Detroit producer Randy Holloway to discuss film on child sexual abuse
The latest film Randy Holloway produced and directed, “Bianca, Who Did This To You?”, strikes a personal chord.
Based on a book of the same name by E. Williams, the film tells the true story of Bianca, who is sexually abused as a girl by members of her church. Her trials continue into adolescence and adulthood when she faces physical and mental abuse from her parents and husband.
Holloway, a Detroit native, says the film is “very near and dear” to his heart. His sister was abused as a child as well as several of his friends. The film’s casting director was a victim of abuse, too.
“(‘Bianca’) was something that we wanted to do and bring light to these situations a lot of people are afraid to talk about, and a lot of other people don’t even know they exist,” he says.
About one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before age 18, according to research but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Holloway says many of the cases have a commonality: “Whether it was with a family member, clergy member or even a doctor, it’s always someone that you trust that abuses you,” he says.
In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, “Bianca, Who Did This To You?” will be screened Thursday at the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak, followed by a question-and-answer session with Holloway.
The film is executive produced by Eric Rhymes and stars Qiana Davis, Asianae Weems and La’Kenya Luster, who portray Bianca from her childhood to adult stages. “American Idol” season 13 finalist Malaya Watson of Southfield also sings original songs in the film.
Holloway — who has worked with A-listers Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez and Robert De Niro — says the Michigan-based production was an emotional experience for the entire cast and crew.
“There were several times that we had to just stop production on set just so people could gather themselves,” he says. “It wasn’t real graphic, but emotionally, psychologically, it really affected the actors. They really did an excellent job of bringing the film to life.”
Debuting last year on the heels of “Spotlight,” the Academy-Award winning film about the Boston Globe’s investigation of child molestation by Catholic priests, Holloway says his film sheds light on the fact that Christian pastors are perpetrators of abuse as well.
“Everybody is painting priests as just the boogeyman, but no, it’s a lot of different denominations, a lot of different professional people, too,” he says. “That’s the one thing this movie does — it opens your eyes to the possibilities that a predator can be anyone, not just a guy dressed in black with the collar on.”
Ultimately, Holloway says he hopes the drama raises awareness about sexual abuse and starts a conversation so the subject isn’t “so taboo.” He also wants parents to think more critically about the people they let hang around their children and hire as caretakers.
“You really needed to take an extra second to know just who you are letting your child walk away with,” he says.
Location: Main Art Theater 118 N Main St., Royal Oak, Mi. 48067
Time: Doors open 6:30 p.m.; Film begins 7 p.m.