By: Courtney Dabney
In No Letting Go, stage, television and film actress, and singer Cheryl Allison portrays a mother who is desperate to understand and cope with her son’s mental illness. Born in Fort Worth and raised in Dallas, Allison portrays Catherine, a character based on Randi Silverman. Silverman co-wrote the screenplay and co-produced the film. Together with her co-producers Carina Rush and Jonathan Bucari, Silverman created the film to show how families struggle with mental illness. Her middle son, Eli, was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder at a young age. Silverman’s youngest son, Noah, plays the character Tim, who is a fictionalized version of his older brother, Eli.
“I realized early on that this film and my role give a voice to so many parents, particularly mothers,” Allison said. “I felt a huge responsibility to represent them and, of course, Randi in an authentic and truthful way.”
Her co-stars include Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives), Kathy Najimy (Sister Act), Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and Alysia Reiner (Orange Is the New Black).
The feature film, that made its cable on-demand debut March 30 in the U.S. and Canada, is based on a true story and adapted from the award-winning short film Illness. Allison also played the lead in Illness.
Allison’s performance has received much acclaim, earning her many awards as it made its way through the film festival circuit last year. She received the Award of Excellence for Leading Actress (2015) from the Accolade Global Film Competition and the IndieFEST Film Awards, Best Leading Actress at the 2015 Southampton International Film Festival (UK) and Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film at the 2015 Sydney Indie Film Festival. IndieFEST Film Awards described her portrayal in No Letting Go as a “break-out performance.”
An industry veteran and graduate of Texas Woman’s University, Allison has acted in Broadway plays, regional theater, film and television for more than 20 years, performing throughout North America and Japan in several Broadway tours. But, it’s her roles on stage at Casa Manana that have made her a local favorite. She has performed in six different shows at the historic theater including The Buddy Holly Story and The Wizard of Oz.
On-demand through cable, providers for No Letting Go include Time Warner, Dish, Direct TV, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Mediacom, Brighthouse, Verizon Fios and Suddenlink. The film is also available through online streaming services such as Walmart. The DVD will be available for purchase through Amazon on May 1.
Allison is the owner/president of WOW Films, where she is currently producing and co-directing a documentary that will hit film festivals in 2017.
Poster Image by Ted Astor
By: Courtney Dabney