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Two Screenings of Feature Film by Alumnus Set for March 31

CONWAY, Ark. (March 14, 2018) – Filmmaker and Little Rock native Justin Warren ’09 returns to Hendrix College on Saturday, March 31, to present Then There was Joe, a full-length comedy feature film written, produced, directed, edited by and starring Warren, based on his own family history. Two screenings of Then There Was Joe will take place March 31, at 1 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m., in Lecture Hall A of the Mills Center for Social Sciences on the Hendrix campus. A question-and-answer panel following each showing will include Warren and other guests associated with the film.

Warren plays one of two major characters alongside the film’s co-lead, Ray Grady. Grady, a Chicago comedian and actor, is a veteran of various comedy shows including The Next Level, Season One, Martin Lawrence Presents: First Amendment Stand-Up and Comic View. Also appearing in the film are James “Butch” Warren (White Lightning, CNN Presents Black in America: The Black Man), T. Dion Burns (Drumline, Jeremy Brooks), and veteran actress and Hendrix alumna Natalie Canerday ’85 (Biloxi Blues, One False Move, Sling Blade, October Sky, Walk the Line). Butch Warren and Dr. William L. “Billy” Rutledge are executive producers of the film.

Then There Was Joe is a tale of brotherly love with a twist: An upstanding young man needs to study for the bar exam, but must babysit his wayward, legally homebound older brother instead. Will he be able to keep his sanity and keep his brother out of trouble?

Warren portrays harried law student Ben Hazelstein, who is shopping for an engagement ring for his girlfriend when he’s rudely interrupted by a breaking TV-news story: his brother Joe (Grady) being arrested for robbing a bowling alley full of birthday-partying third-graders. When Joe goes from jail to house arrest, the young men’s father, widowed Judge Roy Hazelstein (Warren’s real-life father, James “Butch” Warren), orders Ben to keep an eye on his brother as he awaits his court date. The brothers’ tangled relationship is a challenge in more ways than one.

A graduate of Hendrix College and the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts, Justin Warren wrote Then There Was Joe a year out of film school. Two producers for a major film mogul offered to option the script, but wanted to make too many changes. Warren ultimately decided to do the film himself with the goal of making a high-quality product with a low budget, a goal that, viewers will see, was fully realized.

A reception for ticket-holders will begin at 10 p.m., after the second viewing. Copies of Then There Was Joe will be available for purchase in the Mills Lobby after the show.

Student admission is free with a Hendrix ID Card, compliments of Warren and the Student Outreach Alternative Resources (SOAR) Team. General admission is $10. Both types of admission include the reception at 10 p.m. Tickets are limited to 250 attendees per viewing, and are available through Inquiries may be made through the Hendrix College Student Outreach Services office at 501-450-1330 or by email at Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, check cards and debit cards are accepted. No cash, please.

About Then There Was Joe

‒ Length: 1 hour, 42 minutes

‒ Rated R for language, adult situations

‒ Producers: Justin Warren, Heather Warren, Bethany Sias

‒ Executive producers: James M. “Butch” Warren, Dr. William L. “Billy” Rutledge

‒ Music: Jongnic Bontemps

‒ Cinematography: Charles Leisenring

‒ Selected as the first installment in the Arkansas Cinema Society’s Homegrown Film Series; screened Feb. 3 at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater.

For more information and videos about the making of the movie, visit

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit