Film Based on Leah Hager Cohen’s Novel ‘Grief of Others’ to Premiere at SXSW Festival

The 10 must-see movies of SXSW 2015.

The film follows a family struggling with a tragic loss when an unexpected visitor arrives. She stirs the pain of past betrayals but might also offer an unforeseen gift: a way out of their isolating grief. The cast includes Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), Wendy Moniz and Trevor St. John (“One Life to Live”); and is directed by Patrick Wang, whose first film, “In the Family,” was nominated for the 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

“I’m thrilled for Patrick Wang, the filmmaker, to be receiving this recognition. He's deeply attentive to making art that has integrity of vision, regardless of its commercial viability, which makes it harder but also that much more rewarding when his work is valued,” says Cohen of the premiere.

And believe it or not – Cohen’s first time seeing the film will be with the audience at the SXSW premiere. The film was shot in Cohen’s hometown of Nyack, N.Y.,  and rumor has it her father is an extra in the film.

The film will be screened Sunday, March 15 at 9:15 p.m. at the Alamo Ritz; Monday, March 16 at 2 p.m. at the Rollins Theatre at The Long Center; and on Thursday, March 19 at 12 p.m. in the Alamo Lamar C.  Cohen will also be doing a book signing on Monday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m. at the SX Bookstore in the Austin Convention Center.

“The Grief of Others,” was long-listed for the Orange Prize; selected as a New York Times Notable Book; and named one of the best books of the year by The San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus Reviews, and Globe and Mail.

Cohen was appointed Distinguished Writer in Residence at the College in July, 2014. Prior, Cohen served as the Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters at the College for five years.  Her responsibilities include teaching two classes per year, advising and mentoring students in the Creative Writing Concentration, and contributing to the overall literary life of the College.

Cohen is the author of five novels including her most recent “No Book but the World” (Riverhead 2014), which received rave reviews from People Magazine, Kirkus Review, BookPage, and Vogue. She is also the author of five nonfiction titles, including “Train Go Sorry” and “I Don’t Know.” She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review.

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