Dear Rita


One child inspires her community to explore the issue of gun violence in America – Part 1 of 3 in the series

photo of Rita - subject of documentary

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Dear Rita is a one-hour ethnographic account of one family’s loss, which embodies the spirit of so many others in the United States. On a Saturday in March of 2000, Rita Martinez prepared her Grandma’s favorite lunch – a grilled cheese  sandwich. Rita kissed her Grandma and went into the bedroom to watch cartoons.  Moments later, a bullet broke the front window, tore through the bedroom wall and lodged in her head, killing the eleven-year-old. Rita’s mother vowed to fight for sensible gun laws, a promise that put her on the bus to the Million Mom March. For the remainder of the year, Rita’s family, teachers and classmates opened their lives and hearts to us, in hopes that others will see and hear how the horrific details of gun violence impact families, friends and society. Rita’s short, beautiful life and the sense of loss and grief shared by those who knew and miss her inspires audiences of all ages to change this picture. In a time when many of us are numbed to accounts of “another shooting,” the intimate, honest and emotional testimony compels viewers to acknowledge our collective grief, as citizens of a country where 10 children die from gun violence every day.

Director: Janet Fitch Co-Director: Brad Pruitt Producers: Janet Fitch, Brad Pruitt  Editor: Tess Gallun Screenwriters: Janet Fitch, Tess Gallun & Brad Pruitt; Videography: Tess Gallun, Brooke Maroldi Executive Director: Janet Fitch

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Purchasing & Using Dear RitaEveryone loves Dear Rita

The film is available for private use as well as licensed versions for educational and community use. Dear Rita provides a beautiful opportunity to engage diverse audiences in non-polarized discussion of critical issues at the heart of America’s gun violence epidemic.  Families and students are watching Dear Rita together, community organizations are using Dear Rita to draw attention to local struggles and universities are holding events that bring together students, academics and local organizers to talk about issues in their communities.


Guns, Grief and Grace curriculum-based Education/Community DVD packages

RECOMMENDED FOR USE IN ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOLS AND IN UNIVERSITY CLASSROOMS -designed with focus groups of classroom teachers, social workers and librarians to aid understanding and promote critical thinking and discussion around the complex impact of gun violence on today’s youth.

Dear Rita works well with Elementary through University students and groups as well as adult audiences and extremely successful at  diverse academic, professional, religious, community and social justice events and conferences.

Award-winning feature documentary film TRT 57 minutes.  Award-winning Educational package includes:  Feature documentary DVD plus 35 minute classroom version with unique video discussion clips in categories addressing: Media, Activism,  Justice, Emotions Surrounding Death and Loss.

Your Involvement matters. DVD sales help support continued outreach to bring Guns, Grief  & Grace in America to audiences across the United States.