Copyright © 2016 SPI Productions LLC
1626 Wilcox Avenue Suite 1271
Los Angeles, CA 90028

TERRI is a professional ‘pleasure-giver’ in the erotic industry. As an educated transgender, she attempts to further her options by applying for various jobs outside of the venue of erotic professional, yet seems to hit roadblocks at every turn and around every corner due to prejudice against her life-style choice and powerful personality. Undeterred, she persists with a passion in every avenue of her life – and this includes how she interfaces with new clients seeking forbidden pleasure.

Terri lives with the very attractive DERRICK – a young man possessed with dreams of superstardom as an actor in Hollywood. Dedicated to his craft, Derrick supplements his dreary acting revenue by offering sexual services, sometimes involving acting out bizarre fantasies; one such fantasy includes the play-hostage scenario for a kinky married couple who are extremely pleased with Derrick’s esoteric skills, augmented by a believability that even Derrick finds disturbing.

Into the lives of Terri and Derrick, steps PAMELA – a displaced and emotionally battered young woman of 24 years old; Pamela is both alcoholic and drug-addicted, not to mention a victim of sublime and insidious abuse levied upon her by life in general, but more specifically by her sadistic pimp, DAWN. Dawn has done her best to subjugate Pamela by means of abuse, but on one bizarre night when both Dawn and Pamela suffer a catastrophic automobile accident, Pamela flees the infernal grasp of her malicious pimp.

Pamela finds refuge with a reluctant Terri, and a pragmatically compassionate Derrick, as the young girl tries to find stability in her life. Terri has very little patience with Pamela’s addictions, but becomes more sympathetic as time wears on, recognizing that Pamela has been dealt a bad hand in life, and truly needs protection. Derrick, for his part, tries to support the young girl in his own inimitable way.

But tragedy sometimes is the destiny to some poor souls, for Pamela, even in her ongoing efforts to escape Dawn’s witchery against her in trying to corral her former employee back into the fold is doomed to an inevitable end that has no resolution. In a final dramatic confrontation with Dawn, where Pamela comes close to killing her pimp, the young girl goes off on an erratic binge of drugs and alcohol. These excesses land her in the hospital, where she dies from overdose complications.

Terri, experiencing unfamiliar – and surprising grief – never fully recovers from Pamela’s death, yet resolves to move on, realizing, as does Derrick, that some poor souls can never be saved, even with the best of intentions in place.
Three diverse individuals, one male, one female and one who’s wrestling with the decision, are working in the sex industry to survive, while they struggle physically, emotionally and spiritually to find understanding and legitimacy in a morally corrupt world that takes no prisoners.
Screenwriters - Toni Newman and Alton Demore
Director - Keith Holland
Cinematographer - L.T. Chang
Assistant Director - Michael Konopisos
2nd Assistant Director - Jill Stockwell
Executive Producers - Angelica Ross, Toni Newman, Alton Demore and Keith Holland
Producer - Rena Mena
UPM - Shadow Dragu-Mihai
Casting Director - Dea Vise
Publicist - Kayo Anderson (Kayo Anderson Media)
Writer - George P. Saunders, Dea Vise, Keith Holland and Angelica Ross
Original Music - ThinkDep, Angelica Ross and Rapper Legendary KCO - "Memoir" I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman
Sound Mixer - John Taylor
Gaffer - Jeremy Kerr, Dwight Lay
Audio Supervisor - John Taylor
DP - Lungtao Chang
Makeup Artist - Carolyn Mitchell
Wardrobe - Reagan Whitaker
Camera - John Ngo, Xia Jun, Carol Kim, Zachary Witherspoon
Audio Supervisor - John Taylor
Boom Op - Benjamin Maus
Key Prod Assts - Sarah Snow
Prod Assts - Bill DeFrance
Script supervisor - CeeCee Sparks

Rachel Sterling
Justin Berti
Angelica Ross
1626 Wilcox Avenue Suite 1271
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Site design
SPI Productions presents
Equality Bracelets
In support of LGBT feature film Heart of a Woman (true story about African-American transwoman overcoming obstacles and becoming authentic). The Equality bracelets simply states Equality for All regardess of race, sex and gender. SPI Productions consist of British Director Keith Holland, Actor/Producer Alton Demore and Writer/Author Toni Newman.

Toni Newman is the author of memoir I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman. The LGBT feature Heart of a Woman is based on Chapter 7 of memoir I Rise. The story showcases the obstacles, hurdles and difficulties of an minority transwoman.

In order to further transgender equality .50 cents for each bracelet will go to transgender advocacy group fighting for transgender equality. To support Equality for All and LGBT feature Heart of a Woman send $2 for each bracelet plus $2 for shipping and handling for total of $4.00 per bracelet to:
SPI Productions LLC
1626 Wilcox Avenue, Suite 1271
Los Angeles CA, 90028
or buy now through paypal

2013 was a banner year for transgendered people in America. With the production of Heart of a Woman, we want to continue that kind of visibility with a film that is sexy as well as moving, powerful, filled with emotion and thrills, with an African American trans-woman as the protagonist, Heart of a Woman is unique in that regard: we explore the complex life, loves, and desires of a transgendered heroine. She is the center of the narrative.

TERRI is a transgender African American woman who works as a professional dominatrix in the fast paced, high risk world of high paid escorts. Having a college degree, she attempts to further her station in life by applying for various jobs, yet seems to hit roadblocks at every turn and around every corner due to the prejudice facing transgendered people, not only in the corporate world, but in society at large.

Terri lives with DERRICK a very handsome young man with dreams of stardom as an actor. Derrick, also an escort , he offers sexual services that sometimes involves acting out bizarre fantasies.

Into the lives of Terri and Derrick, steps PAMELA. Pamela is an alcoholic and drug addicted stripper/prostitute under the abusive grasp of butch Lesbian pimp, DAWN.

Pamela is taken in by Terri & Derrick and they form a strong, but strange sort of family. With Terri as the mother figure. Their lives are intertwined and turned upside down by Pamela’s erratic and unpredictable behavior and her battle to free herself from Dawn’s vicious yoke.

Heart of a Woman is a gripping drama, based on the life of co-screenwriter/producer Toni Newman and recounted in a chapter in her debut memoir I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman. Heart of a Woman is a true story set in a dark world of sadomasochistic sex for hire, drug abuse, violence, glamor, money, and celebrity. It is a story of redemption and love, one unlike any brought to the silver screen.

This groundbreaking screenplay placed in the semi-finals (Top 20) in the Script Showcase Screen-writing competition for originality. And upon completion this will be the first feature film to feature an African-American transgender lead.
KEITH HOLLAND, Producer/Co-Screenwriter/Director began his career as a visual effects cameraman working at Pinewood Studios in the UK. He has worked on a number of big budget films such as Superman, Moonraker, and The Neverending Story. Upon moving to the US, Mr. Holland has directed many commercials as well as music videos for artists such as Janet Jackson, Journey, and Seal. His feature film directing credits include Cage Free and Dance of Desire. Mr Holland is an member of the Director’s Guild of America and seeks originality in his projects. [IMDB] [Website]

1) Why did you agree to Direct the Film The Heart Of A Woman?

The script is very unusual and the characters are very interesting. I like the material and believe I can do a really good job bringing it to life. I have worked on other “erotic” movies, but this has a depth of character that sets it apart and makes it really worth doing.

2) Why will this Film The Heart Of A Woman be so unique?

I don’t believe there have been many other films touching on the subject of transgenders and this side of the erotic sex industry. As it is based so solidly on real events it will have a truth about it and will not appear exploitist.

3) Have you read the Book I Rise by Toni Newman and what was your opinion?

I think the book is really quite remarkable and I’d love the opportunity of making it into a movie as well. The struggle Toni Newman has gone through in her life would make a very compelling movie and appeal to a wide audience.

4) How long have you been directing films and how do you go by selecting new projects?

I have been directing for over 10 years and working as a cinematographer for much longer. I try to find projects that are original and stand out from the others, projects that have promise of succeeding in the market place.

5) Who would be the viewing audience of Film The Heart Of A Woman?

The Heart Of A Woman should have a wide audience as it covers a variety of themes and should appeal to a lot of people. It will initially do well in the LGBT sector, but should cross over into a wider market as it has quite a broad appeal.
Meet the crew

Justin Berti was born in Avon, Connecticut. Subsequently he has called many places home. These include Houston, Laguna Beach and New York City. However, for the last 12 years it was Tokyo that was his home. In the "Land of the Rising Sun" he acted, danced, and modeled in almost every facet of the entertainment industry. In Japan, he played semi-pro baseball and was a Major League Baseball announcer for all preseason and regular season games. Justin danced for Japan's most famous musical director, Amon Miyamoto and had a guest-star role in Ramen Girl starring Brittany Murphy. Since moving to L.A. one year ago he has performed on stage, film, and television. He stars in the independent film Brothers in Armscoming out August 2016. His accomplishments include two theatrical appearances starring in Tats: The Experience and making an impact as a guest star in The Full Monty. Notably, the role of Elliot in the Showtime First Series Submission highlights his first year back in the United States. Justin is a Columbia University graduate with a strong background in dance, baseball, and yoga. His energy, physicality, and passion find their roots in his athletic background. Offstage he teaches Yogic Arts, a worldly, powerful mixture of Ashtanga yoga, martial arts, and modern dance. He currently stars in the series Submission on Showtime.. [IMDB]

ANGELICA ROSS studied theater at Florida Atlantic University. Her one woman show, “From Where You Are” has allowed her to travel all over the United States. Angelica Ross is a Singer/Songwriter/Storyteller who plays the guitar and piano and has penned many amazing original songs. Angelica Ross talks about her journey from smart accelerated student, to the hard life on the streets, to rebuilding herself from ground up, building a business, and falling in love as a African-American transgender. Her main message is that from wherever you are, no matter what it looks like, if you stay open, and grateful, and present for whatever the time or lesson is, then you will gain the courage, power & knowledge to withstand and overcome anything, to become anything. [IMDB]

RACHEL STERLING had a recurring role on HBO's True Blood. Rachel is best known for comedic roles in THE WEDDING CRASHERS, RENO 911!, FX series WILFRED and HBO Presents FUNNIE OR DIE. Being an avid horror film fan Rachel made her debut to the horror world with the film THE HELPERS. Rachel has made guest appearances on shows House, Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS and Private Practice. This former member of the original Pussy Cat Dolls has graced the pages of Maxim, Esquire, FHM, Stuff, Italian Vogue, and posed in Playboy Magazine. [IMDB]

Co-Screenwriter/Producer TONI NEWMAN is a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in sociology. Toni Newman has been a trans-activist for a number of years. Her critically acclaimed memoir I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman has been hailed as the first memoir published by an African American transgendered woman. Ms. Newman has written about issues pertaining to the transgender community for a variety of publications including the Huffington Post Currently,Toni is working on behalf of the largest LGBT non-profit organization in the Golden State who works tirelessly to pass legislation to benefit the LGBT community. Most recently, they had been successful in banning abusive, so-called "conversion therapy" in California.

To continue her work on behalf of transgender activism, Toni is now studying law with the ambition of fighting for transgendered people in the legal system. [Website]

Original Screenwriter/ Executive Producer ALTON DEMORE is the president of SPI Productions, LLC. Original screenwriter of Heart of a Woman and contributor to Memoir I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman. Alton is SAG/AFTRA actor,in addition to being an accomplished dancer & choreographer. In addition Alton is the executive producer and writer of comedy webisode Douche Bros ( Before writing the screenplay for Heart of a Woman, he had a successful career as a model & actor. [IMDB]
Link into the full cast and crew here
Ralph Portillo

Ralph Portillo (CEO and President of Hemisphere Entertainment) - Mr. Portillo is an award-winning director and producer with over 20 years of directing and production experience. His films have won awards at The New York Film Festival, Worldfest Houston and Cindy Awards. Mr Portillo is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and he holds an MBA degree in International Business.


Jamie Elliott

Jamie Elliott (COO and Executive Vice President of Hemisphere Entertainment) - Ms. Elliott has proven success as both a producer and writer. As a producer her films have won awards at Houston Worldfest and The Santa Clarita International Film Festival. Ms. Elliott began her career in the film industry as a casting director, casting over 400 films and commercials. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.


Executive Producers

Jason Stuart has been making people laugh out loud with his hysterical performances all over the country. He has accomplished what few other out comics have ever achieved: brutal honesty with humor in a world that's not always kind. As an actor his first love, Jason has a major role in the historic Nat Turner bio pic Birth Of A Nation from filmmaker & star Nate Parker opposite Armie Hamme. [IMDB]
Short film shooting will be on August 24-26
Day 1 shoot of Heart of a Woman
Day 2 shoot of Heart of a Woman
Day 3 shoot of Heart of a Woman