True Bromance

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True Bromance
When Love's thunderbolt strikes, who do you turn to?
Directed by Sebastian Doggart
Produced by Sebastian Doggart
Written by Sebastian Doggart
Starring Devin Ratray
Adrian Grenier
Jim Norton
Condoleezza Rice
Frank Luntz
Carol Connors
Music by David Wolfert
Carol Connors
Devin Ratray
Sebastian Doggart
Jess King
Cinematography Matthew Woolf
Edited by Jake Diamond
American Princess
Distributed by Sonar
Release date
  • September 1, 2012 (2012-09-01)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

True Bromance is a 2012 film by British filmmaker Sebastian Doggart which explores the absurd advice that friends and family give when someone falls in love. It follows the quest of actor Devin Ratray, who wants to win the heart of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[1]


Devin Ratray is a musician and besotted admirer of Condoleezza Rice. Devin travels across America with his "bro Sebastian, who is making a documentary about his quest. Devin seeks to learn more about Rice from those who knew her, as a means of winning her hand in marriage. In New York, he receives counsel from his "Best Bro", cult comedian Jim Norton.[2] In Birmingham, Alabama, he speaks to Rice's childhood friends and visits the hospital where she was born. In Denver, Colorado, he meets some of her former teachers, and the one man to whom Rice has been engaged, Rick Upchurch. Upchurch tells Devin that Rice made an oath to God not to have sex before she got married, and deduces that her continued single status, and her enduring Christianity, confirm that she is still a virgin. In Los Angeles, he is given courtship advice by Adrian Grenier, and presented with a power ballad to send to Condi from Oscar nominated songwriter Carol Connors. When he arrives in Washington, D.C., he is assisted by Republican strategist Frank Luntz.


The film is a "bromantic comedy" in the style of The Hangover. It has an original look combining live action footage with super-hero comic-book visual effects, including animated "bro cards" to introduce each character; multi-frame panels as scene transitions; thought bubbles to visualize Ratray's fears, fantasies and memories; green-screen composites of Devin interacting with his beloved Rice; and hand-painted animations of the film's heroes.


The film's production history is a tortuous one. In July 2007, Discovery Communications commissioned the film for $600,000. In August 2007, one week before principal photography was due to begin, Discovery suddenly announced that they had "canceled" the film. This followed pressure from Karl Rove, who warned Discovery that the movie could damage their "good relations with government".[3] Discovery settled with the producers, American Princess LLC, for a $150,000 "kill loan", forcing the producers to make the film on a shoestring.[4] Rice continued to obstruct the film, sending State Department officials to raid the producers' guesthouse in Washington, D.C., and plant a bug under a coffee table in their living room—actions which were documented on camera and included in the film. After test screenings at a number of festivals, the film was finally completed in March 2012.


The film has won 18 awards at its festival screenings. At the Harlem International Film Festival, it won Best Film. [5] At the World Music and International Film Festival in Washington, D.C., it won four awards: Best Actor (Devin Ratray), Best Screenplay (Sebastian Doggart), Best Comedy, and the Legend of Legends Award (Carol Connors).[5] It picked up a best Feature Film award at the Film Festival of Colorado, and a Best Screenplay prize at the Phenom Film Festival in Louisiana. The Atlanta Film Underground Film Festival named it Best Comedy Feature. [6] The film won the Golden Ace award at the Las Vegas Film Festival,[6] and the Award of Excellence from Indie Fest.[7] At the Williamsburg International Film Festival, it won awards for Best Actor (Devin Ratray), Best Visual Effects (Terry Coolidge) and Best Editing (Jake Diamond).[7] It also won Best Editing awards at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival [8] and the Treasure Coast International Film Festivals. At the Nevada Film Festival, it won a Platinum Reel Award for Best Feature film. [9] At the Illinois International Film Festival, it won Best COmedy Feature, and at the California Film awards, the film won a Gold Award in the narrative film category.[10] It was also notminated at the Oaxaca Film Fest.


The New York Times bestselling author Betsy Prioleau (Seductress, Swoon) described the film: "True Bromance is a tour de force, a hilarious, triple-barreled send-up—of obsessive love, the bromance “buddy” genre, and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. This absurdist caper, directed by Sebastian Doggart, is stylish and fall-down funny. A comic gem—not to be missed, with creative snap and a stiletto edge." [11] The Brooklyn Paper called the film "a bromance for all ages... the highlight of the Williamsburg International Film Festival." [12] The Brooklyn Eagle wrote: "Starring possibly the most surreal comedy troupe ever... True Bromance is consistently unnerving, funny and surprising and features an original comic-book style." [13]


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