New York Film Academy instructor Bill Duke, who has an extensive background in acting and filmmaking, returned to the directing chair in his upcoming legal drama, “Created Equal.” Duke is coming off of directing the documentary “Dark Girls,” which premiered on OWN in June 2013 and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
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. The film will star Aaron Tveit as the lawyer opposite Edy Ganem (“Devious Maids”) as the female lead, along with Lou Diamond Phillips (“Longmire”) and Greg Alan Williams (“Greenleaf”).
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 based on a novel written by Roger A. Brown —who is also serving as executive producer on the film. Duke’s film sheds light on a delicate issue, women becoming priests — Alejandra Batista (Edy Ganem) is a devoted Catholic who feels the calling to become a priest. Because the Catholic Church law forbids women from entering the seminary, Allie files suit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination without justifiable cause with the help of a young and successful attorney, Tommy Reilly (Aaron Tveit). As Allie’s case starts to make headlines both she and Tommy face serious backlash from the people in their lives. As the trial unfolds an extremist concocts a plot to stop the heresy against the church by attacking Alejandra and threatening to kill her if she doesn’t back off.
The film will premiere at the American Black Film Festival.