Podtalk: Actor Rula Gardenier of ‘Breaking Fast,’ screening at the 38th REELING Virtual Film Fest

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CHICAGO – The 38th edition of Chicago’s REELING LGBTQ+ fest – virtual and online in 2020 – kicked off on September 24th with the film “Breaking Fast.” Portraying the mother of main character Mo is Rula Gardenier, a former Chicago actor who now lives in Los Angeles. “Breaking Fast” is available for download for Illinois residents through September 27th by clicking here.

Rula Gardenier began her acting career in Chicago, and appeared on stage in several productions, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue the industry there. She made her debut in a short film “The Miracle” (2007) that received notable acclaim, and has appeared on TV’s “Chicago Med,” “New Amsterdam” and “Pearson,” as well as the HULU miniseries “The Looming Tower.” “Breaking Fast” is her first feature film role.

Rula Gardenier of ‘Breaking Fast’
Photo credit: Gray Talent Group

“Breaking Fast” features Haaz Sleiman (”The Visitor”) as Mo, a gay Muslim doctor living in West Hollywood, whose Mother (Gardenier) and family celebrates his orientation. He tries to resist the charm of Kal (Michael Cassidy), a charismatic non-Muslim he meets at a party and who surprises him by offering to break fast with him during the holy month of Ramadan. Through these two characters, director Mike Mosallam (who directed the 2015 short film on which the feature is based) delves into Muslim-American culture with a tenderness and wit that comes from the heart.

One great source of pride in the Chicago cinema community is REELING, the second oldest LGBTQ+ International Film Festival in North America. The 38th REELING Film Festival – facilitated by Chicago Filmmakers of the Edgewater neighborhood – continues to be one of the most important cultural events for Chicagoans, even in this virtual year of 2020.

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Rula Gardenier talks about her role in “Breaking Fast,” the issues surrounding the film and being an actor in Los Angeles during the pandemic.

The 38th REELING International Film Festival – virtual and online – offers “Breaking Fast” for download (four days) through September 27th, 2020. For access to films, virtual Q&As, and ticket information click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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