Activists + > TV / Movies
Bold Native - first fiction about the ALF

Russell Simmons, music mogul, entrepreneur, and vegan animal advocate will host the New York premiere of the independent feature film Bold Native, the first fiction film about the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a non-centralized group of animal liberators and economic saboteurs that the FBI calls their top domestic terrorist priority. This special press event and screening will be held on Monday July 26 at 6 p.m. at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue (at 2nd Street), in New York City. Doors will open to members of the press at 6 p.m. and the film will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for the 9:15 p.m. screening.

In Bold Native, Charlie Cranehill (newcomer Joaquin Pastor), an ALF member wanted by the government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action, while his CEO father (Randolph Mantooth, Emergency) tries to find him before the FBI does. Simultaneously, a young idealist campaigns for more humane treatment of farmed animals on behalf of a large nonprofit organization, and a woman from Charlie's past threatens to undermine his plans.

"We need more creative, fun, impassioned and entertaining movies like Bold Native to drive the important message of animal rights to the masses, " Simmons said.

The film reflects a growing cultural debate about the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research. It introduces viewers to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of 2006, a law which enables the prosecution of activists as terrorists if their actions result in economic damage to corporations in animal industries like factory farms, slaughterhouses, research labs or fur farms. In addition to narrative storytelling, the film incorporates undercover footage from labs, farms, and real-life animal liberations for stunning realism.

"The animal rights movement is unique both in seeking to endow rights to sentient beings currently classified as property, and in terms of government targeting, indicting and imprisoning activists, even for involvement in above-ground, constitutionally protected protest activity," said producer Casey Suchan. "The ALF does break the law, but they outright forbid any action that might cause harm to humans or non-humans -- a track record unmatched by even the FBI itself."

"Bold Native is first and foremost an adventure story about people who risk their freedom for the lives of the innocent and defenseless," said writer/director Denis Hennelly. "While it's a film about a serious subject, it's also a celebration of life, so it has a sense of humor and playfulness that people don't expect."

Simmons will be available for interview and photos at 6:15 p.m. and will introduce the film at 7 p.m. A second screening will begin at 9:15 p.m. Following each screening, there will be a Q&A with Suchan, Hennelly, and stars Joaquin Pastor and Nik Tyler and social justice activist Andy Stepanian, who served three years for nonviolent activism that targeted an animal research lab.

About Open Road Films
Open Road Films develops and produces quality movies across several genres. Prior to Bold Native, its most recent film was Rock The Bells, a critically acclaimed documentary on the final performance of hip-hop artists Wu-Tang Clan prior to the death of frontman Ol' Dirty Bastard. Rock The Bells earned comparisons to Woodstock and Gimme Shelter and has been called the best film about hip-hop ever made. Whether documentary or narrative, Open Road Films chooses experience over comfort, daring over safety, and mythology over conventional wisdom.

For press passes please contact with "NY Press" in the subject line. To schedule an advance interview with Russell Simmons, Casey Suchan, Denis Hennley, Joaquin Pastor, Nik Tyler, or Andy Stepanian please email with "BN Interview" in the subject line.

Here's a preview of the Bold Native trailer:

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, stunned by the content, 24 June 2010

Author: Shaun Ivory from United States
As the devoted father of a budding animal rights activist who is soon leaving for college, I am spending a few days at an animal rights conference to enjoy a few days with her before she goes to college and dyes her hair blue.

On the first night of the conference, I saw this movie surrounded by "the choir" I expected this movie to be "preaching" to. I didn't expect much from the movie itself. I was prepared to sit through a "labor of love" that was going to club me senseless with a heavy-handed agenda.

What I got instead was a well-written, well-acted, dramatic and surprising movie that often moved me to tears. The characters were all believable, and I didn't notice any of the distracting low-budget gaffes that plague so many movies like this one.

If I have any complaint, it was the non-linear sequence of the movie. I didn't figure out why he was orchestrating the climax until the movie itself pointed out the timeline and his motivation. I found myself confused, at times, about past and present.

I was already sympathetic to the message, but this movie has pushed me closer to accepting the challenge of living a vegan lifestyle. I think this movie has the power to change people in ways that horrifying documentary footage can't, because you are drawn into the struggle, instead of just being repelled by the reality of animal cruelty.

I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who loves animals, regardless of how their lifestyle or ideology.

Oh, and that pig was cute!

Great film!, 17 June 2010

Author: hchandler-768-62140 from Los Angeles, United States
I was blown away by this little indie flick. It's thought-provoking, inspiring, suspenseful and engaging. I hope this gets wide release; it's a very nicely done piece of fictional activism.

In addition to the fictional story line, viewers will learn about selected forms of real-world animal exploitation. Without understanding this, you might have a hard time understanding why the characters do what they do.

This film addresses various approaches to activism, and does pass judgment on the effectiveness of some. The cast seemed perfect for their roles and appeared to really identify with their characters.

I docked the film a little for one intimate scene that I thought went on too long and was actually unnecessary. Although it may not be perfect, this is still an amazing film that I won't soon forget.

thought provoking, can't wait to see it again, 5 August 2010

Author: joenapalm-810-156230 from United States
I also saw it at an animal rights conference. I would like to see it at least three more times. Once around friends who are not tuned into the concept of Animal Rights to hear their perspectives on it because I think that is who it is written for. Once around friends who are tuned into Animal Rights so I can see their reaction, and finally just sitting at home by myself so I can pause and rewind and just enjoy.

There aren't that many movies I want to see more than once and the ones that I do tend to be escapist. Instead this movie makes me think, holds my interest, and actually makes me want to discuss it.

I can't wait for it to come out on DVD.

Insightful, informative, entertaining, and most importantly: challenging, 1 July 2010

Author: Greg Bennick from United States
Bold Native offers a lot for viewers to explore: good characters, intensive dialogue, dramatic editing, and a story line which dives deeply into a subject often seen as too extreme for the general public.

This film will inspire many important conversations, both amongst seasoned activists discussing tactics, ethics and methods, but more importantly amongst the uninitiated: those who have never considered animal cruelty as being something related to our food and lifestyle choices.

This has been a good year for films involving compassion towards animals, with the success of The Cove driving people towards thinking about animal cruelty in ways they might not have before. Still, people in the USA can watch that movie from afar in a way, thinking all throughout that animal cruelty is something which happens "over there" and not in close proximity to the comforts and norms of our own day to day lives.

What Bold Native does is to make the issue of animal cruelty immediate and engaging, by offering us a narrative about characters that are relatable and likable, in a story line that is believable, while at the same time showing throughout genuine footage of actual animal barbarism that isn't an overbearing onslaught like a propaganda video. Instead this intense footage is used sparingly and tastefully amidst the narrative, shocking to those who might be unaware of what is truly going on behind the food and clothing industries, and horrifying enough to hammer home the point that animal cruelty is happening all around us, everyday. The film poses a challenge to us: that if what we see is abhorrent and if we feel compelled to respond, that it is up to us to engage the issue directly, in whatever capacity we deem appropriate.

This is an undeniably challenging film.

Groundbreaking political thriller. The first of it's kind in the hopefully new animal rights/liberation genre..., 6 August 2010

Author: Philip Steir from Venice, CA
Bold Native is not an animal rights documentary. This is a groundbreaking, scripted film that portrays the complicated issues facing today's animal rights activists. The movie is a first of it's kind in the sense that it deals with the many controversial aspects, different strategies and the wide variety of advocacy positions that exist side by side in the modern animal welfare/rights/liberation movement. No other film has engaged itself with these topics using fiction, hypothetical situations, character development and a suspenseful storyline. This movie also exposes an important fact... that we all exist in a time where corporations, in alliance with our government, are cowardly using the fears of the masses regarding terrorism, to silence the free speech of those humans standing up for the non human animal individuals being tortured, mutilated and brutally killed by the same corporations.

No other scripted film has dealt with the despicable and little known federal law called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act which was set up by the corporations (industries who profit from killing animals) by paying off elected politicians. No other film has concerned itself with the emotional, psychological, compassionate and political motivations of so many human beings who risk their own freedom to fight for and liberate the nearly billions of non humans who are oppressed and killed every day. It's nearly impossible to create anything new in the world of film that hasn't been done before. Hollywood has been going out of its way to make sure that everything that it churns out.... has been made two or three times before and 'focused grouped' to never ending insanity. Yet, Bold Native stands out as original among everything else recently released by the big machine that creates the same movies over and over. This is bold filmmaking to say the least.

The films logo of the HOPE piglet is a wonderful metaphor for the future of a possible state of the world. A state of the world where liberating the other animals from oppression and fighting for their rights will one day be seen as rational, sane and just. But the logo might also represent hope for a new more meaningful filmmaking that will hopefully start to include themes about the injustice and prejudices which the other species of the world must endure under human chauvinism. Bold Native is the essence/definition of great revolutionary filmmaking and real HOPE.

Come on Hollywood....get on board!

Excellent Movie, 11 July 2010

Author: ckhawkins from Portland, OR
I saw this movie in Portland, as part of the Let Live festival. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I honestly didn't have high hopes. I was very pleasantly surprised. It's content is serious and thought provoking, while also being witty and fun. The acting and film quality were really great. I think I expected it to have the air of a fictional documentary, which it did not, and I was glad.

I think this is a movie for everyone, not just animal rights activists.

I did not have any problem following the movie in the time line it was presented, as another reader pointed out. I really loved every bit of it. Yay Bold Native!


Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,