A Little White Lie – comedy about a loner who is mistaken for an infamous reclusive writer
Shriver (Michael Shannon), a down-on-his-luck handyman who has never read a book in his life, is mistaken for an infamous writer that has been in hiding for over 20 years. With nothing to lose, he accepts an invitation to attend a college literary festival and finds himself surrounded by adoring fans, an English professor (Kate Hudson) who captures his heart, and others who think he’s an imposter. It all comes to a head when the real Shriver shows up to set things straight, but things aren’t as simple as that in this comical farce.
DIRECTED & WRITTEN BY:Michael Maren
STARRING: Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Zach Braff, Kate Linder, Aja Naomi King, with Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Don Johnson
Michael Maren began his film career 25 years ago at the age of 40 after spending 17 years as a journalist writing for The Village Voice, Newsweek, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine,The New Republic, and others. Most of that time he was in Africa, covering wars and famines, publishing two books including The Road To Hell, about his years in Somalia.The Road to Hell was optioned by HBO and Maren wrote the screenplay, which then turned intoassignments from Killer Films, HBO, Sony Pictures, Phoenix Films and more. In 2013 he decided to write,produce and direct one of his scripts. That became his first film, A Short History of Decay, starring Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin and Emmanuel Chriqui.A Little White Lie is his second feature.He lives in Litchfield County Connecticut with his son and wife, Dani Shapiro, whose memoir Inheritancehe as adapted for Killer Films and which will be directed by Agnieszka Holland.
I spent my first career as a journalist covering famine and war in places like Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia,and Liberia.It was journalism that brought me back to my first love, film. A book I wrote about Somalia was optioned and I was hired to write the screenplay. I was in my early 40s, had just gotten married and started a family, and it was time for me to stop living in war zones. In 2013 I wrote and directed A Short History of Decay with Bryan Greenberg and Linda Lavin. In 2014 I walked into a tiny Massachusetts bookstore and heard Chris Belden reading from his novel, Shriver, which became the source material for A Little White Lie. I optioned the book on the spot. The novel was funny and quirky but most importantly it dealt with an issue that I had become attuned to during my years of journalism: The gap between the way we are perceived in the world and the way we truly feel in our deepest selves.The sense that so many accomplished people have that they just might be imposters. A Little White Lie is set at a literary festival at a remote, struggling university where a group of writers has gathered, each of them doing their writerly best to appear as they would have the world see them,each of them convinced that literary success will bring them the satisfaction and happiness theyfervently desire. And then there’s Shriver, successful and idolized yet so plagued with imposter syndrome that he can no longer internalize the consequences of his success.I believe that there is something of Shriver in all of us, and Michael Shannon’s portrayal holds up a mirror to our own humanity; absurd, vulnerable, ultimately hopeful, and even beautiful.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.