Award-winning actress Lucy Liu has signed on as executive producer for the insightful and timely – “UNZIPPED: An Autopsy Of American Inequality” – a searing exposé of the growing affordable housing crisis in America. Written and directed by Colin K. Gray, this intimate and often heartbreaking film focuses on one of the country’s most iconic and increasingly income divided zip codes, Venice CA 90291. Once a mecca for artists, outsiders and a thriving Black community, Venice is now the frontline for America’s heated battles over gentrification, lack of affordable housing, and homelessness.
With moving, personal profiles of several artist families who struggle to remain in their neighborhood, to bitterly contested community fights over a proposed homeless shelter, “UNZIPPED” explodes stereotypes and humanizes the lives of people caught in the crossfire of America’s growing housing divide. A topical local lens on this alarming humanitarian issue, “UNZIPPED” is an urgent call to action for more equitable housing solutions for every community in America and around the globe.
“As a long-time UNICEF ambassador, I’ve seen how housing is one the most important social determinants of health around the globe, for children in particular. I was moved by the stories in “UNZIPPED” and how the film humanizes the lived experiences of several families struggling with America’s own affordable housing crisis,” says Liu. “I am hopeful this documentary will help catalyze debate and action on how to better protect the most vulnerable in society.”
The film is produced by Grainey Pictures, in association with Ley Line Entertainment, The Nation of Artists and Still Moving Pictures.
“Having Lucy join the team is a true honor,” says director Colin K. Gray. “We wanted to counter the divisive rhetoric around homelessness and affordable housing with personalized profiles of people struggling to survive in one of America’s most iconic zip codes. We hope “UNZIPPED” will inspire people to get involved in the movement to enshrine housing as a human right.”
“UNZIPPED” had its world festival premiere recently on October 24 at the Newport Beach Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Following the win, premium non-fiction sales agent Cargo Film & Releasing nabbed global sales rights. “UNZIPPED” is now playing the American Black Film Festival.
For film info, visit www.unzippedmovie.com.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader. She is a National Newspaper Publishers Association ‘Entertainment Writing’ award winner, contributor to “Rust Belt Chicago” and the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood: South Side of Chicago.” For info, Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago (lulu.com) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.