This past weekend marked the world premiere of HBO’s upcoming documentary “Every Brilliant Thing.” Our fearless leaders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey were in attendance at the exciting, annual, DOC NYC festival that started last Thursday (and will continue until this Thursday) with a diverse line-up of films. The film was embraced by the big apple audience which followed with a Q&A from Randy and Fenton.
Check it out:
After a tough election week, it’s nice to see art, joy, and laughter come together.
Imagine being only seven years old when your mother attempts suicide. Meet Jonny Donahoe whom begins alist of “brilliant things” worth living for, from “things with stripes” to “water fights.” As he gets older, the list evolves, following Jonny through suicide attempts by his mother as well as turning moments in his life. Emmy Award® winners Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey – also on DOC NYC’s Short List with Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures- direct this filmed version of Donahoe’s acclaimed and life-affirming show.
Coming into the holiday season, when many reflect on what they are most grateful for, EVERY BRILLIANT THING strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. Adapting the hit off-Broadway one-character show of the same name written by Duncan Macmillan and starring British comedian Jonny Donahoe, this deeply poignant film recounts a life lived in the shadow of suicide.
Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (HBO’s “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” and “Wishful Drinking”) produce and direct the heart-wrenching yet humorous presentation, which debuts MONDAY, DEC. 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
The documentary has its world premiere at Doc NYC, tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 12 at 3:15 p.m. (ET) at the IFC Center in New York City.
This unique film is about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. In this acclaimed show, a young boy attempts to cure his mother’s depression by creating a list of the best things in the world. The list grows as he progresses from childhood (“Ice Cream”) and adolescence (“Star Trek”), to college (“Surprises”) and marriage (“Falling in Love”). But when life deals a bitter blow, the list proves to be helpful to the son in ways that it could never be for the mother.
Filmed in 2015 at New York City’s Barrow Theatre, EVERY BRILLIANT THING opens as Donahoe greets the arriving audience with hand-written notes instructing them to participate when called upon. He then proceeds to tell a story spanning nearly three decades and several life-changing events, starting with a young boy’s eye-opening first brush with death (his childhood dog), evoking laughter and tears in equal measure. Donahoe charms spectators into acting opposite him in various roles – a veterinarian, his father, his college lecturer, his fiancée – fostering an intimate sense of community through comic dialogues.
Read more about the successful Off-Broadway play turned documentary here.