The Parkland mass shooting has inspired a plethora of new documentaries.
Four new documentaries Us Kids, Parkland Rising, Voices of Parkland, and After Parkland explore the tragic school Parkland Shooting incident that took the lives of seventeen people and injured another seventeen patrons that were on school grounds. Feb. 14 marked the two year anniversary of a deranged 19-year-old student who opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida forever changing the lives of those witnessed the tragedy.
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That day and its aftermath has reignited conversations on gun reform legislation and bred a group of young activists that want to directly impact the change on firearm policies across the nation. The Parkland Shooting also inspired a plethora of filmmakers with previously released projects including HBO’s short film Song of Parkland (2019), Charlie Minn’s Parkland: Inside Building 12 (2019), and CBS News' documentary 39Days (2018).
Documentarian, Kim A. Snyder's Us Kids, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The documentary follows the lives of several students who survived the Parkland shooting and entered activism. The film details the teenagers' lives as they struggle with trauma, their new-found 'fame,' and the politics of activism. Snyder is also responsible for the release of Newton (2016), a documentary about the 2012 mass shooting that claimed 28 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Parkland Rising, executive produced by Katie Couric and will.i.am, and directed by Cheryl Horner McDonough premiered at the 2019 Woodstock Film Festival and won an audience award for its performance. This documentary spotlights the aftermath of the shooting and follows those directly affected as some choose to use their experience and platform to promote gun reform.
The third film, Voices of Parkland, from celebrity photographer-turned-filmmaker Jeff Vespa, chronicles individual stories in 'portrait journalism-style' interviews with 35 different students and parents as they detail the one day that would transform their lives forever. Voices of Parkland premiered on Feb. 12 at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles to benefit Brady United Against Gun Violence. Jeff Vespa stated that filming the documentary took a direct toll on his livelihood, as he stated to The Hollywood Reporter:
"I was a real mess. I’m a dad and my wife was pregnant at the time, so here I was flying back and forth from L.A. to Florida, leaving my pregnant wife to listen to stories about children being killed. I came home and was very depressed for a long time; it took a while to get over that."
Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman teamed up with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Hogg, Brooke Harrison, and Sam Zeif for their film After Parkland. Their documentary made its way to the silver screen of 100 different movie theaters across the nation on Feb. 12 in honor of the two year anniversary of the incident and in support of the nationwide Day of Conversation celebration.
As of right now, there are no release dates or concrete platforms that have picked up the four documentaries Us Kids, Parkland Rising, Voices of Parkland, and After Parkland to premiere. But with all of them being so well-received by their audience, there's a good chance each one has the possibility to make its way to a major network or streaming platform.
Check out the official trailer for Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman's After Parkland in the video provided below.