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Olivia Cooke is Turning Tricks in Wayne Roberts’ “Katie Says Goodbye”

She’s among the fresh faced talents that will have spilled over into the mainstream/indiestream after an attention grabbing perf at Sundance ’15 with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Olivia Cooke will topline, while James White‘s Christopher Abbott, veterans Mireille Enos, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen will take on supporting player roles in Katie Says Goodbye —– the directorial debut from Wayne Roberts. THR reports that Borderline Films’ Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos and Josh Mond are exec producing and reteaming with James White producers Jacob Wasserman and Relic Pictures’ Eric Schultz (The Preppie Connection), alongside Kimberly Parker (The Adderall Diaries) and Carlo Sirtori. Moments away from lensing in New Mexico, Cinematographer Paula Huidobro (Paul Bettany’s Shelter) is also on board.

Gist: In hopes of leaving her small Arizona town, a 17 year-old waitress (Cooke) attempts to overcome the hardships of poverty by prostituting herself in order to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco. Abbott will play Cooke’s mechanic love interest while Enos is Cooke’s mother, a woman with no mom instincts whatsoever. Belushi plays one of Cooke’s clients and Steenburgen is the owner of the diner where Cooke works.

Worth Noting: A little digging on the internets and we found out that Roberts’ screenplay was included in the Blacklist’s weekly top read scripts and is being described as a blend of coming-of-ager, a modern Western and the first part of a possible trilogy.

Do We Care?: Rarely boarding projects that they don’t direct, I’m imagining that the discerning taste bud trio at Borderline Films see loads of potential in this debut. With talents Cooke and Abbott onboard, Wayne Roberts is easily a new talent to watch out for in 2016.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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