Harassment has been a hot topic in the news lately. Actress Dani Alvarado, who in an exclusive interview with TheWrap just revealed that the disturbing opening director scene of her short film "Lost Beneath the Stars" was a near-word-for-word re-enactment of her own encounter with James Toback, who has been accused of sexual harassment by hundreds of women and whom Alvarado accuses of making lewd comments towards her after offering her a role in 2011. That opening scene becomes the jumping off point for a look at two actresses and the parade of obstacles and bizarre situations they face.
But they hope that people who see it take more away from it than just the opening scene. They want the film to be a message of hope for fellow actresses trying to reach their dreams, reminding them that the struggles they face - and the men who may take advantage of them - don't have to define them or their careers, and can even become a catalyst for a brighter future.The Toback opening scene can be seen here.
Now, thanks to Hollywood's ongoing reckoning with sexual harassment, "Lost Beneath The Stars" has gained a level of relevance that Alvarado and her co-star and fellow producer Claire Birmingham never dreamed it would have when they filmed it a year ago. Dani and Claire's message of having the strength to follow your dreams is a message they want to be living proof of, as the two women have started their own production company, Fourleaf Films, and are in pre-production for their first feature film that will shoot in Ireland next year.