Korean-American Director Sheridan O’Donnell is set to premiere his new film – ‘Little Brother’ at the 47th Annual Atlanta Film Festival on April 23rd. Held at Atlanta’s iconic Plaza Theatre, film lovers will get the very first look at O’Donnell’s debut road trip dramedy that features stellar performances from an all-star cast. The film was inspired by O’Donnell’s late friend who died by suicide, and he hopes the film will destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health.
‘Little Brother’ follows Jake (Daniel Diemer, “The Half of It”), as he reluctantly drives his older brother Pete (Philip Ettinger, “First Reformed”), back home for a family intervention with their parents (J.K. Simmons, Polly Draper), after Pete’s most recent suicide attempt. As they drive across the American West, the brothers attempt to reconcile past traumas and forge a new bond. Both heartfelt and hilarious, the film takes an empathetic look at the emotional complexities that arise in a family confronting the challenges of mental illness. The film was primarily shot in O’Donnell’s hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the cast and crew also shooting on location in Arches National Park and Twin Falls, ID.
After O’Donnell spent nearly three years writing this intimate script, he was diagnosed during preproduction with a degenerative retinal condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which leads to legal blindness. After processing his diagnosis and realizing the need for stories like ‘Little Brother’, O’Donnell was re-inspired to make the film and continues to work as a low vision filmmaker today.
“It’s been an incredible journey bringing ‘Little Brother’ to the screen, and I’m excited to finally share it with audiences at the prestigious Atlanta Film Festival, a festival with a rich history of discovering unique, diverse voices. This film took on a higher meaning for me—and the story, which is about finding light in the darkness and humor in the heaviest of times, ended up giving to me as much as I was giving to it. I know the film will do the same for audiences,” O’Donnell shared.
“Little Brother is such a terrific fit for the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) because it touches on so many components essential to the ATLFF as we seek out to showcase diverse voices, stories that tackle difficult topics not often covered in mainstream films, at the same time balancing indie (with up-and-coming talent) & industry notables (like J.K. Simmons) and on top of that, the film having an Atlanta connection through its Executive Producer, Tirrell D. Whittley. All this adds up to one film that we’re very proud to be including and having its World Premiere with us,” says ATLFF Executive Director, Christopher Escobar.
“It means a lot to premiere “Little Brother” in my hometown as part of the Atlanta Film Festival at the Plaza Theater. This film delivers such an emotional rollercoaster ride, and I can’t wait for audiences to experience the revelations and uplifting moments that makes this such a special film to watch,” says Atlanta Filmmaker and Marketing Executive, Tirrell D. Whittley.
Little Brother is produced by Chris Dodds and Keagan Karnes, alongside J.P. Ouellette and Dylan Matlock (“Mass”). Atlanta’s own Tirrell D. Whittley (“Amazing Grace”, “Brian Banks”) serves as Executive Producer alongside Philip Ettinger, Shad Adair, Mary Haarmeyer, Nick Moore, Jami Moore, David and Lori Moore.
Little Brother will premiere as part of the Atlanta Film Festival on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 3:30pm EST at The Plaza Theater, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306. Purchase premiere tickets through the Atlanta Film Festival website HERE.