Directed by Keith Maitland and executive produced by Meredith Vieira and Luke Wilson, the mixed-media film Tower was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best documentary feature at SXSW earlier this year. Today, Kino Lorber released a trailer promoting the anticipated film.
Tower uniquely combines archival footage with rotoscoping animation recreating the harrowing real-life events that happened in Austin, Texas 50 years ago, opens nationwide on October 12. The University of Texas Tower shooter, Charles Whitman, shot 49 people during of the events of that tragic day.
“Tower is that rarest of documentaries, seamlessly melding artistry and advocacy,” Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber said at the time the studio acquired the U.S. distribution rights for the film. “In Keith’s brilliant filmic strategy, animation distances us from the numbing historical reality that began as a painful, unprecedented news event. Watching this graceful, immersive work of art, we let down our defenses to fully absorb the meaning of the nightmare and deeply feel the emotions of his characters. It could not be a more important and timely contribution to the coming congressional confrontation over gun control, in light of the latest tragedy in Orlando — it’s a must-see for every community in America, and we could not be more committed to help make that happen.”
In addition to the picture’s SXSW accolades, Tower has been honored and won awards at festivals including Dallas International, Montclair, RiverRun, and DeadCenter Film Festival.
Below, find the official synopsis for Tower. The film’s poster follows.
August 1, 1966, was the day our innocence was shattered. A sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the iconic University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes in what was a previously unimaginable event. TOWER combines archival footage with rotoscopic animation of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes and survivors, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy. The film highlights the fear, confusion, and visceral realities that changed the lives of those present, and the rest of us, forever – a day when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.