Discovery+ nabbed the distribution rights to “No Responders Left Behind,” a feature documentary chronicling Jon Stewart and two other activists as they fight to get health benefits and compensation for 9/11 first responders. Stewart’s work on this issue has been well known for some time, and now his collaborators will get the spotlight too. The film also highlights the work of first responder and 9/11 social activist John Feal and FDNY hero Ray Pfeifer as they work with the former “Daily Show” host to secure benefits for all.
Announced on the morning of Discovery’s upfront presentation to advertisers, this is one of the first projects the streamer revealed since news of its merger with WarnerMedia hit yesterday. While the decision has many in the media world scratching their heads with its mix of news and high- and low-culture hits, “No Responders Left Behind” is the kind of high-profile project that would seem to justify the logic behind the unexpected merger. It’s obviously emotional — something Discovery content has long tapped into — and also offers the grit of WarnerMedia’s non-fiction properties, including CNN..
Shot over five years, “No Responders Left Bheind” follows Stewart, Feal and Pfeifer as they take on the U.S. government in their fight to secure benefits for the thousands of responders who are suffering with life-threatening and financially devastating illnesses from toxins released at Ground Zero after 9/11.
“’No Responders Left Behind’ is a profile of the grit and perseverance of a few determined individuals who fought to ensure the rights of the men and women who who put their health on the line and showed up to help in the days and weeks that followed that fateful day 20 years go,” said Lisa Holme, SVP of Content and Commercial Strategy, Discovery, Inc. “This compelling film does what we set out to do with discovery+ documentaries: tell the most important stories of our time and help give a voice to the voiceless.”
The film is produced by Paradox Pictures Inc., directed by Rob Lindsay and produced by Kelly Zemnickis, Kristine Yanoff and Jaime Sanchez.
“I am grateful Jon Stewart and John Feal allowed me to document their journey for justice,” said Lindsay in a statement. “’No Responders Left Behind’ shines a light on a group of grass roots social activists who challenged the system and won. I am thrilled to partner with discovery+ to bring these stories to life.”