On September 14th, 2021 FOLCS proudly partnered with Focus Features to offer an advance screening of Blue Bayou. We were then joined by writer, director, and star of Blue Bayou Justin Chon, fellow cast member Mark O’Brien, and esteemed immigration lawyer Michael Wildes.
An official selection of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival from award-winning writer/director Justin Chon, Blue Bayou is the moving and timely story of a uniquely American family fighting for their future. Antonio LeBlanc (Chon) is a Korean adoptee raised in a small town in the Louisiana bayou, where he has lived now for over thirty years. He is married to the love of his life, Kathy (Alicia Vikander), and is a much beloved step-father to their daughter Jessie. Struggling to make a better life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past when he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.
Writer, Director, Producer, Actor
Justin Chon was born in Orange County, California. He most recently wrote, directed and is starring in Blue Bayou alongside Alicia Vikander for Focus Features. As a filmmaker, Chon burst onto the scene with his film Gook, in which he also starred. The film won the NEXT Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and Chon was awarded the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
His 2019 film, Ms. Purple, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and was released by Oscilloscope Laboratories. As an actor, Chon is known worldwide for playing Eric Yorkie in all five installments of the Twilight franchise.
Mark O’Brien is a rising star in both the United States and in Canada. He is the winner of the 2020 Canadian Screen Award in the category of Best Actor for his portrayal of famed Canadian hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk in the 2019 biopic Goalie. The film was directed and co-written by Adriana Maggs with O’Brien serving as an executive producer. O’Brien recently wrapped Justin Chon’s feature film Blue Bayou with Alicia Vikander.
O’Brien was previously seen in Fox Searchlight’s Ready or Not, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The film stars Samara Weaving as a newlywed who is hunted by her spouse’s family. O’Brien portrays her husband, with Adam Brody, Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell as members of his family. He recently made his directorial debut with The Righteous, a psychological horror film that he also wrote and stars in alongside Mimi Kuzyk and Henry Czerny.
Additional credits include Hammer opposite Will Patton, Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner, Noah Baumbach’s Academy Award®-nominee for Best Picture, Marriage Story, Bad Times at the El Royale opposite Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth and Jon Hamm, The Darkest Minds, How It Ends and Denis Villenueve’s Oscar-nominee for Best Picture, Arrival.
On the small screen, O’Brien can be seen in Showtime’s City on a Hill starring opposite Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge and Jonathan Tucker. His additional credits include acclaimed television shows The Last Tycoon, Republic of Doyle, Halt and Catch Fire and Hannibal.
Immigration Lawyer, Mayor of Englewood, NJ
Michael Wildes is the managing partner with the leading immigration law firm of Wildes and Weinberg, P.C. He is an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and teaches Business Immigration Law and Externship and part of the Field Clinic Faculty. He is a former federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn (1989-1993) and author of Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door (Foreword by Alan Dershowitz). Having represented the United States government in immigration proceedings, Michael Wildes is a frequent participant on professional panels and commentator on network television. He has also testified on Capitol Hill in connection with anti-terrorism legislation.
Mr. Wildes’ boutique law firm specializes exclusively in the practice of U.S. immigration and nationality law. It was established in 1960 by his father Leon Wildes whose best known accomplishment was his successful representation of John Lennon in his widely publicized deportation proceedings. More than fifty years since its inception, the firm continues to serve a distinguished domestic and international clientele and covers all areas of U.S. immigration law. Some of Michael Wildes recent clients include First Lady Melania Trump, famed artists Sarah Brightman, Lionel Richie, Boy George, many of the former Miss Universes’ as well as soccer icon Pele, master Chef Jean-Georges, and many other talented artists.
Michael Wildes is also the mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, where he resides.