'Scene Smoking' - No Puff Piece

Documentary on Tobacco Use in Hollywood Receives Praise at Premiere



Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from STARS from ,Seeking Tobacco Alternatives with Realistic Solutions

    HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Packed with interviews of
 celebrities such as actor Sean Penn, novelist Michael Crichton and model
 Christy Turlington, a documentary that premiered Thursday night captures an
 inside look at the growing debate on how Hollywood's portrayal of smoking
 affects society.
     The premiere of "Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema and the Myth of Cool"
 attracted nearly 500 actors, directors and other entertainment industry
 members to the Los Angeles Museum of Art, where they viewed the one-hour film
 before attending an invitation-only gala. The film and the event were
 sponsored by STARS -- Seeking Tobacco Alternatives with Realistic Solutions
 -- a coalition led by the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant
 Trails and its partners, including the American Lung Association of Los
 Angeles County and the Entertainment Industries Council.
     For many, the documentary's fast-moving blend of facts, humor and more
 than 150 snapshot interviews with artists and entertainment industry insiders
 offered a fresh approach to the issue of smoking in movies and television.
     "It was factual, it was entertaining -- and it was not propaganda," said
 Stephen Nemeth, president of Rhino Films. "I really applaud the filmmakers. I
 think they took what would ordinarily be this didactic snooze fest and turned
 it into an hour of informative entertainment that you can't wait to share with
 your friends."
     "I don't think most actors were even aware of it as an issue," said actor
 and filmmaker Jeremy London, who starred in the TV series "Party of Five."
 "It needs to be said, and I hope it sinks in. There's no better time than the
 present."
     Producer/director Terry Moloney and co-producer Deirdre Imershein worked
 more than two years on "Scene Smoking," which they hope will eventually reach
 a national television audience. But for now, their aim is the attention of the
 entertainment industry. STARS distributed 800 copies of the documentary to
 guests Thursday night and there are plans to show "Scene Smoking" at film
 schools and acting guilds.
     "Our ultimate goal with the documentary is to encourage dialogue between
 industry members and those outside the industry concerned about the use of
 cigarettes in films and television shows," said Kori Titus, program director
 of STARS.
     "We're not here to censor or to tell Hollywood what to do, we're here to
 listen and to learn," said Robert L. Sills, board chairman of the American
 Lung Association of Los Angeles County, in a speech before the premiere.
     Besides Penn, Crichton and Turlington, the pair also interviewed
 television actors Ted Danson and Jack Klugman, author George Plimpton,
 director Rob Reiner, producer Bonnie Bruckheimer and a host of writers,
 directors and personalities. The central issue wasn't so much their opinion of
 smoking on film, but their views on where the boundary lies between social
 responsibility and artists' rights to free expression.
     Despite recent publicity surrounding studies that link smoking in movies
 to cigarette use among young people, tobacco remains just another prop to many
 in the industry, Titus said. But the more industry members see "Scene
 Smoking," the more that will change, she added.
     Launched in 2000, the STARS project is made possible through funding from
 the California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section. In
 addition to "Scene Smoking," STARS also sponsors a speaker's bureau, the
 Hollywood Young Ambassadors Program and a blue ribbon advisory council
 composed of entertainment industry leaders.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X82671636
 
 

SOURCE STARS; Seeking Tobacco Alternatives with Realistic Solutions
    HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Packed with interviews of
 celebrities such as actor Sean Penn, novelist Michael Crichton and model
 Christy Turlington, a documentary that premiered Thursday night captures an
 inside look at the growing debate on how Hollywood's portrayal of smoking
 affects society.
     The premiere of "Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema and the Myth of Cool"
 attracted nearly 500 actors, directors and other entertainment industry
 members to the Los Angeles Museum of Art, where they viewed the one-hour film
 before attending an invitation-only gala. The film and the event were
 sponsored by STARS -- Seeking Tobacco Alternatives with Realistic Solutions
 -- a coalition led by the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant
 Trails and its partners, including the American Lung Association of Los
 Angeles County and the Entertainment Industries Council.
     For many, the documentary's fast-moving blend of facts, humor and more
 than 150 snapshot interviews with artists and entertainment industry insiders
 offered a fresh approach to the issue of smoking in movies and television.
     "It was factual, it was entertaining -- and it was not propaganda," said
 Stephen Nemeth, president of Rhino Films. "I really applaud the filmmakers. I
 think they took what would ordinarily be this didactic snooze fest and turned
 it into an hour of informative entertainment that you can't wait to share with
 your friends."
     "I don't think most actors were even aware of it as an issue," said actor
 and filmmaker Jeremy London, who starred in the TV series "Party of Five."
 "It needs to be said, and I hope it sinks in. There's no better time than the
 present."
     Producer/director Terry Moloney and co-producer Deirdre Imershein worked
 more than two years on "Scene Smoking," which they hope will eventually reach
 a national television audience. But for now, their aim is the attention of the
 entertainment industry. STARS distributed 800 copies of the documentary to
 guests Thursday night and there are plans to show "Scene Smoking" at film
 schools and acting guilds.
     "Our ultimate goal with the documentary is to encourage dialogue between
 industry members and those outside the industry concerned about the use of
 cigarettes in films and television shows," said Kori Titus, program director
 of STARS.
     "We're not here to censor or to tell Hollywood what to do, we're here to
 listen and to learn," said Robert L. Sills, board chairman of the American
 Lung Association of Los Angeles County, in a speech before the premiere.
     Besides Penn, Crichton and Turlington, the pair also interviewed
 television actors Ted Danson and Jack Klugman, author George Plimpton,
 director Rob Reiner, producer Bonnie Bruckheimer and a host of writers,
 directors and personalities. The central issue wasn't so much their opinion of
 smoking on film, but their views on where the boundary lies between social
 responsibility and artists' rights to free expression.
     Despite recent publicity surrounding studies that link smoking in movies
 to cigarette use among young people, tobacco remains just another prop to many
 in the industry, Titus said. But the more industry members see "Scene
 Smoking," the more that will change, she added.
     Launched in 2000, the STARS project is made possible through funding from
 the California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section. In
 addition to "Scene Smoking," STARS also sponsors a speaker's bureau, the
 Hollywood Young Ambassadors Program and a blue ribbon advisory council
 composed of entertainment industry leaders.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X82671636
 
 SOURCE  STARS; Seeking Tobacco Alternatives with Realistic Solutions