The first feature film of Department of Performing & Media Arts alumna Amanda Idoko ’10, "Breaking News in Yuba County," will be produced in mid-2019, starring Allison Janney and Laura Dern. The film will be directed by "The Girl on the Train" and "The Help" director Taylor Tate, who says, “The moment I read Amanda’s dark and brilliant script, I knew it was the one for Allison. It’s a perfect story of debauchery and chaos.” Idoko has also been tapped to pen the script for a comedic action-adventure based on Plasticman for Warner Bros.
In "Breaking News in Yuba County," a woman (Janney) catches her husband cheating on her, which causes him to die of a heart attack. After disposing of his body, she revels in the attention she receives from having a missing spouse. But the truth becomes harder to hide, especially from her sister (Dern), a local reporter desperate for a story.
Amanda was one of three women writers selected for the year-long Disney ABC Writing Program to have secured staff jobs on series for the 2016–17 television season. The program, launched in 1990, is considered one of the most prestigious and successful writer programs in the business. In November 2017, Amanda was named as one of The Tracking Board's 2017 Young & Hungry List of Hollywood’s 100 Top New Writers.
While at Cornell, Amanda starred in "Alice and Wonderland," "The Body Project," and "God’s Ear." She was also a member of The Whistling Shrimp, Cornell’s oldest improv comedy group. Her love of dark comedy was inspired by watching Martin McDonagh's short "Six Shooter" in screenwriting class, and her screenplay for "Breaking News in Yuba County" started out as an adaption of a play she wrote at Cornell, entitled "Punching Glass." Says Amanda, “[the film] was my first attempt at writing a feature, so I wanted to play in familiar territory. The story ultimately transformed and became something completely new, but 'Punching Glass' was the genesis.”
Bryan Hagelin '20 is a communications assistant in the Department of Performing & Media Arts.