Ryan Merriman receives Inspire Award nomination for “The 5th Quarter,” plans to help open the movie in OKC
Donate Life Hollywood recently announced the nominees for their annual Inspire Awards, and Choctaw-born and bred actor Ryan Merriman from the film “The 5th Quarter” is among the nominees. The Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards are set for June 22 at Hollywood’s historic Avalon Theater.
The Donate Life Hollywood Person of the Year Award is given annually by the organ and tissue donation community to honor individuals in the entertainment industry who have given their time and talent to raise awareness about the need for organ donation, who have given hope to those on the waiting list and to those who have inspired Americans to Donate Life.
This year, winners will be chosen by fan voting, which will begin mid-May. Fans of Donate Life Hollywood on Facebook are eligible to vote.
Other nominees include Ann Lopez, Jack Black, Brad Ellis and Grizz Chapman.
Donate Life Hollywood is a project of Donate Life America and OneLegacy, the federally-designated organ and tissue recovery agency in most of southern california, designed to engage the entertainment community to inspire their fans and viewers to donate life.
Merriman, 28, began his film and TV career with “The Mommies” in 1993 at the young age 10. He already has 25 films, four television series and several guest appearances to his credit. This spring, his film “The 5th Quarter” tells the true story of how Luke Abbate, a 15-year-old, was able to give the gift of life as an organ donor after his untimely senseless death in a car accident. Ryan plays Jon, Luke’s older brother, who was inspired by his younger brother’s life to lead Wake Forest University to an unprecedented championship football season.
Merriman has been dedicated in promoting the cause of organ donation in his media interviews, and has used his official fan site to engage his fans and encourage them to sign up as organ donors. He has also been a long supporter of the James Redford Institute for transplant awareness as well as Share the Beat.
“The 5th Quarter” is currently open in select theaters and will be coming next weekend to Oklahoma City, where it will open Friday, May 13 at AMC Quail Springs 24, 2501 W Memorial Blvd. Merriman will attend select screenings and sign autographs May 13-15 at the theater.
In addition, “The 5th Quarter” will be released on DVD and BluRay August 30, 2011 through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
“The 5th Quarter” already has played several film festivals around the country and won several awards, including best actor for Merriman at the California Independent Film Festival:
The Charleston International Film Festival (Opening Night Premiere) – Golden Crescent Award for Best Film and Best Feature
Long Island International Film Expo (Opening Night Premiere) – Best Feature
Heartland Film Festival
Boston Film Festival – Best Screenplay
Hollywood Film Festival
Louisville International Film Festival (Opening Night Premiere) – Best Feature
The California Independent Film Festival – (Opening Night Premiere) Ryan Merriman – Best Actor).
Sedona International Film Festival
Omaha Film Festival – Jury Award, Best Feature Film
Read the full “5th Quarter” synopsis after the break.
“The 5th Quarter” Synopsis:
The death of a promising young athlete just days before his 16th birthday inspires his older brother to lead his college football team to new heights in “The 5th Quarter,” the moving saga of the Abbate family of Marietta, Georgia. Aidan Quinn (“Legends of the Fall,” “Benny and Joon”), Andie MacDowell (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Groundhog Day”) and Ryan Merriman (“Home of the Giants,” “Final Destination 3″) star in this touching true story from writer and director Rick Bieber (“Crazy,” “Radio Flyer”).
When 15-year-old Luke Abbate (Stefan Guy) is killed in a tragic car accident, the loss leaves his close-knit family reeling with grief. Fueled by faith and their deep familial bond, the Abbates try to rebuild their lives without Luke, fulfilling his wish to help others by donating his organs to save the lives of five other people. But despite the support of loving friends and family, his death leaves a void in their lives that threatens to tear the family apart.
Struggling with the devastating loss, Luke’s older brother Jon (Ryan Merriman), a gifted football player at Wake Forest University, decides to honor his brother’s memory and love for the game by dedicating the 2006 season to him. With the added motivation of “playing for two,” he dons Luke’s beloved No. 5 jersey and inspires his teammates to play the best football of their lives—and become the most improved team in America. Predicted to finish last in their division, the Wake Forest football team surpassed all expectations by winning an unforgettable championship season.
A tribute to the power of hope and love, “The 5th Quarter” is an inspiring true story about a family coming together to rally a team, a school and a community to achieve more than they could ever have imagined.