Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy Hits the Big Screen

September, 11, 2008, by Acree

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A recent film adaptation of Jim Grimsley’s novel, Dream Boy, will soon bring the dirty South to theaters nationwide. Since growing up in Pollocksville, North Carolina, and earning a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, author Jim Grimsley has became an award-winning novelist and playwright.

Much of his work unveils the dark world of family, continuing the tradition of Southern Gothic writers like Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner by overturning the porch-rockin’, church-goin’, sweet tea-drinkin’ south and exposing its dark and seedy underbelly.

However, Grimsley departs from his famous predecessors when he applies his bold and delicate voice to matters of homosexuality. His 1995 novel, Dream Boy, was awarded the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award, one of the first awards created for LGBT books. Dream Boy, a love story, deals with a shy adolescent male who attempts to escape domestic abuse by developing a relationship with the boy next door.

Director James Bolton (The Graffiti Artist) has now adapted Grimsley’s novel into a feature film soon to hit theaters nationwide. Earlier this year, Dream Boy premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival (a.k.a. Berlinale) to high acclaim. Dark and sad, beautifully shot and tenderly acted, Dream Boy made its American debut this spring at Emory University (where Grimsley teaches Creative Writing), then traveled to Los Angeles’s Outfest, where it won Best Screenplay.

Dream Boy is currently in the last stages of negotiation with a major distributor. (Lips are sealed until the ink is dry.) So keep your eyes open. We can expect a widespread release at mainstream theaters in the next few months.

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