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ITHACA, NY — The film adaptation of “Ten Thousand Saints,” the critically acclaimed debut novel by Ithaca College associate professor of writing Eleanor Henderson, will open in selected cities on Friday, August 14, and in wider release the following week.

The Ithaca premiere will take place on Aug. 14 with a 7 p.m. showing atCinemapolis, 120 E. Green St. Henderson will hold an audience talk-back along with Cinemapolis executive director Brett Bossard after the screening and sign copies of her book (Buffalo Street Books will be there to sell copies of the movie tie-in edition). A party at Lot 10 Bar and Lounge at 106 S. Cayuga St. will follow.

Eleanor Henderson, courtesy of her author page

Henderson’s coming-of-age story was adapted for the screen and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “American Splendor.” The cast features Ethan Hawke — nominated himself for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Boyhood” and “Training Day” — and an ensemble of young actors including Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch and Avian Jogia.

“Ten Thousand Saints” had its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival, an annual showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers that has served as a launching pad for movies ranging from “Reservoir Dogs” to “Little Miss Sunshine.”

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.

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Film critic Katie Walsh calls the film “an instant winner” that wraps the audience up in its fully realized world. “Though it’s dealing with difficult subject matter, the film teems with life throughout every funny, bittersweet, and wild moment,” she wrote, “slapping a smile on your face that won’t go away and you don’t know why.”

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,, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Henderson is currently working on her second novel, “The Twelve-Mile Straight,” an American epic about race, inequality and heredity set in rural Georgia during the years of Prohibition and the Great Depression.

She joined the Department of Writing in the School of Humanities and Sciences in 2010. In addition to teaching courses in creative and academic writing and historical fiction, she directs the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series and Ithaca Writers Institute (a summer program for high school students), and co-directs the New Voices Festival (a celebration of emerging writers).

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