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CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – The film “Parkland: Inside Building 12” takes the audience inside the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, where 17 students and teachers were murdered and 17 others were shot and injured.
Through a series of interviews with students and teachers, uncompromising cellphone video and a law enforcement graphic video showing the actions of the shooter, the film provides a raw and unvarnished view of the 6 minutes of terror on February 14.
“My classroom was the first classroom that was shot into,” one of the teachers tells the filmmaker, Charlie Minn.
One of the main stories highlighted in the film is that of student Maddy Wilford, who somehow survived being shot three times.
She told Minn she remembers thinking, “I’m not ready to die yet.”
CBS4 News spoke with her father, David, about the film.
“The reality’s pretty harsh,” he said. “It’s violent and life-changing.”
David Wilford believes the film shows just how traumatic this experience was and why everyone in that building needs mental health counseling.
“These kids deserve some attention,” he said. “Some psychological, mental health attention. And I don’t know that that concept has gotten through to the school system or the public or anybody else.”
Minn said his goal was to showcase those like Maddy whose stories of survival and pain have not yet been fully explored.
“She was left for dead,” Minn said. “A first responder went back in and double checked on her and saved her life. She’s one of the stories of guts and humanity that people don’t really now because we really haven’t heard from people inside the building yet.”
You see a lot of names in the film but one name you do not see or hear is that of the killer. That’s by design.
“I think if you ask the average person who follows the news, ‘Can you name the killer from Parkland’ they’ll go 1 for 1. But if the next question is, ‘Can you name one person shot in Parkland’ they probably go 0 for 34,” Minn said. “I’m trying to change that dialogue.”
Student Trey Gwinn watched the film. He was on the 2nd floor of the Freshman Building during the shooting.
“I’m always thinking about it,” Gwinn said. “Sometimes I hear stuff and it makes me jump and that’s something that lives with me. But I’m living on for them.”
The film will run at Paragon Theatres in Coral Springs and in Davie for the next week. A proton of the proceeds will go to the Parkland Cares charity.
Tony Montalto’s daughter Gina was one of the first students killed in the Freshman Building. Montalto said he’s seen the documentary.
“It was very difficult to watch. It was very painful,” he said.
Tony also said he believes anyone who sees this film will be horrified at what happened.
“It’s a movie that once you see you’re changed,” he said. “I’m not sure how you could see that movie and not come out of it horrified.”
Montalto hopes the film motivates people to work to make our schools and communities safer.