For Immediate Release: February 10, 2014
West Hollywood, California– Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) is set to premiere the long anticipated SHE4ME viral video PSA on YouTube this coming Valentine’s Day. The project, SHE4MarriageEquality (SHE4ME), is a five+ minute video directed by award winning Writer/Director Nicole Conn, starring Nicole Pacent, Mike C. Manning, Gabrielle Christian, and Barbara Niven. The video features several other cameos by actresses who have portrayed seminal lesbian roles (see attached) and introduces two new young talents, dancer Jolie Ponchetti and actress Hazel Sepenuk.
The video opens up to a beautiful wedding, where viewers witness a celebration of love between family, friends, and guests. The viewers are taken on a journey through exquisite flashbacks of the bride and her best friend in their youth. We witness an underlying tension during the present day wedding before being presented with an endearing plot twist. The twist has been designed to help transmit a hopeful message of love and understanding to a mainstream audience, thinking of those with opinions somewhere near neutral on gay marriage.
SHE4ME was born from the song “She,” written and performed by singer-songwriter Jen Foster, who appears in the video as the “Wedding Singer.” The song has been a favorite within the lesbian community for over a decade and is regularly used in lesbian commitment ceremonies. A new version of the track has been produced and scored by Eve Nelson who designed an incredible fusion of contemporary orchestra and dance to compliment the video storyboard.
This month, SHE4ME Director Conn, was officially crowned the #1 LGBT Feature film Writer/Director of all time. Nicole Conn, best known for her groundbreaking multiple award winning lesbian films, Claire Of The Moon (1992); little man (2005); Elena Undone (2010); and A Perfect Ending (2012); has once again delivered in this poignant yet epic music video that celebrates Marriage Equality.
“The pinnacle of love is the joining of two souls to become one and the most sacred act to commemorate this is Marriage. When I was approached to come up with a concept for the SHE4ME supporting Marriage Equality, I was thrilled. My entire career has been devoted to creating books and films that provoke the viewer to experience the spectrum of emotions involved with love and passion and our goal here was to produce something that could communicate our message to a mass audience.”–Nicole Conn
SHE4ME is to be released on the first Valentine’s Day after “Bridegroom”, a 2013 documentary in which Shane Bitney Crone talks about growing up gay in Montana and having a grim outlook on life not knowing if he could meet his soul mate, fall in love, and live happily ever after – much less, fathom the idea of getting married and having a family. Like many within the LGBT community, Crone assumed he would live a lonely existence full of shame – in part, because he had never been exposed to a healthy image of a gay person. One that is capable of finding true love.
SHE4ME is all about love. About how underneath it all, Love is Love and, to coin a lyric from the song SHE “there is nothing to be afraid of”. This video shows a face that people need to see, the face of unconditional love. With the help of YouTube and hundreds of volunteers, partner organizations, SHE4ME is expected to reach millions of people all around the globe, especially in places where LGBT people are not accepted.
Wedding scenes were filmed at the iconic Andaz West Hollywood, which has recently served as location for many high profile same-sex weddings.
Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA), the largest grassroots Marriage Equality organization in the United States, partnered with Fosterchild Records and Melke Pty Ltd to produce this social project.
Brian Silva, Executive Director for Marriage Equality USA says: “Music and video projects like this have the power to impact millions of viewers by showing the love and commitment that is celebrated and protected by passing civil marriage equality for LGBTQ families.”
Melke brings experience in LGBT media and music-centric projects to the table. Currently the company represents Jen Foster; is producing Nicole Conn’s next film; and is teaming up with WingSpan Pictures and GLSEN to produce the feature length “Love Is All You Need” in support of anti-bullying.
Download high res images here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ks9umq6ohonfkzf/gYvN9z2jIm
For access to the media preview on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in West Hollywood, California contact Sue Melke at (310) 595-4114 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Marriage Equality USA
Officially founded in 2001, Marriage Equality USA is a volunteer-driven national grassroots organization whose mission is: “To secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships”. MEUSA is a registered 501(c)3. www.marriageequality.org
About Melke Pty Ltd
Australian company Melke Pty Ltd takes a client-centered approach to branding, marketing, and entertainment licensing by matching corporate brand values with global entertainment industry opportunities. As a confident, innovative professional group within the entertainment and corporate sectors, Melke has an unparalleled understanding of web based marketing techniques as it pertains to Branding, Marketing, Artist Management, PR, and Publicity. Sue Melke, CEO, has a proven background in marketing and product branding solutions as it pertains to global distribution, music production, event management, sponsorship, and the negotiation of IP rights. www.melke.com.au
About Andaz West Hollywood
An iconic Los Angeles hotel once referred to colloquially as the Riot House for its rock & roll parties hosted by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Rolling Stones, Andaz West Hollywood has evolved into a sexy urban oasis with a touch of vintage glamour. The modern boutique hotel is nestled between the Hollywood Hills and the world famous Sunset Strip and features complimentary amenities such as wifi, non-alcoholic minibar, and an Andaz Lounge offering complimentary morning coffee and wine tasting each evening. The hotel boasts Los Angeles’ highest rooftop pool; Riot House Restaurant & Bar; and creative event spaces that can accommodate small meetings as well as large celebrations. www.westhollywood.andaz.com
About Nicole Conn
Recognized as one of the most renowned Writers and Filmmakers in the LGBT Community, multiple award-winning Nicole Conn pushes boundaries and creates history. Nicole’s films have been winning awards and fans eversince her first production “Claire of the Moon” was released in 1991 drawing an eager audience into her honest and sexy, love stories which include “Elena Undone” and last years “A Perfect Ending”. www.nicoleconn.com
About Jen Foster
Jen Foster is an award-winning singer/songwriter who regularly sells out shows across the country. Her special bond with her fans creates a captive audience anxious to hear her stories and take in her unique sense of humor. Whether she’s singing about the time her lover moved out and took everything she owned in her AAA radio favorite, “Taking Bob Dylan,” or about our jaded American culture in “Closer to Nowhere,” she always has something genuine & meaningful to say. www.jenfoster.com
About WingSpan Pictures
Multiple Award-winning Writer Director Kim Rocco Shields and her LA-based production company WingSpan Pictures are currently reveling in the success of their viral short “Love Is All You Need” which has received nearly 20 million Facebook views, 4 million hits on YouTube, and thousands of blogs and reviews. www.wingspanpictures.com