Midsummer In Newtown
Midsummer in Newtown is a testament to the transformative force of artistic expression to pierce through the shadow cast by trauma. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, one grieving couple honors their daughter through music, while community children find their voice through a rock-pop version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
When Newtown, Connecticut, was devastated by the loss of 20 first graders and six adults at the hands of a shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the world looked on in horror unable to fathom such a tragedy. In the emotionally powerful and uplifting new documentary Midsummer in Newtown, filmmaker Lloyd Kramer gains intimate access to three families who find hope in the transformative power of the arts.
Anchoring the film is the story of two Sandy Hook Elementary School students, Tain and Sammy, who join an exuberant cast of Newtown children — bringing healing to their young lives and to their community by staging “A ROCKIN’ Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a freewheeling musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy. Kramer follows the indomitable cast from pre-audition jitters to the triumphant opening night, where the children’s unwavering spirit steals the show. On a parallel track, the film also explores the world of Jimmy and Nelba, grieving parents determined to honor their beloved 6-year-old daughter Ana who was killed in the 2012 school shooting. While Nelba focuses on helping children, Jimmy — a Grammy®-nominated jazz saxophonist — channels his grief into music he writes and performs.
A poignant reminder that there is heroism in simply living each day, Midsummer in Newtown is a soaring testament to the artistic expression of people determined to reflect love and beauty, in spite of the horror they’ve endured.
Midsummer in Newtown was awarded the Mass Impact Award at the 2016 Boston Film Festival, as well as Best Director - Special Jury, and the 2018 Gold Medal Award for Documentaries at The New York Festivals International TV & Film Awards. The film was selected at the Tribeca Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and the Boston International Film Festival, among other festivals.