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  • NYS Writers Institute

Special screening: New movie starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank filmed in Albany

The New York State Writers Institute and Film Albany will present a special screening and conversation with the director of the new movie The Good Mother at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 7 at the Madison Theatre in Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood.

Ticket information:

Tickets and seating for the September 7 event are extremely limited and a quick sellout is anticipated.

To purchase a ticket, please email These requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is very limited, and a quick sellout is anticipated.

People are encouraged to see the film at local movie theaters, starting on its September 1 release date. Check your local listings for dates and times.

The Good Mother movie poster

About the movie

The Good Mother is a gritty Albany story, a pulse-pounding noir thriller set at the outbreak of the opioid crisis in 2016 that was filmed in and around the city last summer.

It stars two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank as Times Union reporter Marissa Bennings, the mother of two sons, one an Albany cop and the other, Michael, a wayward young adult caught up in the drug trade. She embarks on a quest to uncover her son Michael’s killer by investigating the dangerous world of heroin trafficking with the help of Michael’s pregnant girlfriend Paige (played by Olivia Cooke).

In addition to Swank and Cooke, the film stars Jack Reynor, Hopper Penn, Norm Lewis and Karen Aldridge.

--- NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl wrote a story about the film in progress

published in the Times Union on July 6, 2022.

About the filmmakers

The film’s screenwriters, Madison Harrison and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, are boyhood pals who grew up in Albany and attended The Free School, an alternative school in Albany. Joris-Peyrafitte also directs. The film’s working title was changed from Mother’s Milk, a slang term for heroin.

"Working with this cast was, and will continue to be, undoubtedly one of the greatest highlights of my career," Joris-Peyrafitte told People magazine. “We couldn't have asked for a better group of actors or humans. This was a very small movie, shot in downtown Albany, for no money, and they made it feel like we were the biggest movie in the world."

Joris-Peyrafitte reserved special praise for Hilary Swank. “She is a genuine master of her craft with a 1,000-foot view of the whole filmmaking process," he told People. “She works so hard, doesn't compromise, and keeps everyone sharp. It was a pleasure, an education and an absolute honor to work with Hilary."

Harrison and Joris-Peyrafitte previously worked together on the movie As You Are (2016), a coming-of-age story filmed in and around Albany. Joris-Peyrafitte became one of the youngest winners at the Sundance Film Festival when As You Are, his feature film debut, won the Dramatic Special Jury Award. Joris-Peyrafitte also directed the 2019 movie Dreamland, which starred Margot Robbie, currently starring in Barbie. It was distributed in limited release by Vertical Entertainment, which also is distributing The Good Mother.

Harrison and Joris-Peyrafitte began creating short movies as youngsters at the Free School in Albany under the guidance of teacher Bhawin Suchak, co-founder and co-executive director of the award-winning film program Youth FX. It provides hands-on programming and technical expertise to youths, particularly students of color living in Albany’s underserved neighborhoods. Suchak and several of his Youth FX students worked on The Good Mother. Learn more about the program at

At the Thursday, Sept. 7 screening

Albany County Film Commissioner Debby Goedeke will present Joris-Peyrafitte with its Trailblazer Award following an audience question-and-answer session with the filmmakers after the September 7th screening at The Madison Theatre.

Goedeke leads Film Albany, a division of Discover Albany, the official film commission for Albany County. She serves as the point person in assisting film and television producers on projects filmed in the Capital Region and worked closely with the filmmakers and producers of The Good Mother in a variety of aspects related to filming in Albany.

The NYS Writers Institute is a frequent collaborator with Film Albany on its annual Albany Film Festival each spring and on other programs throughout the year.


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