The first four films have been revealed for the upcoming 21st Stony Brook Film Festival taking place July 21 to 30, 2016 in Stony Brook, New York.
Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Stony Brook Film Festival, is bringing the The Carer, starring Brian Cox, to Stony Brook for Opening Night. In this East Coast premiere, a young Hungarian refugee becomes the caregiver of an aging, temperamental actor. Closing Night showcases the East Coast premiere of A Man Called Ove, a warmhearted story set in Sweden, directed by Hannes Holm and written by Hannes Holm and Fredrik Backman, author of the best selling Swedish novel). Both European directors will be representing their films at the Festival.
In addition, two World Premieres, are original indies from the U.S. The Father and the Bear, written and directed by John Putch, feature Wil Love and David DeLuise. No Pay, Nudity, directed by Lee Wilkof and written by Ethan Sandler features Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane, Frances Conroy, Boyd Gaines and Jon Michael Hill.
The Carer opens the 21st Stony Brook Film Festival on Thursday, July 21st 2016.
Hungarian director János Edelényi brings Brian Cox (Red, The Bourne Supremacy, X-Men, Braveheart), Anna Chancellor (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Emilia Fox (The Pianist), and newcomer Coco König together in The Carer, a story about a retired actor and his newest caregiver. The feature from the United Kingdom and Hungary was written by Gilbert Adair, János Edelényi and Tom Kinninmont and is making an East Coast Premiere at Stony Brook.
Brian Cox plays the fictional Sir Michael Gifford, the legendary Shakespearean actor of stage and screen who is now retired. Suffering from an incurable disease and in his waning years, Sir Michael has isolated himself from all but a loyal few, whom he bullies relentlessly. Cox soars in this role as an aging lion of theater, and is ably aided by a fine cast of familiar faces along with newcomer Coco König in a winning debut.
The Carer is produced by József Berger, Steve Bowden and Charlotte Wontner and edited by Adam Recht. Director of Photography is Tibor Máthé. A Hopscotch Films, Mythberg Films, and Vita Nova Films production, from Yellow Affair and The Hungarian National Film Fund.
A Man Called Ove (En Man Som Heter Ove) closes the festival on Saturday, July 30th at Stony Brook. The best-selling book by Swedish author Fredrik Backman was made into a play and now a film, with Hannes Holm, director, and Backman as screenwriters. The film stars Rolf Lassgard, Zozan Akgun, Tobias Almborg, and Ida Engvoll and is in Swedish and Persian with subtitles. Ove is the neighborhood’s resident grumpy old man, deposed as president of the condo association but still relentlessly keeping watch over the neighborhood. This charming dramatic comedy about an unexpected friendship involves his pregnant neighbor Parvaneh and her family. The film is produced by Annica Bellander and Nicklas Wikstrom Nicastro, edited by Fredrik Morheden, with director of photography Goran Hallberg. From Nordisk Film, Tre Vanner Produktion AB, a Music Box Films release.
The Father and the Bear makes its World Premiere at Stony Brook Friday, July 22. It’s the newest independent film from veteran director John Putch and his ninth independent film since his Sundance Film Festival 1999 entry Valerie Flake. The Father and the Bear, Putch’s most personal film to date, is the story about a retired character actor suffering from dementia (Wil Love) who longs to perform at his beloved summer theater one last time. The film was shot on location in Putch’s home town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania at the Totem Pole Playhouse, a summer stock theater that his late father, William Putch, guided as artistic director for thirty years. John Putch grew up in a show business family —his mother was Jean Stapleton (All in the Family).
Putch’s use of archival material, both still and Super-8 of the theater as well as Love’s actual performances there, are expertly woven into the story. David DeLuise plays the theater’s new artistic director and other cast members who have appeared in Putch’s previous productions take part: Dendrie Taylor, Robert Picardo, Ray Ficca, Alicia Fusting, Jamie Rose, Dan Poole, Kevin M. Horton, Carl Schurr and Ed Gotwalt. The film is lensed by frequent collaborator Keith J. Duggan, marking his sixth feature film with Putch at the helm. Three of Putch’s previous films, The Pursuit of Happiness, Mojave Phone Booth and Route 30 have screened at former Stony Brook Film Festivals, with Mojave Phone Booth winning best feature in 2006.
“I’ve said before that the Stony Brook Film Festival was one of the top three fests I’ve ever shown a film at, and ten years later, I can still say the same–better than Sundance, hands down,” said Putch. (fatherandthebear.com) Putch and many of the cast and crew will attend the premiere screening.
No Pay, Nudity screens as a World Premiere on Tuesday, July 26 with director Lee Wilkof and cast and crew on hand. Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, In Treatment) plays comically against type, portraying an actor, Lester Rosenthal, who has lost his way with his career, his family, and his friends. A hilarious Nathan Lane (The Producers, The Birdcage), along with Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, The Aviator) and Boyd Gaines, portray his fellow thespians, all waiting for the right role to come along as they hang out in the Actors Equity lobby. Jon Michael Hill (Elementary) plays a young actor also waiting to get an audition while he takes in their banter.
Director Lee Wilkof notes, “I have been an actor for 43 years. I love what I do. I love the people I work with. No Pay, Nudity is about these people. We live in a time where instant fame is often the measure of success and a body of work accounts for very little. Making No Pay, Nudity helped me rediscover that as Winston Churchill said, “Success is moving from disappointment to disappointment without losing enthusiasm.” The screenplay is by Ethan Sandler, producer is Tani Cohen, edited by Sylvia Waliga, and director of photography is Brian Lannin. Lee Wilkof and Nathan Lane are expected to attend.