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Story

Fourteen-year-old Ellis is getting ready to leave his luxurious home in the foothills of Tucson for his freshman year at Gates Academy, an East Coast prep school.

This, however, means leaving behind Wendy, his flakey new age mother as well as his friend and mentor, the weed-smoking family gardener, Goat Man. Stepping into a world marked heavily by the legacy of his absent father, Ellis must put into perspective these two worlds and their competing influence on his identity.

The film is in post-production and will premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film was directed by Chris Neil and stars David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Ty Burell, Keri Russell and Graham Phillips.

Director / Producer: Christopher Neil
Growing up on the sets of his uncle’s (Francis Coppola) films, Chris was exposed to the passion inherent in great films and the tenacity required to make them. Chris began working with actors professionally in the mid 90s as dialogue director on Coppola’s JACK and THE RAINMAKER. He later went on to shepherd, as acting coach, both Sofia Coppola and brother Roman’s feature film debuts, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and CQ (on which he also served as 2nd Unit Director). His commanding work on those projects lead to hires on other films including MARIE ANTOINETTE, THUMBSUCKER, STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, and ADAPTATION. Chris recently wrapped work on the independent film HESHER starring Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Sony Picture’s PRIEST, and re-teamed with Sofia Coppola on her latest, SOMEWHERE. In addition to his work on feature films, Chris has also gained recognition as a commercial director, with spots for global brands including Levis, Volkswagen, and Canon.

Chris read the critically acclaimed “Goats” novel shortly after The New York Times had selected it as a Notable Book of the Year. He immediately responded to the story and recognized its strong cinematic potential. Poirier was quickly won over by Chris’ intimate understanding of the story’s underpinnings and by his conspicuous vision for the material. Chris personally optioned the novel and he and Poirier collaborated closely on the adaptation.

Writer: Mark Jude Poirier
Mark Jude Poirier is a contemporary American novelist, short fiction writer, and screenwriter whose work often is set in the Southwestern United States. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona, the fifth child in a family of eleven children.

He wrote the novels Modern Ranch Living and Goats as well as the short story collections Unsung Heroes of American Industry and Naked Pueblo. Goats and Unsung Heroes were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. With the publication of Modern Ranch Living, Poirier was named "the young American writer to watch" by the Times Literary Supplement (London). He has been the recipient of a Maytag Fellowship and a James Michener Fellowship, as well as a Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship through Paramount Pictures.