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God’s Country

January 12 @ 7:00 pm 10:00 pm PST






Thursday, January 12, 7:00PM PT

** Proof of COVID-19 vaccine required.

Masks are mandatory at all times on Emerson’s campus,

including during the Screening + Q&A **

Please be mindful of the SCL’s Code of Conduct.

Based on a short story by acclaimed author James Lee Burke, God’s Country is a character-driven thriller set in the snowy wilderness of the American West. Thandiwe Newton plays Sandra Guidry, a Black professor living and working in a rural college town. She’s also grieving her recently-deceased mother, for whom she’d served as the primary caretaker. On the day of the burial, Sandra discovers a mysterious red truck parked in her driveway. She soon learns it belongs to a pair of local hunters seeking to enter the forest behind her house. Sandra turns them away politely but firmly – her experience tells her these are not the sort of men to welcome freely into her world. But they won’t take no for an answer, and soon Sandra finds herself drawn into an escalating battle of wills that puts her most deeply-held values to the test. R | 102mins

DeAndre James Allen-Toole is a Los Angeles-based composer best known for his original score to Julian Higgins’ neo-Western feature God’s Country – starring Thandiwe Newton. First showing as a 2022 Sundance Film Festival Premieres selection ahead of its theatrical release, God’s Country received widespread critical acclaim for many aspects, including DeAndre’s score. 

Since the launch of his career, DeAndre has enjoyed writing music for diverse media independently and under the employment of many senior composers in Los Angeles. Among his accomplishments, DeAndre is a Sundance Institute Film Music & Sound Design Lab alum, a Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program grantee, a Reel Change Film Fund grantee, an ASCAP Foundation Michelle & Dean Kay Award recipient, and most recently, an SCL Award nominee in the running for the David Raskin Award for Emerging Talent. 

Julian Higgins is a Los Angeles-based director, writer, and producer. His first feature, God’s Country – a neo-Western thriller starring Thandiwe Newton – premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired for worldwide distribution by IFC Films and Universal International.

Prior to God’s Country, Julian’s short films screened at over a hundred festivals around the globe and won dozens of prizes, including the gold medal Student Academy Award, two Student Emmy Awards, and the grand prize of Ron Howard’s “Project Imagination” Contest. His 2015 short, Winter Light, was a top ten finalist for the Academy Award. On the strength of his film work, Julian made his television directing debut at the age of 26 with one of the final episodes of House. He subsequently executive produced and directed Seasons 2 & 3 of the anthology drama series Guidance, streaming on Apple TV+.

A New Hampshire native, Julian holds a BFA in Film from Emerson College and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. He now teaches directing at both institutions.


Check-in begins 6:30PM.

If you RSVP but are unable to attend, please cancel your reservation by 10:00AM Thursday, January 12.

Free for current SCL members (click here to check your membership status) plus two guests who will stay for both the screening and Q&A. Please remember to RSVP for two (2) if you plan on bringing a guest.

In the event of a waitlist, please remember to sign up twice (2) if you plan on bringing a guest.

Guests of SCL members may NOT attend without the member invitee, or if the member RSVPs, but cannot attend and cancels.

Please allow extra time for traffic and check-in.

This invitation is non-transferable.

Seating is first come, first serve. Late arrivals may not be allowed into the theater. 

Per Emerson campus health guidelines, masks are required to be worn at all times. The venue requires that all participants and guests be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including any applicable boosters, and that guests are screened for vaccinations and boosters prior to participant check-in.