Robert Deniro: Robert Millard/ZUMA Press
Gary Susman
February 20, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

TUBE TALK Is he talking to you? He will be, if you tune in to CBS’ ”9/11” special on March 10, which Robert De Niro will host. For the two-hour documentary, featuring never-before-seen footage of the World Trade Center attacks and rescue efforts, De Niro seemed a natural choice as host. ”Robert De Niro is a quintessential New Yorker who has been instrumental in building up the TriBeCa neighborhood, in the very area of the city that was devastated by the September 11 attacks,” said Vanity Fair magazne editor Graydon Carter, who coproduced the film and asked De Niro to participate. ”He has been an active spokesman for TriBeCa, and for all New Yorkers, for more than three decades.” De Niro lives and works in the neighborhood (his production office is there, and he is an investor in several area restaurants) that is just north of Ground Zero, and he has been active in recent months in relief-effort fundraising.

The special is built around video shot by brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, documentary filmmakers who were working on a movie about Lower Manhattan’s Engine 7, Ladder 1, a fire company with a 230-year history, when the attacks occurred. Not only did they capture the only known footage of the first plane hitting the north tower, but they also accompanied the firefighters and got the only known footage of the rescue efforts inside that building. CBS will donate money raised by the broadcast to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund….

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