Geography Club: South Florida Twins Make a Hit in Hollywood

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Fort Lauderdale attorney Alvin Entin is one proud pop.

All of Alvin and Lois Entin’s children are successful, but their youngest sons, twins Edmund and Gary, 27, have really been making news this year.

Their feature film, Geography Club, has been a hit on the gay and lesbian film festival circuit and opens this week in commercial release and video on demand, but Alvin’s not surprised. They’ve been fascinated with movies since they were young kids growing up in Pembroke Pines.

“We’ve always been deeply involved in theater,” recalled Alvin, a regular actor with local community theater companies, “and the kids were raised in that environment. They would be playing with their wrestlingfigures and cast them in their own little productions of My Fair Lady. By the time they got cameras, around 8 or 9 years old, they were filming movies around our neighborhood in Pembroke Pines. It’s always been their passion.”

As Edmund recalled it, that first film came some time between the end of their baseball careers (“little league, of course”) and their first star turn as orphans in Oliver.

“Our parents asked us to wash cars to contribute to the cost of the video camera—it wasn’t that they couldn’t afford it, but more that they wanted to measure how serious we were about our new obsession. After about a month of washing cars, and getting paid very little in the process, our parents finally got us the camera. Our first film was a horror film. It wasn’t very good,” Edmund said.

After high school graduation and the move to Los Angeles, the Entin twins quickly found success, landing roles in films—starring together in the 2011 indie feature, Seconds Apart—and working in production at Hyperion Films. At Hyperion, they met producer anddirector Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns), who has become a mentor.

They were always a team from day one and now Gary directs and Edmund is screenwriter.

Edmund explained, “Our collaboration is our favorite part of the process. Filmmaking is very much an interpretation of one experience of the world. As twins, wehave a somewhat shared experienced, that allows us to come at the same story pretty much on the same page. And when we don’t see eye to eye, we’re forced to challenge our own ideas and that’s when we’re most creative”

However, he notes, they are careful to respect each other’s individual disciplines and the story “exists in the middle.”

And, dad remains their best publicist, pointing out, “Now, I’m a lawyer, so I’m a numbers guy. Do you know what the odds are? The guys are bucking the odds.”

Gary and Edmund’s first full-length feature, Geography Club is based on Brent Hartinger’s bestselling, critically acclaimed novel about a diverse group of LGBT teens who band together and offer support by forming a club they believe no other students will join. The smart, fast moving comedy addresses the issues contemporary teens face, including acceptance and bullying.

The cast includes Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live), Alex Newell (Glee), Cameron Deane Stewart (Pitch Perfect) and Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Enterprise).

In a recent interview with Glaad’s Megan Townsend, Gary explained why they took on the project:

“My brother and I were fans of the book long before we were approached about adapting it into a movie. What we always admired about thebook was what it had to say at its core and the three-dimensional characters Brent Hartinger created. The two of us always thought there was a great opportunity to take the book and turn it into a John Hughes-style film. We loved the idea of making a mainstream film where your lead character is gay and treat it with the same bells and whistles as any coming of age/love story….We want to bridge the gap with this film. This was our biggest inspiration as to why we felt we needed to make Geography Club.”

Already, the duo are well on their way to completing their second film, Sins of Our Youth, about a group of teenage boys who accidentally kill a younger boy while firing rifles. According to Gary, the film takes a dark turn as the boys try to deal with the killing. The film stars Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club).

Despite the challenges of their careers, the twins still live together, “for no other reason than it’s the most cost effective option right now,” Edmund said.

Chit chat over coffee in the morning can turn into a “a stressful back and forth about a story point in a script we’re developing. That said, it’s a bit comical when you’re trying to speak passionately about an idea in your pajamas,” he continued.

On this night in late-November, the twins are not behind a camera, but in an audience. They’ve flown in, along with their friend, A-list director Singer, to enjoy a performance of their father in Murder Among Friends with the Actors Community Theatre of Davie. Then, they’ll jet off to New York City and back home to Los Angeles.

“We’ve got that kind of relationship,” Alvin beamed. “They’re great kids and I love them.”

If You Go

Geography Club

Directed by Gary Entin and written by Edmund Entin

Nov. 29-Dec. 1

O Cinema Miami Shores

9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores

For tickets and show times, go to O-Cinema.org

JW Arnold


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