He Went Up, So Others Could Come Down


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About the Film

“Man In Red Bandana” is a documentary film about the inspirational story of an American hero - Welles Remy Crowther. Welles worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower and saved many people on September 11th.  Tragically, he died that day but his heroics became known eight months later as a result of an ordinary item - a red bandana.

The film re-traces Welles’ courageous actions that fateful day, and examines the many people (family, friends and strangers) who have been inspired by Welles’ actions and the unique ways in which they have honored him.

The film is the debut effort of writer and director Matthew Weiss. He first learned of Welles’ remarkable story over lunch with Jefferson Crowther, Welles’ father. Matthew was amazed and inspired. He quickly decided that everyone should hear this story and obtained the Crowther’s permission and blessing to make Man In Red Bandana. Chad A. Verdi and Joshua Sason are signed on as producers. Gwyneth Paltrow is set to narrate, with Michelle Verdi exec-producing and Lyle Lovett performing an original song.

Our film crews have been in Nyack, NY, Ontario, Canada, Atlanta, GA, New York, NY, Asbury Park, NJ, Orlando, FL, Albany, NY, Newton, MA, and Santa Monica, CA, among other places, all in an attempt to produce the most comprehensive piece about Welles ever made. The film is scheduled to be released in 2017.

Verdi Productions, Manga Entertainment and RDZ Productions are producing this project.


This is Welles' Story

Welles Remy Crowther was born on Tuesday, May 17, 1977 at Lying-In Hospital, New York Hospital, NYC. From a very early age on he exhibited fine qualities. He was always polite and well-spoken even from a very early age. He was caring of others, especially his little sister, Honor, and very protective, with a strong sense of duty. He also was tremendously self-disciplined from a very early age.

These qualities of sense of duty and caring for others were a solid part of Welles’ character all throughout his life. His Nyack and college friends, as well as his family, knew this about Welles. He was especially devoted to his family: his parents, two sisters, Honor and Paige, and his grandparents. He was deeply fond of his uncles, aunts, and cousins, as well, and had a strong and enduring sense of family, always. Welles began his life in Pomona, NY, but his family moved to Upper Nyack, NY when Welles was 7 years old. Thus most of his school experiences and early friendships, from 2nd grade onward, were based in Nyack.

Welles attended Upper Nyack Elementary School, joined the Cub Scouts, then Boy Scouts, played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football. For three summers he was the Rockland County Diving Champion for his age group, and participated in sailing and tennis camps in Nyack. Welles then attended Nyack Middle School where he began to play lacrosse and ice hockey in addition to the other sports. He attended Camp Becket, Becket, MA, then he began to attend specialized summer programs for ice hockey and lacrosse. Welles also enjoyed and excelled at skiing, tennis, sailing and, later, golf.


At Nyack High School, Welles was a high honor roll student and was inducted into the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society. He was a top varsity ice hockey and lacrosse player for 4 years. He joined a travelling ice hockey team, the Bear Mountain Bears, his junior and senior years. Welles continued to participate in scouts into high school. He was also a member of Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) and, by invitation, participated in RYLA, a Rotary Club youth leadership conference. He was also invited to attend Camp Sunrise, a unique and specialized leadership camp. Welles graduated with high honors in 1995.

While he was in high school, at the age of 16, Welles joined Empire Hook & Ladder Co., No. 1, Upper Nyack, NY as a junior member. When he turned 18, Welles completed the New York State training program in firematics and became a full member of the company, fighting fires and dealing with emergency situations.

Welles attended Boston College, where he played varsity men’s lacrosse for four years. He graduated in 1999 with a degree in Economics. He was active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a Boston College program that worked with underprivileged youngsters in the Boston area.

After graduation, Welles lived in Hoboken, NJ with Boston College friends for the first year and then in Greenwich Village, NYC with a friend he had met while in Spain.

Welles worked as an intern with the investment banking firm of Sandler O’Neill & Partners during the summer of 1997. During the summer of 1998, he traveled to Spain to participate in a summer program organized by Syracuse University, studying foreign markets. After graduation, Welles joined Sandler O’Neill & Partners, 2 World Trade Center, 104th floor, NYC, working first in research and then as an equities trader after earning his Series 7 license.


On September 11, 2001 when the attacks on the World Trade Center began, Welles was no longer an equities trader. He became a firefighter.

Through telephone calls, Welles was known to have been in his office at approximately 9:00 AM.

However, he was recovered on March 19, 2002 along with NYFD firefighters and emergency services personnel who had been operating a NYFD Command Center in the lobby of the South Tower.

Welles’ final hour remained a mystery until an article about September 11th printed in The New York Times (5/26/02) mentioned eyewitness reports of a mysterious man in a red bandanna on the 78th floor Sky Lobby of 2 World Trade Center when the second plane crashed into the south tower.

This is where Welles was likely to have been at that time, since he was ultimately able to get down to the main lobby before the tower collapsed.

Eyewitnesses reported that, after the plane had hit into the Sky Lobby, a man suddenly appeared “out of nowhere”. He was stripped to his T-shirt and wearing a red bandanna to cover his nose and mouth, protection against the smoke and debris.

This man organized a rescue effort on the floors high above where the official rescue workers were able to reach. He called for fire extinguishers, he found and directed dazed and confused victims to the only stairwell that was open for escape, and he carried a woman down to the 61st floor, then returned to the 78th floor to rescue more people. He turned back up once again after bringing the second group of survivors down.

Eyewitnesses report that the man spoke calmly, with authority, and was obviously well trained. He is reported to have saved many lives that day.

Knowing that her son always carried a red bandanna in his back right pocket, Welles’ mother believed that the description of the mysterious man fit her son: his character, his training and his likely location at the time. She sent recent photographs of her son to the eyewitnesses.

The witnesses confirmed that Welles Crowther was the “Man in the Red Bandanna” who helped to save their lives and others on September 11th.

The Crowther Family ultimately learned, almost 3 years later, that Welles and the members of FDNY with whom he was recovered, had been on their way back up the South Tower with a Hearst “jaws of life” tool to free victims who were trapped under debris, presumably in the Sky Lobby.


In The Press

Inc Magazine
5 Lessons From An Amazing Traffic Lawyer-Turned-Filmmaker 9/5/17

The Daily Gazette
9/11-themed film by former Albany resident to play at Proctors 9/5/17

Connecticut Post
Inspiring 9/11 documentary, ‘Man in Red Bandana,’ at Danbury Palace 9/2/17

Hartford Courant
Sept. 11 Rescue Story 'Man In Red Bandana' In Danbury 9/1/17

Providence Monthly
Local Filmmakers Honor an Unsung Hero 8/30/17

Ramapo Daily Voice
Film About Nyack Native Who Saved Lives On 9/11 Debuting In Suffern 8/24/17

Journal News
'Red Bandana' Film To Premiere At Suffern's Lafayette Theater 8/23/17

Hollywood Reporter
"Man In Red Bandana" Trailer Tells Of 9/11 Heroism  8/18/17

People Magazine
9/11 Hero Welles Crowther, ‘the Man in the Red Bandana,’ Still Inspires Others to Do Good 4/27/17

9/11 Documentary In Narrated By Gwyneth Paltrow Development  9/9/16

15 Years Later, Parents Grieve 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther: 'I Weep Every Day for My Son' 9/9/16

Yahoo! - Verdi Productions and Manga Entertainment Team Up With RDZ Productions on a 9/11 Documentary Entitled "Man in Red Bandana" Written and Directed by Matthew J. Weiss 9/9/16 - Verdi Productions and Manga Entertainment Team up with RDZ Productions on a 9/11 Documentary entitled “Man in Red Bandana” written and directed by Matthew J. Weiss 9/9/16

Journal News - 9/11 'Bandana' film: 'He went up so others could come down' 9/6/16

Daily Voice - New Documentary Highlights 9/11 Heroics Of Upper Nyack 'Man In Red Bandana' 9/6/16


See It In Theaters*

NY & NJ  

Art Is Alive Film Festival
New York, NY, Oct 27

Lafayette Theater
(World Premiere)
Suffern, NY,  Sept 6

Showcase Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas
Brooklyn, NY, Sept 8-14

AMC Loews 19th Street, East 6
New York, NY, Sept 7 & 11  &

Bow Tie Cinemas Fine Arts
New City, NY, Sept 8-21

Bellmore Playhouse
East Meadow, NY,  Sept 8-14

Elwood Cinema
Elwood, NY,  Sept 8-14

Burns Film Center
Pleasantville, NY, Sept 13

AMC Loews Palisades Center 21 (SOLD OUT)
West Nyack, NY, Sept 28

AMC Loews Webster 12
Webster, NY, Sept 14

Schenectady, NY, Sept 9-10

YMCA Boulton Center For The Performing Arts
Bay Shore, NY, Sept 13

Valley Cinemas
Little Falls, NY, Sept 8-14

New Vision Cranford Theater
Cranford, NJ, Sept 8-14



Showcase Providence
Providence, RI, Sept 8-21

Palace Danbury Theatre
Danbury, CT, Sept 8

Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas
New Haven, CT, Sept 8-14

Nickelodeon Cinemas
Portland, ME, Sept 11

Cinemagic Portsmouth
Portsmouth, NH, Oct 12

Landmark Embassy
Waltham, MA, Sept 25 

Patriot Cinemas
Hingham, MA, Sept 11

Patriot Cinemas
Hanover, MA Sept 10

The Casella Theater
Castleton, VT Feb 15, 2018
(no pre-sales)













*Click here to see screening times and theater addresses


The Davis Theater
Chicago, IL, Sept 8 -14

AMC Loews Quarry Cinemas 14
Hodgkins, IL , Sept 12

Tivoli Theater
Downers Grove, IL, Sept 11

Virginia Theatre
Champaign, IL, Oct 20

Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON at the West End (SOLD OUT)
St Louis Park, MN, Sept 12

Rodeo Theater
Burwell, NE, Sept 11

Circle Cinema
Tulsa, OK, Sept 11

Louise C. Murdock Theatre
Wichita, KS, Sept 15

AMC Flatiron Crossing 14 Broomfield, CO, Sept 11

Waco Hippodrome
Waco, TX, Sept 11

Megaplex Salt Lake City at The Gateway
Salt Lake City, UT, Sept 8-21

Megaplex 17 At Thanksgiving Place
Lehi, UT, Sept 8-21

Inspiration Studios
West Allis, WI, Sept 28


Savor Cinema Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sept. 13 -14

Cinema Paradiso
Hollywood, FL, Sept 23 & 24

Rialto 8
Lady Lake, FL, Oct 5

New Vision Fleming Island
Fleming, FL, TBD

Cobb Theatre - Countryside 12
Clearwater, FL, Sept 30 & Oct 1

AMC Park Place 16 (SOLD OUT)
Morrisville, NC, Sept 13

Camelot Theater - Greenville
Greenville, SC, Sept 14


Napa Valley Intl Film Festival
Napa Valley, CA, Nov 9 & 11

Coronado Island Film Festival
Coronado Island, CA, Nov 9-12

Laemmle's Music Hall
Los Angeles, CA, Sept 8-14

Reading Cinemas Town Sq. 14
San Diego, CA, Nov 9

Cameo Cinema
St. Helena, CA, Sept 11

Mary D. Fisher Theatre 
Sedona, AZ,  Sept 10

Liberty Theatre - Camas
Camas, WA, Sept 10-11