We Are All Newtown is a documentary short film that follows the journey of Pastor Sam Saylor as he grapples with grief over the loss of his son to gun violence, alongside resentment toward the attention given to Newtown after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting — reconciling the two and moving to create change.
We Are All Newtown is an outgrowth of Kim Snyder’s 2017 documentary feature Newtown, which premiered nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2017. Showcasing unused footage from Snyder’s original production, We Are All Newtown shines a light on the stories of love and loss that are too often overlooked by the repetitive coverage of more sensational tragedies.
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Newtown mass shooting, Odyssey Impact® and our partners are committed to using this film and accompanying educational resources to highlight the systemic issues that are the root causes of gun violence, promote dialogue and coalition building across communities and support the necessary healing for survivors and communities impacted by gun violence.
The engagement campaign for We Are All Newtown will include educational materials and assets for use in a broad range of settings, online outreach and communications to activate audiences and communities, as well as virtual and in-person events and gatherings.
On October 20, 2012, just eight weeks before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Pastor Sam Saylor’s son, Shane, was shot and killed on the streets of Hartford. The devastation Pastor Sam felt at the death of his son was compounded by resentment at the massive attention focused on Newtown after the school shooting. But in spite of the disparity between how gun violence is perceived and treated in urban and suburban communities, Pastor Sam had a revelation, “I realized something sitting next to a father from Newtown … he cried like I cried, his tears were wet like my tears. I realized that I am Newtown, we are all Newtown.”
It was the beginning of a journey that would take Sam from Hartford to Newtown, where he was befriended by Rev. Matt Crebbin and to Washington, where he came together with other faith leaders such as Pastor Mike McBride to shine a light on the issue of gun violence that plagues our country in urban, suburban, and rural communities.