Paul Eliacin is a man who lived and grew through his adversities. He was one of the brave responders to the 9/11 incident, who saved the lives of many while risking his own. Because of his efforts, Paul now suffers from a life-threatening respiratory disease that has killed hundreds of his fellow responders so far.
Paul has received several letters of praise and commendations from individuals and politicians, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Council members, and Harlem Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
His heroism changed the course of the many lives who were present during the accident. Paul is an exceptional human being in his own right, but he believes that he only did what was the right thing to do at that time and situation. “I don’t consider myself a hero, and despite the consequences I now suffer, I’d do it all over again in service to my country,” Paul said.
Even before the incident, the modern hero used film and television as platforms to influence and tell the stories of the voiceless. Much of his films reflect his life and his experiences, including his experience as an ex-convict. Asked why he chose film as an avenue, Paul said, “I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, in a positive way.”
Paul has been through many painful stages, but he persevered through them all, drawing his strength from God. “With the grace of God, I was able to learn from my past mistakes and apply them to myself. I made a 180-degree turn,” Paul said. As he commemorates the 9/11 tragedy, Paul acknowledges that he is able to cope and stay strong amid his sickness because of God.
Paul learned filmmaking from experience and carefully studied the ins and outs of the industry. He tentatively watched big-name directors throughout their careers and slowly mastered the ropes through observation. Paul began his career with director Matty Rich in his film called Straight Out of Brooklyn. Later on, he became a theatrical teamster with Local 817 in 1990.
Since then, Paul has worked on iconic films such as Boomerang, One Fine Day, Conspiracy Theory, Men in Black, and First Wives Club. He has also been part of the success of various television shows such as New York UnderCover, Sopranos, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Law and Order: SUV, where he has been assigned for the past 20 years.
Aside from that, Paul was also a field producer for The Week in Review, a highly rated political talk show in New York City with Bob Slade, Bob Pickett, Peter Noel, James Mtume, and Chares “The Cut Man” Etheridge.
Bringing all the knowledge he acquired throughout his time in the industry, he set out on a new venture. Paul built his own company called Up In Harlem, LLC. The film company is independently owned and is located in the newly-diversified community of Harlem. It was created for his upcoming movie called Up in Harlem. The urban action film focuses on a family struggling to survive in the ghetto. The movie will be featuring American rapper, actor, and songwriter Ice-T. The film aims to serve as a beacon for aspiring young filmmakers with dreams of documenting cultural trends to impact a worldwide audience.
To continue using his talent to create impacts, Paul plans on telling the story he experienced at Ground Zero. He wants to share unseen footage of the 9/11 tragedy for its 20th anniversary by collaborating with personalities in the industry. Paul is seeking a TV network to tell his story. “I was a part of history in the making. I have more than five hours or raw never-before-seen footage, over 300 previously unpublished photos and interviews inside Ground Zero,” said Paul. Indeed, the filmmaker deserves the avenue and the opportunity to bring his firsthand experience into the light.Learn more about Paul Eliacin on his website, and contact him on his Instagram (@paulee_paul) or through his email, [email protected].