Arts & Culture

Serenbe on the Big (Streaming) Screen

Doctor Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos.

Are you currently looking for something new to watch? Tired of those same comfort shows on Netflix or Amazon? Well, there’s a new movie out, and those of you who have visited Serenbe may recognize the background setting for many of the scenes. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, based on the young adult novel by Evan Roskos, filmed at Serenbe a few years ago and we love seeing the community streaming on the “big screen”. Way back in the before times, our good friend and producer Peter Glatzer created a video of Steve Nygren, Serenbe Founder, to tell a deeper story about how the community is the future of development. He brought along his friend, Yaniv Raz, who needed a writing getaway from Los Angeles. Yaniv’s time at Serenbe inspired him, and when it was time to shoot Dr. Bird, he knew it would be a great backdrop for many of the scenes.  Oh, and the Georgia Film Tax Credits probably also helped. Fast forward and the film is now available anywhere you can stream content.

Here’s the film’s synopsis, straight from the website: “Sixteen-year-old James Whitman played by Lucas Jade Zumann (20th Century Women, Anne With An ‘E’), struggles to overcome anxiety and depression by seeking advice from Dr. Bird voiced by Tom Wilkinson (The Grand Budapest Hotel). In his magical realism inspired world, James goes on a whimsical, but emotionally charged search to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his sister, after an altercation with their parents depicted by Lisa Edelstein (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, The Kominsky Method), and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Star Trek: Discovery).

While James (Zumann) struggles to connect with his parents, he deals with the intense social anxiety of high school life while navigating first love with Sophie, portrayed by Taylor Russell (Lost in Space, Waves) - a precocious girl from school who has her own agenda and a boyfriend Martin that hasn’t quite learned to let go of her, brought to life by Chase Stokes (Outer Banks). Our two lovestruck teens set out on a quest to find Jorie, finding themselves in what appears to be a cult of sorts, led by David Arquette (Scream series) as Xavier, and into the under belly of NYC nightlife that makes James question every relationship in his life.”

From a recent interview about the film with the book’s author, Evan Roskos, “What remains intact is the sensitive treatment of mental health issues among young people, something that was non-negotiable for Roskos. He feels the book was well received by teens because it wasn’t afraid to examine complex issues like anxiety and depression without trying to solve them. When James accepts help – from friends, from an actual therapist – it signals to young people that it’s OK to need support.”

Dr. Bird is proud to partner with Bring Change to Mind supporting the important and common goal of ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.

Watch the movie and let us know any other Serenbe scenes, plus locations in nearby Newnan, that catch your eye. Movie trailer here.

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets
Rated R for language, themes, sexuality. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. Rent or buy on Amazon, Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.

Directed by | Yaniv Raz

Written by | Yaniv Raz, based on Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

Executive Produced by | Gareth West, Artur Galstian, Vahan Yepremyan, Chris LeDoux, Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard, Phillip Kim

Produced by | Shona Tuckman, Josh Bachove

Cast | Lucas Jade Zumann, Taylor Russell, Jason Isaacs, Lisa Edelstein, David Arquette, Tom Wilkinson, Chase Stokes

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