Just wanted to give a shout-out to our good friends Denis Henry Hennelly and Casey Suchan at Open Road Films. I (Andie) have known Denis for twenty years, and he was definitely instrumental in helping me write and produce Paradise Recovered. Without Denis’s encouragement, I probably would have walked away from the daunting task of writing a script long ago. His friendship has always meant a great deal to me, and I am extremely proud of him.
At any rate, Denis and Casey’s narrative film Bold Native premiered last Wednesday at the Majestic Crest Theatre in Los Angeles, which is a great little neighborhood theatre and a great premiere venue. The film was sold out, and there was a group of people waiting outside to see if they could get on a waiting list. An enviable position, but one that they worked hard to make happen.
Denis and Casey obviously put a lot of heart and soul into making this film, and they believe passionately in the rights of animals to live pain-free lives. They made this film with very little money but with a great deal of talent. Kudos to Jeff Bollman, the Director of Photography, who shot an amazing movie. A lot of great performances from actors like Joaquin Pastor, Randolph Mantooth, Sheila Vand, Tonya Kay, Jessica Hagan, Matt Shea, and too many others to mention here.
It was great to see non-actors cast in this film as well, especially those who have a heart for the project. Denis and Casey were able to coax some great performances from these folks because their collective passion for the topic really shines through.
The film is edited in a way that is fast-paced while informative. Some of the images of animal abuse will stay with me for a long, long time. Regardless of how you feel about eating animals and animal products, the absolute waste of life and the assembly line format of killing made us wonder about those people who carry out these daunting tasks for their livelihood. Most of these folks are illegal immigrants who are paid less than minimum wage with no unemployment or workers’ compensation protection.
So Storme and I had this great opportunity to hang with the Open Road folks this past weekend and share war stories. It was neat to see that although our two films are very different in topic and scope, there are a lot of similarities in terms of how we reach an audience and how we break the rules in telling the stories that we both so want to tell.
It takes a pretty strong constitution to see a film from idea to premiere. We know. And we are proud to know the Open Road team. Their friendship and love is precious and contagious. We wish them well.
If you would like more information about how you can catch a screening of Bold Native, check out their website at www.boldnative.com