A love felt by many.A name shared by two.
Howard is a love story between Keo, a restrained Polynesian from Honolulu and a fun-loving Salt Lake City lad named Ben.
As people easily gravitate towards Ben's trustworthy smile and charming personality, he succeeds in breaking down the walls that have surround Keo. An attraction emerges from the two, and a start of an uphill journey that will break barriers and test their commitment.
While this appears to be like a typical interracial, same sex love story, both Ben and Keo attend Mormon church, a religion that has reaffirmed its opposition to gay marriage.
For nearly three decades, Ben and Keo endured all the hardships to fight for their love, only to be shattered by something that will put them through their darkest time - cancer.
Ben loses the battle, which leaves Keo in deep grief. During Ben's memorial, Keo finds comfort from AJ, who is also suffering from her own heartbreak. The story inspires AJ, who was inspired by the nickname Howard, which was how Ben and Keo called each other.
JOYKO PRODUCTIONS and SITTING CAT PRODUCTIONS present "HOWARD" starring JUSTIN SENENSE, J.D. BROOKSHIRE, AMANDA JOY, with PAT LABEZ, SIBYL SANTIAGO, and DOUG DURLACHER.
• Story by PAT LABEZ, ZORINAH JUAN
• Executive Producer PAT LABEZ
• Written and Directed by ZORINAH JUAN
• Produced by SIBYL REYMUNDO-SANTIAGO, ZORINAH JUAN
• Line Producer ANGELO SANTOS
• Director of Photography KATHERINE CASTRO
• Production Design by PRISCA CHOE
• Original Music by BENNY RIETVELD
• Photography by CARLOS SANTIAGO
• Edited by LUISA PIÑA
JUSTIN SENENSE, "Keo"
Justin Senense is a New York-based actor most recently seen in the productions at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's Man of La Mancha and Ridgefield Playhouse's Jesus Christ Superstar. His past credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat National Tour; Hair Italian Tour; Rent, Angel at Westchester Broadway Theatre; and Miss Saigon, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. (AEA)
AMANDA JOY, "AJ"
Amanda Joy was first introduced to theatre at age 3, when she was called up to the stage from the audience of Bear in the Big Blue House in Los Angeles, CA. At age 7 and 8, she had roles in the short films, Songs Like Rain and Rita, and also did a children's DVD, Swingset Mamas. Her love of dance kept her performing ballet, tap, lyrical, and jazz for much of her youth at the Camarillo Performing Arts Center, CA and Ballet Austin, TX; with summer programs at Kirov Academy of Ballet, DC and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, NY. She acted in two Wesleyan University productions, The Laundry Room and My Three Little Friends. She was also seen on the TV series, Blue Bloods. Today, Amanda Joy is studying International Law at the University of Birmingham in England, and Oxford University for summer 2018.
ZORINAH JUAN, Writer/Director
Inspired by her second generation Filipino American upbringing, Zorinah's work often explores the themes of cultural identity, belonging, and failure. Her short film, The Second Province, is currently on the festival route where it has screened in Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, and New York.
Zorinah's first feature film, When We Grow Up, won the Hoosier Lens Best Feature award at Indy Fest 2018. It is also an official selection of the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Asian American International Film Festival. Don't Be A Tourist, her documentary series focused on sustainable tourism, which Juan also hosts, is currently available on Amazon Prime through Dreaming In Red Films.
In addition to her own projects, for over a decade Zorinah worked as a script supervisor on many award-winning independent films. Her credits include Beasts Of No Nation, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, and Silas Howard's A Kid Like Jake. When she is not on set, she spends her time writing at home in Brooklyn, NY. www.zorinahjuan.com
J.D. BROOKSHIRE, "Ben"
J.D. Brookshire just closed the show, All My Sons by Arthur Miller, where he played the role of Frank Lubey. It was produced by Out of the Box Theatre company and directed by Justin Bennett at the Bernie Wohl Center in Manhattan. His film credits include Tangled Web, Don’t Call Us and We Won’t Call You, Looking Up Again, Limbo which played at the Cannes Film Festival, and Almost Paris which closed the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was released on I-Tunes, Hulu, Fandango, Amazon, and Video On Demand on January 9, 2018. He is currently working on the web series, Tales from the Ville. In September, he will be in the performance of Valley Forge, directed by Frank Farrell. (SAG-AFTRA, AEA, www.jdbrookshire.com)
PAT LABEZ, Executive Producer / "Lei"
"Enjoy the Journey!" has become Pat's motto, particularly after losing her sister, Joy, and many other loved ones. Following the production of The World of Suzie Wong at the Diamond Head Theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii, she was invited to appear on Magnum, P.I. CBS-TV which was on their last season. Subsequently, TV series Jake and the Fatman and Island Son provided roles, as well as several local commercials, industrial films, and public service announcements.
After relocating to California, a career in health and human services unfolded, which opened her eyes to the fragility of life. While on the cancer journey with her sister and opting to move to the East Coast, theatre and film returned in her life with the short film, Lose The Labels, TV series Blue Bloods, and the off-Broadway production of Twelve Angry Women. Pat took the lead role in The Second Province, a short film written and directed by the lovely Zorinah Juan, which delves into the issue of death with dignity. This re-ignited her passion in wanting to share stories that give hope and inspiration. After meeting the real Keo through Pat, Zorinah offered to write and direct Howard after hearing Keo's beautiful story. The rest just seemed to have fallen into place naturally, and all actors brought out the spirit and essence of Howard. (SAG-AFTRA; www.patlabez.com)
KATHERINE CASTRO, Director of Photography
Katherine is a New York City-based director of photography. After studying architecture and photography while living in the Dominican Republic Katherine returned to Boston in 2008 where she began working in film and TV as a Local 600 camera assistant. Appling her design and photography background along with the invaluable lessons she has acquired over the years working in production she brings a unique style and viewpoint to her cinematography.
Her work spans narrative, music video& documentary and has recently been screened in film festivals such as Indy Film Fest, Woods Hole Film Festival & Asian American International Film Festival in NYC. www.katherinecastrodop.com
• ZORINAH JUAN, writer/director/producer
• SIBYL SANTIAGO, producer (also "Pua")
• PAT LABEZ, executive producer (also "Lei")
SOHO International Film Night
NEW YORK – And the beat goes on! Here are some captured memories at the SOHO International Film Festival Opening Night. Thank you to special guests Soara-Joye Ross, Massimiliano Cims, Valentina Ivana Gloria; Maria Cordaro with Andrea & Frank Cordaro, all celebrating the festivities with Team HOWARD.
Festival runs thru June 27th. HOWARD screens Monday, June 24th, 9:30 pm at the Village East Cinemas. Visit www.sohofilmfest.com for schedules & tickets!
Grateful to all involved in making this film a reality & to SOHO IFF for the honor of being part of its 10th anniversary!
June 3, 2019: Howard wins Audience Choice at APA Film Festival
Washington DC – HOWARD made its premiere at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and took home the Audience Choice Award! Thank you for the opportunity to share our beautiful love story with an incredible audience.
We are grateful to close out APA Heritage month at the opening night of a festival dedicated to celebrating our stories. # # #
Global Peace – Online Film Festival
The Global Peace Film Festival, established in 2003, uses the power of the moving image to further the cause of peace on earth. Howard film is honored to be included in its lineup for this year!