LAUREL – Award-winning local filmmaker Anthony Hackett is bringing the allure of Hollywood to Maryland with his new, groundbreaking movie “Love Different.”
“It’s almost a response to some of the racial tension and some of the things that have been out there over the past month and years,” Hackett said. “We feel this movie has the potential to comically address some of these differences between different races, between White people and Black people, and as well as have a particular message to go along with it.”
Hackett, 33, is the founder and president of SONset Friday Entertainment, a faith-based production company that he owns and operates with his wife Adanna. Hackett is a Christian actor, filmmaker and entertainer whose stage plays and movies are making waves in the urban community and touching hearts across racial divides.
“Even though it’s almost 2016, racism is definitely still alive and prevalent at this time unfortunately,” Teranee Fransha’, who plays Hackett’s wife (Lisa Campbell) in the movie, said. “I just want people to get that we may have different backgrounds, we may come from different places, we may have different skin tones, but at the end of the day we all need to learn how to love one other the best way we know how.”
“Love Different” is about Lindsay Walker (played by Jenn Gotzon), who is a Caucasian woman from a small town populated by white people. She is hired by an African-American consulting firm and is surrounded by black people for the first time. It’s a culture shock for Lindsay, so the boss gives an African-American co-worker, Neque Campbell (played by Hackett), the task of helping Lindsay understand African-American culture.
“One of my passions is working on movies that can not only entertain someone and make someone laugh, but my passion is films that have a storyline that can inspire hope in someone’s heart or impact someone’s life in a way they might be able to grow as an individual,” Gotzon said. “So when I read “Love Different,” not only was I literally laughing out loud the entire time through, every single response of Lindsay Walker was literally my response.”
Kevin Fredericks plays Professor Black. The professor teaches a class that educates white people on how to understand black people.
“It would be funny if that was a real thing people did and taught people that ‘everybody doesn’t want to steal your purse’ and ‘all black people don’t like fried chicken.’ Those stereotypes seem silly, but people believe them and they’re going to base their reactions on them,” Fredericks said.
Fransha’ described what it’s like working with Hackett.
“He’s such a goofball, but he’s very direct when it comes to directing ability. He’s very precise on what he wants your actions to be,” she said. “He just directs really, really well on what he wants out of the character. He also lets the artist, the actor, express themselves and just embody the character the way they best know how.”
“Love Different” was produced in three months and filmed in about 20 different locations in Maryland, with one location being within Prince George’s County at the Dutch Country Farmers Market in Laurel. Hackett also stars in “Love Different.” His ability to wear more than one hat impressed his actors.
“I really enjoyed watching Anthony as a filmmaker wear several hats, but wear them with such artistic excellence that my mouth continued to hit my foot going, ‘how are you doing this?’ He was so excellent in all areas of producing, to writing, to directing, to acting, to marketing. It’s really incredible,” Gotzon said. “This man, he’s a filmmaker on the rise.”
Gotzon said Hackett has the ability of transcending the genres between faith, family and urban cultures. She rated “Love Different” as a family-friendly movie that mainstream audiences and urban market followers of Tyler Perry will love. Gotzon voiced her hope for how “Love Different” will be received by audiences.
“This could be the film that can really inspire people and bring up a conversation of understanding each other,” Gotzon said. “If people can understand the differences between the races, maybe that would be able to help one person at a time start to bridge any sort of segregation that unfortunately we’ve been seeing again rising up in the news and have been part of the country’s founding for so long.”
The release date for “Love Different” is yet to be announced. Meanwhile, people can learn more about the movie by visiting the movie’s official website, www.LoveDifferentTheMovie.com, choosing to “like” the movie’s fan page (https://www.facebook.com/LoveDifferentTheMovie/), and following Hackett’s production company on Twitter @SONsetFriday.