First Look at James Franco’s UCLA Film Project ‘Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards’ (Exclusive Video)

The multihypenate’s master class movie — debuting at Atlanta Film Festival — has star-studded cast including Natalie Portman, Kristen Wiig, Matthew Modine and Kate Mara

Last Updated: March 25, 2015 @ 3:55 PM

Creative multitasker James Franco always has a toe in academics, and Wednesday evening will see the premiere screening of a feature film he led UCLA graduate students in producing.

“The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards” plays Atlanta’s Rialto Center for The Arts, part of the Atlanta Film Festival, and TheWrap has an exclusive first look. The film is based on Robert Boswell’s short story collection and was executed by eight teams of MFA students in a UCLA master class taught by Franco in 2012.

A star-studded cast populates seven vignettes, with actors including Franco, Natalie Portman, Kristen Wiig, Matthew Modine, Kate Mara and Jimmy Kimmel.

Franco stars in the exclusive clip from the feature’s first short, “A Walk in Winter,” opposite Jack Kehler.  Abigail Spencer co-stars in the vignette about a man returning to his hometown to identify the remains of his long-missing mother. The character has to grapple with the memory of the day his father took him for a walk and planned to put a bullet in the back of his head.

The project at large contains stories from a variety of perspectives — women, men, old, young — and features both dramas and comedies.

The grad students who completed this project were part of Franco’s first “Adaptation and Collaboration” class at UCLA, where Franco also received a degree.

Next up for Franco, who has been shooting the John Steinbeck adaptation “In Dubious Battle,” is “The Trap”– alongside Idris Elba and Robert Pattinson and “Spring Breakers” director Harmony Korine.

Watch an exclusive clip from “The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards.”

Editor’s Note: TheWrap’s L.A. Ross is a producer on this project.