Writer and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez will premiere his second feature film at the Sundance Film Festival this coming Saturday. The Cuban-American director’s latest film “C.O.G.” is the first movie ever produced based on a David Sedaris essay, with his permission.
Hollywood had been knocking on Sedaris’s door for years, and he’d always turned suitors away. But Alvarez, whose promising first film, Easier with Practice, was based on a 2006 GQ article by another public-radio raconteur Davy Rothbart, took a more personal approach: he went to a Sedaris book signing. “I waited in line with everyone for him to sign my book after he read,” says Alvarez. “I tried not to be aggressive, but I gave him the a copy of my first film and said there were some things I’d like to talk to him about. I was incredibly anxious about it, but fortunately, he really liked the movie.”
They began exchanging emails, with Sedaris asking Alvarez why he specifically wanted “C.O.G.” — which stands for Child Of God — an essay from Naked, Sedaris’s best-selling 1997 collection. “It’s not like I went through every Sedaris story and tried to find the one to make into a movie,” says the 29-year-old, who also wrote the screenplay. “I liked this story. Had he not written it, and it was another writer, I would still have been incredibly interested and tried to make it into a film. There’s a coming-of-age aspect to it that I felt was really unique and particular.”
Sedaris has yet to see the film. He’ll see it for the first time at the Sundance premiere this coming Saturday.
“C.O.G.” will premiere at Sundance on January 20th, 2013. All five screenings of his film are sold out online and only have “wait-list only” availability.