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The two winners of $25,000 screenwriting prize from McKnight, radio personality Bob Yates, left, and a young Minneapolis writer named Michael Starrbury .

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

Sundance debut for Brooklyn Park's Starrbury

  • Article by: TIM CAMPBELL
  • Star Tribune
  • December 4, 2012 - 10:02 AM

The movie may be set in Brooklyn, but the writer lives in Brooklyn Park.

The Sundance Film Festival announced Monday that it will premiere "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," filmed last summer from an original script by Minnesota filmmaker Michael Starrbury.

His feature film debut, "Mister and Pete" centers on two young boys forced to fend for themselves on the street while dreaming of the glamorous life of Hollywood. The cast includes Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie and Jordin Sparks, while hitmaker Alicia Keys is an executive producer.

The father of two boys himself, Starrbury sold his story to George Tillman Jr., a veteran director who has made a career of scoring mainstream hits with African-American themes, including 1997's "Soul Food" and 2000's "Men of Honor."

Starrbury, a three-time McKnight Fellowship winner, has been working toward this "overnight success" for a few years, most recently scripting a pilot for Comedy Central ("Black Jack," starring Ving Rhames) and working on a rewrite of a pending Warner Bros. action movie.

Reached on Twitter Monday evening, he said he had "no time to celebrate. Working on a new script I'm very excited about."

His sons are keeping him busy, too. "They think that I'm just hanging out in my office at home so they come in whenever they feel like it."

Tim Campbell • 612-673-4865

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