Lowell Native Jim Sampas’s Kerouac Film Premieres at Sundance Film Festival

Jim Sampas grew up on Wilder Street in the Highlands. His aunt Stella married Jack Kerouac in the 1960s. These days, Jim is a producer of music recordings and movies, the latest project being a feature film based on Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur.” The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The reviews have been good and very good. Here’s Jim’s report from the Festival after the film screening:

“I just got back from the Sundance film festival and premiere of the film by Jack Kerouac, which I executive produced, based on his most personal and introspective work – Big Sur. Looking back at reading this book while working at my Uncle Nicks’ sleepy diner in Lowell in my teens and now finally to see the film in its completed form, helmed by my one of my favorite directors Michael Polish, is amazing.

“I think there was an audience of around 1200 people(!), and it seems to me, through my rose colored glasses, that they were very much into it, including many of the film’s extraordinary cast.

“The Q and A after with Michael and many the actors each contributing their own fascinating thoughts and perspectives on the film and making of it, and the novel and Kerouac, was so fun and fascinating.

“I am so incredibly pleased with Michael’s exquisite, and ingenious, rendering of this heartbreaking, and in many ways incredibly difficult, story to bring to film. The other producers, and folks at 3311, and everyone involved worked so incredibly hard and it really shows on the screen.

“Here’s a review just out from The Hollywood Reporter… so far, knock on wood, the reviews have been quite good.”