Chicago, IL, November 3, 2015 — The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has announced plans to distribute the Telly Award-winning film, Talk to Strangers, in association with its writer/director, Connecticut attorney and filmmaker Larry Sarezky. The 25-minute dramatic film tells the story of a sister and her younger brother struggling to navigate the child custody evaluation process typically used in family courts throughout the United States.
Powerfully depicting the ordeal through the eyes of the children themselves, the film features an original score co-written by Sarezky and Grammy-winning composer Brian Keane. The result is uniquely inspirational and serves as a cautionary message to parents and lawyers on the brink of traumatic child custody battles. Accompanying the film is a guide written by Sarezky with contribution from the AAML to help parents avoid those battles and other high conflict divorces.
“This film is undeniably moving and offers an invaluable portrayal of the ways in which a custody battle directly impacts children who are caught in the middle,” said James T. McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “The AAML does not typically endorse outside products, but we felt so strongly about Talk to Strangers that we sought out filmmaker Larry Sarezky to join in his efforts. It is truly one of the most powerful tools I have seen that can encourage parents and professionals to pause and more thoughtfully consider how custody battles affect children.”
Talk to Strangers is currently used by professionals throughout the U.S. and abroad, and by public and private institutions including Colorado’s continuing legal education program, New York City’s Washington Square Institute, and law schools nationwide. It is scheduled to be in service throughout the Massachusetts family court system at the beginning of next year.
The film and its companion Parents’ Guide have earned high praise among lawyers, mediators, mental health professionals, and divorcing parents. Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz advises divorcing couples—and their lawyers—to “Watch it and learn!” Retired Oregon family law judge Paula Kurshner calls Talk to Strangers “the film every parent contemplating… child custody litigation should see.” AAML past president Arthur Balbirer calls Talk to Strangers a “must-see.” The Library Journal praises the film as “a cautionary tale that succeeds in portraying [the custody] process as bewildering and destructive.”
“Having seen the film bring family court judges and divorce lawyers to tears, we are immensely pleased to find it resonating so profoundly with audiences, and we welcome this relationship with the AAML to further its exposure,” said Larry Sarezky. “We’re pleased as well with the favorable reviews, awards, and testimonials, but our goal remains to continue raising consciousness about the risks to children posed by custody battles and other high conflict divorce.