American Gun is a 2005 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.
Avelino attended Loyola Marymount University and made the film with many LMU alumni, 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 directitorial advice of Forest Whitaker, one of the film's producers. The first actress attached to the project was Marcia Gay Harden.
American Gun centers around three stories dealing with the results of gun use: an...