Writer-director Kyle Rankin’s school shooting drama Run Hide Fight debuted out of competition at the Venice Film Festival today, and made for a press conference that focused largely on the issue of gun violence in the U.S. and included a spirited take from star Thomas Jane.
Run Hide Fight, made in relative secrecy last winter, follows 17-year-old Zoe Hull (Isabel May) who uses her wits, survival skills and compassion to fight for her life, and those of her fellow classmates, against a group of live-streaming school shooters.
Offering a teen’s perspective on the subject matter, May said, “I remember being in school and realizing that the students around me including myself, in odd ways, would daydream about how we would fight or protect our fellow students from a potential shooter. That disturbed me greatly, that I was so desensitized to the subject and the issue that had just become my reality at such a young age.”
Jane, who plays Zoe’s father and who said he personally supports the constitutional right to bear arms, commented, “I thoroughly believe gun violence in America would go way down if we had a mandatory conversation and lessons about how to treat weapons.”
Asked why he thought the discussion surrounding gun violence is difficult in America, Jane exclaimed to a shocked press room, “Because we’re p*ssies! Nobody wants to piss anybody off anymore… Everyone is so damned touchy in (the U.S.) and I’m sick of it to tell you the truth. I’m sick of not being able to have an open conversation and a disagreement with someone while still respecting their point of view and opinion. So for me, this film is special and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Rankin worked on the project for several years, as he was “nervous about the subject matter.” Ultimately, his goal with the film was to have “two friends on opposite sides of the political spectrum go see it together and then go have a beer and be able to speak and feel like the movie had honored both sides. I agree with Thomas. I worry about our country because we are so divided and we’re not speaking… If we’re not talking as a country then we’re not able to solve our problems. We’re not thinking as a country if we’re not speaking to each other.”
Producer Dallas Sonnier sparked to Rankin’s script because he had tragically lost both of his parents to gun violence on separate occasions. “My parents never had a chance to fight back and so what I responded to so strongly was Isabel’s character having the chance to fight back.”
On the overall issue, Texas resident Sonnier noted that guns are “part of our culture and something we’re very protective of and something we take very seriously.” But that also comes with “personal responsibility.”
Voltage has international sales on Run Hide Fight. Sonnier and Voltage are representing the U.S.