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“Geography Club” comes in at a most opportune time, when the world is slowly learning to embrace that being different is not taboo.
Based on Brent Hartinger’s acclaimed, best-selling young adult novel, “Geography Club” is a fast, fresh coming-of-age movie that tells a real and powerful story unfolding in every high school around the country – a story of kids hiding their true identities in plain sight, even as they feverishly pursue their hearts’ desires.
The MTRCB, local (Phils.’) censors board gave it a PG rating (viewers below 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult) and highly commends the movie as “Sweet and sensitive coming out, coming of age movie based on the first novel of the young adult series/play of the same name. Nuanced direction and performances make this a must-see and highly recommended.”
The movie introduces us to a group of high school students who could go from popular to respectable or respectable to popular but can’t go anywhere from outcast. This is what Goodkind High’s Geography Club is for. This secret society – with a name so nerdy it keeps the curious away – is actually a covert classroom refuge where a group of outcasts are about to navigate the clique-mined social terrain of the American high-school…and the not-so-straight-forward map to fitting in, coming out, first loves, and last hopes for making it through a teen world that is trickier to maneuver than ever.
Russell Middlebrook (played by Cameron Deane Stewart) has since been looking for something but can’t quite figure it out. Russell is the everyman. With his boyish good looks, and affable personality, Russell has an easy time staying under the radar while he struggles to find his sexual identity, and the chucky Gunnar (Andrew Caldwell), his best friend faces the historic teenage challenge of finding a girlfriend and losing his V card.
When Russell gets involved with another closeted student, his life begins to take a new direction. This hormonally charged search to find himself is the driving force behind a supposedly official after-school club unlike any other. The sign on the door might say Geography Club, but its members are actually exploring the perilous, and sometimes hilarious, landscape where sexual identity, sexual attraction, peer pressure, parent problems and the awkwardness of Health Class all converge in a head-spinning maze.
They start out trying to protect their one big secret among themselves. Russell is dating Trish (Meaghan Martin), a sweet but sexually motivated young lady – even as he is falling for the football jock Kevin (Justin Deeley), who won’t ever reveal the truth to his macho teammates Nolan (Grant Harvey) and Jared (Dexter Darden). Min (Ally Maki) and Terese (Nikki Blonsky) tell everyone they’re really just best friends. And then there’s Ike (Alex Newell) who is trying on every identity in the book. They know they are different, but at least they’re not in daily danger like the bullied geek Brian Bund (Teo Olivares). Yet, when Russell’s sexual orientation is suddenly exposed to the whole school by the ultra-popular Kimberly (Allie Gonino), the members of the Geography Club begin to panic. Together Russell and the members of the Geography Club must make the toughest decision of their lives…help Russell cover up his recent scandal or stand together as one and open up the Geography Club to any student who is proud to be different?
Entertainment Tonight hails “Geography Club” saying that, “Every year sees the release of one film so culturally important it should be required viewing. This year, that film is Geography Club.”
“Geography Club” opens on February 5 in cinemas from CrystalSky Multimedia.
Director Gary Entin speaks with GLAAD about his new film “Geography Club” and bullying
Geography Club, the new film produced by Huffington Pictures, distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures and based on the award-winning Brent Hartinger novel of the same name, follows a group of LGBT teens who form a secret support group at their high school. The film will open in theaters in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles on November 15 before rolling out to additional cities. Geography Club picked up the Audience Award for Best First Feature at this summer’s Outfest LGBT Film Festival in Los Angeles and stars Glee’s Alex Newell, Hairpsray’s Nikki Blonsky, Drop Dead Diva’s Justin Deeley and Pitch Perfect’s Cameron Deane Stewart.
GLAAD had the chance to speak with the film’s director, Gary Entin, about differences between the film and novel and why the story of Geography Club is important to tell. Check out the trailer below and read on to see what Entin had to say.
Gary’s new headshot:
Edmund wrote the screenplay; Gary directed. The Entin twins, 27, are gay and now live in Los Angeles. They are sons of well-known Fort Lauderdale attorney Alvin Entin.
After the screening Gary and Edmund (and two of the film’s producers) answered questions from the audience at O Cinema in Miami Shores. The twins posed with members of the Alliance For LGBTQ Youth in North Miami, the community sponsor of Thursday’s presentation.
From the Geography Club website:
Based on Brent Hartinger’s best-selling critically acclaimed novel, Geography Club is a smart, fast, and funny account of contemporary teenagers as they discover their own sexual identities, dreams, and values. 16-year old Russell is still going on dates with girls while having a secret relationship with football quarterback Kevin, who will do anything to prevent his football teammates from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone that they’re just really good friends. And then there’s Ike who can’t figure out who he is or who he wants to be. Finding the truth too hard to hide, they all decide to form the Geography Club, thinking nobody else in their right mind would ever want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are.
The film is produced by Michael Huffington (Arianna’s ex) and presented by Shoreline Entertainment.
Check out all photos from Edmund & Gary at the “Geography Club” screening below:
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