'ACADEMY BOYZ' DEBUTS HERE 

Memphis is chosen as site of film's national premiere.

Memphis has been chosen to host the national premiere of the coming-of-age film Academy Boyz this Friday, August 24th at area theaters. The film, set in Connecticut, chronicles the high school relationship between three teenagers attending a college preparatory boarding school and the scholarship program that brought them together. Written and directed by Dennis Cooper (Chicago Hope, Miami Vice), the movie is a semi-autobiographical look at authentic friendship.

Donald Faison (Remember the Titans) and Jeffrey Sams (Soul Food) play inner-city African-American boys sent to Loomis Chaffee School as part of the ?A Better Chance? program. Justin Whalin (Dungeons & Dragons) plays a white student (representing Cooper himself) sent to the school to improve his chances of being admitted to an Ivy League college.

Although Cooper says he was not part of the scholarship program at Loomis Chafee, he still felt alienated from the school?s wealthy students and therefore aligned himself with the scholarship participants. From that relationship, he says his life was forever enriched and one of the main reasons for his success.

?This is a unique project because some people didn?t believe the story, and I had the opportunity to portray credible inner-city kids and not the usual stereotypes,? says Cooper. Academy Boyz will be premiered at Malco?s Majestic, Bartlett, and DeSoto theaters, Muvico at Peabody Place, and Hollywood 20 theaters.

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