MALIBU, CA — (Marketwire) — 08/04/11 — The C.E.O. of Motion Film Group, Inc., has issued a challenge to President Obama, Congress and America in general to wake up and accept the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals to be treated fairly and equally under the Constitution. Issues and themes presented in the feature film, “Gun Hill Road,” illustrate some of the challenges that families and individuals endure when dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation, said Foti Georgiadis, C.E.O. of the film’s distribution company. If President Obama, Congress and many Americans found themselves placed in a similar circumstance as shown in the film, the result would likely be a far more progressive and enlightened acceptance of alternative lifestyles and orientations, he concluded.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a traditional family man, with a lovely wife and three adorable children. So the topic of gender identity and sexual orientation had not been a priority issue for me,” said Georgiadis. “However, when I saw this film at the Sundance Festival, I was deeply moved by the dramatic situations that developed between the family members of a transgender teenager, and knew that this film had a timely and important message. I’d like to challenge President Obama and Congress to watch this film, and furthermore challenge any macho-man in America to put themselves in the same situation as the father in our film, and tell me there can be no compassion for those who might be different from the mainstream.”
Motion Film Group has offered to loan a print of the film, “Gun Hill Road,” to the White House for a private viewing of the President and his staff. Separately, the company is organizing a private screening in Washington, D.C. in September, with free admission for any members of the Senate, the House of Representatives and their direct staff.
“We can’t screen the film free for everyone in America,” said Georgiadis. “But if we can get a good turnout among members of Congress or White House staffers, that would be an important step towards building a deeper understanding of these issues.”
“Gun Hill Road” opens in theatres in New York tomorrow, August 5, and opens in Los Angeles on August 12. The film is slated to be expanded to most key markets nationwide over the next two months.
“Gun Hill Road” follows macho ex-con Enrique (Morales), who returns to the Bronx after his latest prison sentence to find the world he once knew has turned upside down. While his wife, Angela (Reyes), struggles to hide an emotional affair, his now-teenage son, Michael, explores a sexual transformation well beyond Enrique’s grasp. Unable to accept his child, Enrique clings to his masculine ideals while Angela attempts to hold the family together and protect Michael. Still under the watchful eye of his parole officer (Isiah Whitlock, Jr), Enrique must become the father he needs to be or, once again, risk losing his family and freedom.
The film features performances by seasoned actors Morales, Reyes, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Franky G, Vincent Laresca, Miriam Colon, and Vanessa Aspillaga, as well as acting debuts by extraordinary people Green discovered on the streets and subways of New York City, including newcomer Harmony Santana, who portrays the conflicted teenager in the story.
“Gun Hill Road” is produced by SimonSays Entertainment in association with A Small Production Company. With a mission to “tell every story,” SimonSays Entertainment, Inc. develops diverse projects for film, television, and theater. The debut film from SimonSays, “Night Catches Us,” opened theatrically in December 2010 through Magnolia Pictures.
Rashaad Ernesto Green, the writer and director of “Gun Hill Road,” is an award-winning director of short films such as “Premature,” “Cuts” and “Choices.” Green was included on the latest edition of Filmmaker Magazine’s elite 25 New Faces of Independent Film list. A Bronx native, Green earned a BA from Dartmouth, an MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program, and an MFA from the NYU Graduate Film Program.