Four years ago to the week, the attention of the media shifted to one direction, South Carolina. The church affectionately known as Mother Emanuel was under fire on June 17th, 2015. On that calm summer evening, gunshots erupted from gunman Dylan Roof’s gun claiming the lives of eight worshippers as they bowed their heads in a word of prayer.
A new movie telling the events of June 17th, 2015 hits the silver screen today, marking the four year anniversary of the attack. Emanuel, executively produced by Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, co-producer Mariska Hargitay, and producer Dimas Salaberrios. Emanuel is a powerful documentary with a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, examining the healing power of forgiveness.
Dimas Salaberrios, producer of the film shared that it has been an incredible experience thus far with entertainment and sports superstars spearheading the film. “Viola wanted to be a part of this and do something from the very beginning. They are donating their proceeds of what they would make and give it to the families. They are buying out theaters with some help from other celebrities for people to watch the film. A phenomenal experience seeing them lend their voice, experience and a treasure to see some of this stuff take place.
The film which will also interweave between narration, first-hand accounts and testimonies is the approach filmmakers and producers took to the film. Telling a story from this approach will only allow the “voices of victims with great authenticity, pain, and emotion with all the other feelings. This film is about the family being the voice of it all.” As the film with share the chain of events of June 17th, it will also display the power of forgiveness. “The sense of feeling that the family shared with the world towards Dylan Roof. None of the people had planned to forgive him. Something took over in that courtroom.. they felt in their hearts that they were supposed to forgive him.”
Rose Simmons, the daughter of the late Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr, who was tragically killed in the 2015 Charleston Church Shooting also shared her thoughts on the new film. Simmons continues her father’s legacy of faith through her own Christian ministry efforts in Virginia and across the country. Simmons stated “the film helps people to remember what took place four years ago. I think this is a great thing to release on the 17th.” The daughter who lost her father four years ago said if I could talk to my father if he were here today, I would tell him “life is a vacation, that’s what we were planning on. I am so proud of him. Upon his death, is when I understood the man he was and all he accomplished in life. I just looked at him as daddy and not as the overachiever he was. We would sit and talk about how great of a person he was.
Emanuel will be a Fathom limited event in movie theaters across the country for two nights only: June 17 and 19– the anniversaries of the shooting, and Dylann Roof’s first court appearance when he was forgiven by the survivors of his crime and the family members of his victims.
For more information on EMANUEL, please visit, the official website.
Follow EMANUEL, Arbella Studios and Fathom Events for updates on ticket information, group screenings and more:
Facebook and Instagram – @emanuelmovie
Facebook and Instagram – @arbellastudios
Facebook and Instagram – @fathomevents
Featured Image obtained from Fathom Events