Film star Anthony Mackie has nothing but great things to say about Minnesota screenwriter Michael Starrbury.
"Michael's my man," enthuses Mackie, who stars in the new drama "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete." The film was written by Brooklyn Park native Starrbury and unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Released in select theaters Friday, the film -- which also stars Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks -- tells the coming-of-age story about two inner city youths who have to fend for themselves over the summer when their mothers are taken away by authorities. The film was produced by Grammy-winner Alicia Keys.
"If you look at that movie and the way it was put together, it's just all around a great project," Mackie told me in a recent interview. "I think that's why the filmmakers were able to get the cast they wanted, because everybody believed in it. Everybody believed in the story and put a little extra work in it because of it. We're all pretty honored that it's being talked about the way it is."
Starrbury was nominated for a 2013 Humanitas Prize for the film in July in the Sundance category, along with "Mud" screenwriter Jeff Nichols.
The Hollywood Reporter says the prize went to "Fruitvale Station" scribe Ryan Coogler last month.
The Humanitas Prize honors films that "truly and deeply explore the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens."
Mackie most recently starred opposite Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck in the crime thriller "Runner Runner," and next April will star as famed Marvel Comics superhero Sam Wilson/The Falcon in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" opposite Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America.
The actor also has a starring role in the Julian Assange WikiLeaks drama "The Fifth Estate," opening in theaters Friday.