WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A pair of films premiered in southeastern North Carolina Tuesday night with one powerful message: stop the killing. The films are about gun violence.
WECT was part of a presentation that featured the two films and a panel discussion, which also included local activists, law enforcement and even a trauma room surgeon.
The New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity hosted the virtual event and local actors took part in the film, which has been in the works for quite some time.
“This has been an ongoing initiative that our hospital and our local law enforcement have been working on for several years to reduce the gun violence in our community,” said Linda Thompson, New Hanover County’s Chief Diversity and Equity Officer.
Part one of the two-part drama takes you inside the emergency room and shows a parent’s heartache after learning their child has been killed.
Part two shows the cold reality of prison time once a killer has been convicted.
The films were produced locally with input from the Wilmington Police Department.
The mission of the film is to show the community why it’s important to get involved in stopping gun violence.
“Prevention is a key piece in stopping violence,” said Chief Donny Williams with Wilmington PD. “In order to achieve this, we need parents and community leaders to help us reach our youth before it’s too late.”
The event comes one day after a shooting at New Hanover High School. A 15-year-old is now facing attempted murder charges.
“There was a reason this young man felt the need to bring a gun to school,” said Thompson. “Why? Why did he think he needed a gun to protect himself? So, we have to be able to unpack all of these questions and get to the bottom of what’s really happening.”
Nakia T. Hamilton directed the film, and for him, the message hits home.
“I have plenty of friends that have died of gun violence and to do things like this, I mean honestly, if your films aren’t changing the world, you’re just a dude with a camera,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton said that he felt extremely supported from the community, especially the willingness from certain locations to allow filming on their property.
He hopes Tuesday night’s discussion is a springboard for many more to come.
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