When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld heard the fire alarm on Feb. 14, 2018, she was in rehearsals with her students for their annual children’s musical. Moments later, a Code Red sounded. Herzfeld rushed her 65 students into a storage closet while a shooter killed 17 teachers and students nearby.
Filmed in the months following the shootings, when the Florida school community is grappling with the tragedy, SONG OF PARKLAND chronicles the dedication of teacher Melody Herzfeld and her theater students as they return to school and resolve to continue with their production. “This is the most important show you’re going to do, ever,” she tells them. The touching documentary debuts THURSDAY, FEB. 7 (7:00-7:30 p.m. ET/PT), one year after the attack, exclusively on HBO.
The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
Coming together in a process that would ultimately lead to a moving performance at the Tony Awards, the kids find a new sense of passion and purpose, forging a path to healing for themselves and their community. As student Alex Athanasiou says, “We want to bring happiness back to the school again. We want to bring happiness to everyone again. We want to shine a light.”
As the drama class dives deep into rehearsals for the musical, Parkland students, including many in Herzfeld’s department, spark a nationwide movement to end gun violence. SONG OF PARKLAND captures the powerful voices of the young people who would inspire a nation.
Directed and produced by Emmy®-winner Amy Schatz, this affecting short film includes original songs written by the students about their experience, as well as interviews and scenes from walk-outs and rallies across the country as other young people, galvanized by the Parkland activists, take to the streets to call for the creation of a safer world.
Amy Schatz’s previous HBO projects include “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” the “Saving My Tomorrow” series, “An Apology to Elephants,” the “Classical Baby” series and “Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales,” among others. Her work has won five DGA Awards, seven Emmy® Awards and three Peabody Awards.
SONG OF PARKLAND is directed and produced by Amy Schatz; director of photography, Alex Rappoport; edited by Tom Patterson; consulting producer, Diane Kolyer. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Rodriguez; executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.
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