Woodstock Film festival announces world premiere of parkland rising for its 20th anniversary

Documentary traces the journey of Parkland, FL high-school students, from shooting victims to national activists against gun violence, demanding change

Artist and activist Manuel Oliver with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student Tyra Hemans

Artist and activist Manuel Oliver with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student Tyra Hemans

"The fact that this has happened so much, that school shootings have happened so much, to the point that we need drills for them almost as often as fire drills is unacceptable."

-David Hogg, film subject and March for Our Lives activist

Woodstock, NY (August 26, 2019): The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to announce the world premiere screening of PARKLAND RISING, executive produced by Katie Couric and will.i.am, at the upcoming 20th anniversary film festival, taking place October 2-6, 2019. This timely and vital documentary, directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Cheryl Horner McDonough, follows the high-school students and families who became fierce leaders of the national movement for gun reform after the February 2018 shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

PARKLAND RISING reaches past news headlines to reveal the personal and intimate stories of teenage students and their families working together to create meaningful change. The film unites March for Our Lives founders and activists David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez, grieving fathers Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Oliver and others in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy that changed the conversation about guns in America.

Click here for full press kit and images for PARKLAND RISING, including bios for director, producers and film crew. Additional info and multimedia for the film available at https://www.parklanddocumentary.com/

"I sensed that we were witnessing the birth of a new political movement and wanted to document it as it unfolded." says director/producer Cheryl Horner McDonough. "Mass murder in our schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and concert venues is all too common in this country, but the reaction of the surviving students and families of the victims in the Parkland massacre was almost shockingly different. I wanted to capture these fleeting moments before they became part of history. I wanted to make sure that when the news crews left Parkland and moved on to the next story, the voices of these students and their families would continue to be heard."

Continues Horner McDonough: "Woodstock is a natural fit for the premiere of a film rooted in art, music, and grassroots protest and we’re excited to be part of this thriving festival."

Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director, says of the film: “I wish it was not nearly as timely, but as we witness over and over again, gun control is a huge unresolved issue in our country. I am honored to be able to present the World Premiere of PARKLAND RISING at this year’s Woodstock Film Festival, and look forward to sharing this important work with our audience.”

"It's easy to forget things that you're not involved in, but you are involved in this one," says documentary subject and activist Manuel Oliver, an artist and father of Joaquin, one of the Parkland victims. "This is a common issue. We can get shot. You and me. Your kid can get shot unless you do something." To mark the film's world premiere, Oliver will produce a mural on the corner of Mill Hill and Rock City Roads in Woodstock that "will combine psychedelic vibes, street art, and activism with a strong statement from Joaquin 'Guac' Oliver."

The line-up of special guests and cast and crew of PARKLAND RISING slated to attend the festival will be announced shortly; limited in-person and/or phone interviews with filmmakers and documentary subjects available by request.

The premiere screening of PARKLAND RISING will take place at the Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Rd on Friday October 4 at 9pm, with an additional screening the following day. Tickets are available here.

Previously announced: The Woodstock Film Festival, Radio Kingston and Bardavon present THE APOLLO by Oscar- and Emmy-winning director Roger Ross Williams, as a special 20th anniversary free pre-festival community event at Ulster Performing Arts Center (601 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401) Tuesday October 1, 2019 at 7pm. THE APOLLO chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. Producer Lisa Cortes and a special guest will be in attendance for Q&A! Courtesy of HBO. Click here to register.

For the latest program updates, visit our website, follow us on social media, and sign up for WFF’s newsletter! Full festival passes are currently available for purchase. The full lineup, schedule and tickets for the milestone 20th Anniversary Festival to be announced in the coming days.

About The Woodstock Film Festival

Widely acknowledged as one of the premiere independent film festivals in the U.S, Its special 20th Anniversary festival will be celebrated Wednesday through Sunday, October 2nd - 6th, 2019, in Woodstock, Saugerties, Rosendale, Kingston and Rhinebeck, NY. For more than two decades, the festival has brought together thousands of filmmakers, film lovers, artists and musicians, through the annual festival and outstanding year-round programming. The festival’s year-round programming includes premiere screenings, filmmaking panels, screenwriting workshops, youth film lab, and outstanding special events in New York's Hudson River Valley region.

The Woodstock Film Festival showcases passionate, creative and thought-provoking work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers from all over the world. Woodstock Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. For more information, please visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.org.

Interviews, photographs, and video available upon request.

Media contact:

Jaron Gandelman | press@woodstockfilmfestival.org

Phone: 845-679-4265