Sundance Picks Up "Spooner" Director Drake Doremus' Film "Douchebag"

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Photo by Matt Coker
Drake Doremus at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival party for filmmakers.
Drake Doremus, the former Santa Ana resident whose comedy Spooner scooped up several awards on the festival circuit, just learned his newest film will make its world premiere at Sundance.

Douchebag--which Doremus directed and co-wrote with his Spooner writing partners Lindsay Stidham and Jonathan Schwartz and that film's editor Andrew Dickler--is one of 16 films entered in the dramatic competition at Robert Redford's Park City, Utah, festival, which runs Jan. 21-31, 2010.

The film faces stiff competition from the likes of Spencer Susser's Hesher, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson and Piper Laurie; Kevin Tyler Asch's Holy Rollers with Jesse Eisenberg; Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's story of the young Allen Ginsberg, Howl, with James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels; Jake Scott's Welcome to the Rileys starring James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart and Melissa Leo; and actor Mark Ruffalo's directing debut Sympathy for Delicious with Orlando Bloom, Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis and Laura Linney. All are also making their world premieres at Sundance.

Douchebag tells the story of Sam Nussbaum, who on the verge of getting married insists he escort his younger brother, Tom, on a wild goose chase of a journey to find Tom's fifth grade girlfriend. The film stars Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius, Amy Ferguson and Reno 911's Wendi McClendon-Covey, who was hilarious is her short but tart Spooner scenes as a boozy blind date for the title character played by Matthew Lillard (formerly of Tustin). Jones and Ferguson also appeared in Spooner.

During a fortuitous interview with the Weekly at last April's Newport Beach Film Festival, where Doremus was antsy the day before Spooner filled the Lido Theatre, the director explained what prompted him to cast his editor, Dickler, as the lead in his next project: "We were working together for six months and I said, 'You're fucking funny. We've got make a film with you.'"

That he did, the Sundance nominating board apparently liked what it saw and don't be surprised if Doremus manages to sneak past his better-known competitors when the judges' ballots are counted for Douchebag. Last month, Spooner won the Best Narrative Feature at the Lone Star International Film Festival in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. It was the fifth festival circuit award (including one at Newport) this year for the tiny film.
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