic view.

"This was something so horrible," said Nevins. "It's dizzying and sadness. Somehow, though, it has made me feel useful about what it is I do as a programmer."

Ironically, Nevins' passion for reality dates back to her days at Yale University's School of Drama, where she received an master's of fine arts degree. "I already do drama, without actors," she said. "I learned early on that working with actors wasn't something I would want to deal with. I couldn't handle the entourages." For Nevins-who began her career with Don Hewitt as a producer for CBS's Who's Who, and as a writer for the Children's Television Workshop-real life offers all the material she needs.

"I do drama docs, not docudramas. There are more than enough intriguing situations in life."

For franchises like America Undercover and Reel Life, Nevins tries to balance "heat with warmth." This approach to subject matter doesn't just span the human condition. It has practical purposes throughout an annual production schedule... Nonetheless, Nevins maintains that quality is more important than Nielsen results...The reality genre's rise on broadcast television has brought more attention to HBO, she says - with mixed emotions. ..

After nearly a quarter of a century on the job - and having amassed a growing collection of Academy Awards, Emmys, Cable Aces and George Foster Peabody Awards - Nevins has no plans to stop anytime soon...Nevins said she's never considered her job to "be work work. What I have been able to do for more than 20 years here, is like a gift."

LOS ANGELES -- The hit weekly documentary series "America Undercover Sundays" returns for its second season this spring, debuting 12 specials Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. (ET), immediately following new episodes of HBO's hit series "Six Feet Under," it was announced today by Sheila Nevins, executive vice president, original programming, HBO. Running March through May last year, the initial season of "America Undercover Sundays" achieved some of the highest ratings ever for HBO's documentaries, reaching a total audience of 51 million households and 64 million viewers.

The new season of "America Undercover Sundays" will feature a full spectrum of unique, no-holds-barred films that reflect contemporary American issues and topics, from Monica Lewinsky answering questions without restrictions for the first time ever, to the last days of a woman on death row; from a dysfunctional family struggling to survive the drug Ecstasy, to a provocative transgendered love story set in rural Georgia.

Specials include...TELLING NICHOLAS (May 19) documents shattered lives in the wake of Sept. 11 through the eyes of seven-year-old Nicholas, whose mother worked in the World Trade Center. Nicholas struggles to understand how his "mom went missing in one small place," certain she'll be found in "Jersey." Filmmaker James Ronald Whitney (HBO's "Just, Melvin: Just Evil"), who lived and worked blocks from the World Trade Center, uses unique footage shot through his apartment windows, as well as interviews with Nicholas and his family.

...Now in its 19th year, the AMERICA UNDERCOVER provocative anthology series has won critical acclaim and virtually every major programming award. Overall, HBO documentaries have won 43 Emmy Awards, 10 Academy Awards and 16 George Foster Peabody Awards.

*Academy Award and Oscar are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

   © 2001-03 James Ronald Whitney
See the Web sites for the director's other films: Just, Melvin, and Games People Play
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