FILMMAKER PAUL GRASSI EXPLORES LIFE AFTER REALITY TV IN THE NEW DOCUMENTARY THE 16TH MINUTE, AIRING WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22 AT 10 PM ET ON AXS TV
Dr. Drew Pinsky Lends His Expertise Describing The Thought Pattern of Reality Stars
The Documentary Also Features In-Depth Interviews with Reality Favorites Including Richard Hatch, Russell Swan, Angelina Pivarnick and Robert Hesse
LOS ANGELES – October 6, 2014 – AXS TV presents a behind-the-scenes look at the world of reality television, in the compelling and timely documentary THE 16TH MINUTE, on Wednesday, October 22, at 10pE/7pP. The film is helmed by former TV personality Paul Grassi, and examines the highs and lows of reality stardom and society’s hunger for fame, as he sits down with an eclectic mix of reality hopefuls, experts, and stars from hit series such as SURVIVOR, BIG BROTHER, HELL’S KITCHEN, and JERSEY SHORE, among others. THE 16TH MINUTE is Grassi’s first attempt at filmmaking and a labor of love as he had to deplete his bank account to fund this very personal quest.
Grassi, best known as a finalist on season five of THE MOLE, was inspired to make the film following his elimination from the jet-setting adventure series. Propelled into a short-lived superstardom, taking pictures, signing autographs, and making appearances as a local celebrity, Grassi quickly found himself once again relegated to obscurity. Curious as to whether or not other reality personalities had suffered similar fates, Grassi set out on a quest to discover what happens when the fifteen minutes of fame run out, and THE 16TH MINUTE begins.
Joining Grassi in his search for answers is an impressive roster featuring original reality villain and inaugural SURVIVOR winner Richard Hatch, who blames his portrayal on the show for his tax evasion conviction; JERSEY SHORE bad girl Angelina Pivarnick; BIG BROTHER all-star Marcellas Reynolds; HELL’S KITCHEN standout and celebrity chef Robert Hesse; SURVIVOR alums Billy Garcia, Russell Swan, and Mike Skupin; and more. In interviews juxtaposed with footage from their various television appearances, the panel provides in-depth access to the world of reality TV, as they discuss the allure of fame, the audition process, the pitfalls of bad editing, the entertainment aspect, and the difficulty of maintaining stardom once their stint is over.
Weighing in on the cultural and psychological impact of reality television is esteemed radio and television host Dr. Drew Pinsky, whose landmark 2006 study determined that reality stars rate the highest on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Additionally, Pinsky explains the disturbing effects of reality television on the current generation, as it glorifies behavior that “is not a good model for human existence.” Also included in the conversation is noted Canadian super-fan Murtz Jaffer, who turned his SURVIVOR obsession into a successful career; and Robert Galinski, founder of the New York Reality TV School, which teaches people how to get on reality shows, how to win, and how to profit from their stardom once the show ends.
“Reality television is, arguably, one of the most popular mediums in the entertainment industry,” said Michele M. Dix, AXS TV’s senior vice president, programming and development. “THE 16TH MINUTE provides a first-hand look into the lives of these reality stars who share their personal perspective. Loaded with insider information and exclusive interviews, this documentary has been a passion project that Paul has been working on for four years and one that will definitely pique the interest of reality TV fans.”
“Everyone wants a chance to tell their story, but what happens when someone else is in charge of editing the plot? With this documentary, I wanted to show viewers that there is more to what they see on television,” said Grassi. “I also wanted to remind the audience that as they criticize the people on screen they should not forget that they are in fact real people. I wanted to show what really happens to reality stars on their 16th minute of fame.”
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