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12 and HOLDING

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Product Description

Shocking and intricate pre-teen coming of age tale where adolescence and adulthood collide, exploring the complexities of children losing their innocence and adults struggling to guide them. Sparked by the tragic death of Jacob's twin brother, a trio of friends band together as they grapple with feelings of revenge, grief and experiences of growing up. As each family's personal challenges are revealed, they learn to better understand each other and their own realities.

Editorial Reviews

The raw and fragile lives of three preteens unravel in 12 and Holding, a rich and compelling independent film. When an outgoing boy named Rudy is accidentally killed by two other boys, Rudy's twin brother Jacob (Conor Donovan) starts visiting the killers in prison to try to make sense of his life and of his parent's diverse reactions; his mother (Jayne Atkinson, 24) craves revenge while his father (Linus Roache, Priest) tries to move forward. Meanwhile, two of the twins' friends also spin off in diverse directions: Precocious Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum) becomes fixated on a troubled construction worker (Jeremy Renner, North Country), while overweight Leonard (Jesse Camacho) obsesses on losing weight and forcing his obese family to lose weight as well. 12 and Holding moves fluidly between these three stories, gradually building an emotional intimacy with the characters that is unsettling, sad, and finally rewarding. The movie hits a few false notes, but the vast majority of the scenes feel vivid and honest, much like director Michael Cuesta's previous film, L.I.E.. Both the adults (including Annabella Sciorra, Jungle Fever) and the kids give excellent performances; Renner's wrenching turn stands out, but the entire cast makes this a memorable and complex film. --Bret Fetzer


Jacob & Rudy Carges (Conor Donovan)

Conor Donovan had a great experience working with this cast and crew on Twelve and Holding. He will next be seen as Young Colin In the upcoming Warner Brothers feature film The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese. Conor received critical acclaim for playing Charlie in the Second Stage production of Privilege, written by Paul Weitz. He was presented with a Theatre World Award, and received a Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for his performance. He was seen opposite Paul Newman in the Broadway production of Our Town, which was subsequently taped and aired on Showtime. Doug Hughes directed Conor in a production of All My Sons.


Malee Chung (Zoe Weizenbaum)

Zoe Weizenbaum was born in Seattle, Washington though she has grown up In rural western Massachusetts. Zoe has studied and loved African dance since she was four years old and began singing in local musicals when she was 8. To compliment her singing Zoe studies guitar. For exercise she loves to ride her horse Beau, swim and play ultimate Frisbee. Zoe began studying Hebrew in 6th grade and became an avid student in preparation for her Bat Mitzvah. She continues to read Torah when she has the opportunity.

Zoe's acting career began just after she turned twelve when she was cast for a lead role opposite Danny Glover In Missing In America. She had a principle role in Memoirs of a Geisha.


Leonard Fisher (Jesse Camacho)

Born and raised In Montreal and the son of two professional actors, Jesse has been acting on the stage and screen for almost half of his life. At only 14 years of age, Jesse has a resume that would make any actor proud.

After working with Michael Landon Jr. in the film The Velveteen Rabbit, Jesse went on to be a series regular in the Hallmark television series The Never Ending Story. He also guest-starred in the MTV series Live Through This, Fries With That? for YTV and Fox Family's Big Wolf On Campus. Jesse also had the opportunity to work opposite James Woods and Penelope Ann Miller in the USA Network series Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story.

Off screen, Jesse can be heard as the voice of Tommy In the cartoon series Tommy and Oscar, Josh in Cinar's animated series Creepschool, the lovable Moof, In the Family Channel's Billy & Buddy, as well as several appearances on the Emmy Award winning animated series Arthur.

An overachiever, last year Jesse won several public speaking awards in a competition featuring hundreds of competitors and he Is also a published author in a book


Jim Carges (Linus Roache)

Linus Roache first gained worldwide recognition as the title character in Antonia Bird's critically acclaimed film, Priest.

Linus has recently finished shooting the lead role in Kerala for acclaimedlndian director, Santosh Sivan. Previously he completed the feature films The Thread & Mira Nair's Namesake and The Ten Commandments for Hallmark. His other films include Sidney Lumet's Jackie Dee, along side Vin Dlesel, Michael Cuesta's 12 and Holding, Chris Nolan's Batman Begins, Joseph Ruben's The Forgotten, starring opposite Julianne Moore, The Chronicles of Riddick, once again working with Vin Diesel, and John Furse's Blind Flight, oppositelan Hart, for which he received a nomination by Scottish Bafta, in the Best Actor category. Additional films include lain Softley's screen adaptation of the Henry James classic novel, Wings of the Dove, opposite Helena Bonham Carter, Martin Campbell's Beyond Borders, co-starring Angelina Jolie, John Polson's Siam Sunset, Gregory Hoblit's Hart's War, and Julian Temple's Pandaemonium, for which Roache won the Best Actor award at the Evening Standard Film Awards.

Roache received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Robert Kennedy in the F/X television film.


Carla Chung (Annabella Sciorra)

Emmy nominated actress Anabella Sciorra has combined talent and natural beauty into a successful and diverse career in film, theater, and television.

Sciorra received an Emmy nomination for her highly acclaimed performance in the role of 'Gloria Trillo'on HBO's THE SOPRANOS, opposite James Gandolfini. Recently, she earned rave reviews for Sidney Lumet's FIND ME GUILTY, opposite Vin Diesel. She currently stars on NBC's hit show LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, as' Detective Carolyn Barek' opposite Chris Noth.

Sciorra made a profound impact with her role opposite Wesley Snipes In JUNGLE FEVER, Spike Lee's groundbreaking story of a young mixed-race relationship. Following JUNGLE FEVER, Annabella starred in the dramatic thriller THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE for director Curtis Hanson and then In Anthony Minghella's MR. WONDERFUL opposite Matt Dillon. She next starred In the Peter Medak film ROMEO IS BLEEDING opposite Gary Oldman and in Abel Ferrara's THE ADDICTION. She worked with Ferrara again, this time as actress and Associate Producer, In his period piece, THE FUNERAL, opposite Christopher Walken.


Gus Maitland (Jeremy Renner)

Jeremy Renner is currently filming "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" for Warner Bros. directed by Andrew Dominik. Renner will be seen starring alongside Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck playing a key member of James' gang.

Renner will next be seen in Warner Bros.' upcoming drama "North Country" in which he has a starring role opposite Academy Award(R) winner Charlize Theron. In this fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the U.S., Renner is at the center of the unfolding drama as' Bobby Sharp.' Working with 'Josie Aimes' (Theron) at the mine in their hometown, 'Bobby' often clashes with the single mother over his view that women shouldn't work in such a demanding environment. Their disagreements drive the drama, leading 'Josie' to file a class action lawsuit against the company.

Renner was most recently seen in theatres as part of the ensemble cast of "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things," directed by Asia Argento as adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by J.T. Leroy. Prior to that he starred in the summer 2003 hit "S.W.A.T." opposite Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson.


Grace Fisher (Marcia DeBonis)

Off-Broadway: Fran's Bed (Playwrights Horizons), Girl Talk (TBG Theatre), Blue Window (MTC), Space (NYSF), Low Level Panic (One Dream Theatre), numerous productions with The Barrow Group, of which she is a founding company member. Regional: Fran's Bed (Long Wharf), Greetings (Capital Rep). Film and television: 13 Going on 30, LIE, Judy Berlin, The Devil's Advocate, The Truman Show, "Law : Order," "Spin City," "Deadline."


Patrick Fisher (Tom McGowan)

Tom McGowan's feature film credits include TWELVE AND HOLDING, GHOST WORLD, BAD SANTA, THE BIRDCAGE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, HEAVYWEIGHTS, TRUE CRIME, and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. On television, he spent 6 seasons on FRASIER as 'Kenny,' and is currently on FBC's THE WAR AT HOME, as'Joe.' McGowan has appeared in multiple episodes of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, ER, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and many others. On Broadway, he was nominated for a Tony Award for LA BETE, and also appeared in CHICAGO and IVANOV. His performance Off-Broadway in THE FOOD CHAIN earned him an Obie Award. He has performed in many of the nation's top regional theaters, including The Old Globe, Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Geffen Playhouse, and the Actors Theater of Louisville.


Director's Statement (Michael Cuesta)

As a filmmaker, I've been told that I'm only interested in dark stories. I don't see it that way. I see myself as a realist. As in my last film, "L.I.E." I'm interested in pointing at the wounds in society. I find it can be healing for the viewer, and ultimately have a positive effect in someway.

I was drawn to "Twelve and Holding" because I wanted to explore themes of why people are drawn to violence, the consequences of revenge, how children navigate the burden of their parents faults, and how a community deals with complicated issues in a very complex world.

My hope is the audience can remember back to when they were entering adolescence and recall all the good and difficult times of crossing that precarious bridge. The difficulty of navigating our insecurities, the pain in losing a loved one, and one's sexuality is something that we all endure. I hope for the audience to see themselves in each of these children.

Ultimately, the story is about the unconditional love children have for their parents and how far they will go to be loved -- the sacrifice they make to secure stability and happiness in the home and among their peers.

Michael Cuesta


Michael Cuesta

Michael Cuesta (director)

Michael Cuesta, winner of the Best New Filmmaker Award from the Boston Society of Film Critics, made his feature debut as a writer/director/producer with "L.I.E." The film was nominated for six independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director.

Widely acclaimed, "L.I.E." premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival., and played at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New Director/New Films series, and was awarded the Prix Du Jury at the Deauville Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Award or American Narrative Feature at OutFest. Cuesta was also nominated for the Gotham Awards' Open Palm Award for Outstanding Directorial Debut and won the Best Director Award at the Stockholm Film Festival, as well as the New Director Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Cuesta is currently adapting the bestselling book "The Miracle of Edgar Mint," for producers Sandy Stern and Michael Stipe. His credits also include directing five episodes of HBO's critically acclaimed series "Six Feet Under." An award-winning commercial director, Cuesta has been honored at the Museum of Modern Art and a number of advertising awards shows.

He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he studied photography and literature, going on to hone a career as a still photographer.


What initially attracted you to the script for "Twelve and Holding"?

I think what initially attracted me Anthony Cipriano's script was taking a journey with these kids and seeing them make the decisions they make. There's also this unconditional love that some of the characters had for their parents. The sacrifices that they make or heal things at home-and the wisdom they impart. I have kids, and sometimes they have way of saying something or doing something that sort of brings you back to the world. It heals you.

Malee's story in particular, but also Jacob's speak to what kids are doing. This is going on. A lot of movies that are made about kids are movies that are made for kids. So it's sort of dumbed down. This movie is about 12 year olds, but it's adult themes. But don't they do that?

That's not really happening? I mean kids are watching the news everyday man. My son is seeing these Iraqi children burning up. You can see that on CNN or the BBC. I would like teenagers to see "Twelve and Holding" with some sort of guidance maybe.

Adolescence is certainly those times that most people wouldn't want to relive.

Michael Cuesta (director)




Anthony S. Cipriano is a gradual of Westfield State College in Westfield, Ma. He spent his post graduate years In children's television, wring for shows on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and, TNBC. "Twelve and Holding" marks his feature film debut He is currently adapting the Hong Kong film "Running Out of Time.


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