- Bart Layton nominated for Heterodox Award
Lexington, Kentucky, 2004: Spencer and Warren dream of remarkable lives beyond their middle-class suburban existence. They head off to colleges in the same town, haunted by the fear they may never be special in any way. Spencer is given a tour of his school’s incredibly valuable rare book collection and describes it all to Warren. Suddenly, it hits them—they could pull off one of the most audacious art thefts in recent history, from the university’s special collections library. Convinced they can get away with it, they recruit two other friends. Suddenly, the dance of knowing what happens if they cross the line becomes all-consuming. Buoyed by an exceptional cast, BAFTA Award-winning documentary director Bart Layton (The Imposter, 2012 Sundance Film Festival) makes a brilliant leap into the world of fiction, cleverly utilizing elements of nonfiction to propel the narrative. A true story, American Animals is both a thrilling heist film and an existential journey of four misguided young men searching in all the wrong places for identity, meaning, adventure, and the kind of life that movies are made about.