Winner 2017

Independent Lens: Newtown

Mile 22 LLC, Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with KA Snyder Productions, Cuomo Cole Productions

“Newtown” is difficult important viewing. The documentary returns to the families, teachers, and first-responders of Newtown, Connecticut, to recount the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and to examine its impact on the town. Early on, Sgt. Bill Cario insists that the world needs to know emotionally what happened but not specific gruesome details, and director Kim A. Snyder admirably adopts this as an ethic for revisiting this most horrific of events. As do its subjects, “Newtown” poignantly if painfully balances an observance of loss—“How do you grieve for 26 people all at the same time?” we’re asked—with a call to action and a testament to the endurance of the town at moving on while never forgetting. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, it retells the public and the personal in a remarkably moving manner. Emergency room Dr. William Begg notes, “I’m not an activist, but I said to myself that day that I’m not taking this one laying down,” and “Newtown” asks the same of its viewers. For a compassionate presentation of one of the darkest days in American history, and for demanding action to stop such shootings, Newtown receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen, Nick Stuart, CarolAnne Dolan, Regina K. Scully, Jamie Wolf, Mara Sandler, Liz Lefkofsky, Geralyn White Dreyfous. Producers: Kim A. Snyder, Maria Cuomo Cole. Director: Kim A. Snyder. Director of Photography: Derek Wiesehahn. Supervising Producer: Amy Shatsky-Gambrill.