Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From the Director

-Upcoming ATB cities and theaters.

-A letter from ANAD.

-Washington, D.C. update!

-Napa Valley.


This weekend we'll be in Portland, OR. By the way, I have a funny Portland story for you.
Last week while I was in Napa Valley, Pedro called me. Pedro is one of our editors and he lives in Portland. When he called, he said "D, let's put together a grass roots campaign this weekend and sell out the theater here in Portland. Always up for a challenge, I said "sure. Let's do it." Pedro got two really big companies to send out rapid fire emails to hundreds of people. The first group was going to the Friday 7:30 show and having dinner afterwards to discuss the movie. Then there was a group on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Well Pedro calls me Friday night sounding sick. I said, "What's wrong, nobody showed up?" He said, "Plenty of people showed up, but the theater told them that they gave your screen away. They said the Tyler Perry movie was doing so well they needed the extra screen, so they won't be showing ATB." I thought he was joking, so I laughed. I noticed that he didn't laugh. Going into immediate mental overload, I did what any filmmaker would do that was told that kind of news while staying in Napa Valley.

You got it! I went to the local winery.

We'll be at the following theaters until this Thursday:


Mann Beverly Center 13
8522 Beverly Boulevard
Suite 835
Los Angeles, CA, 90048

PORTLAND, OR (One more week):

Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10
846 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205


Angelika Theater
5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230
Dallas, TX 75206


I was at home the other day listening to Diana Ross and the Supremes and a light bulb went off. I thought, "We've had some good opening weekends during our theatrical run; Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and a couple of other markets, but nothing compares to the crowds that we have when an eating disorder clinic or a woman's organization sponsors a theatrical showing." Our Chicago run aside, it hasn't even been close. I witnessed the eating disorder center in Minneapolis turn away people at the door.

This past Saturday, Tom and Doris, the couple that lost their daughter to Bulemia in my film, sponsored a screening at the Copia Wine Center in Napa Valley. When I found out that the tickets were $40, I thought I'd have to watch the film alone with Tom and Doris. Lo and behold, it was sold out. WOW!

The people of Napa!
This is Mary Ellen, the owner of Ophelia's place, Tom and Doris.

Tom and Doris hosted the screening as a benefit to raise money for a new eating disorders clinic that they're starting in Napa Valley.  They're doing great work around the country in the eating disorders community and they are awesome human beings as well. And I'm sure they could use a little extra cash to feed these two animals.
ATB 2 Lamas
Tom and Doris has Llama's. I would have gotten a tighter shot, but when I tried to get closer, one of them started making a snorkle sound. Not knowing much about Llama's, I decided that this vantage point was plenty.


I've been releasing the film in the traditional Hollywood way. A distributor from California books the theaters, I go to the city and do TV, radio and newspaper interviews and we pray for what's going to happen on Friday. That's worked fairly well, but nothing like the crowds that show up when an eating disorder clinic/woman's organization or university does the marketing.

So I'm going to take a 3 week break from our theatrical run to reorganize. Kind of like what a basketball player has to do when he faces Shaq. Total rethinking of the old gameplan.

In October, when we start back playing in different cities, I'm going to let various groups in different cities do the marketing for the film's theatrical release. That's the one thing that works big time.

So if you're a part of a group and you think you can get 1500 people total spread out over several shows to come to a theater in your city, email me. We'll work something out and schedule your town in our national tour.

ATB (Reorganized) Upcoming markets:


October 10th - Honolulu (I can smell the lobster now)
October 15th - Binghamtom University (Pending)
October 16th - Rochester, NY
October 17th - Syracuse, NY
October 18th - I'm taking the day off to attend a Tribute to Sidney Poitier in Chicago
October 22nd & 23rd - Atlanta (pending)
October 28th - Duke University
October 31st - Charlotte, NC


November 5th & 6th - Nashville, TN (pending)
November 9th - Bainbridge Island (pending)
November 11th - Tonawanda, NY
November 12th & 13th - Miami (pending)
November 19th & 20th - Minneapolis
November 24th - Kennedy Center Screening in Washington, DC
November 26th - Vienna, Austria
November 28th - Honolulu again! (This time I'll have crab)


December 6th - Screening at the Corning Glass Company - I know what you're thinking! Trust me. It will be awesome.

In the last week, I've had 81 additional requests, so I'll make sure to update you with new locations and dates.

March 31st will be the last day of our theatrical release. It will then be time for the long awaited DVD release. Will keep you posted on that also.

After our initial DVD release, as promised, we're going to release a PG-13 educational version that will be made available to every high school in the country.


So the other day I was chasing a fly (you know how pesky they can be) and my computer beeped, alerting me that I had an email. I checked it.

The subject line said "MTV and 12 year old wannabees"

This was the letter:


MTV is in the process of introducing a reality program titled Model Makers.  Twelve year old girls are among the program's demographics. The plot line is this. Find 17-24 year olds and among other things help them "no matter what their size" to lose weight to win the

ANAD would like to interview you (edited interview maximum of five minutes) regarding your reaction to this. Of course we will provide you more details and research on this topic. The reason for the interview is to bring pressure against Viacom and the sponsors to not air Model Makers.
The video interview would be placed on the ANAD site, and 60 second outtakes would be placed on you tube, my space, face book, etc.

Would you be willing to do the interview? Please get back to me as soon as possible.

I spoke with them briefly and suggested that they call Columbo. But I knew in my heart that I needed to do whatever I could to help ANAD. Last weekend in Napa Valley, I met 3 mother's that lost their teenage
girls to anorexia or bulimia. I'm as sure as sure gets that some impressionable teenage girl is going to watch MTV's new show and start dieting to see if she can lose weight (like the models on Tv) - See the connection.

She's then going to get an eating disorder and some of them are going to die. What was MTV thinking to come up with such an ill-conceived idea. Geeez.

Well I told ANAD that I'm on board.

reaches millions of people through their website and they have a great publicity team with one relentless person in particular on their staff that just won't give up. Ever.

So in addition to releasing the film in 50 more cities over the next 6 months, I'm going to do whatever I can to help save a few girls lives.


I made my rounds on Capital Hill last week with the Eating Disorders Coalition.

This is Jenni Schaefer, the author of "Life without ED," Jeanine Cogan, of the Eating Disorders Coalition, myself and Kitty Westin, of the EDC in front of the State Capitol Building.

We met with representatives of several Senators and Congressmen to discuss why they should pass the Mental Health Parity Bill. This is the bill that would be the start to forcing insurance companies to cover eating disorders on parity with other mental illnesses.

I went in there expecting a fight, but to my surprise, they all agreed with our position and stated on the record that they supported the bill and would do whatever they could to get it passed before the session breaks in 3 weeks.

 The gentleman from Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr's office was REALLY behind the bill. He started lecturing us as to why it was so important.

I'm explaining why the madness has to stop.

They did however warn us that there was someone in Oregon that could prevent the bill from passing unanimously.

Say a prayer that the Mental Health Parity Bill gets passed, because if we can't stop MTV from airing their new ill-conceived show, a lot of girls are going to need the insurance.

I'm off to see if I can find a Llama here in Chicago!

Until next time,

Darry Roberts

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'America The Beautiful' - Revlon at it again...Dallas/Portland


-ATB cities and theaters.

-Revlon is at it again.


This weekend we're in 5 cities. If you know anyone that lives in or near either of these 5 cities, please forward this email and ask them to support "America the Beautiful." Make sure you tell them that attending the theater is crucial between this Friday September 5th and Sunday the 7th.

Here are the 5 cities and theaters where we'll be this weekend through next Thursday.

Check theater listings for showtimes!

LOS ANGELES (third week):

Mann Beverly Center 13
8522 Beverly Boulevard
Suite 835
Los Angeles, CA, 90048

SAN DIEGO (second week):

Regal Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

LAS VEGAS (second week):

Regal Village Square
9400 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89117

PORTLAND, OR (first week)

Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10
846 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205

DALLAS, TX (first week):

Angelika Theater
5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230
Dallas, TX 75206


Sundance Kabuki -
1881 Post Street at Fillmore
San Francisco, CA 94115

ATB Walton
I did an interview at KTLA in Los Angeles the other day. I ran into this nice gentleman named Walton. He told me he was one of the stars of the TV show "The Shield." He was such a nice guy. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'd never seen the show before. I will watch a couple of episodes this season for sure!


In "America the Beautiful," there is a scene where I take some random cosmetics into a lab to get tested for phthalates. All three of the products tested contained phthalates including a bottle of nail polish by Revlon. Also in the film are experts that explain to us that phthalates are suspected of causing allergies and cancer. Jeannie Rizzo of the Breast Cancer Fund even explains that phthalates and other carcinagens probably cause breast cancer in women. Well even though some of Revlon's products contain phthalates and phthalates are suspected of causing cancer, twice a year Revlon puts on it's happy face and supports the Breast Cancer Walk.

Well Revlon (I guess even happier) is at it again. Recently an important bill was up for passing at the State Capitol in California, that would have forced cosmetic companies to remove lead from lipstick. (I thought they'd done so already). But the powerful lobbyists of the cosmetics companies were successful in getting the bill killed.

Guess what cosmetics company was out in full force to help squash the bill. You're right! Corect answer! You should play Jeopardy! You'd win a fortune!

Revlon helped kill a bill that was meant to protect women from harm.

You can read about it here:

Revlon is at it again

I know we've been begging for companies to have social responsibility for years, but pleas like this doesn't seem to work. Since pleas for incorporating social responsibility into the corporate model have fallen on deaf ears, we have to now implement personal responsibility. That is simply a stance that says if you refuse to care about the people that support you, then we won't support you anymore. Believe me, that's the quickest way to get a companies attention.

The options are few. Either personal responsibility or lead lips. You choose.


I'm getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. to beg and plead for the senate to past the latest mental health parity bill that's on the books. This bill will be the first step in providing insurance coverage for girls with eating disorders.

The Eating Disorders Coalition wants the bill passed before the senate breaks for the holidays in November because they're afraid that the new president will have a different agenda and the bill will never get passed.

If you know anyone with an eating disorder, then you're aware of how debilitating this condition can be. Write your state congressman and demand that they vote for the mental health parity bill.

Girls are counting on you.


We had a premiere in Portland, Oregon tonight. I'll develop the pictures from the camera that I purchased at Rite Aid at post them soon.

Until next time,

Stay beautiful,
Darryl Roberts

'America The Beautiful' - R Rating / Hufington Post


-ATB theater announcements.
The ATB LA Premiere.
Why we got an R rating for the film.
My new writing assignment.
An update regarding our congressional screening in D.C. next month. We're going to try and get help for every teenage girl suffering from an eating disorder in this country.


This weekend we're in 4 cities. If you know anyone that lives in either of these 4 cities, forward this email and ask them to support "America the Beautiful." Make sure you tell them that attending the theater is crucial between this Friday the 29th and Sunday the 31st.

Our numbers this weekend will determine if we stay a second week or not. Forwarding these emails actually work. Last Friday the Monte Nido Treatment Center and the Shoreline Treatment Center in California sent out email blasts for the evening shows on the 22nd in Los Angeles which ended in them being sold out. We can make a difference!

The 4 cities and theaters where we open this Friday:
Check theater listings for showtimes!

LOS ANGELES (second week):

Mann Beverly Center 13
8522 Beverly Boulevard
Suite 835
Los Angeles, CA, 90048

Culver Plaza Theatres
9919 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 836-5511


Regal Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101


Regal Village Square
9400 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89117


Sundance Kabuki
1881 Post Street at Fillmore
San Francisco, CA 94115



Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10
846 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205


Angelika Theater
5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230
Dallas, TX 75206

Now for some ATB news!

LA Premiere -
We had the Los Angeles Premiere of "America the Beautiful," on Tuesday August 19th at the Mann's Chinese Theater. It rocked! All 500 seats were occupied and the response was phenomenal. This was possible because of the support of the YWCA.


Faye of the YWCA Los Angeles branch and Lorraine of the YWCA national branch did a fabulous job.
Rapper David Banner, Gerren and Dr. Anthony Griffin of "Extreme Makeover," attended the premiere.
I got the chance to do an interview with "Access Hollywood."

The next day I was interviewed by Tatiana Ali. She played Ashley, the young girl on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Gerren is 18 now. She got a car a month ago. I even heard she was dating. It seems like yesterday when she was 12 on the couch saying "ooooh, boys suck!"

Some people that came out to the premiere. The asian lady told me that she would have voted for me on --If you haven't seen the movie yet, never mind.

Actor Michael Beach "Waiting to Exhale, Soul Food, ER & Third Watch," came with his wife. She's on his right. Two nights later she made dinner for Mike and I. She's a good cook. I'm eating some of her leftover sweet potato pie as I type this.

Two women at the premiere. I didn't get a chance to meet them and no I'm not relapsing!


Those of you that have seen the film will know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't seen it yet, I don't want to give it away because it's one of the biggest laughs in the movie.

There's a scene where a woman walks into a plastic surgery office and asks to have her privates shaped to look like a picture in Playboy Magazine. Then we cut to Eve Ensler "The Vagina Monologues," who looks into the camera and tells men what to do if they don't like women the way that are. She uses 1 word of profanity. 1 word! And they gave me an R for it. Have you seen "Dark Knight," or "Hellboy 2?" I walked into "Hellboy 2," the other day and the first thing I saw was someone getting a sword to the head and I get an R for 1 swear word.

I was given the chance to take it out and get a PG-13 so that teenagers could see the film. I declined because I felt that women have been expected to assimilate into a male dominated society for hundreds of years and Eve was saying there's nothing wrong with women, maybe there's something wrong with men. I took that to be a statement of empowerment for women, so I left it in. But when we leave the theaters, I'm going to take it out so I can get a PG-13 and release the film to every high school in the country.


Next month on September 10th, we're having a congressional screening of the film sponsored by Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN). The purpose of screening the film for congress is to get them to pass an important bill on the books that would require insurance companies to cover eating disorders on parity with other mental illnesses. Right now insurance companies don't have to cover eating disorders and parents are taking out second mortgages on their homes to cover the $25,000 a month for their child to get treatment.

Two bills have been introduced in Congress in an effort to provide access to care for people with mental health conditions such as eating disorders. The bills promote mental health parity, in which some insurance policies would be required to cover treatment for eating disorders equal to the coverage offered for medical conditions. The Senate bill and the House bill vary, but the Eating Disorders Coalition supports BOTH. The original 1996 mental health parity bill must be reauthorized by Congress. Compared to the new U.S. Senate version of the bill (S 558), the new House version of the bill (HR 1424) is more responsive to the needs of people seeking treatment for an eating disorder.

If you're in the Washington D.C. area on September 10th and would like to support us on this hopefully historic day, go to this website to get the information and come on out:

Washington D.C. Screening


For the last 6 months or so, I've been blogging to keep you up to speed with what's been happening with ATB as well as making you privy to the inner workings of the film industry.

Well my blogs will be wider read because I'm now writing for "The Huffington Post." For those of you that don't know Arrianna Huffington, she's a very well respected social critic. The Huffington Post regularly breaks major news stories, sometimes before the daily papers.

Here is my first post and I'll keep you up to speed on future posts that I make:

The Huffington Post

Until next time, have a great, wonderful and fantastic day!

Darryl Roberts
"America the Beautiful"

ATB comes to LA!

to anyone you think might be interested in our film's message. Los Angeles is a key market and we really need your support. The national press has really jumped on board to help us promote the film and if you send this to EVERYONE that you know and stress to them the importance of coming out to see the film THIS WEEKEND, I believe we can reverse the damage that was done by a couple of industry evil do'ers in NY. The theaters where we're opening this Friday in L.A. are listed below.

Also we open in San Diego and San Francisco on Friday August 29th. Then we open in Dallas and Portland on September 5th. The theaters for these cities are listed on our website:

I will send you a full update of what ended up happening in NY and what happens in Los Angeles this weekend.

Here is some of the press that we've gotten recently:

ABC News in Los Angeles (Last night):

ABC News

CNN News (Last week):

CNN News

Good Morning America Now ( 2 weeks ago):

Good Morning America Now

The Today Show ( 3 weeks ago):

The Today Show

Quick story. The last day that I was in New York a woman walked up to me and said she was an executive from MTV. I wasn't really in the mood for confrontation so my attitude was just sue me. But she wasn't there to sue me. She said she was there to let me know that MTV is aware of the damage that they've done to young girls and they've put some programs in place to help them. The woman then proceeded to show me some social programs that MTV had started to help with girls self-esteem. I was blown away! She told me that she'd like to see what MTV could do to help me with the film.

Then Glamour Magazine and 17 Magazine posted a blog on their website saying that the film was awesome. Just goes to show you, there are always some good crusaders in every industry willing to make a difference.

I never in a million years expected this kind of support. Los Angeles will be interesting. We had a premiere last night and it seems that Los Angeles in going to come out in full force to support the film. I will update you with pictures from the premiere last night. It was awesome!

I also heard that some stringer (not a main critic) for the Los Angeles Times is probably going to dig into us in this Friday's LA Times. But we're ready for him this time. The Monte Nido Treatment Center and 38 other organizations have put together a grass roots campaign to come out and support the film that should send the guy back to where he belongs. Internet ettiquette precludes me from saying where that is.

I'll be doing a Q&A at the Laemmle Sunset 5 with some of the people featured in the film on Friday August 22nd at the 7 and 9pm shows. Join us!

New York New York

I knew it would eventually come. I cannot name anyone specifically in this edition (I'd be sued faster than you can say split pea.)

As you probably know "America the Beautiful," opened this past Friday August 1st. 2 weeks ago I did about 14 print interviews with Kirsten Haglund, the 2008 Miss America. All of them were supposed to come out a few days before the film opened on August 1st in an effort to create massive awareness.

Lo and behold, what do you know, it's Sunday August 3rd as I write this and 90% of the interviews "mysteriously" never ran. I have no idea what happened, (well of course I do, but the legal system doesn't permit me to say). What I can legally point out is that a couple of people in the beauty industry are trying to run me out of NY. About 2 months ago, someone from a cosmetics company told me "all you have to do is take the part out of your film about the phthalates in cosmetics and you'll be fine."

California Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill recently banning phthalates in children's products. In the article the Govenor's office admits that phthalates are linked to cancer and he says we have to protect our children. What I want to know is who's protecting our women? Read the story here:

Well, after not getting much press and watching only a few people show up to our Friday and Saturday showings, I decided to throw in the towel and go back to Chicago. But then I thought about it. That's exactly what they want me to do. Everything would then be honkey dorey and they could leave the toxins in our cosmetics, keep making billions and we'd be the only one's suffering from the ensuing afflictions.

Then it occured to me. I'm not alone in this fight. I have 14,287 of you to help me.

I want to send a message to the industry here in NY that we've had enough and aren't taking it anymore. If phthalates being elimated is good enough for Arnold, then it's good enough for me. We have to show the industry that our grass roots prowess is as powerful as their machine.

We did it in Chicago. With your help the film had a successful run. But unfortunately the industry isn't there so they didn't care.

Today, Sunday August 3rd, if you can forward this email to everyone that you know of that lives in NY city and anywhere within driving distance of NY city and ask them to take 2 hours out of their day to come and support "America the Beautiful," then the film may live to see another day. If this doesn't happen, then next week we'll be gone and the bigwigs at the cosmetics companies will find some more chemicals to put into our bloodstream.

Remember what I said in the film. "The industy isn't going to change because things are too profitable the way they are. Ultimately responsibility is in our hands. We can buy and support the things that have our best interest at heart.

I'm asking for your support. I know you probably planned on water rafting today, but if you get everyone that you know in NY to come out to support the film, the next time that I put some hotdogs on the grill, you can come by.

Also, if you know someone in NY that you want to sponsor today, you can buy 2 tickets for them and have them pick them up at the box office. Trust me they'll thank you. You can buy the tickets here:

The film is playing at:

Cinema Village Theater
22 E. 12th Street
New York, New York

I will be at the theater today meeting everyone that comes out. Maybe after one of the shows, we can go to the museum and sing "Buffalo Bob."

So in addition to not getting any publicity, most of the critics in New York performed a hatchet job on me. As you know, all over the U.S., credible critics like Roger Ebert, Ain't it Cool News, etc. have praised the film. But the New York Times said that the film was pointless and basically had no reason to exist. Hmmmmm.

This is where I could pontificate on a few things, but once again, legally I can't. What I can do is help you not to get duped in the future by a "so-called" critic. When reading a review, most of us just say that the New York Times said such and such. Well all critics aren't created equal. At every major paper in the country, they have the real critics that are seasoned, professional and actually know what they're talking about. Then they have the B list critics. it's important to know exactly who's writing the review that you're reading.

The real critics at the New York Times are: STEPHEN HOLDEN, A. O. Scott and Manohla Dargis. You can see they're very respectable credentials by clicking on their name. Now the woman that wrote the review for "America the Beautiful," if you click on her name, you get nothing. No bio, no work history, nothing. Well since she did the hatchet job on me, I decided to do a little research on her. I can't say what I found because once again I may end up in court. But do the research yourself. Her name is Jeannette Catsoulis. She has a history of doing these type of "reviews." Everyone that has seen the film will get a kick out of this:

Even a major critic had to complain about her lack of (oops, I'm about to get sued for defamation of character) on his blog. Read it here:


A woman at the NY Daily News saw the film and loved it. She decided to take one of the topics from the film and write an article about it. She chose plastic surgery. You can read her article here:

The article turned out very nice. It's "Angels," like this reporter that step up and make a difference giving people like myself a platform when I wouldn't normally have one.

When this article came out on Thursday July 31st, I must admit I wasn't ready for what would happen next. I got an email from someone at "The Today Show," asking if I would come on the following morning with Mary Nissenson. She's the woman in my film that lost her business, her husband and her house because she decided to get plastic surgery. Here's the irony. She was the former host of "The Today Show." I told them she lived on a remote island in Hawaii and suggested that they bring Gerren on. The model from the movie. The following morning I was in a Town Car on my way to NBC Studios to tape the today show. I was hoping that I'd get a chance to meet Al Roker. I didn't though.

You can watch "The Today Show," segment here:

Darryl and Meridith

TOO AWSOME - We were interviewed by Meredith!

Cheryl Crowe jams

Right after we taped, Sheryl Crowe sang in the plaza.

A picture with Crowe

Gerren and I even got to take a picture with Sheryl.

While Sheryl was singing, I had my eye on her backup singer. Later she was actually 3 feet away from me, but I decided to go back to my hotel and savor the illusion.

I want to leave you with these quotes from "real" critics:

"Powerful Message!" -Roger Ebert
"Embraces a Remarkable Array of Topics" -Variety
"Captivating!" -The LA Times

America The Beautiful Opens August 1

America The Beautiful is an independent film, whose success is directly dependent on the help we receive from our supporters. If you like the film or support it's message, we'd appreciate you forwarding on this email to anyone you believe would also be interested.

America The Beautiful is Now Playing at
The Cinema Village Theater
22 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003

CLICK HERE to see a Trailer
or copy and paste URL in your web browser