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Through Tuesday, October 25


The morning of August 1, 1966, was bright and sunny at the University of Texas at Austin. Students chatted, strolled to class, and sipped coffee at the student union; a paperboy made his rounds on a bicycle with a pal on the handlebars. But then a sniper rode the elevator to the top of the UT Tower and opened fire. He held the campus hostage for 96 long, horrific minutes, and when the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll was 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a nation traumatized by the first mass school shooting in history. Combining archival footage, hypnotic rotoscopic animation, and contemporary interviews with witnesses, TOWER vividly recreates the terrifying event and reveals untold stories of unlikely heroes and victims. All too familiar today, this massacre was unthinkable in mid-1960s America. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2016 South by Southwest Festival.

USA • 2016 • 82 MINS. • KINO LORBER


“Tense, reflective and uniquely cinematic.  A formally and thematically ambitious documentary. Powerfully channels the terror and confusion of that terrible August day while also achieving the weight and authority that can only come with time and distance. A gripping dramatic reconstruction, a tribute to the heroes and the fallen, and inevitably an expression of nostalgia for the days when a mass shooting still had the power to shock.”
– Justin Chang, Variety

“Strikingly original. A mixture of animation and contemporary interviews, imbuing the catastrophe with renewed immediacy. Maitland cuts across multiple perspectives to construct a masterful ensemble piece. A richly engaging portrait.”
– Eric Kohn, Indiewire


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TOWER: Q & A with director Keith Maitland with producer Megan Gilbride and executive producer Meredith Vieira

Recorded October 12, 2016

Film Forum