Kelly Bishop to Star in Indie Film SAINT JANET
What if one day your mother announced that God gave her the power to heal?
That's the provocative question at the heart of NYC-set indie film SAINT JANET, directed by Emmy Award winner Habib Azar and penned by Obie Award winning playwright Kyle Jarrow (A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, Hostage Song, Whisper House). It begins principal photography in New York City on July 5.
SAINT JANET stars Tony Award winner Kelly Bishop (Six Degrees of Separation, Chorus Line, Dirty Dancing, Gilmore Girls, Bunheads) in the title role - pictured. Starring alongside Ms. Bishop are Nyambi Nyambi (Mike and Molly, Broadway's Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Lauren Bittner (Paranormal Activity 3), Ana Kayne (Another Earth), and Matt Walton (Burn After Reading). Also featured are Daniel London (Synecdoche New York), Lauren Worsham (NYCO's Turn of the Screw), Jonathan Raviv (Off-Broadway's My Name is Asher Lev), and Marguerite Stimpson (Broadway's Butley). Casting is by James Calleri and Paul Davis of Calleri Casting. Korea's acclaimed Ki Hwang is the Director of Photography.
SAINT JANET follows what happens to a family when the mother, Janet Turner, becomes convinced that she's spoken to God. Janet believes she's been given the power to heal through her touch, and she's determined to devote everything she has to this pursuit. Her grown children wrestle with how to respond.
The film draws inspiration from a fascinating American phenomenon: the surprising number of purported faith healers. Faith healers have gone mainstream, even appearing on Dr. Oz and Oprah. A 2001 Gallup poll found that 54% of adult Americans of all religions believed in spiritual healing. The psychology of this makes a lot of sense: when faced with the uncertainty of illness, it's natural to hope for the certainty of a miracle. SAINT JANET explores this psychological truth, and examines the role that belief has in all of our lives. The result is a quirky, off-kilter drama that explores family and forgiveness and ultimately asks the question: how do you know what's the right way to live your life?
Azar and Jarrow's previous film collaboration, ARMLESS, was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and went on to be a hit on the film festival circuit, screening around the world and winning the grand jury prize at the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
HABIB AZAR (director)'s Emmy Award winning directing career has spanned almost every medium imaginable. His first feature film Armless starring Daniel London, Zoe Lister-Jones and Janel Moloney was an official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win awards in festivals around the world, ultimately acquiring distribution from Vanguard Cinema. Habib began his television directing career at age 22 on the daytime soap opera As The World Turns and went on to direct over 200 episodes of the series. He was one of the youngest people to ever win a directing Emmy Award when we took home the statue in 2007 at age 26 for his work on that show. He is currently a staff director for One Life to Live, and has also directed The Young and the Restless on CBS. Habib has also directed numerous multi-camera live concert and performing arts programs including a 12-camera video of the Merce Cunninham Dance Company's final performance at the Park avenue Armory, the All Star Orchestra, Christoph Eshenbach and the US National Symphony in Trinidad and Tobago, the NHK Symphony, Wynton Marsalis, and the New York Philharmonic for Live From Lincoln Center. He has also served as a rehearsal director for the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series on numerous productions. For the stage his extensive experience includes musicals, notably Kyle Jarrow's Gorilla Man at PS122, numerous plays, and contemporary operas including Angel's Bone with the International Contemporary Ensemble at the Mann Center in Philadelphia, and Lewis Neilson's USW with Opera Cabal in Chicago. Habib is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and holds BFAs in both Directing and Music Composition.
Kyle Jarrow (screenwriter) has been called "NYC's hipster playwright" by The New York Times, "an iconoclast" by The Los Angeles Times, and "the kind of writer who likes to provoke people" by The New Yorker. He writes for film and television as well as for the stage. Kyle wrote the film Armless, adapted from his play of the same name. He won an OBIE Award at age 24 for his Off-Broadway hit play A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, which has subsequently been produced all over the country. Other stage plays include Love Kills, The Consequences, Trigger, President Harding is a Rock Star, Hostage Song (music & lyrics), Gorilla Man and Whisper House (with Tony-winner Duncan Sheik, record now available from RCA/Victor). Kyle is also a musician-with his former art-rock band The Fabulous Entourage, he appeared in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Now Kyle plays in the rock band Sky-Pony. Kyle has developed television projects for FX, MTV, CW and MTV. Kyle is a graduate of Yale University, where he majored in religious studies.
More info on SAINT JANET at http://www.saintjanet.com