By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

RACHEL DRATCH, WENDY MONIZ AND TREVOR ST. JOHN TOPLINE THE CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT FOR PATRICK WANG’S SOPHOMORE FEATURE; THE GRIEF OF OTHERS

Filmmaker’s Second Feature Follows Critically Acclaimed In the Family

Companion iBook “Post Script: The Making of the Film, The Grief of Others”

Available Now on iTunes Coincides with Announcement

New York, NY – February 18, 2014 – Director Patrick Wang and Vanishing Angle today announced that Rachel Dratch, Wendy Moniz and Trevor St. John are among the cast members set for their upcoming feature film The Grief of Others.  Based on the acclaimed novel by Leah Hager Cohen (New York Times notable book, finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), the film is set to commence production in April 2014 in Nyack, New York.  The Grief of Others is the sophomore effort from Patrick Wang whose first film is the critically acclaimed In the Family,which he wrote and directed. The Grief Of Others isproduced by Jim Cummings, Erich Lochner, Matt Miller and Ben Wiessner and based on a screenplay by Wang.

In addition to Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Wendy Moniz (Betrayal, The Guardian), and Trevor St. John (One Life to Live, In the Family), additional key cast members includeOona Laurence, who won a Tony Award for her role as Matilda in Matilda the Musical, Jeremy Shinder who appeared in the international tour of The Addams Family, Sonya Harum who appeared in Gossip Girl and Blue Bloods, and Mike Faist who appeared on Broadway in Newsies.

“We could not be more thrilled to secure the strong cast that this project deserves,” commented director Patrick Wang.  “Leah Hager Cohen’s novel is a powerful story of how unexpected generosity and human connections help us navigate loss and grief. The tremendous talent and sensitivities of this cast will breathe life into these characters on the screen with the same gorgeous detail we find on the page.”

The Grief of Others is the much-anticipated second feature film from director Patrick Wang.  His first feature film In the Family was one of 2011’s most critically-acclaimed independent films, appearing on over 50 year end best-of lists and lauded by Roger Ebert as “an indie masterpiece”.  The film enjoyed an extensive theatrical run andwas also nominated for the 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

The Grief of Others follows the family of Ricky and John Ryrie who suffer a devastating loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents try to return to their previous lives and struggle to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and their two children Paul and Biscuit.  Yet in the aftermath of the baby’s death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface and a dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

Trevor St. John plays John Ryrie, Wendy Moniz plays Ricky Ryrie, and Oona Laurence and Jeremy Shinder play their children Biscuit and Paul.  Sonya Harum appears as Jessica Safransky and Mike Faist plays Gordie Joiner.  In a dramatic turn, Rachel Dratch appears as Madeleine Berkowitz, a colleague of John’s.

Readers will have the opportunity to watch the production of The Grief of Others unfold in a first of its kind interactive, multimedia iBook from director Patrick Wang and author David Chien entitled”Post Script: The Making of the Film, The Grief of Others”.  A unique, curated journey through the creative decision-making process, it is available now on the iTunes Bookstore (http://tinyurl.com/p2bmdap) and will be continuously updated as the film progresses.

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch