Future Shock: ‘House of Tomorrow’ theatrical release ‘a total thrill’ for director

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Ellen Burstyn and Asa Butterfield in a scene from "The House of Tomorrow." (SOURCE: Shout Factory)

Peter Livolsi spent nearly six years working on the film “The House of Tomorrow.”

It wasn’t until two weeks before filming took place that everything came together.

“It was meant to happen this way,” he says. “We kept pushing this project through. And then filming began, and we shot the film in 18 days and did six-day weeks. It meant zero time off. But I’d love to do it again.”

Livolsi’s film is beginning its theatrical run after a successful festival run. The film opens at High Ridge in Albuquerque today.

The film follows 16-year-old Sebastian Prendergast, played by Asa Butterfield, who has spent most of his life with his grandmother, played by Ellen Burnstyn, in their geodesic dome home tourist attraction where she raises him on the futurist teachings of her former mentor, Buckminster Fuller, in hopes that one day Sebastian will carry Fuller’s torch and make the world a better place.

But when a stroke sidelines his Nana, Sebastian begins sneaking around with Jared Whitcomb, played by Alex Wolff, a chain-smoking, punk-obsessed 16-year-old with a heart transplant who lives in the suburbs with his Bible-thumping single father, Alan, played by Nick Offerman, and teenage sister Meredith, played by Maude Apatow.

Sebastian and Jared form a band and with Nana’s dreams, his first real friendship, and a church talent show at stake, Sebastian must decide whether he wants to become the next Buckminster Fuller, the next Sid Vicious, or something else entirely.

It is the movie adaptation of Peter Bognanni’s best-selling novel.

Livolsi adapted the novel and directed the film. It was filmed in Minnesota.

When Livolsi first read the book, he didn’t know he wanted to direct it.

“There was something pulling me toward it,” he says. “After a year working on the script, the relationship between Jared and Sebastian was something I connected to, because I was an outsider in high school. I would make movies with my friends, and we focused on that.”

Livolsi’s dream of seeing his film have a theatrical release is coming true.

“Every filmmaker wants their film to be seen in a theater with an audience,” he says. “We’ve taken it to festivals in Tokyo and San Francisco. It’s a total thrill to walk up to a movie theater and buy a ticket for this movie. It’s been a labor of love for so long.”

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