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American Gun is a 2005 American film produced by Participant Productions, IFC Films, IFC First Take, and Spirit Dance Entertainment. It was written in 2001 by Steven Bagatourian and Aric Avelino and directed by Avelino as his directorial debut.

American Gun
American gun poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAric Avelino
Produced byTed Kroeber
Written byAric Avelino
Steven Bagatourian
StarringLinda Cardellini
Tony Goldwyn
Marcia Gay Harden
Donald Sutherland
Forest Whitaker
Music bySchuyler Fisk
Peter Golub
Edited byRichard Nord
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • September 15, 2005 (2005-09-15) (Toronto Film Festival)
  • March 22, 2006 (2006-03-22) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
Box office$34,138[1]

Avelino attended Loyola Marymount University and made the film with many LMU alumni,[2] including producer Ted Kroeber.

The film took two and a half years to finance. The central idea came from a "Column One" article in the Los Angeles Times. In addition, the writers were influenced by a friend from the Chicago school district who related stories about how students brought guns to school, not to use them on campus, but because of the dangerous neighborhoods they live in or walk through to attend classes. Avelino was very appreciative of the directorial advice of Forest Whitaker, one of the film's producers. The first actress attached to the project was Marcia Gay Harden.[3]


American Gun centers around three stories dealing with the results of gun use: an inner city school principal (Whitaker), a single mother (Harden), and an A student (Cardellini) who works at her family's gun shop.[4]



According to, American Gun took in $24,098 in a limited release from one to six theatres in a little over 10 weeks in theatres from March 22 – June 1, 2006. It was featured on the IFC program First Take.[5]



  1. ^
  2. ^ LMU ALUMNI MAKE FILM DEBUT WITH “AMERICAN GUN” Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, by Victoria Walsh, March 23, 2006.
  3. ^ Taken from Avelino during a Q&A at The Screenland Archived 2007-12-11 at the Wayback Machine, in Kansas City, on April 22, 2006.
  4. ^ "Synopsis: American Gun". Archived from the original on December 11, 2007.
  5. ^ IFC Unveils Day & Date Program Archived 2008-02-19 at the Wayback Machine, indieWIRE.
  6. ^ IMDb's awards page.

External linksEdit