Award Winning Writer/Director Jesse James Miller Unveils Feature Documentary “The Good Son” at The Hamptons International Film Festival. Jesse also recently wrote the feature “Becoming Redwood”, which will be screening at VIFF October 11th & 12th.
2012-Multi-award winning writer/director, Jesse James Miller is sparking audience attention with his new feature documentary “The Good Son” (featuring entertainment industry legends Mickey Rourke, Ed O’Neill, Sugar Ray Leonard and Ray Mancini). Working as a writer and director over the past 15 years, Jesse’s labour of love documentary contains plenty of heart; focusing particularly on the resilience and spirit of protagonist Ray Mancini. “The Good Son”, based on a true story about heartbreak and inspiration between a father and son will tug at the heartstrings of captive audiences everywhere.
“The Good Son” follows Ray Mancini, son of the original Boom Boom lightweight contender Lenny Mancini. A national icon in the sport of boxing Ray competes to represent middle class America but most of all, fights to conquer his father’s unfinished business. Lenny’s dreams ended on a battlefield, when fragments from a German mortar shell nearly killed him. Almost four decades later, Ray promises to win the title his father failed to achieve. “The Good Son” focuses on real life perspectives and accounts, detailing the highs and lows of Ray’s boxing career. The documentary discusses a match in 1982 against obscure Korean challenger, Deuk Koo Kim that would alter Ray’s path in life forever. Challenger Deuk Koo Kim never regained consciousness after the fourteenth round and passed away days after the match. Three months later, Deuk’s despondent mother took her own life. These deaths have not only haunted Ray but also tainted his image as an all American boxer.
“The Good Son” uncovers the dimensions of Mancini’s ill-fated career, tracking the Mancini and Kim families across generations and excavating mysteries—from the killing of Mancini’s brother to the fate of Kim’s son. Even as the scenes move from Youngstown to New York, Las Vegas to Seoul, Reno to Hollywood, “The Good Son” remains an intimate history; a saga of fathers and fighters, loss and redemption.
As a director, Jesse poses determination, resilience and passion, qualities that transpire into his work behind the camera. Coming from a family immersed in the arts, Jesse always dreamed of someday becoming a writer. As a child, Jesse was in tune with his creative genes and began writing plays, scripts, songs and poems. Writing was a creative outlet for Jesse that fed his imaginative mind, yet he knew that before he could direct his own film, he would need to learn the ins and outs of the film industry.
While Jesse perfected the art of editing, he also wrote a script titled “Becoming Redwood”. Set in 1969, this film follows the life of Redwood Forest Hanson, who at the age of 2, witnesses his family disintegrate as his mother leaves his father for a new life. At the very moment his mother walks away, Redwood, aided with the background radio news of another Jack Nicklaus victory, has the beginning of a stress induced epiphany: Beat Jack Nicklaus, the world’s greatest golfer, and his family will be back together. This bittersweet film focuses on Redwood`s longing to triumph over the adversities of everyday life. With no easy solutions in this coming-of-age comedy, a sense of hope still prevails for Redwood: a hope for love, a hope for the future, and for a sense of amity in the unsympathetic wheel of life. Recently, “Becoming Redwood” earned the Juried Award for best Canadian film at the Edmonton International Film Festival. “Becoming Redwood” stars Ryan Grantham, Jennifer Copping, Scott Hylands, Derek Hamilton and Chad Willet and is currently screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Jesse recently wrote and directed the award winning documentary film My American Exodus (VIFF, OIFF, DOC CITY DOCFEST) and was nominated as Best Director for the critically acclaimed feature documentary Uganda Rising (HotDocs, Discovery Times). Also, he directed the feature film The Seamstress (Lance Hendriksen), helmed the pilot presentation piece Captain Starship (Paul McGillion) and is currently directing commercials for Lancaster Vintage (featuring Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee). Jesse credits his family for inspiring him to follow his dreams of becoming a writer and director. He currently resides with his wife and son in Vancouver.
“The Good Son” is set to premiere at The Hamptons International Film Festival on October 6th 2012. It will also play at the Philadelphia film festival on November 19th, 21st and 24th 2012. “Becoming Redwood” is screening at VIFF on October 11 & 12th.
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