Archives

Love comes to North Carolina

by Mark Burger

On June 16, the Carolina Theatre in Durham will present a special screening of the award-winning independent drama Love is All You Need? – with filmmaker Kim Rocco Shields and members of the cast and crew in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

The film is the feature-length expansion of the award-winning short film of the same name, which was viewed online more than 40 million times and was translated (by fans) into more than a dozen languages.

Love is All You Need? explores the timely issues of bullying, bigotry and homophobia in a fictional, even fantastical, framework – yet much of it is inspired by actual incidents, including the brutal slaying of Matthew Shepard in 1998 and Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who faced severe cyber-bullying and committed suicide as a result.

The story takes place in an alternate reality where gay is straight, straight is gay, and heterophobia runs rampant.

The film stars Briana Evigan (of Step Up and Sorority Row) as a popular college quarterback who is outed for being a heterosexual when her fellow students discover her illicit romance with male reporter Tyler Blackburn (of “Pretty Little Liars” and “Ravenswood”). This sparks a firestorm of controversy throughout their community and beyond, as they face the hatred and anger of those they once trusted, many of whom feel personally betrayed and outraged by the disclosure of their heterosexual relationship.

The cast also includes Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle), Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”), Jeremy Sisto (Clueless), Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Jenica Bergere (Frozen), Leisha Hailey (“The L Word”), Katherine LaNasa (Alfie), Kyla Kenedy (“The Walking Dead”), Mike C. Manning (eCupid) and Blake Cooper Griffin (Super Shark), the latter a graduate of the School of Drama at the UNCSA School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.

Love is All You Need? has also made waves on the festival circuit, winning the Van Gogh award for Best Screenplay at the 2016 Amsterdam Film Festival, the New Visions award for Best Director at the 2016 Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, and honors for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking (Ensemble Cast) at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival.

This marks the feature debut of writer/producer/director Shields, who also produced and directed the original 2011 short. For the Carolina Theatre screening, Shields is scheduled to be joined by cast members Evigan, Manning and Griffin, as well as YouTube sensations and LGBT activists Bria and Chrissy.

The ongoing controversy surrounding the HB2 mandate has spurred a number of artists and celebrities to boycott North Carolina (including Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Cyndi Lauper and Ringo Starr), but Shields was adamant that Love is All You Need? should be seen here.

“There are many kinds of people in North Carolina, and this movie is for all of them,” she said in an official statement. “My intention is to inspire an open conversation on tolerance and diversity at one of the places in our country that needs to discuss these topics the most right now.”

Ticket profits from this event will be donated to Safe Schools NC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safe and positive educational environment for all students and educators in the state of North Carolina, with an emphasis on actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Ticket profits from this event will be donated to Safe Schools NC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a safe and positive learning environment for all students and educators in North Carolina, with an emphasis on actual or perceived sexual orientation. !

WANNA go?

Love is All You Need? will be screened 7:30 pm Thursday, June 16 at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham. Tickets are $15. For advance tickets or more information, call 919.560.3030 or check out http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/ love-all-you-need, or visit the official film website: http://www.loveisallyouneedthemovie.com/.

Share: