[05/23/06 - 12:00 AM]
Alia Shawkat and Illeana Douglas to Star in the Lifetime Original Movie 'Not Like Everyone Else,' Inspired by the Powerful True Story of a Modern Day Witch Hunt

[via press release from Lifetime]

Alia Shawkat and Illeana Douglas to Star in the Lifetime Original Movie 'Not Like Everyone Else,' Inspired by the Powerful True Story of a Modern Day Witch Hunt

-- Lifetime Partners with the ACLU and YWCA to Help Inform and Empower Teens and Parents --

LOS ANGELES, May 23 -- Alia Shawkat ("Arrested Development") and Illeana Douglas ("Six Feet Under") will star in the Lifetime Original Movie "Not Like Everyone Else," it was announced today by Libby Beers, Vice President, Original Movies. "Not Like Everyone Else" is based on the powerful true story of Brandi Blackbear, a non-conforming teenage girl who feels her civil rights have been violated when school officials conduct a modern-day witch hunt in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. "Not Like Everyone Else" will premiere Monday, July 10 at 9PM (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television.

"This is an amazing story that really begs the question of where personal rights and personal safety intersect," said Beers. "Ultimately, Brandi became an inspiration, both in her school and nationally, to everyone who has ever felt mistreated for refusing to conform."

Set in a small town, post-Columbine, when all school authorities are on alert for strange behavior, Brandi Blackbear (Shawkat), already identified as an outsider by her classmates, is suspended from school because authorities confiscate her journals of fictional, creative writing which they interpret as threatening to kids at school. Trying in part to connect with her Native American heritage, she becomes intrigued by an ancient spiritual religion with roots in Witchcraft traditions. Next, the sudden illness of a teacher prompts the students and faculty alike to assume she has cast spells. With support from her mother Toni (Douglas) and ultimately her father (Eric Schweig), and backing by the ACLU, Brandi fights back and takes the school to court for violating her civil rights to clear her name and to ensure that other kids aren't persecuted and punished for daring to be different.

Alia Shawkat began her career at the young age of 11 when she landed a role on the ABC Family series "State of Grace." She most recently starred as Maeby Funke on Fox's Emmy(R) Award-winning comedy "Arrested Development." She appeared opposite George Clooney in "Three Kings," followed by a supporting lead in the Ron Perlman movie "Trial of Old Drum." Shawkat has had guest starring roles on "JAG," "Without a Trace," "Boomtown" and "Presidio Med." She also starred opposite Martin Lawrence in the feature film "Rebound."

Illeana Douglas has been regularly appearing in major films since 1987 when she was first seen in "Hello, Again" with Shelley Long. She has since built up an impressive list of film credits including "Goodfellas," "Cape Fear," "Quiz Show," "To Die For" and "Grace of My Heart." Douglas appeared in the critically-acclaimed FOX series "Action" and more recently in HBO's "Six Feet Under." She just completed the pilot for the ABC comedy "Women of a Certain Age" with Heather Locklear and Peri Gilpin. She also portrays Diana Vreeland in the soon-to-be-released feature film "Factory Girl."

Lifetime Networks (Lifetime Television and LMN) is the leading producer of original movies on all of television, broadcast and cable, with more than 60 movies scheduled this year including the upcoming "Life is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story," starring 'American Idol' winner Fantasia Barrino, and "The Mermaid Chair," starring Oscar-winner Kim Basinger. In August, LMN debuts its first-ever monthly showcase of original movies with "Past Tense," starring Paula Trickey ("The O.C.").

Lifetime is producing an original public service announcement (PSA) to air immediately following the premiere, and online content that will offer both parents and teens additional information and resources on organizations that work to promote tolerance and self-esteem, including the ACLU, Girls Inc. and the YWCA.

"Discrimination is enormously painful, especially for teen girls who are just discovering themselves and sometimes battling issues around self- confidence," said Peggy Sanchez Mills, CEO, YWCA USA. "The film is a positive portrayal of how when we promote tolerance and empower girls, it contributes towards advancing a just society where one is judged only by the content of their character."

"Not Like Everyone Else" is produced by Jaffe Braunstein Films in association with Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Michael Jaffe and Howard Braunstein (Lifetime's "Odd Girl Out" and "Cyber Seduction") are the executive producers. Tom McLoughlin (Lifetime's "Odd Girl Out," "She's Too Young") produces and directs from a teleplay written by Jamie Pachino ("What if God Were the Sun?" "Waving Goodbye").

Lifetime is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

*Photography is available at http://www.lifetimepress.com

SOURCE Lifetime Television
http://www.lifetimetv.com http://www.lifetimepress.com/

  [may 2006]  


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