“Jack London’s Martin Eden” to Play July 1st

GREENSBORO – Jay Craven’s new independent narrative feature film, “Jack London’s Martin Eden,” will play a special Greensboro date, 7 p.m., Friday, July 1. Director Craven will introduce the screening and lead post-film discussion.

“Jack London’s Martin Eden” received its world premiere at the Nantucket Film Festival and has won Best Film and Best Director awards at the Boston Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at the Arlington International Film Festival. Other festival dates include The Woods Hole Film Festival St. Louis International Film Festival, Sonoma International Film Festival, Berkshire International Film Festival and a special screening at the biennial symposium for Jack London scholars.

The film is based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel, “Martin Eden.” Set in 1909, it tells the story of a poor and unschooled sailor who unexpectedly meets Ruth Morse, a magnetic young woman of means and education. Their unconventional attraction upends both lives.

Jack London was America’s most popular writer at the turn of the 20th century, having written stories including “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang.” His novel, “Martin Eden,” inspired Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag and Upton Sinclair, among others. Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello recently made another adaptation of the story that has been well received. “We were surprised to see an Italian version being made simultaneously,” Craven noted. “Although I like Marcello’s stylistic approach and it gives audiences a chance to compare notes on both films and dig deeper into the story and its cultural context.”

“Martin Eden’s” cast includes Andrew Richardson in the title role and Hayley Griffith and Annet Mahendru as Ruth Morse and Lizzie Connolly, respectively. Richardson trained at Carnegie Mellon and London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Royal Academy of Dance. His credits include eight film and television productions along with theatrical stagings of “Taming of the Shrew” and “Othello.”

Annet Mahendru is best known for her co-starring role as Nina Krilova, the U.S. Russian embassy operative who has a love affair with FBI agent, Stan Beeman, in the long-running Emmy-winning series, “The Americans.” She also co-starred as Elena Evanovich in the Amazon series, “The Romanoffs.”

Hayley Griffth’s credits include “Law and Order” and “Bull.” Other supporting actors Missy Yager (“Mad Men,” “Manchester by the Sea”), Grainger Hines (”Lincoln,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”), Phil McGlaston (Broadway’s “Little Foxes,” Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold and the Boys,” August Wilson’s “Fences”), Michael Benz (“Downton Abbey,” “Joker”), Jo Armeniox (“Boardwalk Empire”), Ken Wulf Clark (“House of Cards”) and Rebecca Faulkenberry (co-star of “Spiderman” on Broadway).

“Jack London’s Martin Eden” was produced through director Craven’s Semester Cinema program, hosted for this iteration at Sarah Lawrence College. Twenty-eight professionals mentored and collaborated with 35 students to make the film. For more information go to highlandartsvt.org or contact Jay Craven at jcraven1590@gmail.com