In just a few days, Hollywood will hand out prizes for the best films of the year. And while it's not nominated, we can't think of a movie that packs more of an emotional punch than "Midsummer in Newtown."
Newtown, Connecticut is of course the scene of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. On December 14, 2012, a gunman opened fire at the school, killing 26 people. Many of those victims were young children.
"Midsummer in Newtown" follows Sandy Hook Elementary students as they find their voice, rebuild their lives and ultimately shine. Tain and Sammy are just two of the children still grappling with what happened to their friends that terrible day. They channeled their grief into a local theater project.
Jody Gottlieb is the head of production and development for Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions, and is one of the film's executive producers, "Newtown, like many of these communities, has come together and is really united in how they are telling their story and how they're moving forward and it's heartwarming, it's heartbreaking,"
The film also tells the story of Jimmy and Nelba Marquez-Green, who lost their six-year-old daughter, Ana Grace.
"We were really fly on the wall in this situation," explained Gottlieb. "We were following these stories as they were unfolding. It's difficult to get a family that has suffered such an immeasurable loss to open up to us and let us see what they're dealing with. But they really took two different paths. Jimmy is well known. He's channeling his grief through his music. And Nelba, Ana's mother, is involved in empathy training. It's quite extraordinary how she's turned her grief into something positive to help kids who are at risk. She talks about the person who took her child's life in an incredibly compassionate way that is quite extraordinary and quite a testament of her own personal strength and faith."
Gottlieb went on to say, "People really love the way this film is inspiring, but these scenarios don't have pretty endings. These kids will continue to struggle and the parents are quite extraordinary in how they're helping their kids deal with it through the art."