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Bill and Mark and I talk about their new film The Head-hunters Calling, pure ego, being present and why we’re all addicts of one kind or another.

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A ruthless corporate headhunter (Gerard Butler) battles his rival for control of their job placement company, until a family tragedy brings his personal and professional lives into conflict.

Grounded in a generous, soul-searching lead performance from Gerard Butler, this drama follows a corporate headhunter torn between the dictates of his ambition and the needs of his family.

For Dane Jensen (Butler), success demands a little ruthlessness; you don’t get anywhere without stepping on toes. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, he has the biggest goal of his career in sight. The head of Dane’s recruitment company (Willem Dafoe) has announced his retirement — and the time has come for Dane to pounce. Dane’s ascension requires all his attention, particularly given that his biggest rival (Alison Brie) is younger and equally determined. Then the unimaginable happens. Dane’s 10-year-old son falls seriously ill. After years of racking up wins in the business world, can Dane find a solution for this terrifying development in his personal life?

The Headhunter’s Calling marks the directorial debut of veteran producer Mark Williams. The elegant script was written by Bill Dubuque — writer of The Judge, the Opening Night Gala at the 2014 Festival — and it draws upon his own years of experience as a headhunter.

The film pulses with the thrill of big money and cutthroat career maneuvering, but its heart is in a very different realm. The film is ultimately concerned with domestic stability in crisis, and with the complex question of what really matters in life. The Headhunter’s Calling beautifully illustrates how nearly losing everything can redefine what it means to have it all.


Mark Williams was born in Denver and earned an MFA in film studies from the University of Miami.

His many credits as producer include FlawlessShuttleArena, and The Accountant.

The Headhunter’s Calling is his feature directorial debut.