ADDICTION INCORPORATED

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January 12, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108, Acapella Pictures and Variance Films invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

Addiction Incorporated


Directed and Produced by SCA Alumnus
Charles Evans Jr.
 
Followed by a Q&A with Charles Evans Jr.

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, January 12th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
 
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Opens at Landmark's Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles on Friday, January 13th, 2012

About Addiction Incorporated

The explosive story of Victor DeNoble, one of the most important and influential whistleblowers of all time, comes to the big screen in Addiction Incorporated.  

In the 1980s, DeNoble was a research scientist at a major tobacco company, where he was tasked with finding a substitute for nicotine that would not cause heart attacks. His quest was to discover if it would be possible to create a cigarette that would be safer for smokers (although not necessarily less addictive). DeNoble succeeded, but in the process produced something that many suspected was true, but the industry had been denying for years: scientific evidence that nicotine was addictive. This set off a chain of events that still reverberates today.

In an act of modern-day heroism, DeNoble took his findings to the people despite being subject to a strict confidentiality agreement, testifying about his research in the infamous 1994 Congressional hearings—the same ones where the seven heads of the major tobacco companies declared that nicotine was not addictive. In the end, an unprecedented alliance of journalists, politicians, attorneys, and whistleblowers banded together to achieve what was once considered impossible: the first ever federal regulation of the tobacco industry.   

They all come together to tell their stories in Addiction Incorporated - a personal story of one man risking everything to make a difference, shaking up a powerful industry and saving countless lives along the way, set against the backdrop of billion-dollar lawsuits and massive scientific conspiracy.

35mm print provided courtesy of Acapella Pictures and Variance Films. Rated PG-13. Running time: 100 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.

 

Director's Statement

I set out to tell the story of a man who wants to use science to improve peoples' lives. As the film's title suggests, Addiction Incorporated went on to share its central focus with the tobacco industry. The story of a determined scientist, Victor DeNoble, who sets out to do good, is woven into the decline of an industry that produces one of the most lethal products on earth.

I first saw Victor DeNoble on CSPAN answering a subcommittee’s questions. His testimony was dramatic because he flatly contradicted testimony in that same chamber by 7 CEO’s. Their position (nicotine was “not addictive”) had been coordinated and brazen but had never been contradicted by someone who spoke with authority.

Victor became the first to publicly speak of his work for “the industry.” He told of an ambitious R&D program whose mandate was to maximize the addictiveness of cigarettes. The oversight hearing was now a crime scene and as the reputations and fortunes of tobacco companies plummeted, I got to know Victor and optioned the rights to make a film of his life.

When the tobacco companies did not crash and burn, as you expect from a studio movie’s climax, I understood the film would have to be a documentary.

As I researched the history of tobacco production, litigation, illness, etc. the film’s subject expanded.   While everyone knows it’s a problem, my takeaway was the film had to introduce a solution. So near film’s end, I spotlight FDA’s current authority to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to levels that would not sustain addiction. For the sake of momentum, I did not cite the polls that found 70% of Americans, smokers included, would approve of said nicotine reduction. Most people, smokers included, don’t want future generations to smoke. I want Addiction Incorporated to spark that debate.

- Charles Evans, Jr.

About Charles Evans Jr. (Director/Producer)

At age nine, Charles Evans Jr.’s first film work was clearing 16mm trim bins (reconstituting picture and sound scraps) for his mother, documentarian Frances Evans, while she edited. Evans earned his undergraduate degree at UC-Berkley with a major in “Short Story Writing.” His thesis, a collection of short stories, won the University's Eisner Prize For Literature. Evans went on to complete the production program at University of Southern California’s film school. He wrote, produced and directed his thesis, “Second Son”. Shot in 35mm, the film went on to win twelve awards including the Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand's competition.

Evans worked for two years at Touchstone Pictures as Director of Development for Randall Kleiser Productions, before founding Acappella Pictures in March, 1993. Evans produced Johnny Depp's directorial debut, The Brave, based on the novel by Gregory Mcdonald. Johnny and Marlon Brando starred. The production was an official selection for competition in the 1997 Cannes film festival. Evans' enduring commitment to produce a film on the life of Howard Hughes resulted in The Aviator (2004, BAFTA, Golden Globes).

In his directorial debut, Addiction Incorporated, he tells the true story of? how Victor DeNoble's unexpected discovery of an addiction ingredient in tobacco leads to both more addictive Marlboro cigarettes and Congressional testimony. The public revelation of long held tobacco industry secrets leads journalists, politicians, attorneys and whistle blowers into an unexpected alliance, that achieves the first ever federal regulation of the tobacco industry.

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu