Tower: Award-Winning Docu about 1966 Mass Shooting of University of Texas

Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Keith Maitland’s animated documentary, Tower, which won SXSW’s Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best documentary feature.

The film explores the tragic story of America’s first mass school shooting, where lone gunman Charles Whitman climbed a clock tower at the University of Texas in 1966, shooting 49 people and killing 17.

Kino Lorber will release “Tower” on October 12 at New York’s Film Forum, to be followed by a national rollout, marking the 50th anniversary of the shooting. The company is also mounting an awards campaign for the documentary.

Tower, executive produced by Meredith Vieira and Luke Wilson, had its world premiere at SXSW in March. It has won awards at festivals including Dallas International, Montclair, RiverRun, and DeadCenter Film Festival.

Director Keith Maitland mixes archival footage with rotoscopic animation to create a dynamic, never-before-seen combination, resulting in a gripping dramatic reconstruction, which is also a tribute to the heroes and the fallen.

“Tower is that rarest of documentaries, seamlessly melding artistry and advocacy,” said Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber, “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.”