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FTMA Talk Back Series: Sean Penn’s THE INDIAN RUNNER (1991) with Q&A


STARRING: David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Valeria Golino



Part 1 of “He Directed What?”

Co-presented by Sacred Heart University

Post-film Q&A with Professor Justin Liberman

Sean Penn's debut film as director (he also wrote the script, based on the Bruce Springsteen song "Highway Patrolman") is a story about two brothers -- one peaceful, the other violent and aggressive -- whose natures, left unchecked since they were children, are brought to the boiling point as they head toward middle-age. Joe, the quiet brother, is a deputy sheriff in a small town. His older brother Frank shows up on Joe's doorsteps, after a run-in with the police. Frank tells Joe that he is coming back home to stay and that he has given up his criminal life. Joe’s wife Maria is skeptical, but Joe wants to help Frank get his life back together. Frank has almost convinced himself that his future holds real promise and he's ready to start a new life with his pregnant girlfriend Dorothy, but once again, his violent temper explodes, leaving everyone wondering if he’ll ever have a future.

JUSTIN LIBERMAN was a directing fellow at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. His award winning films have played in many international film festivals, museums, and galleries. He has worked under Michael Mann (HEAT, THE INSIDER), David Mamet (HOUSE OF GAMES, SPARTAN), and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) and as a commercial director he has worked with American Express, ESPN, and General Mills.

The Film and Television Masters program (FTMA) at Sacred Heart University is a one –year conservatory dedicated to the art of storytelling. Students engage in dynamic classroom workshops and lectures focusing on directing, screenwriting, producing, and new media arts. Based in Stamford, FTMA draws from talent and resources in the area and neighboring New York City. Each student produces a cinematic portfolio and rounds out their experience with industry internships. For more information please visit




RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes










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