37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

The Promise

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North American Premiere

Marking the first American trial to be televised nationwide, the murder convictions of Elizabeth Haysom and her German boyfriend Jens Soering sent shockwaves through the rural community of Bedford County, Virginia, and sparked an international media sensation. On September 4, 1990, Jens Soering received two life sentences for the murders of Elizabeth’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom. Elizabeth, a product of European boarding schools, and Jens, the son of a diplomat, fell in love at the University of Virginia while students. They were both arrested in London and extradited to the United States, and have now spent over 30 years behind bars. Journalist Karin Steinberger and filmmaker Marcus Vetter were the last media allowed to record and film an interview with Soering. Utilizing previously undisclosed evidence and unheard testimony, the investigative film reveals a mismanaged, or perhaps completely corrupted, judicial process. Discussion with director Karin Steinberger and subjects Gail Marshall, Chuck Reid, and Steve Rosenfield, moderated by Sandy Hausman (NPR)

Presented by Wells Fargo


Saturday, November 5


7:30 PM


Downtown Mall : The Paramount Theater

Film Info

Director: Karin Steinberger, Marcus Vetter

Runtime: 117 min.

Genre: Documentaries

Year: 2016

Country: Germany/USA

Featuring: Jens Soering, Chuck Reid, Ricky Gardner, Dave Watson, Gail Ball, Ed Sulzbach, Rich Zorn.