Craig Lucas-Directed "Birds of America" Slated for Sundance World Premiere

News   Craig Lucas-Directed "Birds of America" Slated for Sundance World Premiere Craig Lucas' new film, "Birds of America," will be unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the non-competition Spectrum program.

Lucas directed the screenplay by Elyse Friedman. The film will be featured at the Park City, UT, independent film event, Jan. 17-27, 2008.

"It's about two brothers and a sister, all of whom have a difficult time loving each other," Lucas told Playbill.com. "The younger two were more or less raised by the older brother, and they treat him with scorn and act out all the time. It's an extremely tender, quiet look at family; a gentle comedy."

The cast includes Ginnifer Goodwin ("Big Love"), Ben Foster ("3:10 to Yuma"), Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby"), Matthew Perry ("Friends") and Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls") with, Lucas added, "a wonderful supporting performance by Daniel Eric Gold." Gold was seen in the playwright's Small Tragedy and This Thing of Darkness as well as Off-Broadway's Paris Letter and subUrbia.

Lucas — who shot the film in Norwalk, Connecticut this summer — is currently at work on editing and mixing in Tribeca. The scribe noted he had no trouble handling the script of another writer. "I loved working on someone else's characters and situations. It freed me to focus on the direction," he said. "I'm privileged to have been asked to work on it."

Lucas made his feature film directing debut with his own "The Dying Gaul"; he had previously directed such stage productions as Play Yourself, Saved or Destroyed and This Thing of Darkness. Lucas is perhaps best known as the playwright of Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss, Stranger, and the screenwriter for "Longtime Companion" and "The Secret Lives of Dentists." More recent works include A Prayer for My Enemy, The Singing Forest, adaptations of Miss Julie, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya as well as the book for the Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza.

Lucas joins a number of stage folk behind the camera this year at Sundance. Also slated to play the festival are Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges" (which he also penned), Kenny Leon's "Raisin in the Sun," Stanley Tucci's "Blind Date," Terry Kinney's "Diminished Capacity" (starring stage stars Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Dylan Baker) and Alan Ball's "Towelhead." William H. Macy co-wrote the screenplay for "The Deal" (with director Steven Schachter).

For more information visit sundance.org/festival.