Ahead of Newtown anniversary, filmmakers release powerful documentary

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (WABC) -- December 14, 2016, will mark four years since the deadly shooting of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. And this week, a pair of filmmakers is hoping to spread awareness about gun violence with a new movie about the massacre.

The documentary looks at the tragedy from a variety of different perspectives, including police officers, EMTs, parents who lost children and those whose kids were spared. The place where the rampage occurred has been demolished, but what happened there will never be forgotten.

Time may never heal the deep wounds inflicted by gunman Adam Lanza and the victims he took from this world.

"I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this happened, and that my little Daniel is gone," Newtown father Mark Barden said. "And that he's gone forever, and he's gone because someone made a choice to shoot him and kill him."

Barden carries Daniel's picture with him every day.

"You can just see the compassion in his little eyes, you know?" he said.

His pain is evident, yet Barden considered it important to participate in the documentary, called "Newtown."

"It's so powerful and so important," he said. "And I think it's vital, vital viewing."

It is vital, the parents say, so other fathers and mothers don't have to go through the same type of experience.

"There is no closure," director/producer Kim Snyder said. "And I think it's something that scars survivor communities for years and generations."

Snyder and producer Maria Cuomo Cole hope their film will help prevent future tragedies.

"We really want to movie the issue of gun violence out of politics and touch hearts and inspire conversation about how the issue impacts the safety of families and communities," Cuomo said.

Their call to action ends on a hopeful note: "We're not going to let the darkness overwhelm us."

To help spark a conversation about the issues raised in "Newtown," the filmmakers plan to show the documentary in local theaters Wednesday night, followed by a live question and answer discussion via satellite.

"Newtown" is powerful and well worth making a special effort to see.
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