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New Holiday Film to Benefit Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities Now Available for Purchase

September 23, 2008

“The Child King,” a new holiday-themed film dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual disabilities, is now available for online purchase. The film tells the heartwarming story of an older brother determined to prove to his younger sibling that Santa Claus exists. This sparks a memorable road trip to find Santa that leads to hilarious adventures and personal discovery along the way.

“The Child King” follows in the steps of many classic films by demonstrating it is the most unassuming characters that inspire through their ordinary deeds to become heroes. In this case, a young man rises above the limitations set by others to discover anything and everything is possible. Sure to be a holiday classic that any family will enjoy.

The star of “The Child King,” Peter Johnson, joined a very select group of actors with Down syndrome when he assumed the leading role in a major motion picture. In tackling this challenging role he followed in the footsteps of his idol, actor Chris Burke of television’s “Life Goes On.” The film, shot when Peter was a high school junior, was his first foray into acting. In addition to his burgeoning film career, Peter is an accomplished athlete and has participated in the Special Olympics winning gold, silver and bronze medals in track and field as well as tennis. Peter is also a global messenger for the Special Olympics, speaking to select groups that may be interested in supporting the organization financially.

“Peter’s role in ‘The Child King’ provides a great example of how actors with intellectual disabilities can fully participate in modern filmmaking,” said Gail Williamson, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles and the head of Down Syndrome in Arts & Media, Hollywood’s preeminent talent agency for individuals with intellectual disabilities. “Having worked with the television and movie industry for more than 20 years, it is refreshing to see a film like ‘The Child King’ provide a positive portrayal of individuals with intellectual disabilities. I am also thrilled that the proceeds from the sale of the film will benefit families of individuals with intellectual disabilities. I consider ‘The Child King’ a must-have for any family that treasures a heartwarming, uplifting story.”

All of the proceeds from the sale of “The Child King” will go to support The Child King Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the families of those with intellectual disabilities. In addition, all orders placed for the film will result in employment for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. “The Child King” has received the endorsement from such leading children’s organizations including KIDS FIRST and Exceptional Parent Magazine. “The Child King” was an official selection of the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, and winner of the Kids First “Feature Films for Families” award.

The film was created, written and co-produced by Jeff Kerr, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and directed by his brother Frank, a graduate of the prestigious New York University Film School and a veteran writer and director whose credits include “The Legend of Prince Valiant,”"True Blood,” and Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories.” Ironically, this uplifting story was written by Jeff during one of the saddest moments in law enforcement history, the siege in Waco, Texas, where four ATF agents were gunned down by David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. After 14 years of perseverance, Jeff was able to work with his brother, a few fellow ATF agents and some close friends to bring the story to life.

“‘The Child King’ was written as a dad lesson to my children,” said Jeff Kerr. “Having an adventurous spirit, a little faith and a lot of kindness is not a bad place to start when trying to shape your kids. I only needed a hero to deliver that message and I found it in the image of a fellow agent’s son, Joey Granatino, a three-year-old dynamo with Down syndrome. As we were leaving for Waco, the story idea, previously stuck in my head, quickly came to life.”

About The Child King Foundation

All profits from the sale of “The Child King” will be used to support The Child King Foundation (CKF), an organization that will administer funds and distribute grants to organizations and individuals that assist, and advocate for those with intellectual disabilities. These grants are designed to help organizations and individuals meet more of the basic challenges of working with intellectually challenged individuals. The Child King Foundation is a non-profit with 501c (3) certification.

Those who purchase “The Child King” will also benefit adults with intellectual and physical disabilities at The Barry Price Center (The Price Center). The Price Center will handle all packaging and shipment of the film, providing instruction, training and employment to approximately 28 people.

To Order “The Child King”:

Copies of “The Child King” can be ordered by visiting www.thechildking.com. The film retails for $19.95 plus postage (non-U.S. orders extra). For more information on the Child King Project please visit www.thechildking.com.

 Contact:  Rick Sheehy Emerge PR For "The Child King" 1 617 729 3190 rsheehy@emergepr.com

SOURCE: ‘The Child King’




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