February 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
Los Angeles - Based on a true story, HEART of the BEHOLDER is the first independent movie to win five back-to-back Best Feature Film awards on the film festival circuit, yet has had trouble securing a distributor due to its controversial nature prompting the progressive producers to turn their attention to the Internet and self-distribution. They just announced that they are now selling the Special Collector's Edition DVD on as well as on their own website at In addition, HEART of the BEHOLDER is also offered as a download through VOD - Video on Demand at and is currently being considered for VOD at actor Morgan Freeman's new Internet distribution venture, ClickStar, at

The decision to take an alternative distribution route came on the heels of resounding praise from domestic movie distributors that the movie is very good with superb acting and production values much higher than the $500k Executive Producer Darlene Lieblich put into the movie after hocking her home. But the same distributors then say that the film market is too soft to take a risk on marketing a controversial movie.

HEART of the BEHOLDER tells the powerful story of how an enterprising young couple, who opened the first videocassette rental store in St. Louis in 1981, was ruined by a group of religious fundamentalists because they were the only video store owners who dared to carry Martin Scorsese's controversial film, The Last Temptation of Christ.

Targeted by the Citizens For Decency, the couple stood up against relentless harassment, intimidation, and even death threats from the religious zealots who deemed such films as Taxi Driver, Agnes of God, Blazing Saddles, Animal House, Mr. Mom and SPLASH as obscene and eventually blackmailed the District Attorney into destroying their business and family. Many people assume that the movie trashes Christians or their faith, but when BEHOLDER screened in Kentucky to an audience of bible-belt Christians, they were not offended. They were moved and the film was awarded it's second Best Feature Film award. This movie is about the abuse of power — both religious and political. More information is available at

HEART of the BEHOLDER is a text book example of independent filmmaking. Twelve years of up and down movie development hell until out of desperation, the writer/drirector - Ken Tipton, pitched his family's story to an "A" list celebrity. The year was 2000 and a commercial actor's strike was in full gear in Hollywood which forced Ken to get work as a limo driver. Ken was fired for soliciting a client, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happen to him. Chris Gore, independent film guru and founder of, wrote an online story about Ken called "How NOT To Make It In Hollywood" and gave details about HEART of the BEHOLDER. The article was read by a VP of Broadcast Standards and Practices (AKA The Censor) at a major television network named Darlene Lieblich. Darlene has been in the industry for over thirty years. She may be a professional censor, but she is passionately anticensorship. What Darlene found was a screenplay from a first-time writer that was extremely well written, riveting, funny, and dramatically controversial. After her attorney was given access to all newspaper articles, court records, and interviewed people personally involved with the story, she acquired the option to produce the movie. In another twist of irony, Chris Gore's film, "My Big Fat Independent Movie," was beaten in several film festivals by HEART of the BEHOLDER, but Gore's movie was picked up for distribution.

HEART of the BEHOLDER stars Matt Letscher (Mask of Zorro), 3-time Emmy winner Sarah Brown (General Hospital), John Dye (Touch by an Angel), Jason Wiles (3rd Watch), Greg Germann (Alley McBeal), Michael Dorn (Star Trek), Anne Ramsay (A League of Their Own), Priscilla Barnes (The Crossing Guard), Arden Myrin (Mad TV), Conrad Bachmann (West Wing) and Oscar-winning actress for "The Bad Seed", Patty McCormack.
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