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
1626 Wilcox Avenue Suite 1271
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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
THE HEART OF A WOMAN
Heart of a Woman is a gripping drama, based on the true story of African American writer/producer Toni Newman. Her published memoir I Rise: The
Transformation of Toni Newman tells how she transitioned from being a man to living as a woman. As an educated college undergraduate, she was
unable to secure respectable employment and was forced into a dark world of sex for hire that was made tolerable by the money, glamour and
celebrities, but sharply punctuated by drug abuse and violence.
It's been a breakthrough year for transgender people in America as well as for the LGBT community worldwide. The LGBT demographic is ever
growing, as acceptance and pride bring more people into the light. It is a community of people fighting for their rights - all the way to the US
Supreme Court, which recently ruled favorably on a transgender case.
Terri is an educated transgender. She attempts to further herself by applying for various corporate jobs, yet seems to hit roadblocks due to prejudice
against her lifestyle choice and powerful personality. Undeterred, she reluctantly resigns to making a living as a professional “pleasure-giver” in the
Terri lives with the very attractive Derrick – a young man with dreams of making it big 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 to which he applies all of his
Then one rainy night, into their lives crashes Pamela – a displaced and emotionally battered young woman. 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 Dawn, her sadistic
pimp. Dawn has done her best to subjugate Pamela by means of abuse and keeping her dependent on drugs. Then on one coke-fueled occasion,
Dawn and Pamela suffer a catastrophic automobile accident. Pamela escapes and flees the 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 she recognizes 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 destiny. For Pamela, even in her ongoing efforts to escape Dawn’s witchery against her 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 sadly, she takes leave of her troubled life.
Terri, experiencing unfamiliar and surprising grief, is shocked and stunned by Pamela’s death. Yet she does find new resolve to move on, realizing,
as does Derrick, that life is a battlefield, with no opportunity for surrender.
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
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.
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 (www.douchebros.com) Before writing the screenplay for Heart of a Woman, he had a
successful career as a model & actor. [IMDB]
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
Day 1 shoot of Heart of a Woman
Day 2 shoot of Heart of a Woman
Day 3 shoot of Heart of a Woman
THE HEART OF A WOMAN
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.
Isis King was born as Darrell Walls. She is an actress, known for America's Next Top Model
(2003), Shameless (2011) and The Bold and the Beautiful (1987).She became the first woman of
transgender experience to compete on America's Next Top Model.. [IMDB]
HEART OF A WOMAN is set on the festival schedule for 6:00 PM on Wednesday, December 6th at the Cinemark 18 & XD. Tickets are now available on Eventbrite.