Press Release  

Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Women In Film to Benefit Sherry Lansing, Laura Dern Honorary Chairs, Diane Ladd to appear

Los Angeles, CA - "What Matters Most", the feature written and produced by first-time filmmaker, Jane Cusumano (1954-2001) while she battled breast cancer, will make its Los Angeles debut as part of a 7-city special screening tour to find distribution for the film and raise money for breast cancer on November 2 at the Writers Guild of America theater located at 135 S. Doheny Drive. The event will benefit the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Catastrophic Health Fund and Women In Film. Honorary co-chairs for the Los Angeles event are Paramount Chairman, Sherry Lansing and actress Laura Dern. Actress and personal friend of Jane Cusumano, Diane Ladd, will make opening remarks and followed by a Q&A with the film's cast. A champagne dessert reception. The champagne was donated by Mumm Cuvee Napa. Tickets are $35 and available at the door or by phoning 310.456.7151, ext 4.

"What Matters Most" won the "Audience Favorite Film Award" at the recent Los Angeles-based WinFemme Festival and garnered two nominations (Best Actor and Best Actress) and two awards (Best Cinematography and Flash Forward Award for an upcoming actress) at the 2001 Portland International Film Festival. Including awards for (Polly Cusumano) and Best Cinematography (Michael Goi.) "What Matters Most" was also featured at the IFP Market, New York.

A documentary about Jane's passionate, yet painful pursuit to finish her life's dream will screen prior to the feature. Jim Cusumano, executive producer and husband of Jane Cusumano, will make an announcement about the Jane-Finish-Your-Film-Fund, an annual $5000 scholarship available to filmmakers in post production through the nation's top film schools. NAME will moderate a Q&A with the film's executive producer, Jim Cusumano, and the cast who includes Chad Allen (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), Tamara Clatterbuck (Days of our Lives, General Hospital, Young & Restless), Marshall Teague (Armageddon, The Rock), Gretchen German (Will & Grace, Wings) and Polly Cusumano (ER, The Gun Series, ABC-TV, MTV). Diane Ladd, a personal friend of the Cusumano's, will speak about her experience aiding Jane through the project.

"Jane was a passionate, creative woman and dear friend," said Diane Ladd, "I am so honored to have supported her through the creative process and the graceful ending of her life."

"I have tremendous respect for Jane's dedication to filmmaking," said Sherry Lansing, Chairman, Paramount Pictures. "Clearly the industry has lost a filmmaker with significant potential."

"What Matters Most" is a Romeo and Juliet-styled story set in a one-horse town in the panhandle of Texas. Starring Chad Allen, Polly Cusumano, Tamara Clatterbuck, Marshall Teague and Gretchen German, the film provides a unique look at two teenagers in a small West Texas town who reach for each other from opposite sides of the tracks. The duo perseveres through parental and societal adversity, and forge their own path, proving to everyone around them that love is really WHAT MATTERS MOST.



Website design by Web Presence