Cinema Sunday discusses new drama film “MASS”


Illustration by Sydney Fener

Vasilia Yordanova

Writer and director Fran Kranz ’00 discussed his new drama film “MASS” during Cinema Sunday on Oct. 24.

Cinema Sundays are discussions of films hosted by Performing Arts teacher Ted Walch. Each event features a film which a school parent or alumnus has worked on. Kranz’s appearance marked the first Cinema Sunday to be hosted in person since the coronavirus pandemic began in March of 2020.

“MASS,” an American drama film that explores grief and forgiveness in the aftermath of a school shooting, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and released in theaters Oct. 8. As director, producer and writer of the film, Kranz depicts a conversation between the parents of a school shooter and the parents of one victim, exploring grief, guilt and forgiveness throughout the nearly two hours of the film.

Kranz said he crafted the dialogue of his film to be impactful and create suspense.

“The main themes which ‘MASS’ explores are life, death and humans’ relationships with other humans,” Kranz said.

Upper School Dean Nia Kilgore, who attended the event virtually, said the film was heart-wrenching to watch, but said she enjoyed learning more about its production process during Cinema Sunday.

“Hearing from Kranz about the emotions exhibited while filming was proof that actors are people and the material they are given makes an impact,” Kilgore said.

Middle School Dean and Performing Arts Teacher Kate Benton said it was important for her to attend this Cinema Sunday in particular because Kranz was a former student of hers. She said this was her first time attending, but she has always wanted to begin coming to the events.

“I loved learning about how [Kranz] shot the film and hearing about his process of writing, filming and working with the actors,” Benton said. “I also love that [Walch] offers Cinema Sundays to our community, and I want to attend more of these events in the future.”