DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a powerful premiere for members of the Parkland community who attended a private screening of a documentary about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The screening of “Parkland: Inside Building 12” was held at the Ridge Cinema in Davie, Friday night.
The film’s director, Charlie Minn, said some of the subjects he interviewed were on hand.
“Tonight we’re having a private screening for people that were in the film. Victims’ parents, students, teachers,” he said.
The documentary, clocking in at nearly two hours, takes viewers back to the events of Feb. 14, when a gunman opened fire on the campus.
“It’s time we heard from people that were literally looking down the barrel of a gun, getting shot, ducking, running,” said Minn. “Those are the people we need to hear from.”
The film includes first-person accounts of the tragedy.
“I remember hearing loud banging. Then the fire alarm went off,” said a survivor.
Minn understands why some may feel it’s too soon to release such a graphic depiction of that day, but he said he felt compelled to create the documentary for one big reason.
“It’s a very sensitive film. This just happens with a year, but I’m here to give the victims a voice,” he said. ” The innocent victims, they didn’t deserve this.”
There is one thing that is absent from the film, very much on purpose.
“The killer’s name is not mentioned once in the film,” said Minn.
The lack of Nikolas Cruz in the film offered some comfort to the victims and their families.
Many in the audience expressed mixed emotions.
“My daughter was shot four times that day. My son was also involved,” said Missy Wilford, whose children survived the shooting.
Like others at the screening, Wilford said she stands by the film’s creator.
“We also lost many close family friends. This is to honor them, and to see the reality of this situation,” she said.
While there is apprehension about the release of the film, some said they are hopeful solutions can be found to ensure something like what happened inside Building 12 never takes place again.
“I hope that the world is going to see it,” said an audience member.
Paragon Theaters, the company that owns the Ridge Cinema, said they are going to donate the proceeds from the documentary, which is scheduled to open Oct. 26, to a local charity that assists victims of the shooting.
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