Legendary director/actor, Bill Duke, brings together an all-star cast for the award winning, independently produced legal thriller, CREATED EQUAL - starring Aaron Tveit (Les Misérables, Graceland, Grease Live), Edy Ganem (Lifetime TV’s Devious Maids), veteran actors Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Longmire) and GregAlan Williams (OWN TV’s Greenleaf, BayWatch), and Yohance Myles (Shots Fired).
Currently touring the film festival circuit with advance screenings, the buzz of Created Equal has film enthusiasts piling into theaters! Already, the film has won two Sunscreen Film Festival Awards: “Best Actor” (Aaron Tveit) and “Best Director” (Bill Duke), and most recently, nominations for Imagen Awards: “Best Actor – Feature Film” (Lou Diamond Phillips) and “Best Actress – Feature Film” (Edy Ganem).
Created Equal follows the story of Thomas “Tommy” Reilly (Aaron Tveit), a cocky, up-and-coming attorney, begrudgingly takes on a case for Sister Alejandra “Allie” Batista (Edy Ganem), who's desperate to become a priest in the Catholic Church.
Against his supervisor's wishes, Tommy files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause. As the trial unfolds, an extremist concocts a plot to stop the heresy against the church by attacking and threatening to kill Alejandra if they don't back off.
Tommy’s faith and conviction are tested, and as he’s challenged to question his purpose, he begins the transformation from an egotistical, arrogant person, to one who is committed to a mission larger than his own self-interests.
VIEW THE TRAILER HERE
Created Equal explores how having a higher purpose can be life-changing. Based on the novel written by Roger A. Brown, who also serves as Executive Producer of the film, it gives a voyeuristic view of the stained-glass ceiling that exists for women in the Catholic Church without actually taking sides.
Speaking of sides, the Created Equal cast has a lot to say about the film’s intent to spark a worldwide conversation; especially because it explores the disparity between men and women holding the highest leadership positions within the church, as well as other positions that hold the greatest authority in the world.
Here’s what they have to say:
“Created Equal presents a fascinating and compelling proposition about faith and the current state of the world in regards to equality, representation and inclusion, and I was very excited to be part of this thought provoking project. I have long contemplated the line between tradition and where we currently are as a society. I was also thrilled to play Monsignor Renzulli, who in a lesser film, would just be the bad guy. However, true to the novel, and in Bill Duke's sensitive hands, Renzulli is presented as a man of iron-clad faith and an intellectual who is fervent in his defense of theological philosophy and tradition.” – Lou Diamond Phillips
“I’m always interested in people and characters who are complicated and where there’s an ability for them to change. My character Tommy took on the case because of the challenge and to win, but then he becomes intrigued by Allie’s conviction and begins to question his own faith, what faith means to him, his family and himself. This film isn’t just about religion. It’s about these types of themes – gender equality, inclusion, and acceptance - and how they apply to our lives today.” - Aaron Tveit
“It was very meaningful for me to be a part of ‘Created Equal’ and play the role of such an inspiring and strong female character. I knew I was going to be sending a positive message through my work; a message that would show girls all around the world the importance of following their dreams and staying true to themselves as Allie did.” - Edy Ganem
“The great part about working with great actors is collaboration. It was a collaboration working with this entire cast of great actors. With Tveit, my job was to direct him through the difficult times of the character arc. The character starts one way, connects with his humanity, and he changes. He changes from a person who is self-oriented to a person who cares about something larger than his ego and his self-interests. That’s a message that we really wanted to put forth in this movie. - Bill Duke
“Created Equal became a huge priority for me when I saw that the United States of America was nearly on the brink of having Hillary Clinton as its first female President. I was inspired when she said in her concession speech, ‘Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.’ It was important for me to use this platform to be a part of a progressive movement that seeks equal rights for all — not just in religion, but on the world stage.” - Thada Catalon, producer T-Cat Films
“It’s always a joy and an honor to be a part of meaningful work. This film, Created Equal, is of major importance to us all.” - GregAlan Williams
“My character Willis ‘Silk’ Thompkins is a dedicated and loyal man of integrity, he comes to believe that women and their pursuit of spiritual freedom are inclusive of justice and equal rights. To every faith there is an invisible thread of hope that connects us all.”
– Yohance Myles