L.A. Outfest, NY NewFest and Breckenridge Festival of Film Announce New LGBT Movie TRU LOVED to Highlight Their ’08 Festivals
Students from Los Angeles Unified School District’s Miguel Contreras School of Social Justice – first teens to screen the film – call TRU LOVED the next ‘Juno’
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ — Given unprecedented pre-release attention by leading civil rights organizations and students at an early screening, a number of festivals including Los Angeles LGBT fest Outfest, mainstream Breckenridge Festival of Film, and NewFest: The 20th Anniversary New York LGBT Film Festival (where the film is programmed foropening night on June 5th), have made announcements of their selection of TRU LOVED — the inspiring new family-friendly film about LGBTQ youth andtheir families — as a highlight of their 2008 fests.
Last week, the filmmakers allied with The School of Social Justice atL.A. Unified School District’s Miguel Contreras Learning Complex (MCLC), where more than 900 students participated in the National Day of Silence. The three-day event honored the students and school as role models in stopping homophobia before it starts.
The film’s producer, Antonio Brown of BrownBag Productions, along with Eric Borsum, the film’s Executive in Charge of Social Partnerships, formed early alliances with numerous organizations, including Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); the Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network); the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), and others. The support of these groups has been vital to early positive word-of-mouth on the film, and the filmmakers reached out to their leaders to join stars of the film in thanking the MCLC students for their year-round commitment to the protection of LGBTQ students and families.
“Seeing positive, healthy images of GLBT people and their families … is critical in transforming hearts and minds,” said PFLAG Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby, who during production presented director Wade with PFLAG’s “Focus on Equality” Award. “TRU LOVED does this perfectly, and shows how, alongside our straight allies, we all can create real change.”
At the event, civil rights leaders such as Huckaby, Kevin Jennings of GLSEN, Carolyn Laub of GSA Network, and TRU LOVED stars Jasmine Guy, Bruce Vilanch and Nichelle Nichols spoke to students and celebrated their leadership in protecting LGBTQ students against bullying and harassment.
In her address to the students, Nichols said, “As someone who knew and was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, I believe he would be very proud of your efforts, for he too fought against discrimination and unfairness and for a better world.”
Melissa Etheridge, whose music is included in the film’s soundtrack, sent a message to students, stating, “I’m so pleased that TRU LOVED and the LAUSD are working with GLSEN, PFLAG, The GSA Network and other organizations to lead the charge on this year’s Day of Silence … congratulations to the LAUSD for showing the movie TRU LOVED to get the dialogue going, so that we can all use our voices to end bigotry and make our world safe for ourselves and our children.”
Actor T.R. Knight (“Grey’s Anatomy”) was also in attendance, speaking to students from the heart, saying, “Thank you so much for what you’re doing, because if I … had this support when I was your age, I wouldn’t have wasted so many years … I would have gone out there and made a
TRU LOVED (http://www.truloved.com), written and directed by Stewart Wade (“Coffee Date”) tells the story of Tru, a sixteen year old uprooted by her lesbian moms from her gay-friendly home in San Francisco and moved to a conservative community in Southern California. Tru’s only friend is a closeted football player, and that friendship is jeopardized when she starts the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance.
Produced by BrownBag Productions, TRU LOVED stars Najarra Townsend (“Me And You And Everyone We Know”), Jake Abel (“The Lovely Bones”), Matthew Thompson (“Drake and Josh”), Alexandra Paul (“Baywatch”), Cynda Williams (“Tales of the City”), Alec Mapa (“Ugly Betty”), Bruce Vilanch (“Hairspray”), Nichelle Nichols (“Heroes”), Jasmine Guy (“A Different World”) and Jane Lynch (“The 40 Year Old Virgin”).