Spotlight Shines for Single Fathers in New Film

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“Custody” dramatizes America’s fastest growing household – Single Dads with children.

A census report issued in 2001 shows that one of the fastest growing family demographics in America are households run by single fathers. Writer and director, Eric Stuyvesant was unaware of those facts when he penned his new film, "Custody". "I only knew what I was going through," says Stuyvesant, "and when you’re first faced with the task of raising kids alone it becomes a very isolated world."

At the time of his divorce in late 2000 Stuyvesant was unaware of how many fathers shared his circumstance. "I honestly felt like an enigma. Of all the people I knew who had been through divorce, I was the only Dad who had kept his kids." As time passed Stuyvesant became more aware of those who shared his experience. "I wasn’t looking to meet other fathers who had been down this road, but I kept coming across more and more. It was an eye opener to say the least. Conventional wisdom tells you that women run single households, but that isn’t always the case. Dads are parents too."

"Custody" is a quasi-autobiographical romantic-dramedy that literally places the lead character and his sons in a prison cell. "In the early days I wasn’t sure if I had custody of my kids, or if I was confined by my situation. There were many freedoms I gave up in order to do this, and I’m not ashamed to admit that early on I lamented the task, and my depression hindered the kids. I felt sorry for myself. The prison cell was the only way I could relate that emotion to the audience."

Now available on DVD, "Custody" features the acting work of Stuyvesant himself, along with newcomer, Marisa Tomasic. "Marisa plays the love interest. Her character is the one person who not only demands Rick Stevens be a better person, but who takes an active role in the process."

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Crystal Testa

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