Justice On The Border: Director’s First Film Makes a Posthumous Premier at The Art Theater
2011-08-15 · By Editor
On August 20, 2011 the Art Theater in Long Beach will host the world premiere of the independent action film Justice on the Border.
As is the case with any feature film’s premiere, this Red Carpet event is the culmination of intensive effort from the cast and crew – usually a time for great celebration for executive producers like Donelle Russell (who also stars in the film) and Ed Fletcher. However, the atmosphere will be bittersweet for all involved due to the marked absence of one of the film’s major players: none other than its writer, director, and star Spencer Lighte. The filmmaker died from a brain tumor this past June, and was barely able to finish filming the scenes that featured him, despite a terminal diagnosis.
“Although Spencer’s passing is truly a loss,” lead actor and producer of the film, Pete Freeland admits, “He died doing what he loved, and was able to achieve one of his dreams before passing. Not to mention he’s leaving behind a legacy. Not many people get to do that. It’s part of why I’m in show business myself.” Freeland plays Spencer Lighte’s devilish partner in crime in the film, but like the filmmaker, took several other roles in the production of the film including casting director and even stunt pilot.
The legacy Lighte leaves behind is more than a personal one, touching upon provocative issues with this first and last film. “Justice” is the story of the action-packed mission to rescue a Latina army ranger (played by Vanessa Herrera) who is abducted by a Mexican drug lord (Neto DePaula). Lighte starred in his film, playing one of the three soldiers (Pete Freeland and Joe DiSparti) who venture into Northern Mexico to rescue their kidnapped colleague. The Mexico-U.S. border, historically a place of tension and crime between two cultures is the setting for this film, in which Lighte addressed sexual violence against women, drug trafficking, and immigration – issues that still persist after the filmmaker’s passing.
Also featured in the talented cast are veteran actor William Knight, and models-turned-actresses Chanel Ryan, Jamie Bernadette, and a cameo by Josie Lee.