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Burn Country
Directed by
Ian Olds

USA / 2016 / 103

Screening Times and Venues:

Q&A Attendees
*subject to change:
Ian Olds, Melissa Leo
Once a fixer for a journalist in Afghanistan, Osam (mysterious, handsome Dominic Rains) finally achieves his dream: U.S. asylum. He lands at the home of the journalist's mother to find a world-weary cop (a delicious Melissa Leo) in a Northern California town filled with rednecks, artists and next-generation hippies. His promised job turns out to be writing the police blotter for the local newspaper. Undiscouraged, Osman forges ahead.

As he penetrates the local subculture, things become downright bizarre, if not dangerous. A man is found dead at the side of a rural road; his new friend and local slacker Lindsay (who fans know as James Franco!) is accused, then disappears. Osman thought he'd seen it all in Afghanistan, but his infiltration here becomes a startling escapade.

Veering between suspense and dark comedy, filmmaker Ian Olds draws from his 2009 Emmy-nominated documentary, "The Fixer: the Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi", about another fixer who tragically didn't make it out alive. --Cynthia Kane

Ian Olds directs both narrative and documentary work. Credits include the Iraq war doc "Occupation: Dreamland" (short-listed for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and winner of a 2006 Independent Spirit Award), "Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi" (winner of top jury prizes at Tribeca and Madrid and nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism), and the experimental narrative "Francophrenia". Olds' short narrative films have played numerous festivals, including Sundance, Los Angeles and Woodstock, where he won best student short for "Two Men".

Olds was awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a SFFS/Hearst Screenwriting Grant and a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation. He received his MFA from Columbia University's Film Division, was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by "Filmmaker Magazine" and was a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Screenwriters' Lab in 2011. Olds also edited director James Franco's adaptation of William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying".

Cast/Featuring: Dominic Rains, Melissa Leo, James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan, Tim Kniffin, Thomas Jay Ryan
Executive Producer(s): George Rush, Michael Roiff, Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, Gia Walsh, Kara Baker, Gardner Grout, Mary Regency Boies, Robert Afshar, Alex Witherill, Eric Schultz, James Franco, Vince Jolivette
Producer(s): Caroline von Kuhn, Jennifer Glynn
Director(s): Ian Olds
Screenwriter(s): Paul Felten, Ian Olds
Cinematographer(s): Adam Newport-Berra
Editor(s): Scott Cummings, Joe Murphy, Ian Olds
Production Designer(s): Caity Birmingham
Composer(s)/Music: Jim McHugh
Sound Designer(s): Michael Lawson, Josh Bissett
Courtesy of: Samuel Goldwyn Films
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