Kanbar Award: Tom McCarthy | The Station Agent
Kanbar Storytelling Award
The Kanbar Storytelling Award is given each year to acknowledge the crucial role that storytelling plays in the creation of great film and television. This year, we honor writer/director/actor Tom McCarthy, recent Academy Award–winner for Spotlight. Join him for an in-depth conversation with San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan, followed by a special screening of McCarthy’s beloved directing debut.
Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Bobby Cannavale,
Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) looks forward to a life of solitude and endless solo walks along the railroad tracks when he inherits an abandoned and decrepit New Jersey train station in Tom McCarthy’s bewitching, closely observed drama. A man with dwarfism, his response to the constant stares of strangers has been to shrink from the world, except for a small group of fellow railway enthusiasts. He expects to live in isolation in his new situation, only to find himself pulled into a group of new friends, including a garrulous hotdog vendor (Bobby Cannavale), a troubled artist (Patricia Clarkson), a lonely middle-school student (Raven Goodwin) and a shy librarian (Michelle Williams), who push back against his boundaries. With his writing/directing debut, longtime actor McCarthy establishes a mastery of full-bodied characters, witty dialogue and resonant tone, as well as an affinity for outsiders, loners and tight, family-like friendships. The Station Agent represented breakthroughs for Cannavale and future Game of Thrones star Dinklage and marked future Oscar winner McCarthy as a filmmaker in complete control of his art and craft. Fin and his new friends exist in a richly detailed world, peppered with the beguiling trivia and arcane facts of Fin’s train obsession. This irresistible indie won the Sundance Film Festival’s Dramatic Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and went on to win Best First Screenplay and the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.