The Los Angeles red carpet premiere of Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (West of Memphis; Deliver Us From Evil)’s empowering sexual abuse documentary An Open Secret saw a spectacular turn out at The Writers Guild Theater.
An Open Secret looks at the lives of children betrayed and abandoned by a system that essentially funnels them towards sexual predators without any oversight or regard for their safety. The film both documents widespread sexual abuse in Hollywood, and looks ahead to demonstrating that it is possible to rise up and move forward beyond these experiences. With courage, life gets better. The capacity crowd was visibly moved by the film and rose to their feet in unison following the screening to applaud the presentation and Evan Henzi, who also sings film’s signature track “Call To Arms,” co-written along with Gary Lightbody and Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol, who also scored the film.
Ann Coulter said, "It’s a very disturbing movie. The more people that know about it the better. Amy Berg is a very talented documentarian "I will tell my friends to see it.”
The Federal Bar hosted the reception, which took place immediately after the screening and Q&A. Guests enjoyed cocktails, hint water and a variety of American hors d’oeuvres and entrees, including mac & cheese balls, popcorn shrimp skewers, tuna crispy soy rice jalapeno and chicken fingers. For dessert, guests enjoyed raspberry chocolate flourless cake and cheesecake salted caramel cupcakes.
Young adult Disney and Nickelodeon cast members joined together to support the film. After watching the film, Disney star Colton Tran reacted, "It was eye-opening to me on how realistic and how relatable it actually is in this industry.” Harvey Guillen joined, saying "Hollywood is still going to be a place of opportunity and a place where dreams come true, but it's up to people in power and successful positions that they're in to bring awareness and raise a voice towards this.”
In a two-part series on the explosive documentary film An Open Secret, co-executive producer and entertainment lawyer Matthew Valentinas talked with Ben Hauck about his involvement in this important film about victims of sexual abuse and pedophiles in the entertainment industry. In a recent interview, Matthew details how he brought on a production team and director Amy Berg, the social change for which the documentary the aims, and the story of An Open Secret through his eyes.
He shares how difficult it is for victims to substantiate their claims of sexual abuse, and he explains that the studios, networks, production companies, and SAG-AFTRA are not doing enough to protect children from sexual abuse. Matthew strongly recommends parents and families to take responsibility in taking care of their children in light of evident pedophilia in the industry, describing the processes of pedophiles and how their methods of building trust and “grooming” involve not just the children but also the parents. He outlines what quick steps children should take should they be the victims of inappropriate sexual conduct from people in the entertainment industry, urging them to come forward immediately when victimized. Matthew also addresses why unrelated credibility issues around one courageous victim chronicled in the film neither undermine the film nor undermine that victim’s claims of sexual abuse.
As Matthew reveals, the profits Esponda Productions makes from the film go toward the Courage to Act Foundation which aims to help the cause, and The BizParentz Foundation is another resource for children and parents looking for help in the entertainment industry. Rounding out the interview, Matthew shares where An Open Secret is currently playing and what the documentary’s future is theatrically and digitally (as of June 2015). He concludes with a call to action for victims to get in touch if they need help in dealing with sexual abuse.
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Source: An Open Secret
Photos Courtesy of David Morrison