November 12, 2018 (Montverde, FL) – In 2018 in the United States, approximately 2,426 teens were killed or injured due to gun violence. Since the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 young children were gunned down, there have been approximately 1,896 mass shootings with at least 2,110 killed and 7,981 wounded. The U.S. has the weakest gun laws in the developed world and the most gun deaths when compared with other high-income countries.

No generation has ever dealt with gun violence like Generation Z. Molly Smith, a Montverde Academy junior and talented filmmaker, felt compelled to take on this topic. She wrote and co-directed with another student filmmaker, Sage Croft, and a group of passionate students, a short film titled, “Dear America.” The film is a moving depiction of how students manage and cope with the after-effects of gun violence. The film is also a call for politicians and leaders to take action that ends gun violence.

“We have to work together to put our feelings into action,” said Molly. “This film expresses the thoughts our generation has about gun violence and how it affects our daily lives. There have been 307 shootings in the US in the past 311 days. There are three million children witnessing gun violence every year and they can do nothing to prevent it. We need leaders and politicians to take action for us, and I hope this film inspires action.”

“At Montverde Academy, we encourage students to pursue their passion and share what inspires them,” said Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring. “Molly is an outstanding student who has a distinct voice in her films that captivate and inspire audiences. This project is another example of how she is using her talent and voice to impact the world in a positive way.”