Local, National Media Turn Out for Premiere of Film Foundry’s “The Ultimate Gift” in Charlotte
On March 7, the Film Foundry brought a little Hollywood to Charlotte when it rolled out the red carpet for the premiere of its second feature film, “The Ultimate Gift.” The event took place at the Phillips Place Theatre following a VIP reception in the nearby Hampton Inn.
The movie made news for weeks prior to and following the premiere. The impressive movie cast was the first of many reasons for the media attention. The movie stars 2006 Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine.” In addition, Breslin worked alongside some of the industry’s biggest names, including James Garner, Brian Dennehy, Bill Cobbs, and Lee Meriwether, together with rising stars Ali Hillis – originally from Charlotte – and Drew Fuller.
Beyond a first-rate cast, the subject of the movie captured the attention of both media and audiences across the country. The story, based on Jim Stovall’s best-selling novel by the same title, carried a powerful message about the importance of “giving” to personal happiness.
The film tells the story of trust fund baby Jason Stevens who anticipates a big inheritance upon the death of his wealthy grandfather. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or “gifts” – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life.
This was the message that won over executives of The Stanford Financial Group, which provided lead funding for the film. Also, the movie was made available by the Film Foundry for charitable screening across the US prior to its release, resulting in a reported $20 million in giving to various organizations.
Meanwhile, Stovall, who is blind, arranged for a premiere of the film for an audience of blind or visually impaired persons at the Empire Theatre in New York City — a day before its public release. The movie featured a narrative tract designed to run without interrupting the original dialogue or sound effects by inserting description only where there is a pause in audio. It is the first time ever this audience has been given the opportunity to experience a feature film before the general public.
On premiere night, local and national media lined the red carpet that led to the theatre entrance. Television and radio stations were given the opportunity for brief interviews with the stars who also graciously agreed to autograph and photo sessions. A number of interviews taped earlier in the day were broadcast widely.
Among the other special guests for the evening were author Jim Stovall, screenwriter Cheryl MacKay, as well Film Foundry President Rick Eldridge.
Click here to view photos from the event.
For further information contact:
Chuck Robbins, 704.839.3520