May I be Frank? Saturday

Press release

By on Fri, February 12, 2010

On Saturday February 13th, The Visionary Edge will present a screening of May I Be Frank? which documents the transformation of Frank Ferrante.  The film reveals, with compassion, humor, and Frank-ness, the essence of the human condition and the tenacity of the human spirit.

The filmmakers as well as the subject/star of the film, Frank Ferrrante, will be present to share their experiences and dialogue with the audience after the screening. Josh McHugh, formerly of Half Moon Bay and founder of Living Intentions, a raw food company, will be present to share some thoughts about the raw food lifestyle and will provide samples of his products prior to the movie.

The Story:  Frank Ferrante is a 54 year old, 290 Sicilian from Brooklyn living in San Francisco.  A lover of life, great food, beautiful women and a good laugh, Frank is also a drug addict, morbidly obese, pre-diabetic, and fighting Hepatitis C. He’s estranged from his daughter, single,and struggling with depression. Frank knows that life can be better, and is looking for a way out. 

Babysitting will be provided for $5 per child for the evening with a 24 hour advance reservation. Call 650-207-3440.

Saturday, February 13th. Doors will open at 7:00pm, event begins at 7:30. Community United Methodist Church, 777 Miramontes Street (at Johnston), HMB. Suggested donation $10 advance, $15 door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Call 650-207-3440 for information and reservations.

Thinking it was something quite different, Frank unknowingly stumbles into a raw, organic, vegan restaurant, Café Gratitude in San Francisco. As he becomes friends with the staff, he often returns to the café where he feels welcomed and free from his collapsing personal life. On one such visit, Frank is asked by Ryland, a servers at the café,  “What is one thing you want to do before you die?” Frank replies “I want to fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do.” 

Inspired by the possibility of helping Frank, Ryland invites him to come into the café  everyday for the next month. Armed with a camera and a wide open heart, Ryland soon enrolls his brother Cary, and Conor, his best friend, to participate in supporting Frank’s transformation. The agreement is made that for the next 42 days, Frank will turn his life over to three twenty-something young men committed to his healing and prepared to coach him physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Frank will eat only raw food, practice gratitude,  visit local holistic practitioners, and get a weekly colonic. Ryland, Conor, and Cary commit to support and witness Frank’s miraculous transformation.  Frank gets a new body, a clearer mind, and most importantly, a soaring spirit. 

Over the next 42 days, the four men go on the ride of their lives. Setting out to help Frank lose weight and get healthy, no one anticipated the profound impact this journey would have on the lives of countless others.  Through Frank’s story of love, redemption, and transformation, the viewers witness the power of change that is possible for themselves and the world. May I Be Frank? documents what it truly means to fall in love again. 

Say the young filmmakers, each speaking one on top of the other in a jumble of enthusiasm “We began to create the film without the realized intention of making a feature length film.  We recognized Frank’s struggle, and it inspired us to offer our support. We were fueled by thenaiveté of youth stepping into the film world which we knew nothing about. We did not set out to make an epic film that would capture the struggle of the human spirit. We set out to care for a friend and hopefully save his life. The circumstances of Frank’s life are not events that everyone can relate to; however his emotional experience of living is powerfully relatable.” 

Frank Ferrante, the “star / subject” of the film, writes “The question most people ask me about is weight loss. Over the past eighteen months I have lost about 120 pounds. I have had to change my wardrobe seven times… We had a concept of shooting the opposite of Super Size Me. What eventually emerged as the final product transcended our wildest dreams. The film reveals the pain of ruptured family relationships and the struggle toward redemption and health. May I Be Frank? is also forty two days of life shared by three young men and a very unlikely fourth. The subject was in a terrible state of mind and body. Nevertheless, all of us saw something in each other that generated a bond that lasts to this day.”

Says Alice Walker, author, The Color Purple, "It is a beautiful sight. The caring behavior of the three young coaches is the essence of the revolutionary spirit that Che Guevara meant when he said ‘True revolution is about tenderness.’"

According to Dan Millman, author, Way of the Peaceful Warrior "I deeply enjoyed this true story of one man’s transformation that gives hope to us all. In its courage and compassion, it reflects the larger theater of our humanity: a few young guys who work at Cafe Gratitude,

responding to Frank’s wish to find love one more time, set out to change his life and maybe save his soul as they guide and support him on a life-changing challenge he could never have predicted and would not likely have taken on his own."

Jason Mraz, musician states "This film is a triumph…where the hero defeats the villain within himself AND gets the girl in the end. I’ve followed Frank on his transformational journey (in

this film) a few times now, and each time I do, I awaken to something new and true about my own life’s purpose. This film is an amazing gift for those looking to cultivate their soul resources.”

Cary Mosier, Ryland Engelhart, and Conor Gaffney are first time filmmakers and best friends.All three were working for Café Gratitude, a San Francisco restaurant owned by the

Engelhart family, when they first met Frank Ferrante. Cary studied filmmaking at San

Francisco State. Ryland and Conor both came from the music industry.  All three have

an interest in creating impactful and progressive works of art and media that carry a positive and inspiring message.

This event will be co-hosted by The Visionary Edge and Community United Methodist Church, and sponsored by Mike Schelp of San Mateo Coast Properties.  Said Vanderpool of The Visionary Edge “We are hoping to find corporate and professional sponsors for this series so we can bring future events to the community without charge.  The topics are important and the events are great opportunities for growth, learning, and tool gathering, as well as for developing community and support networks.”

Located in Half Moon Bay, The Visionary Edge produces events to inform, inspire, and empower us all to create a wiser, sustainable and more compassionate world.

Running time:  83 minutes