Marta Cunningham is an accomplished actor turned first-time filmmaker. A native of Northern California, she was so moved by the story of Lawrence King’s murder that she became embedded in Oxnard and soon began filming those whose lives were touched by the tragedy. The result would be Valentine Road, a feature length documentary that was selected to compete in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and premiered on HBO in October of 2013. Valentine Road is currently available on HBO, HBO On Demand, HBO GO, and is traveling with various festivals.
At the age of 14, Cunningham danced with the company at The Peninsula Ballet Theater. She was awarded the prestigious Baker Scholarship at Georgetown University, where she studied English Literature. She then moved to Los Angeles where she worked as an actress, writer, dancer, and choreographer before focusing on directing and producing. Cunningham is currently in preproduction on multiple narrative films and one documentary.
Valentine Road: At the height of the bullying scandal that rocked the U.S. in 2008, a 15-year-old boy named Larry King asked another boy to be his valentine in a suburban schoolyard in California. The next day Larry was dead, shot in cold blood by his 14-year-old crush Brandon McInerney. At turns shocking, devastating, and outrageous, Valentine Road bores deeply into homophobia, sexism, racism, and class-struggle that inform everyday American life – and reveals an American justice system that is utterly unprepared to deal with the realities of teenage crime and punishment. Directed by first-time feature documentarian Marta Cunningham, Valentine Road is an unforgettable exposé of society’s pervasive and deadly intolerance of young people who don’t conform to its gender “norms.” World premiered at Sundance 2013, this film will both break your heart and fire you up into action.
October 15, 2014: Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford, GA
October 16, 2014: Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
October 18, 2014: Creative City Collaborative, Pompano Beach, FL
October 20, 2014: East Tennessee State University, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, Johnson City, TN
October 22, 2014: Indie Memphis, Memphis, TN
October 23, 2014: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, Auburn University, Auburn, AL