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'Midsummer in Newtown' To Have U.S. Theatrical Premiere on January 27


New York (December 16, 2016) ­— Participant Media and Vulcan Productions proudly present the U.S. theatrical premiere, on January 27, of Midsummer in Newtown, the inspiring new film from acclaimed documentarian Lloyd Kramer that paints the most intimate of portraits of a New England town as its citizens deploy the power of art to push beyond one of the greatest tragedies in American history.  Midsummer in Newtown, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, will open in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle, followed by release on digital platforms in late February.

In the aftermath of 2012’s Sandy Hook tragedy, director Lloyd Kramer learned that a group of artists from New York were traveling to Newtown to work with kids from the local school system to mount an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Realizing the potential of the story to investigate the power of art in facing tragedy, he set out to follow the journey of kids curiously exploring Shakespeare’s language for the first time, bringing their own unique personalities to the text, and calling on their inner strength to band together and heal. Many of the students in the production were in school on that horrible day in 2012. Some lost a friend or a neighbor, all had their lives forever altered. With a focus on process, Midsummer in Newtown explores how these children connect with art and each other as they bring the play to life — and emerge from the trauma — day by day.

As Shakespeare’s words take hold with the young cast, the filmmakers also follow the lives of Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, whose six-year-old daughter Ana was one of the victims of the shooting. Jimmy, an acclaimed jazz saxophonist, also seeks refuge in the arts, pouring his heartache into composing a tribute album for his daughter. Nelba, a marriage and family therapist, courageously dedicates herself to crisis prevention, working with schools to recognize children in trouble before another tragedy occurs. Together, the couple mounts an emotional musical performance that honors Ana’s joyous, exuberant spirit.

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.