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Private school alumnus writes screenplay

Watkinson School Alumnus Writes Screenplay for Film Starring Paul Giamatti

Watkinson School alumnus and Connecticut native David Hemingson ’82, the 2012 recipient of Watkinson’s Lifetime Achievement Award, has written the screenplay for The Holdovers, a film directed by Alexander Payne and starring Paul Giamatti. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Hemingson admitted that much of the film was inspired by his own life, specifically his time at Watkinson. The film will be released in the U.S. on November 10, with a limited release in NY and LA on October 27. 

An early New York Post review praises The Holdovers as, “The year’s warmest movie…With a screenplay by David Hemingson, Payne’s film is as much about two hurting adults as it is about an intelligent, rebellious student named Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa)….The Holdovers,” a likely Best Picture Oscar nominee, never loses hold of its audience.” The film was also praised in a recent New York Times review and Hemingson the focus of a feature story in Vanity Fair. The film was the audience favorite at the Telluride Film Festival.

Head of School Teri Schrader, who began teaching at Watkinson just after Hemingson graduated, recalls, “Nobody who taught David during his Watkinson years is surprised at his success because he was an exceptional writer at 17 years old.  It’s so wonderful that he stays connected to the Watkinson community. David’s career has taken him all over the world, but he’s never been far from Watkinson School and the school has never been far from his heart. Since 1982, every single conversation I have had with David has evinced his absolute love of Watkinson. Sometimes recent grads aren’t all that cognizant of loving their school; David’s been clear about that and about the fact that being at Watkinson gave him a place to be himself at the age most kids need a place for just that. It’s particularly lovely that his latest work is a bit of an homage to his time here.”

David admits, ““There just may be a couple of Watkinson Easter eggs in the film.” He invites the Watkinson community to see if they can spot them!

David’s body of work includes producing and writing for Whiskey Cavalier (2019), Kitchen Confidential (2005), Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (2012) and Just Shoot Me! (1997).

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