The trailer for director Amy Berg‘s controversial documentary about child sex abuse in Hollywood was released on Wednesday.
Billing itself as “The Film Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to See,” “An Open Secret” has drawn fire over its inclusion of Michael Egan, discredited for accusations against “X-Men” director Bryan Singer. The film also profiles four other men (Evan H., Nick S., James G. and Chris T).
Regarding the controversy, executive producer Gabe Hoffman said, “Michael Egan’s participation in ‘An Open Secret’ is limited to descriptions of the sexual abuse he suffered at the [Digital Entertainment Network] mansion at the hands of Mark Collins-Rector, and the aftermath wrought upon their lives, and their families. In the film, Egan does not discuss any of the allegations made in the lawsuits filed on his behalf in 2014. Those lawsuits, subsequently withdrawn, were filed well after, and completely independently from, his participation in ‘An Open Secret.’
“Clearly, Egan has experienced great difficulties in his life following the sexual abuse he suffered while a teenager at DEN,” Hoffman said. “We applaud Mike’s courage to appear in the film, and decry any efforts to use these unrelated difficulties to undermine the film’s credibility and deflect from the issue of child sexual abuse in Hollywood portrayed in the film.”
DEN, now defunct, was an Internet channel for teens run by founders Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley. Also with DEN ties: former child actor/founder Brock Pierce, former DEN President and Current TV and Disney television executive David Neuman, acting coach Bryan Peck and investor Singer, who appears in the documentary in footage from the 1990s talking about DEN, “X-Men” and entertainment for teens.
The film, which screened at DOC NY in November, will get a 20-city theatrical release beginning June 5 and will have its international premiere at the 2015 Marché du Film in Cannes on May 19.
Theatrical release of the film is scheduled to begin in Denver and Seattle, widening to at least 20 cities in the weeks following.
Berg was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for her film “Deliver Us From Evil” about pedophile Catholic priest Father Oliver O’Grady. She is also the director of “West of Memphis,” about the case of three men tried and convicted of the murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas.
“This is clearly one of the most controversial, and most important films of 2015 and sheds light on one of the dirtiest secrets in Hollywood,” said Greg H. Sims, CEO of Vesuvio Entertainment, which is distributing the film in partnership with Rocky Mountain Pictures, best known for controversial films “Atlas Shrugged” and “2016: Obama’s America.”
The trailer can be seen here.