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LOS ANGELES, PRNewswire - For the second time since it premiered theatrically in New York City, James Ronald Whitney's controversial new film, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: NEW YORK, had the highest per screen average in the country out of all independent films. In fact, even after throwing the big-budget studio grosses into the mix, only Universal Picture's VAN HELSING beat GAMES.

Together, Fire Island Film's "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" and Universal's "Van Helsing" moved into that coveted first and second position topping the box office charts at nearly 15K per screen each, leaving the other top 7 studio rivals in the dust at averages grossing less than 3K.

In third place was Paramount's "Mean Girls" followed by Fox's "Man on Fire," Warner Brother's "New York Minute," Sony's "13 Going on 30," New Line's "Laws of Attraction," and Miramax's "Kill Bill Vol. 2."

As indieWIRE reported, in it's opening weekend, "James Ronald Whitney's risqu'e feature, 'GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York' seduced it's way to #1...grabbing the throne from Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ,' which had reigned for two weekends."

"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" is being distributed jointly by FabiLuce Films and Artistic License Films, and it is the first reality film in James Ronald Whitney's trilogy. Last year, Whitney won the Emmy Award for another controversial film titled, "Telling Nicholas," about a 7-year-old boy whose mother was killed in 9/11. "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" will be followed by "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood," and "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: The Bible Belt."

"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" received a "THUMBS UP" when it was featured on Ebert & Roeper, and after remarking that the film is "Compellingly Watchable!," Ebert further described it as "...a brilliant experiment in psychological manipulation (4 STARS)...!"

"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" has already opened in 8 of the top 10 U.S. movie markets, and beginning this weekend it will be playing in Atlanta, Dallas and Boston. Call 1-866-THE MOVIE for theaters and showtimes, and for additional information about the movie or about the soon-to-be-released DVD, visit www.Games PeoplePlayNewYork.com.

Press Release
Contact: Judy Dixon
dominion3 (323) 466-3393
January 2004


-“GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York” released in March 2004 -

NEW YORK, NY (JAN. 2,2004) – Fire Island Films’ newest feature, “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York” has been picked up for distribution by FabiLuce Films.

In addition to the “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York” feature, two sequels are in the works, “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood” and “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: The Bible Belt.” GAMES was conceived, produced, edited, directed (and partially scored) by Emmy-Award winning director, James Ronald Whitney. The first installment of "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" is slated for a March 2004 release by FabiLuce Films in the top ten U.S. movie markets. It was announced today by FabiLuce president, J. David Luce and his partner, Margaret Bastick. Luce and Bastick will also co-produce James Ronald Whitney’s first traditional fictional narrative feature film.

The GAMES PEOPLE PLAY franchise is a series of reality game show-like feature films, where contestants exercise their acting talent in a hidden camera competition for the cash prize of $10,000.00. These films answer the question, “How far will performers go for fame and fortune?” The contestants are comprised of 3 men and 3 women who ultimately prove that they are both physically and emotionally uninhibited. At times they are completely nude, they perform risqué pranks, and they offer shocking confessionals in an attempt to win the game. The film was written, edited, partially scored, and directed by James Ronald Whitney, and produced by Whitney. Richard Reichgut is the executive producer along with J. David Luce, and Margaret Bastick is the co-producer.

Luce stated, “Whitney is an ingenious, passionate and prolific filmmaker. We are thrilled to be working with him and we look forward to bringing the already critically-acclaimed ‘GAMES PEOPLE PLAY” New York’ to the theatres. Whitney’s films have broken through the barriers of the reality-programming genre, and have set a brand new standard on reality-movies.”

James Ronald Whitney’s filmmaking debut was in 2000, and he has possibly become the most prolific independent filmmaker in the country, completing five feature films in three years. “Just, Melvin” was Whitney’s directorial debut, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2000, was released theatrically in New York and Los Angeles and was then acquired by HBO for the US broadcast rights. His film won the “Best Documentary Award” at an unprecedented number of film festivals before being nominated for the ‘Independent Spirit Award’ in 2001.

Whitney’s Emmy-Award winning documentary on 9/11, “Telling Nicholas,” aired on HBO, after playing theatrically in both San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. The film unfolds as Whitney, a New York City resident who lives only a few blocks from where the Trade Centers once stood, was forced from his home in Tribeca by the debris that rose from the ash of the falling towers. Later that day, he decided to contact the family of a missing woman he saw on a flier – she was the mother of a 7-year-old Nicholas.

Currently, Whitney is completing production on another feature “TheWorkingGirl.com” about a single mother of a 5-year old son. She enters the cyber-sex industry in order to make ends meet. Whitney, president and founder of Fire Island Films, decided to set up offices in Harlem, New York last month after having cocktails with President Clinton in his Harlem office last year.


Both screenings for James Ronald Whitney's latest film, "GAMES PEOPLE PLAY : New York," an extreme-reality film that made it's premiere at the CineVegas International Film Festival 2003 as part of the Jackpot World Premiere line-up in Las Vegas, resulted in sell-out crowds.  "Hundreds of people were turned away, but a bunch of us got in anyway and just sat in the aisles.  The movie was awesome, but my ass hurts like hell!" said one thrilled movie-goer.  "Games People Play" entered the festival with quite a buzz--VH1 has been profiling the director's work as part of an extreme-reality piece slated for August.  In addition to VH1, Whitney did radio and network television spots, segments with Starz/Encore, and a red carpet interview with ET.
  For festival photos, visit


Press Release
Contact: (917) 319-4957

Born, married and divorced in Vegas, filmmaker James Ronald Whitney
returns for the premiere of his Extreme Reality Movie.

"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York" will have its World Premiere as part of the CineVegas International Film Festival 2003 on Sunday, June 15th at 6:30 pm, and Tuesday, June 17th at 4:30 pm. The film premieres at Brenden Theatres, and will be documented by VH1, as the first in the series of extreme reality movies by James Ronald Whitney bringing audiences a daring troupe of six young New York actors willing to show how far they'll go for fame and fortune. Nudity, adult pranks and personal confessions, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY sets a new standard for "reality" programming with this progressive combination of physical and emotional nakedness.

Whitney's previous films include JUST, MELVIN (2000 Sundance Film Festival), TELLING NICHOLAS (2002 Tribeca Film Festival), and TheWorkingGirl.com (work in progress). ROGER EBERT has given him the THUMBS UP, he's been featured on "Oprah" and in "Time" Magazine. Previously married to Cirque du Soleil's tightrope walker, Sally Dewhurst, James Ronald Whitney returns to Sin City-- where it all started.


©2002-2004 James Ronald Whitney
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