ON THE LEVEL with JLOUIS MILLS
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Brian Donovan has been a professional actor for over twenty-five years in film, television and radio. He’s worked on-screen with such luminaries as Angelina Jolie, Jim Carrey and Jim Belushi. He’s been the voice of countless animated heroes -- currently as Rock Lee from the juggernaut hit, Naruto. Next year, he can be seen in the indie film, Somebody’s Mother. His award winning documentary about his sister, 'Kelly’s Hollywood' is currently playing on Showtime Networks. In addition, Brian is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre. He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his family and dog, Cosmo.
Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s in Buffalo, New York, Brian and Kelly Donovan were inseparable siblings. Kelly had Down syndrome, and Brian was her protector from the time she was a child. Honest and raw, Donovan's documentary film 'Kelly’s Hollywood' intimately reveals how an aspiring actor brings his sister, born with Down syndrome, out to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a Hollywood diva. But as her health begins to fail and she becomes increasingly jealous of Donovan's fiancée, he is forced to confront his co-dependent sibling relationship and the threat it is posing to his engagement to Tempany. When Kelly's condition plummets, Brian desperately tries to fulfill her last wish of performing in front of a live audience. But will they be able to pull it off? And will Brian’s own dream of marrying Tempany survive?
Brian Donovan's Statement about his film:
"There’s a saying, ‘love is the only true adventure’, I would add, ‘making a movie about love is the only true adventure’. When I picked up the camera 15 years ago and started shooting my sister Kelly, I did not have much of an agenda. I was capturing moments in her life that intrigued and inspired me, but when those moments started to affect me more directly, I got more serious about making this film. I had a unique perspective on an intimate relationship with a disabled sibling, so intimate that my romantic relationships became increasingly complicated and constrained, leading me to this exploration on human connection, commitment and the choices in life that effect one’s fate.
When I heard that 90% of expecting parents were choosing to abort their fetus upon discovering potential disabilities through genetic testing I started to worry. I’m not here to judge and my film stays far away from the pro-life/pro-choice battle. However, growing up, my father was deaf, my sister had Down syndrome and my best friend was born with Kyphosis or in lay man’s terms, a ‘hunch back,’ and I can’t imagine my life without them. They have contributed more to humanity than almost everyone else I know combined. I felt it was important and necessary to make a film about my sister who personified to me that ‘it’s not who you are when you’re born, but who you are when you live.’"