The 44th Mill Valley Film Festival will kick-off with a special pre-festival screening of the highly anticipated Universal Pictures release Dear Evan Hansen to be held Monday, September 20 at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center. This screening will be followed by an onstage conversation with the film’s star, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt, reprising his role from the Broadway sensation, and director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Wonder). Dear Evan Hansen arrives in theaters beginning September 24.
The Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Wonder), the film is written for the screen by the show’s Tony winner Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by the show’s Oscar, Grammy and Tony-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman).
Evan Hansen (Platt) is on the outside always looking in, a high-school senior who’s all but invisible to his classmates. A motivational letter Evan writes to himself is stolen by Connor Murphy (Colton Ryan, Little Voice), a volatile loner in Evan’s class, and is later found by Connor’s mother, Cynthia (six-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams), and stepfather after the boy takes his own life. The letter, they hope, means that their son had found his only friend in Evan. To console a grieving family, Evan spins a tale of a friendship that never existed.
What starts as an innocent lie of compassion spirals in ways Evan didn’t expect and isn’t prepared for. As he begins to be celebrated for someone he isn’t, Evan struggles to find the courage to tell the truth and be seen for who he truly is.
Featuring songs from the Grammy winning album, including the iconic anthem “You Will Be Found,” Dear Evan Hansen also stars Oscar winner Julianne Moore as Evan’s mother, Heidi; Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) as Connor’s sister, Zoe; Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) as Alana Beck, an ambitious classmate of Evan’s; Nik Dodani (Atypical) as Jared Kalwani, Evan’s sole confidante; and Danny Pino (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as Connor and Zoe’s stepfather, Larry Mora.
The film features two new songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul: “A Little Closer” performed by Colton Ryan and “The Anonymous Ones” performed by Amandla Stenberg, who co-wrote the lyrics and music with Pasek and Paul.
Dear Evan Hansen is produced by Marc Platt (La La Land, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns) and Adam Siegel (2 Guns, Drive) and is executive produced by Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Michael Bederman and Stacey Mindich.
Special MVFF44 Screening Monday, September 20 • 7:00 PM Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael
Tickets on sale now: $14.00 CFI Members // $16.50 General Public Advance Festival Ticket Packages and Passes on sale now – mvff.com