The Visitor First Specialty Hit of the Year and Produced by Participant Media and Groundswell Productions

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The Visitor, one of the year's most critically acclaimed movies, includes a movie trailer and social action campaign at where site visitors can get involved and learn more about the same post 9/11 immigration and detention issues represented in The Visitor movie.

The Visitor has become the year's breakout independent film hit, and has received some of the best reviews of any film released this year.

Tom McCarthy's The Visitor, starring Richard Jenkins, was produced by Groundswell Productions and Participant Media, and was released by Overture Films. The Visitor has grossed more than $4.5 million in its seven weeks of limited release, and due to its success, it has recently expanded to 270 theaters. Despite the modest number of theaters, this past weekend - for the second weekend in a row - The Visitor has been placed among the top ten films at the national box office, according to Rentrak. It's the first specialty film since awards season to make it into the top ten.

Since it first opened in New York and Los Angeles on April 11th, the film has actually seen a weekly increase in many theaters around the country; last weekend, it did either the same business or better in 59 of the 224 theaters where it was playing.

This remarkable hold is largely due to a highly enthusiastic word-of-mouth surrounding the film, which was carefully nurtured with an extremely robust pre-release screening program that kicked-off at last fall's Toronto Film Festival, and was followed by several other festival screenings such as, Sundance, South by Southwest and Miami, as well as screenings for special interest groups.

The Visitor's movie trailer and social action campaign site for the film,, focuses on the film's issues of hardship and abuse faced by immigrants and detainees in the U.S. since 9/11. Groups involved in this campaign include such non-governmental organizations as the ACLU, Active Voice, Amnesty International, Detention Watch Network and others.

Among the various initiatives included in the social action campaign is the opportunity for lawyers to receive special training in the representation of detainees, as Participant and the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Involvement will be sponsoring workshops around the country beginning this June.

For information regarding this and other social action initiatives, go to

About The Visitor
In a world of six billion people, it only takes one to change your life.

The film is actor and filmmaker Tom McCarthy's follow-up to his award winning directorial debut The Station Agent, Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) stars as Walter, a disillusioned Connecticut economics professor who goes to New York City to attend a conference and discovers Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Gurira), a young immigrant couple, living in his apartment. Reluctantly, he allows them--victims of a real estate scam--to stay with him, and a friendship between the two men begins to blossom, revitalizing Walter's faltering spirit.

After Tarek is arrested as an undocumented citizen and held for deportation, Walter finds himself compelled to help his new friend with a passion he thought he had long ago lost. And when Tarek's beautiful mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) arrives unexpectedly in search of her son, the professor's personal commitment develops into an unlikely romance.

About Participant Media
Participant Media is the leading provider of entertainment that inspires and compels social change. It is a Los Angeles-based production company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films and documentaries. Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and President Ricky Strauss and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman.

Participant's 2008 releases include Brett Morgen's Chicago 10, Tom McCarthy's The Visitor, Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure, which was awarded the coveted Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, and Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker's Pressure Cooker. Recent films include Louise Hogarth's Angels in the Dust, Jonathan Demme's Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, Ted Braun's Darfur Now, Marc Forster's The Kite Runner, Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War, George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, Stephen Gaghan's Syriana, Niki Caro's North Country and Davis Guggenheim's Academy Award®-winning An Inconvenient Truth, one of the highest grossing documentaries in history. For information, visit

About is a social action network™ where you connect actions to entertainment to make change. Powered by Participant Media, is where users inspire, connect, and act to change the world. Join TakePart today:


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Jeff Sakson
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