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© 2019, CATHOLIC ALLIANCE FOR FILM ARTS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Five by Flannery  (2019)

We’re excited to announce our first feature film, Five by Flannery, based on 5 of Flannery O’Connor’s most beloved short stories.

Only O’Connor could have written stories so dark and gripping with such a clear understanding of Christ—and His enemy—at its roots.

ABOUT THE FILM

Good Country Pictures is pleased to announce their production of Five by Flannery, an anthology feature film based on 5 of Flannery O’Connor’s most beloved short stories, among which include "Revelation" and "The Life You Save May Be Your Own".

 

Not since the 1979 adaptation of her novel Wise Blood by Hollywood movie legend John Huston has the prestige of O'Connor's literature been brought to life as a feature film. Consisting of 5 critically acclaimed stories (all from her National Book Award winning Complete Stories), Five by Flannery has been conceived in the vein of Academy-Award nominated feature films such as Short Cutsby Robert Altman (based on short stories of Raymond Carver), Wild Tales (a best foreign language film nominee), and the recent Coen Brothers film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (nominated for a 2019 Oscar for best adapted screenplay).

 

The omnibus approach to this feature film allows for a poignant mosaic of O'Connor's vision to come to life on the big screen, highlighting the many relevant themes at play in her stories - themes of race and equality, justice and mercy, judgment and forgiveness, love and despair, and the ever present mystery of grace at work in the lives of flawed, fragile and often misguided human beings. Through this series of cinematic vignettes, culminating with her profound story Revelation, Good Country Pictures will bring to the world a feature film which allows a new generation the discovery of this singular voice speaking of the terrible speed of mercy.

"You have to make your vision apparent by shock - to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind, you draw large and startling figures.”

 

Flannery O’Connor

ABOUT THE TEAM

A.J. EDWARDS (writer) was born in Walnut Creek, CA and raised in San Antonio, TX. In 2013 A. J. Edwards wrote and directed his first feature, THE BETTER ANGELS, which stars Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke, Brit Marling, and Wes Bentley. The film centers on the youth of Abraham Lincoln. It debuted domestically at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and internationally at the prestigious 64th Annual Berlin International Film Festival. It opened theatrically nationwide fall of 2014. Edwards’s second feature as writer and director is FRIDAY’S CHILD, a modern-day crime drama and redemption story set in Texas starring Tye Sheridan, Imogen Poots, Jeffrey Wright, Caleb Landry Jones and executive produced by Gus Van Sant. FRIDAY’S CHILD made its world premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, it’s Chinese premiere at Shanghai International Film Festival winning 2 awards – Best Actor and Best Cinematography, and it’s European premiere at 44th Deauville American Film Festival.

 

JOE GOODMAN (producer) is a veteran Louisville, KY based producer having spent many years developing content for such companies as Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox. He has produced 5 feature films among which were the psychological thrillers, HANGMAN’S CURSE, THE VISITATION, THR3E, and HOUSE which were distributed by 20th Century Fox and Roadside Attractions. Joe formed Goodman Pictures with the intention of producing high quality films based on prestigious literary properties.

The list of procured rights include works by acclaimed authors such as Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Willa Cather, Charles Williams, Ron Hansen, and Madison Jones.

 

AARON WIEDERSPAHN (producer) is a writer/director/producer originally from Wyoming. His first feature film he wrote, directed and produced was the award winning THE SENSATION OF SIGHT, starring Academy-Award nominated actor David Strathairn. He then went on to write, direct and produce the ultra-low budget feature, ONLY DAUGHTER, for which he was awarded New Hampshire filmmaker of the year and best screenplay at the Orlando Film Festival. He has continued in various producer capacities on such acclaimed films as BAND OF ROBBERS, a modern reimagining of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and the hard- hitting timely drama AND THEN I GO, which the Hollywood Reporter remarks “provides an essential and insightful perspective that will resonate with audiences attuned to the challenges of adolescence.”

ABOUT FLANNERY O'CONNOR

“‘Grotesque’ is an adjective one often hears applied to Flannery’s writings—from both admirers and critics. But what the critics often miss is the luminosity of grace that is ever present. She shows man (us) in our fallen state—no cosmetics applied—and thus our need of Redemption. But she writes as one who knows the victory has been won. And, oh, can she write!”

 

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press

Born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia, Flannery O'Connor is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of all time. She did not create her most celebrated works in a literary capital or ivory tower, but on her mother's modest farm where she raised peafowl.

 

Although her life was tragically cut short by the autoimmune disease lupus before she reached the age of forty, her darkly comic novels and short stories catapulted her to being recognized as a master of the form. A devout Roman Catholic, she crafted stories filled with depraved characters who are often bent upon violence. The presence of brutality in her works clear the air to reveal the contrast between objective good and evil, a feature which she once remarked is, "strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace." All of her work rests upon these remarkable moments. She holds a place in contemporary culture that is unique, ongoing, and essential. Her stories have fired the imaginations of countless influential writers, artists, and culture-makers, placing her in the same category as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. New York City subway writers can currently download the complete short stories of Flannery O'Connor for free -- and this is but one example. It would not be hyperbole to say that she is the last great modern novelist whose clear Christian worldview rises above current debates over religion -- thus giving her a privileged position in culture.

 

In a world filled with sometimes unspeakable evil, O'Connor's stories hold out hope for even the worst possible offenders to experience enlightenment because they are made in the image of God. From the escaped convict in her famous story A Good Man is Hard to Find to the nihilistic street preacher in her novel Wise Blood, she populated her fiction with criminals, con artists, misfits and freaks, and she delighted in confronting her readers with a harsh and humbling mirror. “ The freak in modern fiction is usually disturbing to us,” she explained, “because he keeps us from forgetting that we share in his state.” Her goal, however, was not merely to be lurid. Instead, she hoped to shock people toward moral and religious revelations, difficult messages that she knew readers might overlook or resist.

 

“To the hard of hearing you shout,” she insisted, “and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” O’Connor’s fiction was deeply rooted in the culture of the American South, but her deadpan wit and unflinching honesty have intrigued readers and critics far beyond her Georgia home. In 1972, a posthumous collection of her complete short stories won the National Book Award, and new readers continue to turn to her to witness what she called, “the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it” – a challenging vision like no other in American literature.