The Sweetest Land: Special Selection

In urban America, there are communities where unprecedented courage resides, extraordinary families are tested and improvement is difficult to find.  Not unlike other cities, Hartford, Connecticut has been named one of America’s most violent small towns. There are millions spent on violence prevention, passionate calls for equality and new promises, broken…until now. From the midnight surgeons, to the beat cops and a community on the front lines of hope and sacrifice, a new truth is about to be told.   THE SWEETEST LAND – a documentary film on gun violence, prevention and politics, where nothing is what it seems.    

THE SWEETEST LAND has been presented by the Center’s For Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard School of Law and leading hospitals across the country. The film received multiple awards and recognitions from national and international film festivals including, The Lower East Side Film Festival in NYC, The Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles, The London International Motion Picture Awards, while also winning a Humanitarian Award of Distinction from IndieFest. The Sweetest Land is supported through an LEF Grant, Peter Knox, Jr., the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the Wise Foundation.

THE SWEETEST LAND humanizes violence, but more importantly, it asks the question, what is REALLY being done to prevent it?” Brigham and Women Hospital – Center for Community Health and Health Equity “We fully support THE SWEETEST LAND.” Newtown Action Alliance This important film refocuses our attention.” Connecticut Against Gun Violence “THE SWEETEST LAND gives us reason to care about violence — one of the most critical issues facing our cities.” Dr. Linda Degutis – Former Director for the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 

Additional information:

Watch Trailer:

Panel Discussion after film with Filmmaker & Community Leaders:

Jeffrey Teitler, Filmmaker & Professor of Communications at Central Connecticut State University

District Attorney John Adams

RSD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Murray

United Way SVP, Ashley Chambers

West Chester University Professor of Psychology, Angela T. Clarke, PH.D.

Christopher A. Butts PhD, DO, FACOS, FACS, Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon, Tower Health-Reading Hospital

State Representative Manny Guzman

Radarra McLendon, Executive Director, founder of Village of Reading

Dr. Michele Pole (Reading Resident and Director of WCU Community Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Dr. Lauren Brumley (licensed psychologist and clinical supervisor in CMHS)

Courtney Erdley (Graduate Assistant and student therapist

Moderated by: Wynton Butler

ReadingFilmFEST is proud to present the Sweetest Land in collaboration with The Village of Reading 

“The Village, a nonprofit organization founded in Reading, PA, is on a mission to prevent youth violence and create a safe place for minors (age 13-18). The Village works directly with community partners to provide resources and services to prevent gun and street violence through education, outreach, advocating for change in community norms and providing a safe place for the youth.”


Sponsored by: Alvernia University College Towne and Berks Community Action Program

Alvernia University




Oct 28 2022


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm




R/C Reading Movies 11 & IMAX - Theater 2
30 N 2nd St, Reading, PA 19601


Reading FilmFEST