Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s The Peanut Butter Falcon is a sweet, unpretentious and unexpectedly funny raft-trip movie set in a contemporary ode to Mark Twain’s south. Instead of Huck and Jim, our mismatched traveling companions are newcomer Zack Gottsagen—a fictional orphan with real-life Down syndrome—and Shia LaBoeuf, a fictional criminal with real-life arrests. Twain wrote that when “a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision, the conscience suffers defeat”; The Peanut Butter Falcon lives up to it’s master’s adage.
At the Q&A after Falcon’s SXSW premiere, the team behind the film discussed the personal growth that this film production inspired. Both onscreen and off, Gottsagen and LaBoeuf are a must-see pair: their brotherly tenderness is palpable, their sense of humor contagious. As LaBoeuf confirms, he suffered a few “bottom barrel” moments during their Falcon shoot — and credits his survival to Gottsagen, who coached him through it. You can check out the full Q and A below.