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By Phil Hall | September 2, 2003

Where were you when you heard about the siege at Columbine? Filmmaker Ben Coccio remembers very well: he was in a pizza parlor in Brooklyn watching the story unfold on television. But for Coccio, the Columbine attack became much more than a shocking news story. Over time, it inspired him to dig deep into the minds and souls of the two troubled teens who brought their anger and frustration to a bloody explosion.

Coccio, who had already gained attention for directed several well-regarded short films, used the Columbine attack as the foundation of his first feature. The result is Zero Day, a chilling exploration which uses a video diary format to document two alienated teenagers in their slow but inevitable descent to violence. Unlike Michael Moore’s grandstanding Bowling for Columbine, which points fingers all over the place in trying to assign guilt for the massacre, Zero Day literally zeroes in on the heart and soul of the matter: two troubled boys who are unable to connect with their environment and who come to the horrible conclusion that they have a special mission to rid their world of the problems which they believe are the plague of their existence.

Coccio’s Zero Day has scored a 10 on the festival circuit, winning awards at Slamdunk, Atlanta, and Film Fest New Haven. The film has been acquired by Avatar Films, a major independent distributor, and will have its theatrical debut on September 3 at New York’s prestigious Film Forum. Film Threat caught up with the 28-year-old filmmaker as he prepares to bring Zero Day to theatrical channels.

Get the interview in part two of BEN COCCIO: AIMING FOR “ZERO DAY”>>>

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