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Vertical Entertainment Announces Release for Steve Buscemi’s Contained Helpline Volunteer Drama ‘THE LISTENER’

Vertical Entertainment has confirmed the release date for Steve Buscemi’s (Animal Factory, Interview) contained drama, starring Tessa Thompson (the Creed franchise, Annihilation) in the film’s only on-screen role.

Directed by Buscemi, from a screenplay written by Alessandro Camon (The Messenger), The Listener follows Beth, a crisis line volunteer, as she works a single night shift. Beth is one of thousands who field calls from all walks of life feeling overwhelmed every night across America. In the past year, the tide has swelled to a Tsunami. Beth comforts each caller with compassion, but the pressure mounts as the stakes rise. Will this be the night Beth loses someone? Save someone? As the shift progresses, Beth’s own story comes to light, revealing her motivations. We follow Beth as she listens, comforts and connects with callers, one conversation at a time. And, despite the challenges, she perseveres – determined to patch the world back together, one stitch at a time..

The huge ensemble voice cast is rounded out by Logan Marshall-Green (The Invitation, Upgrade), Derek Cecil (“House of Cards”), Margaret Cho (Bright, Prom Pact), Blu Del Barrio (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Ricky Velez (I Love My Dad, The King of Staten Island), Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development,” “The Old Man”), Jamie Hector (“Bosch,” “The Wire”), Casey Wilson (“Happy Endings,” Gone Girl), Bobby Soto (A Million Miles Away, Tax Collector), and Rebecca Hall (Resurrection, The Night House).

Commenting on the release, Buscemi said, “Alessandro Camon’s screenplay for The Listener resonated with me on many levels. I loved the journey our lead character Beth bravely takes each night, assessing and navigating each call, figuring out in real time how she can best be of help to the unknown voices in her ear who are in need of guidance, reassurance, sympathy, or simply to be heard.”

He added that, “Tessa Thompson’s nuanced and powerful performance as Beth is the heart of the film, and I’m grateful to her and our stellar cast of callers who provide the richness and subtleties of everyday people’s desire for connection. For me, the exquisite exchange between caller and listener is nothing short of heroic.”

The film premiered as the closing film of the Giornate Degli Autori section of the 2022 Venice International Film Festival on September 9, 2022. It also screened as part of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival Industry Selects section.

The Listener is produced by Wren Arthur, Steve Buscemi, Oren Moverman, Lauren Hantz, and Tessa Thompson and is scheduled for a day and date theatrical and VOD release this March 29, 2024.


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