Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 29, 2006
Free Dream Pictures, LLC, today announced that Image Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISK), has acquired North American home video rights for the award winning teen-scribed independent film Purgatory House, and will release the DVD on January 16, 2007.
While many confused teens turn toward self-destructive outlets, one young girl named Celeste Davis transformed her real-life observations, thoughts and fantasies into a screenplay called Purgatory House. As a result, Davis, at the age of 14, may bear the distinction of being the youngest sole-credited screenwriter to have a feature produced.
Davis used writing as an outlet for her troubles, and completed the screenplay for Purgatory House after returning from a stay at a teen runaway shelter in 2001. That's when actress-turned-director/producer Cindy Baer stepped into the picture. Baer had been paired with Davis through the Big Sisters of Los Angeles program, an organization that matches at-risk girls with female mentors, several years earlier. Believing that acting saved her own life as a child, she offered to produce Davis' script as a short film that Davis would star in. However, after reading a longer version of the story, Baer was ultimately compelled to bring the screenplay to life as a full-length feature film.
"This piece was like nothing I'd ever read before," said Baer. "While many films dramatize the symptoms of addictions, Purgatory House instead focused on the root causes that lead to those addictions. It seemed like maybe Celeste's story could help a whole generation of kids who felt lost in the same way she did. I knew this movie had to be made."
Others agreed including Tim Smith, marketing and training manager of Canon U.S.A. Inc. "We feel Celeste's story is one that must be told. Her voice represents the voice of many teenagers who cannot always find a way to express themselves," said Smith, who supported the project by donating the use of cameras for the 18-day shoot.
Purgatory House benefited from the lower expense associated with the miniDV format, which allowed for a multi-camera shoot. This in turn, provided the safety net for Davis to star in the lead role, even though she had no previous acting experience.
Cast to star opposite Davis was Jim Hanks (Baby Geniuses), the younger brother of Tom Hanks, alongside newcomer Devin Witt, and teen heartthrob Johnny Pacar (Disney's Now You See It and TV's Flight 29 Down). Recording artists including Natalie Merchant, Blue Oyster Cult, Violent Femmes, Norman Greenbaum, Larisa Stow and Grammy-nominated Eric Bazilian provided music. The score was composed by John Swihart, (Napoleon Dynamite).
On the film festival circuit, Purgatory House won at total of 10 awards, which included accolades for directing, producing, and screenwriting, as well as multiple "Best Film", and "Audience" Awards, and received critical acclaim, including appearances on 7 "Best Films of the Year" lists. The film was also a 2-time Prism Award Nominee. The Prism Awards honor movies that make a positive difference in the world by accurately portraying drug and alcohol addiction in the media. Image Entertainment secured North American home video rights earlier this year.
"We are thrilled to join the Image Entertainment family, and for this amazing opportunity to get Celeste's movie into the world in a much larger way." commented Baer. "I hope this will open doors for better communication and understanding between parents and teens, and inspire thoughtful conversations about the choices we make in our lives, and the results that come from those choices. And I also hope it will inspire kids to look for escape through artistic expression instead of through drugs."
Purgatory House chronicles the afterlife journey of Silver Strand, a lonely teen who abandons her life of turmoil and drug addiction in search of unconditional love, only to find herself caught somewhere between Heaven and Hell. There she must decide whether she will accept her drab existence or finally find within herself the power to change. Film Threat has hailed this powerful debut from director Cindy Baer as "a charming, touching, clever and all-around brilliantly crafted film."
In addition to the 95-minute feature, the Purgatory House DVD contains over 75 minutes of special features including: "The Making of Purgatory House" and "Putting it all Together" featurettes; "Claire's Prayer" Music Video by Larisa Stow; Los Angeles Premiere Footage with Cast/Crew Q&A; two deleted scenes; "Silver's Note", two theatrical trailers, and teen crisis help information. The DVD can be pre-ordered now at: http://www.purgatoryhouse.com/store.
For press inquires or more information about the January 16, 2007 DVD release of the teen scribed, award winning independent film Purgatory House, visit http://www.purgatoryhouse.com.
About Free Dream Pictures LLC:
Free Dream Pictures is the production company for Purgatory House, and is headquartered in Burbank, California. For more information about Free Dream Pictures, please go to http://www.freedreampictures.com.