P.J. Palmer’s NORTH STAR starring Colman Domingo and Malcolm Gets is playing at Outfest and has been selected by four Oscar-qualifying film festivals

By Oliver Carnay

Writer/Director P.J. Palmer’s touching short film NORTH STAR has been selected for high-profile film festivals, having only just begun the festival circuit it has already been selected by fourteen film festivals, including four Oscar-qualifiers.  The film shares the story of a same-gender couple who stand by their marriage vows and stay loyal in the face of adversity.

Palmer tells the story of a middle-aged, same-sex couple living in rural America. SAG Nominee Colman Domingo (LINCOLN, EUPHORIA, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD) plays James, a patriotic man, a good partner and a hardworking rancher with his husband, Craig, played by Tony Award Nominee Malcolm Gets (CAROLINE IN THE CITY, GREY GARDENS) who is dying at home. Craig’s sister, Erin, played by SAG Award Winner Audrey Wasilewski (MAD MEN, BIG LOVE), arrives unannounced to take her brother to spend his last days with his “real” family. While televangelists, played by SAG Award Winner Laura Innes (ER, DEEP IMPACT) and Golden Globe Winner Kevin Bacon (FOOTLOOSE, MYSTIC RIVER), push shame, fear, and division as the cornerstones of faith. Chris Sheffield (THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND, THE MAZE RUNNER) rounds out the cast as Mike, who arrives to help James make a heart-breaking sacrifice.

P.J. Palmer is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, and alumni of the Edinburgh Film Festival Director’s Lab and the Artist-in-Residency project with the National Steinbeck Centre. He has written/directed several documentaries including THE GRAPES OF WRATH: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY. His narrative projects include GHOSTED LIFE, a drama series he created of short-form stories set in New York. His spec historical drama pilot script, BACK ON CANNERY ROW, continues to win awards and was rated an 8 on the Blacklist (top 5% of scripts). Palmer is also the series producer on the ground-breaking, critically acclaimed and multiple award-winning LGBTQ+ drama series, ANYONE BUT ME, which has 4 seasons on Amazon Prime.

NORTH STAR is produced by Ryan Haffey and Emily Palmer. Haffey is an award-winning producer, director and writer, his credits include BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE and a documentary on THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Palmer is the Director of the Discovery+ flagship series HOMEGROWN. Emily directs, produces, and manages productions for global brands including APPLE MUSIC, ADIDAS and MAILCHIMP.

The stunning cinematography was created by Ernesto Lomeli (prologue on Guillermo Del Torro’s PACIFIC RIM, title sequence on Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK)] and Executive Produced by Andrew Carlberg (Academy Winner SKIN, Academy Nominee FEELING THROUGH).

NORTH STAR won the Programmer’s Choice Award at Cleveland International Film Festival, and also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short at San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, won the Best Short Award at Hill Country Film Festival and well as the Best Actor Award for Colman Domingo.

NORTHSTAR is playing on Saturday, July 16th at 4:00 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America – Theater 2 under the Shorts Program: COME TO MY WINDOW and will also be available from July 17, 8:00 a.m. until July 19, 8:00 a.m. via online streaming.

For more details about the festival and tickets, please go to www.outfestla.org.