Freestyle Releasing announced today that they have acquired all domestic rights to GENIUS ON HOLD, the hard hitting documentary written and directed by Gregory Marquette (“Innocents”). The film was produced by Walter T. Shaw, and co-produced by Diana Ross-Shaw and is narrated by Frank Langella (fresh from his Oscar-worthy role in “Robot & Frank”). GENIUS ON HOLD debuted as an official selection at the Palm Beach International Film Festival and Soho International Film Festival this past year.
GENIUS ON HOLD intertwines four true stories of the life of an American inventor responsible for some of the most important telephone inventions in history; his son’s anger at the treatment of his brilliant father, corporate greed, and the mafia. At its heart is the story of Walter L. Shaw—a brilliant inventor with an astonishing list of telecommunications patents to his name. His ground-breaking designs should have earned him great fortune and lasting fame, but for one thing—the power, greed, and oppression of AT&T, the largest, government-sanctioned, telecommunications monopoly in the United States which blocked him from realizing his dream. Punished, imprisoned, and eventually destitute, Shaw was drawn to the only organization that would reward him for his talent—the mob, whose bookies used his “black box” to run their gambling operations and evade the Feds. His son, embittered by his father’s destruction, turned to organized crime; becoming one of the most notorious jewel thieves in American history. All to get back at the system that destroyed his family; but at what cost?
The deal for the domestic rights was negotiated by Freestyle Releasing’s Co-President Mark Borde and Producer Walter T. Shaw.
“Phones are the center of most of our universes today,” said Mark Borde, Co-President of Freestyle Releasing. “I was amazed to learn about Walter Shaw and am honored to be able to help have his voice finally be heard.”
“My father always believed and fought for the right of the inventor. It may be too little too late for the Shaw family but hopefully – 62 years later – his words came to pass. This recent Supreme Court ruling will help those inventors of the future,” said Shaw.