NEW MOVIE CELEBRATES THE LIFE AND WORK OF
SEVERAL SOURCES SHELTER FOUNDER KATHY DIFIORE
Based on real-life stories, ‘Gimme Shelter’ shares
an inspirational message of hope
SOURCE: Rogers & Cowan
(Los Angeles, Calif.) November 21, 2013 – Faith can move mountains. Sometimes, it can change lives. That’s why the awe-inspiring story of one women’s triumph and compassion captured the attention of Hollywood filmmakers. Kathy DiFiore, founder of Several Sources Shelters has teamed up with Roadside Attractions and Day 28 films to create a major motion picture, Gimme Shelter, which shares her real-life, David-and-Goliath story.
Award-winning filmmaker Ronald Krauss penned the movie’s original screenplay while spending a year in one of DiFiore’s shelters for pregnant teens. His writing reflects upon their lives and chronicles the challenging journey. Based on a true story, Gimme Shelter centers on a 16-year-old pregnant teenager, Agnes “Apple” Bailey, (Vanessa Hudgens) who flees a drug-ridden mother (Rosario Dawson) in search of a better life of her own. Turned away by her Wall Street father, (Brendan Fraser) Apple is forced into a life on the streets. Written, produced and directed by Krauss, the movie will hit theaters nationwide on January 24, 2014.
What makes this inspirational drama so riveting is that DiFiore’s own life story and experiences are as compelling as any blockbuster film. As a suburban wife and mother, she escaped an abusive marriage, which left her herself homeless and on the street. In reclaiming her life, DiFiore’s recovery fueled a desire to help others turn their lives around. When she made her home a shelter for un-wed, pregnant women, the State of New Jersey raided it and levied huge fines for running an illegal boarding house. As a devout Catholic, she decided to reach out to none other than Mother Teresa.
“Together they fought the state and managed to change the law,” said Ronald Krauss. “Now she runs five shelters in New Jersey that give people a chance to get back on their feet by providing them with education and helping them get jobs. Her shelters are run 100 percent on donations, without any public funding, for 35 years now.”
DiFiore’s work has far-reaching consequences, said Hudgens, and the movie will serve to spread the word more widely. “It will remind young women that they have choices,” she said. “And when we see someone like Kathy doing a great job serving others, we should recognize and honor them. We’re all in this together and when we embrace that we begin to come together as a community.”
DiFiore first welcomed a pregnant teen in her own home in 1981. Since that time, she has tirelessly devoted her life to helping others. Her passion has been recognized by dignitaries across the globe and she has been honored by three American presidents. The UN has also hailed her as a champion. The revolutionary impact of her work and ministry has impacted hundreds of thousands of women and their babies for more than three decades. Her faith-inspired testimony continues to offer compassion and spread hope.
“Through God’s Grace, we save babies’ lives and shelter their young mothers while providing education and ongoing compassionate support services including our Pregnancy Sonogram Center. We further educate young people to make healthy life choices. We also shelter women who are homeless, sick and elderly as we help them to restore their dignity,” said DiFiore, about the primary purpose behind her life’s work.
“Women who go against the tide and have their baby become that child’s hero. It comes down to their choices, but it’s not always an easy road. Many of them are forced to leave their family and turn to a shelter. I can’t help but admire them. They are changing the ‘culture of death’ into a culture of life and I want to help them have a better life,” DiFiore said.
Produced by Krauss and Jeff Rice (End of Watch, 2 Guns), the PG-13 rated film stars Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical franchise, Machete Kills), Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Trance), Brendan Fraser (Crash, The Mummy), James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope, Star Wars franchise), Ann Dowd (Compliance, Side Effects) and Dascha Polanco (“Orange is the New Black”). Similar to Krauss, Hudgens prepared for her transformative role by living in the shelter for three weeks during pre-production. DiFiore also appears in the film, along with several real-life shelter mothers and their babies.
About Kathy DiFiore and Several Sources Shelters
The film is inspired by a David-and-Goliath true story of Kathy DiFiore’s longstanding Several Sources Shelters. DiFiore has worked hand-in-hand with Mother Teresa in an effort to change the shelter laws in New Jersey. She has also been honored by three American presidents and recognized at the UN for her life-changing work. Formerly homeless, DiFiore managed to put her life back together before founding Several Sources Shelters, a network of resources devoted to helping women in need. For more information, visit www.severalsourcesfd.org.
About Roadside Attractions
Celebrating its tenth year of operation, Roadside Attractions is a film distribution company committed to championing independent films with a willingness to entertain. The company has released films grossing over $150M+ at the U.S. box office while garnering twelve Academy Award® nominations and one win. The company’s 2009 release, The Cove, captured the Academy Award® for Best Feature Documentary, and in 2010, its 6 Oscar® nominations — four, including Best Picture, for Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, and two, including Best Foreign Language Film, for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s, Biutiful, solidified its major position on the distributor landscape. In 2011, Roadside Attractions released J.C. Chandor’s Oscar®-nominated Margin Call; Albert Nobbs starring Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, which garnered three Oscar® nominations, three Golden Globe nominations and two SAG Award nominations; Robert Redford’s The Conspirator starring James McAvoy and Robin Wright; Oscar®-winning filmmaker James Marsh’s Project Nim; Miranda July’s The Future and Maryam Keshavarz’s controversial Circumstance. 2012 releases include Friends With Kids starring Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox and Edward Burns, and Nicholas Jarecki’s Sundance hit Arbitrage starring Richard Gere. 2013 releases have included Jeff Nichols’ Mud with Matthew McConaughey, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing and the Kristen Wiig starrer Girl Most Likely.
About Day 28 Films
Day 28 Films was launched in 2009 by filmmaker Ronald Krauss with a primary focus on producing and releasing high quality independent films with production budgets ranging from 7-10 million dollars. Gimme Shelter, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Brendan Fraser, Rosario Dawson and James Earl Jones, is the second film released under the Day 28 Films banner. It was written, produced and directed by Ronald Krauss alongside producer Jeff Rice and co-producer Joshua Amir. The company is currently in final negotiations on their next project, the Anthony Hopkins’ starrer Go With Me which will be produced by Krauss as well as producers Gregory Jacobs and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein & Lindsay Williams and executive produced by Day 28’s Joshua Amir. Go With Me is slated to begin production in January 2014.