Big names expected to appear at TIFF for John Sayles director’s tribute

A tribute to indie icon and screenwriter/director John Sayles at the 48th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November 16-25) will bring the director and writer to the northern Greek city next month to attend the premiere of his latest film, «Honeydripper,» along with actor Danny Glover, and to present a master class in directing on Friday, November 23. The tribute will also bring Maggie Renzi, Sayles’s longtime creative partner, in life and in art, Chris Cooper, star of Sayles’s hit «Lone Star» (1996), as well as David Strathairn, a close friend of Sayles’s and an actor in his debut «Return of the Secaucus 7» (1980). Sayles, who has penned his own screenplays or worked with other writers on such diverse genres as horror («Piranha,» «The Howling» and «Alligator»), sci-fi thrillers («Battle Beyond the Stars»), dramas («Lianna»), sports dramas («Eight Men Out»), western («The Quick and the Dead»), historical thriller («Apollo 13»), action («Men of War»), monster flick («Mimic»), romance, historical epic, and animated features. In «Honeydripper,» Sayles travels to 1950s Alabama to trace the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, through the story of a juke joint owner (Tyrone «Pine Top» Purvis, played by Glover), who tries to save his business. The cast further includes Charles Dutton, Stacey Keach, LisaGay Hamilton, Mary Steenbergen, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Kel Mitchell, Yaya DaCosta, R&B legend Mabel John, singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’ and Austin guitar sensation Gary Clark Jr. The movie, like most of his projects, is independently financed.