|Breaking Open the Word|
|Home & Garden | Golf Spotlight|
|World & Nation|
|DCR Advertising Rates|
|DCR Submission Guidelines|
April 22, 2009
Columbine survivor directs film about tragic shootings
By John Gleason
On the morning of April 20, 1999, two students entered Columbine High School in Jefferson County with weapons and began firing on their classmates. By the time Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had taken their own lives, 12 other students and a teacher were dead and more than 20 other people had been wounded.
Ranked as the fourth most deadly school shooting in the United States, Columbine remains the worst mass shooting to have taken place at an American high school. The massacre spurred debate on everything from gun control to violence among youth.
Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the shootings.
Filmmaker Andrew Robinson, who was a student at Columbine the day of the shootings, has released a film inspired by the tragic events of that day. “April Showers” deals with the type of violence, death and recovery of the victims those at Columbine went through.
“April Showers” is a fictional account of an attack on a Midwestern high school and the subsequent events that take place in the week that follows as all deal with the trauma of loss, of being a survivor and trying to make sense of something so senseless. It stars Tom Arnold, Illena Douglas, Kelly Blatz and Daryl Sabara. Writer-director Robinson said the dramatized retelling of what it is like to be a Columbine survivor is a story he just couldn’t keep inside.
“Truthfully, this came about by accident,” he told the Denver Catholic Register prior to an advance screening of the film for media and school officials last month.
“I didn’t intend to write it,” he explained. “I was working on another project when it kind of wrote itself. Seventy-two hours after I began, the first draft of the script was finished.”
Robinson showed the script to some friends who said it was about time that a person with the point of view of someone who’d actually been at Columbine told this story.
“I like to think I was healed enough to write this story,” he said. “But what I’ve discovered is the impact it’s had on people outside of Columbine. I heard from students who never went through a Columbine-like experience, but who have had losses in their life. They’re now getting something out of this film; they’re opening up to friends and parents about things they’ve never been able to talk about before. That wasn’t what I’d intended but I’ll take it.”
“April Showers” will be shown in theaters nationwide and will be available on iTunes, indieflix.com and other pay-per-view digital services. Robinson said that all of the film’s proceeds from the first week the movie is released will be donated to schools in districts where the movie is shown, as will a dollar from every download of “April Showers” online.
“Schools need our help now more than ever and if a film like ‘April Showers’ can help turn a negative into a positive by shedding light on aspects of a story never told and also give back to the community that supports it, then it’s a win-win,” Robinson said. “We want the movie to be a success of course, but we want it to have a positive impact on the students who see it.”
The special Denver screening was held at Johnson & Wales University in Denver as part of an event called Colorado Rising, where members of the Columbine community, including parents, teachers and first-responders came together to talk about changes needed to protect schools.