As we approach the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s fatal shooting, commemorative programming is inevitable. Parkland tells the story of Abraham Zapruder – the amateur photographer who inadvertently caught the day’s tragic events on film – and Zac Efron as Dr. Charles James – the rookie doctor who saw the president of the United States enter his theatre.

Check out the Parkland trailer here

"This is a movie about the ground truth from the ground level," Director Peter Landesman said about the film. "What surprised me was the power and poignancy of those who survived that day and the three that followed -- the heroism, the instincts and the pathos of those swept up in this tsunami. This is an event that happened to individuals."

"No one was prepared for what was coming. They thought the president had the flu," adds Landesman. Paul Giamatti plays Abraham Zapruder, the accidental witness who happened to film the whole thing. "That 26 seconds of film changed his life and all of our lives forever," says Landesman. "It's the most examined and investigated piece of celluloid in the history of film.

Zac Efron’s inclusion in the cast raised some eyebrows – the former Disney star isn’t known for his more dramatic work, but careful thought seems to have gone into it, and the one-time kids’ actor seems to maturing.

“Zac Efron continues to impress us with his recent shift into more dramatic roles which showcase his exceptional acting skills and Marcia Gay Harden is an unparalleled actress who gives tour de force performances in every film she appears. We look forward to seeing their combined talent in Peter Landesman’s powerful and mesmerizing story alongside the excellent cast already attached to this film,” said Guy East and Nigel Sinclair to Collider.

Given the subject matter and the all star cast – which also features Tom Welling, Jacki Weaver, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacie Earle Haley – it’s difficult to see Parkland not having a say on proceedings come Oscars season.

Parkland posterThe official Parkland poster