OCEANSIDE, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The film TO SAVE A LIFE opens in theaters this weekend, but students have already become fans and are working hard to make sure peers know about this film. Momentum is building through grassroots efforts and special events to support what some are calling "Life-saving entertainment."
Currently, TO SAVE A LIFE is #3 on Fandango 5, behind Avatar and Avatar 3D. The Fandango 5 lists the hottest selling tickets and fan ratings on the site.
Producers of the film opened a Facebook fan page, but didn't anticipate the level of engagement by fans prior to the film's release. "One of our hopes was that the film would model for teens how to reach out to others and offer encouragement," said Jim Britts, screenwriter of TO SAVE A LIFE. "It's amazing to see how social networking has provided a tool for students to do that even before they've seen the movie."
The official Facebook page has become a place for people to describe what they're doing to promote the film – and it has also become a place for people to share their stories. Producers have heard from families who have lost a child to suicide, teens who are struggling with self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy as well as students who are feeling empowered to reach out to others. After a post asking if fans had people in their lives like Chris – the adult mentor in TO SAVE A LIFE – fans flooded the page within a couple hours with a hundred responses about people who are important to them.
TO SAVE A LIFE depicts life on a high school campus and demonstrates the ability students have to make a difference to those who are hurting. It's estimated that depression strikes about one out of eight teenagers (www.teensuicide.us), and according to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, up to 39 percent of teens have had at least one episode of self-injury each year. And, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds (National Institute of Mental Health.) These statistics point to the relevancy of some of the heavier themes in the movie. "I wrote the script based upon what I've seen in my work with teens," Britts said. "This is a hurting generation in need of hope and friendship."
Communities around the U.S. are motivated by the premiere of TO SAVE A LIFE and are rallying to offer that hope and friendship. In Modesto, CA local fans have planned a street fair outside the movie theater opening weekend. Booths with information about local resources will be present, covering topics such as: teen pregnancy, suicide prevention, depression, self-injury, substance abuse, family matters such as marriage & finances. Live entertainment will also be playing throughout the day. In Fairbanks, Alaska 1,500 tickets have been pre-purchased for opening weekend. A group in Ft. Lauderdale, FL has purchased 2,600 tickets. The filmmakers, New Song Pictures, have launched a scholarship effort to provide a method for donating tickets to students who can't afford to buy one. (http://newsongpictures.com/tosavealife/)
As the momentum builds, so do the numbers surrounding the film:
+ 200-plus Lifeline Squads have pledged to pre-sell at least 1,000 tickets for Opening Weekend.
+ 441 theaters showing film Opening Weekend
+ 2,000 new Facebook fans a day reaching almost 70,000 today
+ 2,500 youth groups planning to go during Opening Weekend
+ 5,000 people have requested to be local Tower Crew street team representatives.
+ 20,000 youth workers, teens, parents, teachers and coaches have attended advance showings.
Perhaps the most powerful words about the film come from teens themselves in these recent Facebook posts:
[Hali] this movie has changed the way i see high school and the kids in it. i've really opened my eyes to see past the acts kids put on, pretending that they are okay.
[Patrick] I saw this movie and it's more than a movie, it's real life. It will save lives if people see this, because then they will better understand how their actions affect others, and how people feel sometimes. It is an awesome movie
[Orlando] I will make a difference
In conjunction with the release of the film, the official soundtrack, a novel and follow up resources are being released and available on the film website.
ABOUT TO SAVE A LIFE
An all-star athlete and his girlfriend find their lives spinning out of control when Jake loses a childhood friend. Help comes when he reaches out to others who are hurting, and he realizes some people are just dying to be heard.
The movie asks...
How far would you go?
How much would you risk?
How hard would you fight...TO SAVE A LIFE
ABOUT SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS
Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries. The company is dedicated to working with world renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories. This steadfastness is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated SUPER SIZE ME, AMAZING GRACE and Julie Delpy's hit comedy 2 DAYS IN PARIS. Goldwyn's past slate included PRICELESS, a romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou, Academy Award® winner Claude Lelouch's ROMAN DE GARE, the critically hailed ELEGY starring Academy Award® nominee Penelope Cruz and Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley and the box office smash FIREPROOF.
ABOUT NEW SONG PICTURES
New Song Pictures is proud to release TO SAVE A LIFE, their debut production. New Song Pictures is based in Oceanside, CA, and seeks to make films that tell relevant stories while being encouraging and uplifting.
SOURCE New Song Pictures