Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oprah Winfrey Library - Tyra Banks - Houston, TX this Friday!

This Friday we're at the Angelika Theatre in Houston, TX. If you know anyone in Houston, TX forward this email to them. I'm planning to be at the theatre on Friday and Saturday after the 7pm show to do a Q&A.

Friday November 14th
Angelika Theatre
510 Texas Street
Houston, Texas 77002

Click here and select Friday or Saturday to buy tickets:
Houston Angelika Tickets

Also the tickets are on sale for the Chicago Special Screening and Reception. (Below) It's my birthday and we're going to celebrate with special guests. This where it all started for the film. We opened May 9th in Chicago and after our 6 week run, it was off to the races. So we're coming back for a 1 night encore on December 9th.

IN THIS ISSUE:

- THE OPRAH WINFREY LIBRARY
- OUR SCREENING ON BAINBRIDGE ISLAND
- FIRST BEAUTIFUL PERSON OF THE WEEK
- A LOOPY ATLANTA ADVENTURE
- OUR YWCA NORTH TONOWANDA SCREENING
- SECOND BEAUTIFUL PERSON OF THE WEEK
- THE TYRA BANKS INFLUENCE
- UPDATED CITY AND THEATRE SCHEDULE


- THE OPRAH WINFREY LIBRARY

I got an email 2 days ago from the librarian at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy School in South Africa. She said she'd like to include "America the Beautiful," in the library so the girls, ages middle school to high school, could watch it.

Imagine being able to contribute in any way to the great legacy that Oprah has built with her school.

I didn't blink. I emailed her back and said - Absolutely!

Guess what the name of the library is? The Sydney Poitier Library. Again. Another honor.

I must say, this little film is taking me places and doing things that I could have only dreamed of 5 years ago when I started.

- OUR SCREENING ON BAINBRIDGE ISLAND

Last Sunday, we screened the film on Bainbridge Island, which is a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle.


I may fear planes, but hey, I'm game for a ferry ride.


Beautiful view from the ferry.

The organization, Our Beauty Within, founded by Michele Doyle, sponsored the screening.


Founder Michele Doyle

They help girls from 8-12 years old with self-esteem issues. I didn't know what to expect from a screening on a small Island, but tons of people came out.


Women talk outside the theatre before the show starts.

It seems to be a running theme with the film now. Tons of mothers bring their young daughters to see the film.





Even a 7 year old came.


The father came along with this family.


This lady came all the way from Vancouver, Canada with her brother to see the film. Impressive!


I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the people that attended.


Rosanne sold her books in the lobby and donated a portion of the proceeds to Our Beauty Within.



Our Beauty Within had a packed house.

In the lobby of the theatre, they showcased a book where women and girls wrote about the things that they wish they'd known when they were suffering from a low self-esteem.





This was an awesome affair. And I got a chance to meet Michele Doyle's daughter. She helped her mom run the entire event. Very sweet girl and she's one of my "Beautiful Persons," this week.


- FIRST BEAUTIFUL PERSON OF THE WEEK


This is Aubrey, 13 years old. In her own words, this is what makes her beautiful -

What makes me beautiful is that I don't try to be beautiful. I take on the things that life gives to me.

I dance, sing, play music, ride horses, draw, paint, ride unicycles, juggle, photograpg and take care of animals for fun.

The world would be a better place if people treated each other the way they deserve to be, instead of how they think they should be treated.

My friends, Diana, Shellby and rebecca are all unique and different and have their own special qualities. We all have our own similarities, yet none of us are the same.

I'm willing to befriend people who are kind and don't care to speak with those who aren't.

Finally, I would like to be treated based on my actions instead of my body.


On the ferry ride back to Seattle from Bainbridge Island, the fabulous author played the harmonica for me. She rocked!

- A LOOPY ATLANTA ADVENTURE

Remember 3 weeks ago, I told you that I found this awesome fish place in Atlanta. Well I couldn't get it off of my mind, so I booked my connecting flight from Seattle to Buffalo, NY through Atlanta. The problem was that the plane landed at 7:46am and the connecting flight to Buffalo left at 8:30am.

Since the fish place didn't open until 11am, I had a choicve to make. The choice was to get on the connecting flight at 8:30am or blow it off and go to the fish place when they opened and explain to the airline why I missed the flight upon my return.

As my mom used to say when I was a little boy, I'm not wrapped too tight, so I went to the fish place. I called a guy that I know Victor and he picked me up from the airport. Since we had a couple of hours before the fish place opened, Victor gave me the nickel tour of Atlanta.

Finally 11am hit and I bought a bag full of fish and Vic dropped me back at the airport. Sure enough, the gate agent asked why I missed the connecting flight. This is where things can get tricky, if the answer isn't good enough, they'll make you buy a new one way ticket to wherever you're going.

I decided if that was going to happen to me, then I'm going down in flames. I told her, I just had to go to this fish place. The fish was just too good for me to get on that connecting flight. The fish is so good that it makes me see double.

She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "I think you have a problem." She started to type on her computer and I said, "Wait. Before you ruin me at least taste the fish."

Believe it or not, she tasted the fish and gave me my boarding pass. Chalk up one for the home team on that one!

- OUR YWCA NORTH TONOWANDA SCREENING

The screening in Buffalo was sponsored by the North Tonawanda YWCA and the Western NY YWCA.

The YWCA celebrates their 150th year this year. They are the oldest women's organization out here fighting for women's rights.

I was nervous about this screening. First of all Joelle Logue, of the YWCA, called me last week and told me they hadn't sold any tickets. She was panicking. I was going to tell her that's the nature of being a promoter. Every blue moon you lose your shirt. Something told me she wouldn't have appreciated the wisdom in that statement, so I decided to be reassuring.

On top of it all, the theatre manager was panicking because he didn't have the film yet. He called and called and called. I told her to tell him that I'd done this 50 times and it takes 5 minutes to set it up. He still called and called and called.

I'm like, geez, all of this stress. I could be somewhere playing card games on Yahoo Games.

One thing that I did notice when I got to Buffalo, was all of the newspaper interviews that I'd done over the phone the week before were all front page stories. It was impressive as heck.

The morning of the screening, Joelle picked me up and took me to the TV station. I did an interview with the executive director of the YWCA on "AM Buffalo," which runs on the ABC affiliate in Buffalo.

In the car, Joelle kept saying she was nervous. I thought she was going to have a medical condition if no one showed up. I told her, as of late, when I do press in a city, we've been getting really big crowds. To give her some perspective, I told her about the time I did a Q&A for 4 people in a theatre. It was one of the best Q&A's that I've done. very intimate. This seemed to calm her down some.

She offered to take me to Niagara Falls. I said "sure." Anything to get her mind off the screening.


Well Niagara Falls was awesome.

She asked me to take a picture wearing a Buffalo Bills hat. I learned years ago that you don't insult people's football teams, so I sucked it up.


It was cold as heck. And I didn't want to tell Joelle how afraid of heights I was. She wanted me to stand right next to that railing. Once again, I sucked it up.

You know what happened during our trip around Buffalo? I really started liking Joelle. I'm like, she's awesome. She told me all about her husband and some great work that she was doing. More about that later.

Well in a nutshell, all of her worrying was for nothing. So many people showed up to the screening, it was actually unbelievable. Our second largest crowd from a organization sponsored screening.


Tons of people.

And once again, tons and tons of mothers and daughters. The film is really catching on with teenage girls.




Lots of other people came also -




Another father -


One of the women from the YWCA


The gang!

- THE TYRA BANKS INFLUENCE

I met a girl that was really excited to see the film. She asked me if I knew Tyra Banks.

"Nope." "Sure don't."

She says, you don't know about "So what."

I said, "never heard of it."

She says "Oh my God." Tyra is so awesome." She came up with the "So What," campaign.

Because she was dying to tell me, I asked "what is that?"

It's where Tyra says "So what," to body dissatisfaction. Tyra has flabby arms, but she says, "So what." Anything that society says is not perfect about her physically, she says "so what."

I ponder it for a moment. Hmmmm. "I see. Interesting. I like that!"

"So me and my friends have started our own "So what," movement. Dedicated to Tyra. We all have flaws and things that we've been ashamed of, but -

I beat her to the punchline and say "So what."

She says, "you got it." "We are so much more than what our bodies look like."

I say "absolutely."

She said you have to get me on Tyra's show. It's my dream in life. I took her email address and told her that I'd give it a try. I'm a sucker for a hard luck story.

She then says - show Tyra this. This is my "So What," movement.



Yowza! She's not joking about this "So what," stuff.

Alright Tyra. I'm going to hunt you down in the name of "So what."

- SECOND BEAUTIFUL PERSON OF THE WEEK

If you know my style, then you already know who the second "Beautiful Person," of the week is. You're correct. It's Joelle Logue of the YWCA. What a beautiful, awesome woman.

Instead of Joelle telling me why she's beautiful, I'm going to tell you why I think she's beautiful.

First of all she's one of the kindest, caring and most thoughtful women I've met in a long time.

On top of that, Joelle's the co-chair of the World Relations Council of the YWCA, USA. She went to Nairobi to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

She then told me that the United States was the biggest perpetrator of violence against women for an industrialized country. They were on the list with Iran and Burundi. They signed the UN Agreement but didn't ratify it.

So Joelle is on the delegation to get CEDAW ratified and make sure that all countries adhere to it. Wow! What important work.

We love you Joelle!

- UPDATED CITY AND THEATRE SCHEDULE

If you know anyone in any of these cities where the film is opening, feel free to spread the word and encourage them to come out and support the film. I have an army of organizations across the country that have signed on to be a part of my marketing team to help promote the film.

Like I've stated previously, the film will be in cities across the country until March 30th, then we'll get ready for the long awaited DVD release.

We have 41 universities pending. Will update soon.

NOVEMBER:
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Houston, TX - Opens November 14th

Angelika Theatre
510 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002
I plan to be present for a Q&A for the 7pm and 9pm shows
on Friday November 14th and Saturday November 15th

Buy tickets here:
Houston Screening
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Minneapolis, MN - November 19th and 20th

Emily Program Sponsored
Landmark Lagoon Cinema
1320 Lagoon Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-6006
7pm & 9:30pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Minneapolis
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Milwaukee, WI - November 25th and 26th

Times Cinema
5906 W. Vliet Street
Milwaukee, WI
414-453-3128
7pm show each night
I'll do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Milwaukee
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Honolulu, HI - Opens November 28th

Doris Duke Theatre
(Inside the Honolulu Academy of the Arts)
900 South Beretania
Honolulu, HI 96814
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DECEMBER:
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Philadelphia, PA - December 3rd - 1 NIGHT ONLY!

Landmark Ritz 5
214 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-925-7900
7pm show
I will do a Q&A after the 7pm show on the 3rd

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Philadelphia

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Corning, NY - December 4th

Ophelia Place Sponsor

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Corning, NY - December 5th

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Chicago, IL - December 9th - 1 Night Only!

My 1st Annual "Thank You Chicago - America the Beautiful" Screening/Reception & Birthday Bash. GOING TO BE LOTS OF FUN!

Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
773-871-6604

Screening Only $12 - get ticket here:
Chicago Screening Only

Screening/Reception Package - $15 (only 300 of these)
Screening / Reception Package
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JANUARY:
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Boston, MA - January 22nd (pending)
Northeastern University
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Nashville, TN - January 28th and 29th (Pending)

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FEBRUARY:
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St. Louis, Missouri - February 2nd and 3rd (Pending)
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Butler University - February 4th

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East Lansing, Michigan - February 10th

Michigan State University
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Binghamton, NY - February 12th

Binghamton University
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Colgate University - February 16th
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San Jose, CA - February 17th (Pending)

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Reno, NV - February 20th
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Towson, MD - February 22nd

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Ames, Iowa - February 23rd

Iowa State University

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Memphis, TN - February 24th

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Tucson, AZ - February 25th

University of Tucson
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Dallas, TX - February 26th and 27th

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OHIO - February 28th

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MARCH:
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Corpus Christie, TX - March 18th (Pending)
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Charlotte, NC - March 28th

University of North Carolina - Charlotte
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Have a great, wonderful and fantastic day,
Darryl Roberts

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

News! - MTV will not air reality show Model Makers

As some of you may be aware, MTV was involved with a
new "reality" program entitled "Model Makers." The show aimed to take
15 young women between the ages of 17 and 24 and turn them into high fashion models by forcing them to lose weight. Sounds disturbing doesn't it?
It's actually worse than it sounds! The website for the site itself
pulled no punches in its description of the program which "dares to go
where no modeling show has gone before":

"Have you always wanted to model but don't know where to start? Maybe
you don't know the right people. Maybe you are not thin enough. Women
come in all shapes and sizes, but models don't."

Read it for yourself here!

A lot of words popped into my head when I found out about MTV's plans
to broadcast such filth: Disappointment, Disgust, Anger - to name but
a few. For two months I blogged about the deleterious effects of the show in blogs like this.

I even took it upon myself to write an open letter to MTV on
behalf of teenage women on my October 6th Huffington Post blog.

Huffington Post article

In my letter, which I know many of you read, I warned MTV of the
dangers of promoting such a careless and destructive message. A
message that has become almost pervasive these days and leads to
millions of unnecessary eating disorders.
How many millions of young girls everywhere would be negatively
affected by the ludicrous premise of the show: A beautiful woman = A
very thin woman. None, if I could help it.

Recently I was on CNN News talking about the show and the potential dangers. I encouraged all of you to write MTV and a lot of you did!

I have tons of letters from mothers and teenagers themselves that were sent to MTV, letting them know that this kind of programming would not be tolerated.

I had even come up with a great idea. On the first night of "Model Makeovers," airing, whenever that was, I was going to have all of you across the country interview every teenager that you could find with your video cameras and cell phones, having them tell us in their own words what they thought of the show.

I was then going to take the footage and turn it into a documentary, entering it into film festivals and theaters across the country. The name of the documentary was going to be called "MTV, look at what you done to be." Catchy title!

I called MTV today to find out when they had planned on airing the show and they said, "We no longer plan on airing "Model Makers."

WOW! My first thought was the American public is awesome. When you decide that you've had enough, you can move mountains.

Speaking of which, I have a tree outside that I can't quite dig up, why don't the thousands of you come on over, so we can talk about it.

Seriously, I'm so proud of every person and every organization out there that voiced a complaint. From the bottom of my heart, if I could afford it, I would treat all of you to a taco and a glass of tap water. I'm sure you'd rather have juice or soda, but it has too much sugar in it. Hey, just trying to do my part!

I take no personal credit for "Model Makers," not being released. The credit is all yours. Every person and every organization. I'm just one guy, trying to make a difference. It's all of you collectively that have the powerful voice.

For all I know, someone at MTV decided the show was ill-conceived. What's important here is that the show doesn't see light of day, not who's responsible.

This is a step in the right direction for millions of
teenage girls everywhere!

To teenagers across America,

I want to say that we love you!
You're beautiful, exactly the way that you are!

And thank you MTV. You did the right thing. If this show not airing creates an extra half-hour in your schedule, call me. I have plenty of show ideas.

Darryl Roberts
"America the Beautiful"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

'America The Beautiful' - Huffington Post #2 / Atlanta-Charlotte

Let me start off by saying that I missed all of you the past 3 weeks. Sometimes vacations can be overrated because you lose touch with so many people. That being said, I'm re-energized and ready to continue spreading this message to all that will listen.


IN THIS ISSUE:

- My Huffington Post letter to MTV
- New, updated cities
- Honolulu News
- New item "Beautiful Person of the Week"

- HUFFINGTON POST LETTER TO MTV


In a last ditch effort, I decided to write a letter and appeal to MTV to cancel their new show "Model Makers." I did it in the form of an open letter in my Huffington Post column. I figured since millions read The Huffington Post, I would be able to pick up a few extra warriors along the way.

Feel free to write a letter to MTV or it's parent company Viacom yourself. If you're not the letter writing type, feel free to forward my email to someone at MTV. Either way, we have to do something. Teenage girls are counting on us.

Click here to read my Huffington Post letter to MTV:
Huffington Post MTV Letter


- HONOLULU NEWS


As I write this, I'm sitting on the balcony of my hotel in Honolulu. I can see the water right below me.


You must be thinking, "man, he's having tons of fun." Let me put this in perspective for you. The Honolulu Academy of Arts saw my film somehow and invited me to their prestigious film screening series called "Friends of Film Friday."  Every Friday for 15 weeks in a row, they'll showcase the best (their words, not mine) films from all over the world. We were chosen to kick off the 2008/2009 series which starts this Friday October 10th at the Doris Duke Theatre.

I got an email from the curator of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Gina Caruso, saying "it would be thrilling if you'd come and speak to the Honolulu community after we show your film." Gina seemed like a really nice woman and I read on the internet that the series is sponsored by Louis Vuitton, so I said yes.  I was thinking maybe ol' Louie would throw in a wallet or handbag.

Gina Caruso and I at Honolulu Public Radio

  OK. This is where things got to be not so enjoyable. I have to confess, that I have a terrible condition that I call "are we about to crash."  Everytime I'm on a plane, that's all I think about. It's absolutely brutal. The flight here was 9 hours and I can only describe it as being worse than "Chinese Water Torture." 

Landing would have been pure ectasy if it wasn't for the fact that I still have the return portion of the trip to contend with. Actually I'm proud of myself, because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it at all. I thought about not going at least 27 times. But I knew that I had to because Gina was soooo nice. And it is pretty picturesque.


The people here in Honolulu are very earthy and in touch with nature. I went to a restaurant and birds would fly onto the tables where people were eating and join in. That's right! A bird started eating out of a man's plate and he kept eating right along with the bird. I saw this happen at several tables. My first thought was "wow, I want to be deep like that."


I ordered shrimp from this particular restaurant and sure nuff, a bird landed to take one of my shrimp.

I swear this was pure reflex. I swung so hard to shoo the bird from my shrimp that by the time it had regained balance, it was all the way across the street.

Ooops! I didn't mean to do that. I felt like one of those unexposed Americans that had never been anywhere. Since everyone at the restaurant was giving me the evil eye, I asked for my shrimp to go, and ate them as I drove back to the hotel. I was seriously wondering, why didn't I let the bird nibble out of my plate with me. What did the residents of Hawaii know that I hadn't discovered yet? This was so normal for them.

While driving, I was feeling like a neanderthal. To purge myself of those feelings and get some culture, I went to the Honolulu Aquarium.


When I left, I felt human again.

I will send you pictures from tomorrow's screening here in Honolulu as I'm sure it's going to be awesome. Then on Saturday as you're enjoying your day, send out a prayer for me. I'll be on a Boeing 777 feeling the pain.

- UPDATED CITIES:

If you know anyone in any of these cities where the film is opening, feel free to spread the word and encourage them to support the film. I have an army of organizations across the country that have signed on to be a part of my marketing team to help promote the film.

Like I've stated previously, the film will be in cities across the country until March 30th, then we'll get ready for the long awaited DVD release.

OCTOBER:

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Rochester, NY - October 16th

Bharti Dunne Sponsored

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Syracuse, NY - October 17th

Ophelia's Place Sponsored
The Palace Theatre
2385 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13206
7pm
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Chicago, IL - October 18th

Tribute to Sidney Poitier
Personal Day (Gotta have em sometimes)

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Atlanta, GA - October 22nd and 23rd

Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
931 Monroe Drive
Atlanta, GA 30308
678-495-1424
7pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Atlanta

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Raleigh/Durham, NC - October 28th

Duke University

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Charlotte, NC - Opens Friday, October 31st

Ballantyne Village Theatre
14815 John J. Delaney Dr.
Charlotte, NC
I'll do a Q&A after the 7pm and 9pm show on 10/31 and 11/1

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NOVEMBER:

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Bainbridge Island, WA - November 9th

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Tonawanda, NY - November 11th

Tonawanda YWCA Sponsored
Historic Riviera Theatre
67 Webster Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
7pm

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Houston, TX - Opens November 14th

Angelika Theatre
510 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002

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Minneapolis, MN - November 19th and 20th

Emily Program Sponsored
Landmark Lagoon Cinema
1320 Lagoon Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-6006
7pm & 9:30pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Minneapolis

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Washington, DC - November 24th (Pending)

YWCA Kennedy Center Screening

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Washington, DC - November 25th and 26th (Pending)

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Honolulu, Hawaii - Opens November 28th

Honolulu Academy of Arts
Doris Duke Theatre
900 South Beretania
Honolulu, HI 96814

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DECEMBER:

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Philadelphia, PA - December 3rd and 4th

Landmark Ritz 5
214 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-925-7900
7pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after the 7pm show on the 3rd

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Philadelphia

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Corning, NY - December 4th

Ophelia Place Sponsor

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Chicago, IL - December 9th

My 1st Annual "Thank You Chicago - America the Beautiful" Screening/Reception & Birthday Bash. GOING TO BE LOTS OF FUN!

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Miami, FL - December 17th and 18th (Pending)

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JANUARY:

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Boston, MA - January 22nd
Northeastern University
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Nashville, TN - January 28th and 29th (Pending)

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FEBRUARY:

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East Lansing, Michigan - February 10th

Michigan State University
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San Jose, CA - February 17th (Pending)

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Towson, MD - February 22nd

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Ames, Iowa - February 23rd

Iowa State University

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Memphis, TN - February 24th

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Tucson, AZ - February 25th

University of Tucson

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Dallas, TX - February 26th and 27th

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MARCH:

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Corpus Christie, TX - March 18th (Pending)
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- BEAUTIFUL PERSON OF THE WEEK

Everywhere I go, people always ask me what is beauty. What makes a person beautiful? I normally tell them that beauty is many things and you can find it in many places. Then I came up with an idea, derived from my philosophy that everyone living has something unique and beautiful about them.

What if I featured a different person with each blog issue and had them to explain what made them beautiful. In their own words.

 That brings us to my first "Beautiful Person of the Week."

One things for sure, you won't catch me airbrushing anyone. As a matter of fact, I didn't know how to work Photoshop well enough to get rid of the red-eye. So see, we get to experience the realness of the camera.  :)

This week's "Beautiful Person," is  LaVonne Meyer:


LaVonne Meyer:

For the past year, I've been promoting "America the Beautiful," to anyone who will listen because its message about cultural constructs of beauty is so powerful and well-delivered. But as I attempted to compose an anecdote about what makes me beautiful, I struggled. And struggled. And struggled.

It's easy for me to recognize characteristics in others that I consider beautiful - such as creativity or a great sense of humor - and to articulate my appreciation for those characteristics. But do I think I possess those characteristics myself? Well, no.

My reflections on where I find beauty eventually led to an "Ah-ha!" moment derived from the adage "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Perhaps my ability to readily find beauty in others is the greatest manifestation of my own beauty. That is, my gratitude for the goodness I see in those around me, and my capacity to share this sense of appreciation with them, is a valuable attribute in itself. Just as importantly, it makes the recipient consider the idea that their beauty extends to traits they hadn't previously thought of as such.

Simply put, expressing my appreciation for others makes me happy. Making a habit of telling people what you find beautiful in them creates a ripple effect that can make all of us feel more beautiful. I'm hard-pressed to recall a good hair day or a killer outfit that led to a memorable connection with another person. But I can think of many situations when my profound sense of gratitude made me feel beautiful, and made someone else feel beautiful too. And for those experiences, I am grateful as well.


Until next time,

Darryl Roberts

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From the Director

IN THIS BLOG -
-Upcoming ATB cities and theaters.

-A letter from ANAD.

-Washington, D.C. update!

-Napa Valley.


- UPCOMING CITIES

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.

ATBDRWINERY
You got it! I went to the local winery.

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

LOS ANGELES:

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

DALLAS, TX:

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

- NEW IDEA

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!

ATBDORISPACK
The people of Napa!
ATBTOMDORIS
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.

- OK, I'VE DIGRESSED. BACK TO THE NEW IDEA!

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 -

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 -

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 -

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.

- A LETTER FROM ANAD

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:

Darryl,

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
prize.

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.


ANAD
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.

- WASHINGTON, DC UPDATE

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

ATBGANGCAP
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.

ATBDRSPEAK
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

IN THIS BLOG -

-ATB cities and theaters.

-Revlon is at it again.

UPDATED THEATER ANNOUNCEMENTS -

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

SAN FRANCISCO:

Sundance Kabuki -
LAST DAY - TOMORROW SEPTEMBER 4TH
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!

REVLON IS AT IT AGAIN -

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.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -

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.

PORTLAND, OREGON -

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

IN THIS BLOG -

-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.

THEATER ANNOUNCEMENTS -

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

SAN DIEGO:

Regal Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

LAS VEGAS:

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

SAN FRANCISCO:

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

AND ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 5TH,
WE OPEN IN:

PORTLAND, OR

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

DALLAS, TX:

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.

LAPR500PPL

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

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

LAPRDRGERR
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!"

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

LAPRBEAWIFE
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.

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

WHY WE RECEIVED AN R RATING FOR ATB -

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.

THE ATB MARCH ON D.C. -

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


MY NEW WRITING ASSIGNMENT:

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!

PLEASE HELP US BY FORWARDING THIS
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: www.americathebeautifuldoc.com

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!