Ithaca, N.Y. — The Sundance Film Festival will screen later this week the film adaptation of an Ithaca College assistant professor’s novel.

Ithaca Is Bluegrass Jan. 23-25

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Eleanor Henderson wrote “Ten Thousand Saints,” a coming-of-age film set in the East Village of NYC in the late 1980s.

“The novel came from my imagination alone,” Henderson said in a press release.

“With the movie, I still have that personal attachment, but I’m only one player in a much more elaborate act of storytelling. The story doesn’t just belong to me anymore. So I’m anticipating the premiere with some pride — and some anxiety — but mostly just the joy of a moviegoer. Getting to be both inside and outside that process is a pretty special privilege.”

Here’s the rest of the statement from IC:

Henderson’s debut novel was adapted for the screen and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who were previously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “American Splendor.” The cast features Ethan Hawke — just nominated himself for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Boyhood” — along with Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson and an ensemble of young actors including Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch and Avian Jogia.

The story follows three lost kids and their equally lost parents as they come of age in New York’s East Village in the era of CBGB, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Park Riot of 1988. The film was shot in and around New York City in early 2014.

Following its publication in 2011, “Ten Thousand Saints” earned glowing reviews and was included on a multitude of the year’s “best of” lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, Amazon.com, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Henderson joined the Department of Writing in the School of Humanities and Sciences in the fall of 2010 and teaches courses in creative and academic writing and historical fiction. She was the coeditor of the nonfiction collection “Labor Day: True Birth Stories by the Best Women Writers,” and her short story “The Farms” was a Pushcart Prize nominee and was selected for “The Best American Short Stories 2009.” She has served as a contributing editor at Poets & Writers and chair of the fiction board at Virginia Quarterly Review.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.