To Write Love on Her Arms (film)

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To Write Love on Her Arms
To Write Love on Her Arms film poster.png
DVD cover
Directed byNathan Frankowski
Screenplay byKate King Lynch
Story byNathan Frankowski
Produced by
CinematographyStephen Campbell
Edited by
  • Nathan Frankowski
  • Gordon Grinberg
Music by
  • Two Streets Entertainment
  • Birchwood Pictures
  • Noble Pictures
  • Valencia Motion Pictures
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • March 11, 2012 (2012-03-11)(Omaha Film Festival)
  • March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03)(United States)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.4 million (est.)

To Write Love on Her Arms (also known as Day One; formerly Renee) is a 2012 American biographical drama film written and directed by Nathan Frankowski and starring Kat Dennings, Chad Michael Murray, Rupert Friend, Mark Saul, Juliana Harkavy, and Corbin Bleu. The film is based on the life of troubled teenager Renee Yohe and the founding of To Write Love on Her Arms by Jamie Tworkowski, after he and others helped Yohe to overcome her challenges enough to be able to enter rehab. The film premiered at the Omaha Film Festival on March 11, 2012, and was eventually released on DVD on March 3, 2015. [1]



It is 2006, and 19-year-old Renee Yohe has always loved fairy tales: the idea of a princess, a hero and a happily ever after. However, her life is that of a darker tale. As she battles with drug addiction, bipolar disorder, self-harm and other life issues, she receives love and support from numerous friends and new acquaintances, including Jamie Tworkowski and David McKenna. When Yohe is turned away from drug rehabilitation, with open wounds from self-cutting making her too great a treatment risk, McKenna takes her into his home for five days of detox, while Tworkowski posts an article on Myspace, titled "To Write Love on Her Arms" (in contrast to Yohe having written "Fuck Up" on her arm, with a razor blade), to fundraise the cost of rehab. [2] Their efforts for Yohe are successful, and leads to Tworkowski founding the charity group To Write Love on Her Arms, offering similar support to other people who have depression, suicidal thoughts, addictions, or struggles with self-harm. [3]




Josh Lujan Loveless, Bob Massey, Jamie Tworkowski, and Renee Yohe all served as story consultants for the film, collaborating with Frankowski for the script. The film is produced by David Blair McKenna, a long time friend of Yohe's who provided her his home as a place to get sober, as depicted in the film, so she could enter rehab. [4]


Principal photography started on February 23, 2011, exactly five years after Yohe and Tworkowski first met. [5] Filming went until March 29, 2011, and was shot entirely in Yohe's home town of Orlando, Florida. Various scenes were shot at Valencia Community College, The DAVE School, Full Sail University and Wall Street Plaza. [4]


The film features songs from Travis McCoy, Paper Route, Rachael Yamagata, Dead Man's Bones, Corbin Bleu, Between the Trees, Kye Kye, Flint Eastwood, Flagship, Gatlin Elms, Duologue, Danny Leggett, Civilian, Savannah, Alex Bennett, and Bearcat. [6]


The film opened the 21st Florida Film Festival on April 13, 2012, playing at the Regal Winter Park Village. [7] The film was released directly to DVD three years later, on March 3, 2015. [1]


On November 27, 2014, the film was leaked onto several peer-to-peer file sharing websites four months ahead of its intended public release. The film was one of five Sony Pictures films leaked, though fewer than 20,000 people downloaded To Write Love on Her Arms, compared to the 1.6 million combined downloads of Fury , Annie , Still Alice , and Mr. Turner . [8]

Awards and accolades

2012WonOmaha Film FestivalEncore AwardNathan Frankowski, Kim Dawson, David McKenna, Two Streets Entertainment
Nominated Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student ProjectSyrena Edmonds, Zack Heimbegner, Brian Mullen, Nathaniel Skinner
WonCrystal Reel AwardsBest ActressKat Dennings
WonBest CastingAmy Severson
WonCinematographyStephen Campbell
WonBest Sound / Sound Mixing – Feature FilmMichael Orlowski, Dave Chmela
WonBest Special Effects (CGI)Lee Stringer
NominatedBest DirectorNathan Frankowski
NominatedBest PictureKim Dawson

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