Writer and director Adriana Trigiani brings her best-selling novel Big Stone Gap to the screen in a heartwarming tale of family secrets and self-discovery in a tiny mountain town during the late 1970s. Shot entirely on location in the real Big Stone Gap, Trigiani’s hometown, the film is captures the joys, the tribulations and the rewards of life deep in the Appalachian Mountains.
Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) has lived her whole life in tiny Big Stone Gap, a picturesque coal-mining town nestled in the hollers of southwestern Virginia. When she’s not making deliveries from her family’s pharmacy to far-flung neighbors, Ave Maria directs the annual outdoor drama festival, keeps chaste company with her longtime beau, Theodore (John Benjamin Hickey), and exchanges good-natured barbs with local hunk Jack MacChesney (Patrick Wilson). Just as Ave Maria has resigned herself to life as a self-proclaimed “old maid,”she is caught off guard by a family secret, an unexpected marriage proposal and a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Big Stone Gap by movie legend Elizabeth Taylor. With everything she knows changing before her eyes, Ave Maria plans the adventure of a lifetime in Big Stone Gap, a homespun romantic comedy about small-town life, working people and the triumph of love.
About the Writer & Director
Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her bestselling novels including the blockbuster The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Big Stone Gap series, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia. Trigiani’s themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have brought her legions of fans who call themselves Adri-addicts (a term coined by book maven Robin Kall). Their devotion has made Adriana one of “the reigning queens of women’s fiction” (USA Today).
The New York Times calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold”, her books “tiramisu for the soul.” Her books have been translated in 36 countries around the world. Adriana has toured many of the countries, including South Africa, with annual visits to the United Kingdom.
Adriana enjoyed a fabulous run as a writer/producer in series television. She was mentored by the great Bill Persky and worked for some spectacular showrunners, including Janet Leahy, Matt Williams, Alan Zweibel and Susan Fales-Hill. She wrote 15 pilots for wonderful actors including Jasmine Guy, Raven Symone and Mario Cantone. She was a writer/producer for The Cosby Show and A Different World and executive producer and showrunner of CityKids, for ABC/Jim Henson Productions. She also wrote and executive-produced Growing UpFunny, a television special for Lifetime which garnered an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin. Adriana wrote the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Paradeand a variety of television specials and series featuring great performers, including some of her all-time favorites: Madeline Kahn, Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, Laraine Newman, Marlo Thomas and Lily Tomlin, among others.
The Origin Project was established in 2013 with Nancy Bolmeier Fisher, who serves as Executive Director of the program. TOP is an in-school writing program that brings professional authors into the classroom to work with students on their creative writing skills – specifically, stories inspired by their own family history. The organization works in concert with a pool of brilliant, local teachers to bring the students and living authors of note together to guide and inspire the students’ creative thinking and process. In the spring of 2014, the project launched at Union High School in Big Stone Gap, Virginia with the great David Baldacci as its inaugural guest speaker.