A Jewish young man, raised by wealthy adoptive parents in Beverly Hills, searches for his birth parents and finds his biological father in an unexpected place in “Papa,” a heartwarming film festival favorite now playing in Los Angeles. Written and directed by Dan Israely, a native of Haifa, Israel who adapted his own novel of the same name, “Papa” is based on events in the lives of “very distant relatives. It’s a true story,” he said.
Starring Rob Wilson (“Days of Our Lives”) as Ben Friedman, and David Proval (“Mean Streets,” “The Shawshank Redemption”) as the father he gets to know while working at a home for the mentally disabled, the film also stars Daryl Hannah (”Splash”) and singer Frankie Avalon as Ben’s adoptive mother and father, who eventually reveal the tragic circumstances behind his adoption.
The supporting cast includes many notable character actors including Paul Sorvino, Vincent Pastore, Michael Madsen, and Eric Roberts, with Ann-Margret and Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”) in key roles. “Big Brother” fans will spot 2011 winner Rachel Reilly as one of Ben’s friends.
“Papa” is currently playing at the Arena Cinelounge, the Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino, and starting Aug. 3, at the Laemmle Royal.