Back to Films

16 SHOTS

Synopsis

A documentary examining the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued. After the police initially declared the shooting as justified, journalists and activists fought for footage of the event to be released, sending the Chicago Police Department and local Chicago government officials into upheaval as the community demanded justice.

Connect

Learn more about 16 SHOTS

The Filmmakers

Richard Rowley Director

Richard Rowley is an Academy Award-nominated director and Sundance Film Festival-winning cinematographer. His most recent documentary feature, DIRTY WARS, pioneered a fusion of non-fiction reportage and dramatic narrative storytelling that won him dozens of festival awards and an Academy nomination. He recently created, directed, and executive produced AMERICA DIVIDED, a groundbreaking five-part series about inequality in America. His five theatrically released documentary features have been honored at scores of festivals around the world, from Berlin to Sundance. He has been awarded Sundance, Rockefeller, Jerome, and Pulitzer Fellowships.

Karim Hajj Producer

Karim Hajj is a documentary producer and director of photography. His recent credits include the series DOCUMENTING HATE (Frontline), AMERICA DIVIDED (EPIX), and YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (Showtime), and the feature documentaries FAR FROM THE TREE (Participant Media) and TWO AMERICAN FAMILIES (Frontline).

Jacqueline Soohen Producer

Jacqueline Soohen is an Emmy-winning producer of documentary films whose commitment to stories that take on the most pressing issues of our time has kept her ahead of the curve and at the heart of social and political conflict around the world. Soohen has produced and filmed five feature documentaries with theatrical releases and dozens of television documentaries for HBO, PBS, ZDF, ARD, CBC, CNN International, Al Jazeera, and others. She teaches documentary production at Bard College and her work has been displayed at MoMa and the Berlin Biennial.

Jamie Kalven Producer

Jamie Kalven is a writer and human rights activist. He has reported extensively on police abuse in Chicago and his reporting first brought the police shooting of Laquan McDonald to public attention. Awards he has received for his work include the 2015 George Polk Award for Local Reporting and the 2016 Ridenhour Courage Prize.

Updates

16 SHOTS premieres on Showtime!

6/14/19

16 SHOTS airs on Showtime tonight! Don't miss this important and powerful film.

Festivals & Awards

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

2018

With "16 shots and a cover-up," officer Jason Van Dyke thought he'd gotten away with the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald The Chicago Police Department, attempting to skirt public outrage over another police killing of an African-American child, fabricated the story that the high school student forced Van Dyke to shoot. But over 300 days later, journalists and activists finally managed to break through the "blue wall" of silence, revealing video evidence that enraged the nation. Director Rick Rowley ushers us through the development and takedown of a vast conspiracy to conceal murder that extended all the way to sitting mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. And now, as the case lingers in court, we are granted a sobering look at the insidious and entrenched nature of anti-Blackness in policing, along with the power that comes from a community committed to seeing that justice is served.

- Nataleah Hunter-Young

+ Festival Website

Reviews

Gripping and vital. 16 SHOTS...has a sense of immediacy in every moment.”

-Kimber Myers, Los Angeles Times

16 SHOTS...illuminates.”

-Mark Jenkins, NPR

Riveting [and] masterful.”

-Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

An impassioned, intelligent document of a major moment in the history of Chicago.”

-Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com