LITTLE ROCK, AR – Then There Was Joe, a full-length, comedy feature film written, produced, directed, edited and starring Little Rock native Justin Warren and based on Warren’s own family history, will be the first film showcased by the Arkansas Cinema Society’s new Homegrown Film Series. The series was created to give Arkansas filmmakers a venue, and a voice, in their home communities.
A screening of Then There Was Joe will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave. in Little Rock, A question-and-answer panel following the film will include Warren and the film’s co-lead, Ray Grady. Grady, a Chicago comedian and actor, is a veteran of various comedy shows including The Next Level, Season One; Martin Lawrence Presents: First Amendment Stand-Up and Comic View.
Also starring in the film is James “Butch” Warren (White Lightning, CNN Presents Black in America: The Black Man) and T. Dion Burns (Drumline, Jeremy Brooks) as well as veteran actress Natalie Canerday (Biloxi Blues, One False Move, Sling Blade, October Sky, Walk the Line). Butch Warren and Dr. William L. "Billy" Rutledge are executive producers of the film.
After the screening and discussion, an afterparty will start up at 9:30 at the nearby Stickyz Rock “N” Roll Chicken Shack.
Admission, $12, includes food, wine and beer. Tickets are available at Arkansascinemasociety.org/events.
Then There Was Joe is a tale of brotherly love with a twist: An upstanding young man needs to study for the bar exam, but must babysit his wayward, legally homebound older brother instead. Will he be able to keep his sanity and keep his brother out of trouble?
Warren portrays harried law student Ben Hazelstein, who is shopping for an engagement ring for his girlfriend when he’s rudely interrupted by a breaking TV-news story: brother Joe (Grady) has been arrested for robbing a bowling alley full of birthday-partying third-graders! When Joe goes from jail to house arrest, the young men’s father, the widowed Judge Roy Hazelstein (Warren’s real-life father, James “Butch” Warren) orders Ben to keep an eye on his brother as he awaits his court date. The brothers’ tangled relationship plays out hilariously.
A graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts, Justin Warren wrote Then There Was Joe a year out of film school. Two producers for a major film mogul wanted to option the script, but wanted to make too many changes. Warren ultimately decided to do the film himself with the goal of making a high-quality product with a low budget, a goal that, viewers will see, was fully realized.
About the Movie:
• One hour 42 minutes
• Rated R for language, adult situations
• Producers: Justin Warren, Heather Warren, Bethany Sias
• Executive producers: James M. “Butch” Warren, Dr. William L. “Billy” Rutledge
• Music: Jongnic Bontemps
• Cinematography: Charles Leisenring
For more information and videos about the making of the movie, see Thentherewasjoe.com.
For those who want to purchase a copy of Then There Was Joe after the premiere, prepaid orders of the movie will soon be available in Blue Ray, DVD, and digital download through Thentherewasjoe.com.