Tuesday, September 6, 2011
FRIENDS star DAVID SCHWIMMER directs Internet-Predator thriller “TRUST”
David Schwimmer, best-known for playing Ross in the hit TV sitcom “Friends,” now directs Millenium Films' psychological thriller “Trust” which stars Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis. The critically acclaimed film on the dangers of Internet relationships will be shown starting Sept. 7.
When Annie, a 14-year-old girl, is seduced by a 41-year-old internet predator she knows only as "Charlie," it tears apart her family. While her father, Will (Owen) becomes obsessed with revenge fantasies, Annie enters therapy, where she refuses to admit she's been victimized.
David Schwimmer is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Rape Foundation in Santa Monica and has been supporting their work at the Rape Treatment Center for more than ten years. He has met many victims and their families, and has heard many stories, but a few years ago one particular father’s account stood out.
It inspired the actor-director to create a film about online predators in today’s Internet age. Director Schwimmer explains, “One of our invited speakers was a father in the community who spoke about the process of coming to terms with his daughter being groomed, and subsequently raped, by an Internet predator. He described his conflicting feelings of guilt, rage, pain, impotence and responsibility and how it nearly destroyed him and his family. His incredibly frank and revealing story profoundly affected me and I realized then that I had found an unusual path into dramatizing this delicate and difficult subject matter in a way that everyone—especially men—can relate to.”
Co-Producer Tom Hodges, who has partnered with David Schwimmer for almost ten years in their joint venture of Dark Harbor Stories, reveals, “I’ve known David for 25 years and what a lot of people don’t know is he is a fantastic story teller. Even though people associate him with comedy, he can handle drama just as easily. After all, he’s been directing theater for twenty years with his Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago.”
He continues, “David is looking for stories that challenge him and the audience. He’s looking for stories that do more than entertain—he’s drawn to stories that ask questions, that make you think. That maybe even inspire people to take action.”
The fact that this particular story was something that David Schwimmer wanted to direct as a feature film became a project that they would develop under their Dark Harbor Stories banner.
Schwimmer enlisted the help of his long-time buddy Andy Bellin, who published the novel Poker Nation some years ago, to write the screenplay about the Internet grooming of underage children and its threat to today’s families.
Regarding their collaboration, Screenwriter Bellin allows, “David was a huge, integral part in the writing process. He took me to a benefit for the Rape Treatment Center to help me understand his passion for this organization and the work that they do—particularly with child victims of rape and sexual assault.”
He continues, “We both agreed that we didn’t want to go the route of a revenge action thriller like `Taken.' We wanted to make this movie a very real drama, almost in the vein of `Ordinary People.' What we hope is that this movie starts a dialogue for parents and their children about Internet safety; and how sometimes the Internet can be the ‘Scary Uncle’ that no one wants to acknowledge.”