[04/01/05 - 12:00 AM]
USA Network in Association with Glaad Give 'Ring of Fire' a Sneak Preview

[via press release from USA]



NEW YORK -- April 1, 2005 -- USA Network, in conjunction with The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), will launch a targeted sneak preview screening program of the network's acclaimed Sundance Film Festival acquisition, Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story on April 5th, announced Bonnie Hammer, President of USA Network and SCI FI Channel. Directed by Dan Klores and Ron Berger, the film will make its exclusive television debut on USA on April 20th, 9:00 PM ET/PT.

"This film sheds light on an important but tragic turn of events in the world of boxing which deserves exploration," said Damon Romine, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Director. "GLAAD is pleased to offer to its members the opportunity to view a sneak preview of the film and discuss the subject matter in a Q&A session with the filmmakers.

"'Ring of Fire' is a moving, complex treatment of one man's sexuality," said Hammer. "We are truly proud to partner with GLAAD in bringing this provocative film to their membership."

The following GLAAD screenings have been scheduled:

New York -- Tues., April 5th, 8:00PM at The Union Square 14

Boston -- Wed., April 6th, 8:00PM at Boston Common Loews

Miami -- Wed., April 6th, 8:00PM at Falls 12* screening only

Washington, D.C. - Wed., April 6th, 8:00PM at Ballston Common 12 - Arlington, VA* screening only

Ring of Fire, directed and produced by Klores and Berger, is a moving story of love, violence and redemption that chronicles the life of six-time world boxing champion Emile Griffith, who in 1962 killed Benny "The Kid" Paret in the ring during a live telecast of the fight. Not only did the tragic bout have a lasting impact on the sport, it polarized the media, created political debate and left lives shattered in the balance.

Griffith, rumored to be gay in boxing circles, became a rising star when he previously won the title from Paret, an illiterate Cuban exile who shared a huge boxing future with Griffith. At the afternoon weigh-in of their rubber match, Paret stood beside his challenger, whispered in Griffith's ear "maric�n," the Spanish word for "faggot." Griffith lunged at the Cuban champion in front of shocked onlookers, setting the stage for a brutal bout and a lifetime of haunting memories. Though Griffith has never publicly defined his sexuality, there would have been little choice if he wanted a career as a boxer. Indeed, the atmosphere around the subject was so charged at the time of the Griffith-Paret fight, that newspapers change the translation of "maric�n" to the made-up word "unman." America wasn't ready for a gay boxing star in the 1960's...

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [april 2005]  


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