Keith Maitland’s SXSW prize winner — the film pulled in both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s festival — “Tower” takes a deeply painful story and lays it out through inventive and expressive animation.
“Tower” follows the events of August 1, 2966 — billed in official materials as “the day our innocence was shattered” — when University of Texas student Charles Whitman took to the school’s iconic tower and opened fire on the campus below. Over the course of 96 minutes, Whitman shot nearly 50 people, killing 16 of them (including an unborn child that people believe he targeted, as his mother was a very obvious 8 months pregnant at the time), before being taken out by police. The event is still one of America’s worst school shootings and, for many years, was the deadliest attack on a U.S. college campus.
Maitland’s film “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’s first trailer alone is fascinating, unsettling and very moving, and it offers up a taste of the remarkable work that Maitland and his team put into their powerful new film.
“Tower” will open in New York at Film Forum on October 12 and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Royal on October 14. Check out the new trailer and poster for “Tower” below.