The film follows Josh (breakout performance from 14-year-old actor Luca Oriel), a baseball-loving, mixed-race teen preparing for his Bar Mitzvah who spends a formative summer dealing with the influence of his mother’s new boyfriend, Byrd (played with sizzling intensity by co-producer Andre Royo, from HBO’s series “The Wire”).
Byrd is charismatic and fun, and his influence on Josh, who has been often neglected by his exhausted, disappointed mother, Debbie, is immense. But Byrd is also a manipulative alcoholic; he pushes Josh to practice ball to the point of exhaustion, thinking of a big payday if the kid turns out to have any real talent. Eventually the strain of Byrd’s nowhere motor-mouth takes its toll, and Josh learns that becoming a man is about more than learning how to recite the Haftarah.
Kino Lorber Vice President Elizabeth Sheldon adds, “Kino Lorber is proud to be releasing first-time director Jesse Quinones’ feature film, Calloused Hands. Fans of Andre Royo will find him as compelling as ever in the lead role of this coming-of-age drama that blends Latino, Jewish and sports themes.” The deal was negotiated by Elizabeth Sheldon and Paula Crickard, producer for Woolfcub Productions.
The film is slated for a 10-city theatrical release to be followed by a TV, digital and DVD roll-out later this year. —Tatyana Chiocchetti