James Franco Directs CalArtians in Tennessee Williams Biopic

‘Tenn,’ directed by James Franco, stars Jacob Loeb as a young Tennessee Williams. | Photo: From thereelblog.com

This Saturday (Oct. 28), Tenn, a biographical feature about Tennessee Williams directed by James Franco, premieres at the Austin Film Festival. The movie stars CalArtians Jacob Loeb (Theater BFA 13) and Emilio Garcia-Sanchez (Theater BFA 16). In the film, Loeb plays Tom “Tennessee” Williams, a young aspiring writer living with his family in 1930’s St. Louis, Missouri. Very much a family drama, Tenn is about Tom’s relationships with his overbearing mother (Beth Grant), negligent father (Vincent D’Onofrio) and depressed sister (Nina Ljeti).

Loeb and Garcia-Sanchez are no strangers to Tennessee Williams’ work. In 2013, Franco, who was visiting faculty at CalArts at the time, cast them in the Film Directing Program’s productions inspired by Tennessee Williams’ work, The Magic Tower and The Glass Menagerie. Shortly after, Loeb played Hank Bukowski in Bukowski, written and directed by Franco (2013). The following year, Franco cast Loeb as Quentin Compson in The Sound and the Fury, which premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. Tenn marks Loeb’s third feature film directed by Franco.

The Austin Film Festival, which runs Oct. 26-Nov. 2, furthers the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers and filmmakers who use written and visual language to tell a story.

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