Monday, April 14, 2008

The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make

Young lovers struggle to make the right decision about becoming parents.

The Choices We Make addresses relationships, fatherhood, unintended pregnancy, and abortion.

The Choices We Make was written by 17-year old Tiara Bennett of East Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY. The film was directed by Alison Maclean (Jesus' Son, "The Tudors"), shot by Luke Geissbuhler (Borat) and produced by Lalou Dammond, Rob York and Mark Santora and stars Tyra Colar and Dennis Johnson.

Click here for the full cast and crew.

* Writer Tiara Bennett interviewed on WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show" in 2007
* 2006 New York Contest Winner, Brooklyn, NY

The story behind the story

Tiara Bennett wrote the story for The Choices We Make for a writing assignment as a graduating senior from Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn, NY. The assignment was given to the class by teacher Gloria Jung, who had also taught Chantel Woolridge, winner of the 2004 "What's the REAL DEAL?" Contest and writer of All Falls Down. Tiara had all but forgotten about the assignment until the day before it was due, and although she had always been a writer she never expected to win.

Tiara says her inspiration for The Choices We Make came from observing friends and classmates in her community struggling with decisions about unintended pregnancies. To explore a new angle on this issue, Tiara decided to write a story in which a young African-American woman wants to protect her future while her loving boyfriend is eager to become a young father. Tiara felt her story uprooted gender and racial stereotypes around how young people weigh outcomes and make difficult choices.

The Choices We Make was filmed in the Seagate Community in Coney Island, Brooklyn in January 2007. Tiara was just one week into her first semester at Georgia Southern University, where she plans to major in Biology, when it was time to fly back to New York City to shoot her film with director Alison Maclean and a professional film crew. A dozen students from all over NYC, most of whom had entered the “What’s the REAL DEAL?” contest themselves, interned on set alongside the professional film crew. Reporters from New York One, The New York Daily News, and New York Metro interviewed Tiara and Alison on set.

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