Strong Men - The Life of Riley - Short Film

A sexual abuse scandal hits a high school wrestling team threatening the lives of all those involved in STRONG MEN

About the Life of Riley

Ben Riley, a good-looking, charismatic hometown hero who is headed for the Olympics in a few short moths, wakes up in a small, rundown motel located on the outskirts of town, and within moments, becomes locked in a battle to the death with his personal demons in the short film The Life of Riley.

The battle lines are drawn: one one side is the cancer that has been ravaging his body, and his memories of physical, sexual and emotional abuse ravage his soul.

As the battle rages on, friends drift in and out of his consciousness, providing clues as just how deep the damage has been done and if there's any hope for survival.  

Will Ben live?  Will he die?  Will he turn to his friends in real life to get the help he needs, or will he take his secrets to the grave?

Find out about how the story ends by helping us make the film.  

About the Strong Men Film Project

These days, it's hard to get a feature film released in the theaters unless there is a built-in audience.  That's why the studios finance and distribute sequel after sequel and remake after remake.  After all, movie theaters are in the business to make money, and unless there is substantial buzz, the chances of getting a wide theatrical release are slim.

Several faith based films such as Fireproof and Facing the Giants have done amazing business because of the buzz that was created prior to the release of the film.  That's what we're looking to do with Life of Riley.  While The Life of Riley and the feature film Strong Men are not faith-based films, that model for success works.

The feature film can't happen until the short film is done and creating a buzz around the world.

The Issues in the Strong Men Film Project

The issues in the Strong Men Film Project (The Life of Riley and Strong Men) are very emotional in nature.  We tackle some biggies:  Male Sexual Abuse and Hate Crimes.  The hero of the feature film Strong Men is a hate crime survivor who comes to Ben Riley's town and must face the specter of even worse violence than before.

Here's a statistic that you might not be aware of:  One in 6 men will have been sexually abused by the time they are 16 years old.  That's right.  One in six.  In the small town in which our two films take place, that number is substantially higher.

Now, before you wonder about how we can make these subjects palatable for film audiences, look at ensemble films such as Steel Magnolias.  Like the character played by Julia Roberts, Ben Riley is headstrong and charismatic and unwilling to admit he has a problem until it's possibly too late. 

While the story of The Life of Riley is intense, there are comic moments.  In the feature film Strong Men, we see guys being guys with all of their quirks and their attempts at being macho, up to the point in the film where all hell breaks loose, and they are forced to stand strong together as the truth comes out.

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal, the continuing scandals rocking a religious institution are just the tip of the iceberg.  More and more stories are coming out each day about adults sexually abusing our young people, and after you read the stories, and hear the interviews of the survivors, you can't help but be moved and want to help.  

We challenge you to go to Oprah's website and watch the event where 200 men from all over the country reveal that they are sexual abuse victims.  After watching that episode, you can never be the same again.

We Need a Miracle -- and that Miracle is You

The clock is running out on our campaign, and just like there are one in 6 men who by the age of 16 have been sexually abused, we are asking for 600 people to make a donation of $25.00 by March 27th so that we put this short film into production immediately.

Your Donation Will Help Us Cover Expenses

What your donation will cover include the following:

  • Props
  • Costumes
  • Film to Digital Transfer Costs
  • Key Crew Reimbursement
  • Transportation
  • Sets
  • Rentals
  • Insurance
  • Advertising
  • Web Design & Maintenance
  • Film Festival Submission Costs
  • Make-up
  • Food for the Cast & Crew during filming
  • Photography Services
  • and much more!

The Players Involved

Jamison Leigh (Writer/Executive Producer)

Jamison Leigh has been writing for over 30 years, has sold one feature film, as well as having received several options for TV pilots and feature films. He has also writtten, produced, and co-directed a mockumentary short film. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a veteran of screenwriter’s workshops, and was just honored by being in the acknowledgements for a best-selling screenplay structure book under his real name (wait for it, no it’s not that one. . .) Jim Henson.

David Sabbath (Director)

David Sabbath is a director of three films, including God Don't Make the Laws with Bruce Davidson and Paul Sorvino; A Hard Day's Night (Documentary), and Insert Title Here.   He has also directed numerous commercials, and we're fortunate to have him with us!

Alex Esber (Producer/Line Producer/Cinematographer)

Alex is a seasoned veteran, having worked on films such as American Splendor with Paul Giamatti; Wanted with Angelina Jolie; Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg; and God Don't Make the Laws with Paul Sorvino and Bruce Davidson.    He has also worked on over 40 films and short films, as well as countless commercials.  We're grateful to have Alex with us.

The Impact

The impact that Strong Men will have is enormous; the more people who see the film, the more we can start a national and worldwide dialogue about the devastation that has been done by the likes of those responsible for the Penn State Scandal, the Catholic Church Priest Scandals, and the Hollywood Child Abuse Scandals.  

Strong Men is not looking to capitalize on a tragedy, but moreover to send a message of help and hope to those who have suffered from such personal tragedies, and to give them a voice instead of suffering in silence.

Although Strong Men deals with what happens in a fictional town when the lid is blown off a horrifying secret, the problem of sexual abuse among young men is very real.  According to conservative estimates, approximately one in six young men 16 years of age and younger in the United States and Canada are victims of sexual abuse

What We Need & What You Get

We need funding to create a short film prequel to the feature film to attract attention for the feature film.  We will also be donating 10% of whatever we make to selected non-profits that provide support for victims of sexual abuse.  When we reach our funding goal of 15,000, we will then increase our donation to 20% for any amount above and beyond 15,000.

You'll get perks, perks, and more perks the more you give.  And the more you give, the more we can contribute to worthwhile causes that will be listed on our website as they come aboard to support the film.  Perks start from a thanks on our website, all the way up to a walk-on role in the Prequel or the feature film.   Please note that all physical perks (i.e. t-shirts) will be distributed, except for the walk-on role, after post-production of the short film. All donors will appear on the website and on Facebook immediately. 

Be among the 600 people to donate 25 or more 

to the creation of this short film.

Other Ways You Can Help

Tweet about Strong Men -- post it on your Facebook pages.  Tell everybody!  We want to reach as many people as possible to share this message of tragedy and triumph out into the world.  It would be our fondest dream that we could hand over a sizable check to the nonprofits.  The more you give, the more we can give.   

The producers of Strong Men believe that this film can not only be riveting drama, but be of service to people throughout the world.  

For more information about the film, please go to STRONGMENFILM.COM .

Don't wait until the rapidly approaching March 27th deadline.   Please donate now.  

Survivors of sexual abuse need you to be their voice.  The sooner we can raise the funds, the sooner we can start changing and inspiring lives throughout the world.

People who you care for may be sexual abuse victims and may be either too ashamed or scared to talk about their experiences.  Your telling them that you've just made a donation may give them the permission to finally have a conversation that they have been waiting to have ever since their ordeal began.  


From the bottom of our hearts, to all who read this page, to those who contribute, to those who get out the word about this special film that can touch hearts and change lives throughout the world, we say:


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