NJ Governor Chris Christie Officially Recognizes State's "Unsung" Inventor

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Indie Documentary Finally Set for Multi-City Release on December 13, 2013

Thanks to a special acknowledgment from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Freestyle Releasing announced today they have set December 13, 2013 as a multi-city theatrical release date for GENIUS ON HOLD, the revealing documentary about inventor Walter L. Shaw. Written and directed by Gregory Marquette (“Innocents”) the film was produced by the subject’s son Walter T. Shaw, and co-produced by Diana Ross-Shaw and is narrated by Academy-Award Nominee Frank Langella (“Frost/Nixon,” “Robot & Frank”).

Governor Christie wrote: “…thanks to the dedication of his son…and a new documentary titled GENIUS ON HOLD, one of New Jersey’s unsung minds seems to finally be getting his belated recognition.”

At the heart of GENIUS ON HOLD is the story of Walter L. Shaw—a brilliant inventor with an astonishing list of telecommunications patents to his name including call forwarding, touchtone dialing, speakerphone and voice recognition. Mr. Shaw never earned any fortune or lasting fame for his inventions, in fact most people have never heard his name. Through his many efforts to establish ownership of his inventions he ended up punished, imprisoned, and eventually destitute. Shaw was reportedly drawn to the only organization that would reward him for his talent—the mob, whose bookies allegedly used his “black box” and “blue box” to run their gambling operations and evade the Federal Government. His son, Walter T. Shaw, embittered by his father’s destruction, is reported to have turned to organized crime and is thought to have become one of the most notorious jewel thieves in American history as outlined in his biography "A License to Steal" (Omega Publishing Group, Inc. March 17, 2008). Until last year when Gov. Chris Christie wrote his letter of acknowledgement, Mr. Shaw’s numerous contributions to telecommunications went almost completely unnoticed and served as a catalyst for a larger theatrical release.

“Freestyle Releasing was immediately moved by the incredible story of Walter L. Shaw, a man whose name we should all know,” said Mark Borde, Co-President Freestyle Releasing. “With Gov. Christie’s acknowledgement of Mr. Shaw’s accomplishments, we are happy to bring the film to a larger audience.”

GENIUS ON HOLD originally debuted as an official selection at the Palm Beach International Film Festival and Soho International Film Festival. To see the trailer and for more information go to: http://www.whoiswaltershaw.com

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Vicky Sarro
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