MADISON — “Favorite Son,” a feature film directed and co-written by a Fairleigh Dickinson University film professor and made by a mostly student crew, will come home to FDU with a free, public screening at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22.
The 90-minute film, which has been shown on the film festival circuit during the past year, will be screened at the Dreyfuss Theater on the College at Florham, 285 Madison Ave., Madison, N.J. 07940. The screening is sponsored by the College at Florham Honors Program; for reservations, send an e-mail to FDUScreenings@yahoo.com.
Howard Libov, FDU associate professor of film, is the director and co-writer of “Favorite Son.” Lead roles were played by professional actors, including Pablo Schreiber of HBO’s “The Wire” and Connor Paolo of “Gossip Girl.” The film features original songs from Mike Mills of R.E.M and Mogwai, and an original score by Geffen recording artist Murray Attaway.
“Favorite Son” is the story of 30-year-old loner and minor league baseball player David Paxton, who returns to his hometown only to become obsessed with childhood friend Joan and her troubled teenage son Ross, seeing them as a last chance for a “perfect” life. David is quickly rejected by Joan, but forms an unlikely friendship with the boy, making himself the object of suspicion and condemnation by the town. Driven over the edge, David begins a dangerous descent, targeting the town patriarch and heading toward a final violent confrontation. Libov calls it “a story of family, dreams deferred and a final chance at redemption.”
The storyline for “Favorite Son” is based on an earlier, award-winning short film by Libov, “Little Man,” which starred Frankie Muniz of “Malcolm in the Middle.” “Favorite Son” was co-written by Michael Stewart, who has co-written the screenplays for feature films “Bad Dreams” and “Eye of the Storm.” Students took almost every position on the crew, from wardrobe design to set dresser and camera operator, working under the guidance of professionals. The lead actors — Schreiber, Paolo and Kellie Overbey — took minimal salaries. Students trained for their jobs by taking relevant classes and then received academic credit for their work when filming was completed.
“Favorite Son” won Best Cinematography and Best Director awards at the 2009 Hoboken Film Festival and Best Drama at Houston Worldfest 2009. It was also shown at the Garden State Film Festival, Naples International Film Festival, (Saugatuck, Mich.) Waterfront Film Festival, Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Fest, Kansas Film Festival, Temecula Valley (Calif.) Film Festival and Facets Cinematheque in Chicago. The film is in distribution with Panorama Entertainment of Port Chester, N.Y.
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