Monday, August 30, 2010

Re: The R-Word

The following is a message by actor John C. McGinley who you may know from such films as POINT BREAK, THE ROCK,
OFFICE SPACE, SEVEN and of course SCRUBS. He has an important message. As a producer on a film which stars an actor with Down Syndrome, I urge all of you to watch and help SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE R-WORD.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


A really nice description of our film by Jane Schoettle, who is a big supporter of ours at TIFF:

Justin Lerner’s first feature film skilfully sets a traditional theme – a relationship between two people that seem an unlikely match – within unconventional circumstances. The result is Girlfriend, a gentle yet complex exploration of the nature of love.

Evan (Evan Sneider) is a young man with Down Syndrome who lives with his mother Celeste (played by the ever-commanding Amanda Plummer) in a working-class town hard hit by the recession. Evan holds down a job and has a circle of neighbourhood friends. Although he is completely self-sufficient, he and Celeste enjoy a close relationship with shared evenings in front of their favourite television shows.

Then, unexpectedly, Evan comes into a large amount of money and, rather than do anything for himself, he decides to use his new wealth to pursue Candy (Shannon Woodward), a local girl that he’s been in love with since high school. Since then, Candy has made some bad decisions. She is now a single parent with huge debts, who cannot shake the attentions of her volatile ex-boyfriend, Russ (Jackson Rathbone of the Twilight films). Knowing full well that money always complicates things, Candy nevertheless accepts Evan’s offer of financial help, leading to an intricate tangle of emotions, expectations and secrets between Candy, Evan and Russ.

In his first feature film role, Evan Sneider is pitch-perfect as a young man in pursuit of his heart’s desire and as the moral centre of the story. Evan’s pureness of intent only serves to highlight the mercurial, self-interested and often cruel motives of Russ, played with a fiery, danger-ridden intensity by Rathbone. This is not lost on Candy, who knows she doesn’t deserve Russ’s abuse, yet doesn’t feel worthy of Evan’s unfettered compassion.

Making excellent use of its pastoral setting as counterpoint to volatile human emotions, Girlfriend gathers power as it unfolds, leaving the viewer with a thump to the heart that will linger long after the lights come up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A message to everyone who gave their time, their energy, their heart and spirit to make Justin Lerner's vision for GIRLFRIEND come to life:

"Thank you. Sincerely. From the bottom of my heart."

GIRLFRIEND is a testament not only to the beauty of Justin's script and the depth and strength of Evan Sneider's extraordinary performance... but to the commitment and talent of a small group of people willing to sacrifice so much in the hope that their work will pay off. With the announcement of our selection at Toronto, it has.

Not a day has passed that I haven't thought back, remembered little moments, thought of the tough days and the great days, and smiled.

Today, I went through photos from the shoot and was filled with emotion. Every single person on the film did such an amazing job - sunshine, rain or snow... and I cannot thank you enough. If you were all here with me now, I'd hug you... but unfortunately, we're all a bit spread out.

For those of you who will be coming to TIFF, I am so looking forward to a little reunion. To those who can't make it... well, you'll be missed, but we will make you proud, as you have made me proud to have worked with you.

If this is all a bit sappy, well... that's me. But I really just wanted to thank you.

This film will exist forever... and all of your efforts to bring every shot to life on screen along with it.

Every film that gets made (even the bad ones), are a miracle. This film, is a very, very good miracle. This is your miracle. This is our miracle.