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Desperately Seeking Studio: Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love

Despite the accolades (awards, festival prizes, and critical praise), sometimes a film that we’ve praised and seemingly has a very bright future ahead, will somehow be passed over, go unnoticed or for reasons unknown, may have fallen through the cracks. A play of words on the 1985 Madonna film, “Desperately Seeking Studio” is our way of bringing attention to a film that has yet to be picked up for distribution and deservingly should find an audience. This month we put the focus back on: Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love

Having previously worked on a short per year pace with 2011’s Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight (see trailer) premiering at Redford’s stoically set winter Park City fest, it was a second invite to this year’s edition of Sundance Film Festival and the added international clout of showing at Int. Film Festival Rotterdam that set Eliza Hittman’s feature length debut on the right footing. I discovered It Felt Like Love a little late in the fest, it resonated so vividly that we had plenty to say about the film’s young lead in Gina Piersanti, and even more praise for the film’s writer/director calling her “a filmmaking force to reckon with”. This notion of a talented new filmmaker  arriving on the indie scene is more or less expressed with the same vote of confidence from THR’s John Defore (read his review) and in Variety, where the trade were extra complimentary in mentioning (read review) that the experience and quality is close to that of Lynne Ramsay’s “Ratcatcher” and Cate Shortland’s “Somersault.”

While distributors have been slow to act, the feted drama (winner of the Special Jury Prize in Sarasota Film Festival) has been shown at U.S. indie fests such as Nashville and BAMcinemaFest and internationally among others, at the Munich Film Festival and the Champs-Élysées Film Festival. And speaking of the French, naturally they saw the potential in the film – KMBO Distrbution released the film in theaters mid July.

A 2013 member of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film mentions they’re working towards a release later in the year, but perhaps with tomorrow’s inaugural Next Weekend debuting, we can throw more oil on the fire.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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