“THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES” TO BE SCREENED, WITH FILM COMMENTARY BY SCREENWRITER BEN COCCIO
NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2013
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (U.S., 2012, 140 minutes, color, directed by Derek Cianfrance), the hit independent film that was filmed in Schenectady, will be shown on Friday, November 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. Ben Coccio, who co-wrote the screenplay, will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the screening. Coccio will also hold an informal seminar on screenwriting the same day at 4:15 p.m. in the Science Library Room 340 on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of its Classic Film Series, the screening and seminar are free and open to the public.
Ben Coccio, filmmaker, screenwriter, and Niskayuna native, and Derek Cianfrance, award-winning film director, collaborated on this emotional and powerful drama that was filmed in Schenectady. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES is the story of Luke, a travelling motorcycle stuntman (Ryan Gosling) who resettles in Schenectady after discovering that he is the father of a child with his former hometown girlfriend (Eva Mendes). To support his son, Luke turns to robbing banks, which pits him against an ambitious rookie cop, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper). The consequences of their eventual confrontation will reach into the next generation. Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper said, “An outstanding supporting cast and an immensely talented creative team [have] put together a film that touches greatness.... not a single element is timid or safe.”
The film was shot on location in Schenectady at, among other locales, the Schenectady Police Department, Schenectady City Hall, First National Bank of Scotia, Trustco Bank, Ellis Hospital, the Route 7 Diner, Schenectady High School, and the Altamont Fair. Ben Coccio studied film at the Rhode Island School of Design. Following graduation, he wrote and directed the short film 5:45 A.M., which was showcased at the London International Film Festival and subsequently received a theatrical release.
Zero Day, his award-winning first feature as director, which he wrote with his brother Christopher, was a controversial (the subject is a high school shooting) hit on the festival circuit and played theatrically in domestic release. The film, on which he was also a producer and editor, won the top prize and/or audience award at the Florida Film Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival, among others, and brought him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the “Someone to Watch” prize.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.