Los Angeles, CA, June 1, 2010 – Bold Native, the first fiction film about the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a non-centralized group of animal liberators and economic saboteurs that the FBI calls their top domestic terrorist priority, answers conscious film-enthusiasts calling for scripted material of action and substance.
In Bold Native, Charlie Cranehill (played by Joaquin Pastor), an ALF member wanted by the government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action, while his CEO father (Randolph Mantooth, Emergency) tries to find him before the FBI does. Simultaneously, a young idealist campaigns for more humane treatment of farmed animals on behalf of a large nonprofit organization, and a woman from Charlie’s past threatens to undermine his plans.
“Vegetarians, environmentalists and activists often get only documentaries supporting our points of view,” says long-term raw vegan and Bold Native actress, Tonya Kay (Secret Girlfriend, Who Wants To Be A Superhero, STOMP). “Bold Native is a scripted film – with well-known actors moving a powerful storyline. This kind of art can affect change on a deeper level than many documentaries because viewers relate to well-acted characters more personally than factual image sequences.”
Tonya Kay plays I Rock, the film’s comedic relief. You have seen Tonya Kay most recently on Glee, House MD, American Idol w/Rhianna and on Criminal Minds. “As a raw vegan, I end up bringing my own juice and salad to the film/tv set, since most catering departments aren’t aware of how many vegetarians, vegans and raw fooders there are among us. Bold Native isn’t just a film about animal compassion, it is a film that lives animal compassion – we had an entirely vegan set and rescue animals were often there during filming. In fact, one of Bold Native’s rescues, Jumper the piglet, appears as himself in the actual film! The entire production company is vegan and Open Road Films gave preferential treatment in casting to “vegetarians, vegans and others with intimate knowledge of ‘the subject’.”
Bold Native’s cast of 60 includes numerous cameos, including veteran activist Peter Young, who served two years in federal prison for releasing thousands of mink from fur farms; actor/activist Chris DeRose, founder of Last Chance for Animals; pioneering animal rights lawyers Shannon Keith and Odette Wilkins; famed first amendment lawyer Louis Sirkin; John Feldmann, lead singer of seminal pop-punk band Goldfinger; rapper MC Supernatural; and television stars Dianna Agron (Glee) and Whitney Mixter (Showtime’s The Real L Word).
The film reflects a growing cultural debate about the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of 2006 enabled the prosecution of activists as terrorists if their actions result in economic damage to corporations in animal industries like factory farms, slaughterhouses, research labs or fur farms. In addition to narrative storytelling, the film incorporates undercover footage from labs, farms, and real-life animal liberations for stunning realism.
“The animal rights movement is often called the newest social justice movement and is unique both in seeking to endow rights to sentient beings currently classified as property, and in terms of government targeting, indicting and imprisoning activists, even for involvement in above-ground, constitutionally protected protest activity,” said producer Casey Suchan. “The ALF does break the law, but they outright forbid any action that might cause harm to humans or non-humans – a track record unmatched by even the FBI itself.”
“Bold Native is first and foremost an adventure story about people who risk their freedom for the lives of the innocent and defenseless, and while it’s a film about a serious subject, it’s also a celebration of life, so it has a sense of humor and playfulness that people don’t expect,” said writer/director Denis Hennelly.
“This film was motivated by real events that are happening right now,” said producer Mary Pat Bentel. “Billions of animals are at this very moment living and dying under horrific (but) legal circumstances. Our country and planet need to confront the question of animal use and exploitation. And this timely picture prompts us to do just that.”
Bold Native will screen for activists and high-profile Hollywood supporters in a red-carpet premiere June 16 at the historic Majestic Crest Theater in Westwood. An encore screening featuring live music and guest speakers will be held outdoors at the Mark Taper Amphitheater at TreePeople in Beverly Hills’ Coldwater Canyon Park on June 18.
The premiere events kick off an independently booked West coast tour as part of Bold Native’s hybrid distribution strategy. Screenings are set for June 24 in Portland at the Let Live Foundation 2010 Animal Rights Conference; June 29 in Seattle at the Northwest Film Forum; and Washington DC July 16 at the Animal Rights 2010 National Conference. For ticket information please see http://boldnative.com.
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Editor’s Note: Seating is extremely limited at Los Angeles premiere events. For press passes please contact Gary Smith, Evolotus PR, gary at evolotuspr.com or call 818-783-0569. For radio, video and print interview with Bold Native film makers, contact press at tonyakay.com. High resolution set photography available.