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Touchstone Pictures presents "10 Things I Hate About You," directed by Gil Junger from a script written by Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith

Touchstone Pictures presents "10 Things I Hate About You," directed by Gil Junger from a script written by Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith. The film is produced by Andrew Lazar. The executive producers are Jeffrey Chernov and Seth Jaret. Co-producer is Jody Hedien. The film is distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

"This project was generated by an original script by two very talented young writers, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith," explains producer Andrew Lazar of the gestation of "10 Things I Hate About You." "I read their script and fell in love with it. The screenplay is very interesting, with modern characters and in a fresh setting."

One of the things that attracted Lazar to the script was that it was a different type of teen movie. "This film is a very sophisticated, sharp character comedy," says producer Andrew Lazar.

Veteran television director Gil Junger was approached to discuss the project. "My agent said it was a high school comedy based on 'Taming of the Shrew' I said 'absolutely not,"' remembers Junger. "I had no interest in doing a typical high school film. I wanted to do a romantic love story.

"But, at the urging of my agent, I read the script. I loved it. The depth of it surprised me. It really is a romantic love story. The plot is beautifully interwoven and the humor works because it comes from the characters."

After meeting studio executives and the producer, Junger was offered the picture the next day.

"Quite a few directors were interested in the script," remarks producer Lazar. "But Gil Junger came in with the most enthusiasm and the most passion. He brought a lot to the table and wanted to take it to another level. He articulated very specifically what he thought about the characters, the humor, the emotion and the drama. It was clear to us that he was head and shoulders above anybody else."

"I wanted it to be based on emotions that teenagers can relate to. Most teenagers get caught up in peer pressure and feel they should act a certain way to be accepted," says Junger. "I think that's a valley that a lot of teenage kids fall into and it makes them unhappy I wanted to send a message that it's okay to have your own ideas, it's okay to be unique, and that it's okay to be who you are.

Explains Junger, "What happens in the movie is that the audience finds out that these two lead characters, who are very protected and very guarded, let their guards down and they find love. As a result, they end up much happier and I think that's the truth in life.

"If you open your heart to love, the happiness that you can achieve is phenomenal. The characters go through a painful period and come out happier and healthier. That appealed to my heart," says Junger.

"The movie is about finding out who somebody is on the inside rather than the exterior," says producer Andrew Lazar. "The core and the emotion of this movie is really about allowing yourself to be who you want to be and not what other people think you should be."

"It's also a movie about romance," adds executive producer Jeffrey Chernov. "It's about that first glance at a girl that you'd like to have and you know that she's somewhat unobtainable. And about what you might be willing to go through to get her.

Continues Chernov, "The movie<

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