how to ruin the holidays

Former artistic director at Dad’s Garage for 10 years, Film Producer Kevin Gillese with New Comedy Project is now exploring the nuances of holiday gatherings through independent films. Gillese is in the studio today for the Around Atlanta segment of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to talk about the independent adult comedy film “How To Ruin The Holidays.” Take a listen to learn more about the film and how it balances family, inclusion and developmental disabilities.

The script was first inspired by Gillese’s family after he moved from Canada to Atlanta. It then grew into something bigger after the team partnered with the Spotlight program, which provides opportunities for actors with special needs at the MJCCA in Atlanta, to create the short film “That Was Awesome!” in 2017. Here, Gillese met many talented actors that now star in “How To Ruin The Holidays.”

“It is important for me to take things that I care about and use humor to peddle it to the masses,” said Gillese.

The film uses adult humor to as seen with the film’s lead, a woman working in comedy who travels from Atlanta to Los Angeles to reconnect with family over the holidays. The lead female role, played by actress Amber Nash, must navigate family mishaps while juggling a life-changing decision regarding her brother with special needs.

Written based on Gillese’s experiences with his special needs brother, the film shows audiences how its level of authenticity is also what makes the project so special. Special needs actor Luke Davis stars in this role, and he has appeared in productions for Jerry’s Habima Theatre and the short film “That Was Awesome!”.

“I didn’t make the project and then select [Luke Davis], I met him and then built the project around him. It’s always been him,” said Gillese. “There’s been no one else. I don’t know if I would have thought to make this project if I didn’t have him because it’s just such a specific niche, so I got lucky that I found him.”

Another well-known face audience members will enjoy seeing includes Colin Mochrie, the award-winning actor and improviser best known for his long-standing role on the TV series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” who will play the father. Other actors include Aisha Tyler, best known for hosting “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “Archer,” and Henry Zebrowski, podcast host for “The Last Podcast on the Left.”

Interested viewers will be excited to learn that production is slated for December with an expected festival release in 2022. After that, the film will be open to the public.

Learn more about “How To Ruin The Holidays” at or follow the project on social media @howtoruintheholidaysmovie on Facebook or @ruintheholidays on Twitter.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and New Comedy Project are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of the products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (May/2021)

New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit

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