Tower

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USA | 2016 | 82 minutes | Keith Maitland

Winner of the Grand Jury and Audience Award at SXSW, this suspenseful documentary shrewdly animates several eyewitness accounts to provide a moment-by-moment chronicle of the 1966 massacre at the University of Texas, America's first mass school shooting.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

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  • Matinee

6:30 PM Date has passed Director Keith Maitland and Cinematographer Sarah Wilson scheduled to attend

Friday, June 3, 2016

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4:00 PM Date has passed Director Keith Maitland and Cinematographer Sarah Wilson scheduled to attend

On the morning of August 1, 1966, engineering student Charles Whitman drove onto the University of Texas at Austin with an arsenal at his disposal and ascended to the Main Building observation deck 28 stories above the center of campus. At 11:48 am, he started firing. 96 minutes later, Whitman was felled by bullets, having been surrounded by three on-duty officers and one deputized civilian. 49 people had been shot and 16 killed. But Tower isn't a treatise on the psychological effects that would lead one to commit the then-deadliest assault in United States history. Instead, this is a dramatic reconstruction of the day that shook the country, combining rotoscoped animation, archival footage, and present-day interviews with witnesses and survivors to create a moment-by-moment reenactment of those chaotic, terrifying 96 minutes. Winner of the Grand Jury and Audience documentary awards at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, Tower pieces together the massacre by getting into the heads of students, administrators, cops, broadcasters, and civilians alike as they faced their greatest fears. Now approaching the shooting's 50th anniversary, which falls on the same day that UT Austin will institute its controversial Campus Carry legislation, and during a time where school shootings have become an epidemic, this film is more resonant than ever.

Director Biography
Keith Maitland is the director of the Emmy-nominated documentary The Eyes of Me, a year in the life of four blind teens. Maitland has worked on a variety of documentary features, commercials, and TV series. He has two films showing at SIFF this year: A Song for You and Tower.

Sponsored by CTI BioPharma

  • Director: Keith Maitland
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 82 minutes
  • Producer: Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson, Hillary Pierce
  • Cinematographers: Keith Maitland, Sarah Wilson
  • Editors: Austin Reedy
  • Music: Osei Essed
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: SXSW Film Festival 2016 (Documentary Grand Jury Winner, Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, Documentary Audience Award), Dallas International Film Festival 2016 (Grand Jury Prize)
  • Filmography: A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story (Doc, 2016); The Eyes of Me (Doc, 009)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Film Collaborative
  • International Sales: Cinetic