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Movie penned by Kirkwood native at STL film fest this weekend

Movie penned by Kirkwood native at STL film fest this weekend

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The audience at the St. Louis International Film Festival this weekend will be a hometown crowd, with a dedicated rooting section for Michael J. White.

Screenwriter White, a former Kirkwood resident, will be back in town this week to promote "Cancion Sin Nombre (Song Without a Name)."

The movie will be shown at 6:45 p.m. Friday and 3:15 p.m. Saturday at Plaza Frontenac Cine.

White, 42, was born and reared in Kirkwood and attended Priory High School. He left Priory after his sophomore year when his parents, Joe and Debby White, moved to Iowa. His parents since moved back to STL.

"Lot's of friends and family will be there," White said of the upcoming screenings.

Michael J. White

Michael J. White, a former Kirkwood resident who co-wrote the screenplay for a film in the 2019 Cannes Film festival (Photo by Beatriz Torresz)

White wrote the film's screenplay with Melina Leon, the film's director and co-writer. The two were classmates in the early 2000s at Columbia University.

Leon's father was a reporter for a Peruvian newspaper in the 1980s and covered the story of doctors who delivered babies from indigent women and then sold them on the black market.

The film got a big break this spring when it was included in the Cannes Film Festival and picked up positive reviews.

Variety praised the movie's "wistful, elegiac tone" and said it was styled "like the most beautiful of bad dreams."

The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film solid marks, saying it had "solid art-house distribution potential."

Even with the good press, White still is holding onto his other job — that of a bartender at the Double Windsor pub in Brooklyn, N.Y.

"I wish I could report that I've sold a script/series or gotten hired by a studio, but that hasn't happened just yet," White said.

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