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OUR FAMILY WEDDING

A Multi-Talented Ensemble
Director Rick Famuyiwa has a genuine affinity for weddings. "What's beautiful about them in general is that you're surrounded by people who are strangers, and then after „I do,' they're family.”

In fact, it's his personal philosophy on love and marriage that has brought the Sundance Film Festival winner back to the altar for a second go around. "Nothing is more important to me than family, especially my wife and children,” he says, "and nothing I do supersedes that.” Famuyiwa's debut feature film, THE WOOD, delivered a comedic male perspective on marriage through the eyes of four best friends. In OUR FAMILY WEDDING, he takes a lighthearted look at love through the eyes of two incredibly divergent families who are thrown together when a young couple unexpectedly decides to get married. No one is ready for the drama that awaits them!

"Weddings are full of life energy,” says producer Edward Saxon. "They often bring generations together and are inherently dramatic because two people are about to make a big life change.”

Producer Steven J. Wolfe agrees. "Every wedding takes on a life of its own,” he says. "This one centers around two kids who are very much in love and bring their families together only to discover that their father's hate each other! So ultimately, this is a movie about two polarized families trying to figure out a way to mesh.”

"My editor and I like to joke that this film is really a love story about the two dads,” says Famuyiwa chuckling, "because they are the ones with the biggest hurdles to overcome.”

It was during the year long screenwriting process that director Famuyiwa first formulated a "dream cast” in his mind. The New York based filmmaker, who penned the critically acclaimed drama TALK TO ME, says Forest Whitaker was always at the top of my mind for the role of Brad Boyd. Brad is a quirky but cool, middle-aged divorcee who works as a high profile radio DJ in LA, collecting fine art, antiques and pretty young women – all the while raising his high achieving son Marcus (Lance Gross). The writer/director says he knew Whitaker could be incredibly funny in the film. "Comedy is about truth and Forest's ability to get to the truth of a character is unsurpassed,” says Famuyiwa.

The film's innovative producers, Oscar® winner Edward Saxon (PHILADELPHIA) and indie trailblazer Steven J. Wolfe (500 DAYS OF SUMMER), were also huge fans of Whitaker's. They hoped the combination of him returning to Fox Searchlight Pictures, the studio which released his Academy Award® winning film THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, the film's topical spin on

clashing family ideals and the challenges of doing a comedic role would generate the right amount of synergy for him to say "yes.” Whitaker accepted the role, excited to try his hand at comedy. "I've played a lot of roles that are emotionally and psychologically challenging,” he explains. "So I decided it was the right time to explore a new side.” Friends from his college days at the University of Southern California had also been encouraging the married father of four to return to comedy; a genre he embraced as a student.

Says Wolfe, "We don't think of Forest Whitaker as funny because we've seen him deliver so many indelible, dramatic, and serious performances that resonate in our heads like THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. But in fact, he's really amazing with comedy and I think people are going to have fun seeing a side of him they don't often get to see.”

As Brad Boyd, Whitaker embodies an odd mix of refinement and neurosis. "We added this overly controlling element to him,” explains the director. From his mid-century modern home, to his vintage Aston Martin sports car, and rare collection of art – everything in Brad's life reflects his quest for perfection. "Every detail of his life is controlled – even down to how he arranges his glasses,” says Famuyiwa.

Starring opposite Whitaker a

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