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Ron Gilbert


I am now living in the heart of the film industry and have been involved in the film and theates industry for almost 50 years.I started out in New York City which was where the acting scene at the Actors Studio (I am a lifetime member) included Robert DeNiro,Dustin Hoffman ,Al Pacino,Robert Duval and other name actors like Martin Landau ,Rod Steiger,Shelley Winters,Paul Newman,Ben Gazzara and the list goes on. That was then and the picture has changed. A stage play in New York names a name Hollywood actor to make a profit. The independent film scene has also changed. Steven Soderbergh commented on that recently at the San Francisco International Film Festival and major companies have taken over the studios.

I still work as an actor in commercials,TV and mostly independent films. I ahve worked with the major directors like Francis Ford Coppola,Sydney Lumet, and  Bryan Singer whom I met on his first feature and the relationship is same even now.

Currently I can be seen on reruns,commercials,short films and indie films.

We are currently shooting this web series

www.mamaluke-tv.com

I have 2 award winning  films on the festival circuit American Bred and Courier X 

http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm0003003/

In addition as a member of the Actors Studio I have taught at Strasberg Institute and Theatre of Arts and created 2 acting academies in Italy and have done workshops in London and other cities.the I have been a judge on many film festivals and worked with Independent Film Projects West as a producer on the feature film program and the Spirit Awards.


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The Invocation is very provocative

"Emmanuel Itier provokes in  “The Invocation”

by Ron Gilbert

 

Emmanuel and I satdown in his suite at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood to discuss his journey. I have known him for over 20 yearsand after seeing his film, The Invocation, I discovered what I didn’t knowabout him. So we let the fur fly on this interview and there were no holdsbarred.

 

RG

Emmanuel I just wantyou to know that since we are very close friends you can let me know aboutanything that you do not want me to put into this interview because ourconversation will go into many areas

 

Emmanuel

I have nosecrets…none that I know of…ha!

 

RG

Well you are alwaysfull of ideas and projects since you are a writer/producer/director. Whatcompelled you to come up with this film?

 

Emmanuel

When I had my son 5years ago something snapped in my head and I got overly depressed like a womenwho has post delivery syndrome. I remembered that we had a conversation inSundance because your son Adam had just died and we shared this grief and Imentioned how I felt about having my son.

 

RG

Yes. I remember yourreaction and how you felt about the life of your son

 

Emmanuel

So here we are onthis crazy planet and in wars but what about his future and is this world goingto collapse?

 

RG

Hopefully not today.We need to complete this interview.

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel

So 2years ago I was driving  to LA from SantaBarbara to pitch another horror movie while listeningto  rock and roll music, The Ramones Ithink,  and I just started screamingobscenities and  looking towards heavenand then the revelation came.  I willmake a movie about God and immediately in my head I saw the trailer, the movie but I wanted God’s name in the title, so I looked into thederivation of the word, God which has Indo-European roots and the verb is toinvoke or communicate or connect. Now I knew that I wanted the notion of godbut not like “Oh My GOD and that is howI found the title, “The Invocation”. This film was going to be my own salvation

 

 

RG

I understand that.You seemed to be caught in Hollywood Limbo

 

Emmanuel

Exactly, I wanted todirect another film but all the people whose films which I had made and hadearned those thousands of dollars would not give me a single dime. To getunstuck I needed to re-invent myself

 

RG

A metamorphosis

 

Emmanuel

 

Yes. So I emailed allmy friends and one of them who knew Deepak Chopra. Here I am thisdirector/producer who does films like “Scarecrow” and asking Deepak to be in afilm of mine. So we went down to his office near SanClemente and he was so welcoming, so generous. Then Iwent to Sharon Stone for the narration. Fromthe beginning and I knew that I wanted a woman as the narrator tocontradict  this Christian notion of godbeing a male and  to challenge people .By the way, in the scriptures it is said that “God is all and all is God”, Godis never defined, it is NOT true that we should assume naively that God is amale being overseeing us in the clouds, it is NOT in the Scriptures, only inthe Male ultra dominant vision of Society at large. With Sharon Stone ,I knewthat she had to be my “Goddess.” I contacted my friend Natalie Dubois who hadworked with Sharon and she told to reach out to Sharon and connected me with her partner, this was over 3 yearsago…

RG

So Sharon said yes, of course…?

 

Emmanuel

I approached her andtold her the idea but she would not commit and that lack of commitment lasted 3years before she said yes. I must have contacted her 10

Times and 10 times I got turned down by her because she felt themovie wasn’t there, that there was a good idea but not a good enough executionof the idea…

 

RG

In addition you werestill doing the press junkets and interviews?

 

Emmanuel

That is how I gotOliver Stone, Mark Wahlberg, Rosario Dawson, and Malcolm McDowell. I would bedoing these film interviews and I would tell them about my project and ask themto participate and .I even had Jim Carrey in it .He was excited but I didnot have a release with me that day and his publicist and lawyer turned me downeven after I told them that Jim wanted to be in it and I hade his footage. Myfriend Annie Lennox also contributed her amazing music. She gave me twofantastic songs, “Lost” and “Oh God!”. This is truly Divine overall whathappened with this film. It proves the point that, whatever you believe in ornot, from a single thought an entire Universe can be built…!

 

RG

So  you were usingfriendships and these interviews and had already started to shoot the film?

 

Emmanuel

I put up my own moneyand credit card and took my cameraman to film over 300 people from 5 continents, 20 countries We spent 10hours on a bus in India which was a very tedious experience going to an interview with the Dali Lamawhich we had to do. We were in danger so many times like in the slums of Cairo or in Israel whereyou feel the tension. As I was shooting I begged people to give me money. Awoman gave me $40,000 another person gave me $5000 another $10,000 and in themiddle of the movie I ran of money and I approached all the distributors I knewand told them who was in it and they thought I was nuts. Finally Lightning Entertainment gave me the balance of the cash Ineeded to finish the movie…and Voilà!

 

RG

So you finished shooting and the next step is post production,right

 

Emmanuel

Yes, by now mycameraman was working for free and I had no money left for post so I called TheAsylum with whom I have done many movies, I begged them to help me and theycame aboard as a producer, .I had most of the footage and pretty muchlocked the film so I sent Sharon the DVD and she responded 2 days later by email writing me that this is thebest movie she had ever seen and that everyone should see it and it should bein all the schools. She even said the movie should be at The SmythsonianInstitute, I kept her email!   She justwent on to say that the whole congress should see it and show everyone that we can be at peace instead offighting like idiots. By now I had no money left and I could not pay her andwas almost in bankruptcy in which I am now. She told me that she didn’t wantany money but to just make her partner and I told her that I would give her apercentage of my profits and make her an Executive producer. So last November she drove to Burbank in that 110 degree heat and did the narration with a littledirection and her suggestions and in between take, this was a very emotionalmoment for the two of us.She was amazing, so generous, so spiritual. This city,Los Angeles, can be so cruel and this star comes in and helps thisFrench guy for no money, now this is an example to follow!!

 

RG

So she does thenarration and now the film is ready for festivals and for distributors to see.

 

Emmanuel

Not quite, it wouldhave too simple! But the US Distributor and sales company had thefinal cut .It was the best deal and the worst deal because I finally get tofinish the movie and I am the one who did all this and they are being overcontrolling and telling me what to do with it. Finally Sharon camein and backed me up and that was it. Once a film is that well “packaged” you’refinally left alone and nobody is bothering you. Also, what helped with my selfconfidence and to stick to my guns was to receive a letter from the personalsecretary of President Obama and of President Sarkozy from France. Theywere congratulating me for this unique and inspiring movie.  I do not know if Obama and Sarkozy saw thefilm, probably not, but it makes you soul bulletproof and ready to face anyidiots who dare to argue about the value and importance of the work achieved.

 

 

RG

Great. So now you have the finished film with all these wellknown stars and spiritual personalities and all the film festivals would loveto screen it?

 

Emmanuel

Cannes Festival didnot even  truly watch it in spite of anemail of recommendation sent by Sharon Stone. Same thing with the Venice FilmFestival All Big Major Film  Festivalspassed on it because I was unknown and also because it seems like they are morein movie preaching WAR, such as “Restrepo” or “The Tillman Story” than Peace.  But it was accepted in the film festivals in Bermuda, PalmBeach, Santa Barbara and SantaFe with packedaudiences meanwhle The Toronto Film Festival passed because they said the moviewas too little!!!

 

 

RG

You mean SharonStone, Deepak Chopra, Mark Wahlberg ,The Dali Lama and Oliver Stone are littlepeople

 

Emmanuel

I know that iscrazy!!  We just won for BestDocumentary and Best Concept at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. In September we are at Orlando Global Peace Film Festival (www.Peacefilmfest.org )  where it will be sold out I am sure! We willthen be in Tel Aviv for the Spirit Festival ( www.spiritfestival.co.il )  in October. Also in October the newlyestablished Beverly Hills Film, TV and New Media Festival ( www.bhfilmtvnewmedia.com )  will honor Sharon Stone with a “HumanitarianAward”. Finally, Mexico should be the first country to release The Invocation inJanuary. We have sold it to many countries such as  England, Spain, Australia and Scandinavia and it will be shown in churches and Yoga Centers  in the US. I hope we get to have a theatrical release here and thenonto DVD and internet. So, hopefully my investors and I should see a return onprofits in the next 6 to 10 months…I hope!

 

 

RG

This has been a life changing experience for you.

 

Emmanuel

What we have to do to be alive and what we have to do in thislife is to change our ways, Love is really the answer. And this is at the heartof any scriptures. Whoever you believe in, it’s all about the Love and not theReligion, it’s about the ONENESS and not the Individual-ness. We need to changethe subject from “me, myself and I” to WE. One people, One Planet, OneUniverse. Be “Peace in Action” as Sharon issaying at the end of the movie. And I would add that truly we all need “to runfor office”, we all need to get involved with our schools, our churches, oursocial clubs and so on. Don’t wait for the Messiah, become IT!  But it will take time to educate, toenlighten people so that the next generation can survive. I sadly think thatwithin the next five yearswe will be going into an incredible crisis and there will be a collapse of theentire financial system and civil war and people fighting over religion,culture and government so the planet will be in a mess. But on the long term Iam an optimist and I believe finally we will build a better world, a peacefulWorld.

 

RG

So you feel your filmwill change all of this?

 

Emmanuel

I don’t think onefilm can make all the changes but it sure can help on the side of the othershelpers, the other movies, books, speakers, prophets and so on. I hope “TheInvocation”  will make people aware.Right now I am shooting a new documentary , “The Goddess”  as a “sequel” to “The Invocation”. This filmis a celebration of women healing the planet because, We Men,  screwed up. Itthe real reason why the world is in the shape it is. Why we don’t have peace isbecause we do not have enough women in the position of power to manage theplanet but also because there is a castration of the “Feminine”  within most of the Men of this Planet. Thecastration which is used  figurativelytells us not to cry but  toughen up,dominate, control and kill. Men are programmed to kill and that is a problem.As long as we will raise our sons to be killers we will have a War nation allover the Planet. Drop your weapons Brothers! Open your heart, let go of this“Superman complex” and dare to cry, dare to be weak to Love, dare to give andto embrace, dare to make ONE with your fellow Man and Woman.

 

RG

Thisis terrific! How much have you filmed of “The Goddess”?

 

Emmanuel

Halfof it is done .It will take me another 8 to 10 months to complete it. THEGODDESS is full of the most important Women on the Planet such as author RianeEisler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riane_Eisler) who wrote “The Chalice and the Blade” and “The Real Wealth of the Nation.”Her philosophy which shows how raisingthe status of women, and how the status of the stereotypically “feminine,” iscentral to building a more sustainable and equitable economic system for all. Sharon Stone will also be part of it. And we have so many Nobel Peacewinners like Laureate Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Shirin Ebadi from Iran. Next we will befilming in Kenya, Liberia, Russia and China.  Thisis the 2nd part of a trilogy about the notion of PEACE. The thirdmovie will introduces a new economic system that goes beyond capitalism andsocialism, what I call “communitarism”. Right now America is teetering on the precipice of economic disaster.Commentators blame deregulated markets and a few bad apples at the top. Butthese are symptoms of deeper problems. Eminent social issues- such as poverty, inequality, war,terrorism, and environmental degradation - are due largely to flawed economicsystems . And at the core of it, again, it’s about the falling of “The Goddess”about the killing of the Feminine by the Masculine. We are all the victim ofover 10,000 years of dominant ultra macho patriarchal systems telling us it’sok to kill and Death is a good business. Well, I’m telling you: Death is a badbusiness. Because when you will have killed all your customers you will end uphaving to turn the gun on yourself…and then, this is it!

 

RG

Sothose leaders at the top of the pyramid can see what is really going on and itis not because of religions or greed or…?

 

Emmanuel

Religion,greed and so on are just the tip of the Iceberg, they are the expression ofthat castration of the Feminine within and by the Masculine….truly we need torebuild Humanity before it’s too late, before some right wing extremist, somefanatic terrorist push the wrong button and send us back to the cave age, or morelike transform us into a “Mad Max” civilization. The choice is ours and we arerunning out of time…but not running out of solutions. So, please: BE PEACE INACTION!

 RG

Well my mother, grandmother, sister and all my aunts who wereall influential in my life will be very pleased with this interview and yourupcoming film. Thank you so much for your insight and mission. Looking forwardto the next one…

 

Emmanuel

We are the ONE…the past, present and next ONE…as Einstein wasexplaining: “Nothing is created, nothing is Destroyed, all is transformed”. Ibelieve we are in a phase of transformation, of transition where finally wewill realize the prophecy of Gandhi: “There is not way to Peace, Peace is TheWay”. We are PEACE, let’s lead The Way!! Amen.

 

 

 

www.WonderlandEntGroup.com

http://www.theinvocation.com/

 

 

 

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