Bill Duke Explores the Controversial Issue of Women Becoming Catholic Priests in New Film, “Created Equal”

Above: Bill Duke (center) with the Created Equal cast: (L to R) GregAlan Williams, Susan LaBrecque, Lou Diamond Phillips, Yohance Myles, Aaron Tveit and Edy Ganem

It’s been six years since famed actor/director Bill Duke stunned audiences with his shocking documentary, Dark Girls. He returns with the same impact and controversy through CREATED EQUAL – an independently produced legal thriller, which has been officially selected to “World Premiere” during the American Black Film Festival on Thursday, June 15, 4pm, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL).

In a world where gender equality remains a critical issue, this controversial film, doesn’t set out to challenge the Catholic Church doctrine, but asks a very modern question… Should women be allowed into seminaries to study for the priesthood? “Created Equal is a film that gives you a voyeur experience into the stained glass ceiling that exists in the Catholic Church and asks the question about women being allowed into seminaries without actually taking sides,” shares Bill Duke. “We are so excited that the American Black Film Festival has officially selected our film as a world premiere and look forward to the conversation that is created around this highly debated topic.”

The film stars Broadway actor and singer Aaron Tveit (Grease Live!) Latina actress Edy Ganem (Devious Maids), Yohance Myles (Shots Fired), veteran actors Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire) and GregAlan Williams (Greenleaf).
Desperate to become a priest in the Catholic Church, Alejandra “Allie” Batista (Edy Ganem) turns to Thomas Reilly (Aaron Tveit), a successful lawyer who files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause. As Allie’s case starts to make national headlines, both she and Tommy face serious backlash from the people in their lives. The trial unfolds and an extremist concocts a plot to stop the heresy against the church by attacking Alejandra and attempting to kill her if she doesn’t back off.

Based on the novel, Created Equal, written by Roger A. Brown, who also serves as Executive Producer, the script was written by Ned Bowman, Michael Ricigliano Jr., and Joyce Renee Lewis. The film was produced by Thada Catalon of T-Cat Films.

“Created Equal became a huge priority for me when I saw that the United States of America was nearly on the brink of having Hillary Clinton as its first female President,” shares the producer, Thada Catalon. “I was inspired when she said in her concession speech, ‘Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think.’ It was important for me to use this platform to be a part of a progressive movement that seeks equal rights for all- not just in religion, but on the world stage.”

Double Emmy Award-winning actor, GregAlan Williams, adds, “It’s always a joy and an honor to be a part of meaningful work. This film, Created Equal, is of major importance to us all.”

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