The Unknown Known: Andrew Sodroski’s Holland, Michigan Tops 2013 Black List

Andrew Sodroski Holland, Michigan

We didn’t know it when docu-helmer Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Unknown Known) signed up for it last July, but by the looks of several industry players, he might have landed on the best screenplay of the bunch.

The annual “The Black List” unveiled its “favorite unproduced screenplays” of the year, and ranking at the top with a slim margin of a lead was Andrew Sodroski’s Holland, Michigan – a project that should begin lensing in April of next year with Naomi Watts possibly toplining. The second place top vote-getter got a lot more than a set of steak knifes this year. The out-of-nowhere, complete obscurity to huge pay day Section 6 by first time scribe Aaron Berg garnered huge interest towards the end of the year and should be jettisoned into production by the Universal folks – look for big name talent to be attached sometime in 2014.

Breaking into the top 3, book author (Let Not the Waves of the Sea) Simon Stephenson (also the writer behind television’s the Eleventh Hour) sees his Frisco, a tale about an odd-couple “forty-something pediatric allergist, who specializes in hazelnut and is facing a divorce, learns lessons in living from a wise-beyond-her-years terminally ill 15-year-old patient when she crashes his weekend trip to a conference in SF” receive a far amount of kudos.

Worth mentioning, we’ll be discussing several of the films mentioned below over the next months, years and decade ahead.
46 HOLLAND, MICHIGAN Andrew Sodroski
44 SECTION 6 Aaron Berg
39 FRISCO Simon Stephenson
27 A MONSTER CALLS Patrick Ness
25 THE SPECIAL PROGRAM Debora Cahn
24 SOVEREIGN Geoff Tock, Greg Weidman
24 HOT SUMMER NIGHTS Elijah Bynum
22 SHOVEL BUDDIES Jason Mark Hellerman
20 THE INDEPENDENT Evan Parter
20 REMINISCENCE Lisa Joy Nolan
20 POX AMERICANA Frank John Hughes
19 THE GOLDEN RECORD Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell
19 BEAST Zach Dean
18 SWEETHEART Jack Stanley
18 FAULTS Riley Stearns
17 SUPERBRAT Eric Slovin, Leo Allen
16 DOGFIGHT Nicole Riegel
16 THE CIVILIAN Rachel Long, Brian Pittman
15 BURN SITE Doug Simon
15 QUEEN OF HEARTS Stephanie Shannon
14 GAY KID AND FAT CHICK Bo Burnham
14 BROKEN COVE Declan O’Dwyer
13 THE MAYOR OF SHARK CITY Nick Creature, Michael Sweeney
13 AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE Richard Naing, Ian Goldberg
13 1969: A SPACE ODYSSEY OR HOW KUBRICK LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LAND ON THE MOON Stephany Folsom
13 WHERE ANGELS DIE Alexander Felix
12 A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Alexis C. Jolly
12 INK AND BONE Zak Olkewicz
11 THE BOY AND HIS TIGER Dan Dollar
11 THE KILLING FLOOR Bac Delorme, Stephen Clarke
10 THE COMPANY MAN Andrew Cypiot
10 I’M PROUD OF YOU Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue
10 THE SHARK IS NOT WORKING Richard Cordiner
10 SEED Christina Hodson
9 THE CROWN Max Hurwitz
9 TCHAIKOVSKY’S REQUIEM Jonathan Stokes
9 DIABLO RUN Shea Mirzai, Evan Mirzai
9 RANDLE IS BENIGN Damien Ober
8 LINE OF DUTY Cory Miller
8 INQUEST Josh Simon
8 CAPSULE Ian Shorr
8 FULLY WRECKED Jake Morse, Scott Wolman
8 SPOTLIGHT Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
8 EXTINCTION Spenser Cohen
8 REVELATION Hernany Perla
8 ELSEWHERE Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
8 CLARITY Ryan Belenzon, Jeffrey Gelber
8 THE POLITICIAN Matthew Bass, Theodore Bressman
8 AMERICAN SNIPER Jason Dean Hall
8 THE LINE Sang Kyu Kim
8 HALF HEARD IN THE STILLNESS David Weil
8 TIME & TEMPERATURE Nick Santora
8 CAKE Patrick Tobin
7 PURE O Kate Trefry
7 THE END OF THE TOUR Donald Margulies
7 NICHOLAS Leo Sardarian
7 MAN OF SORROW Neville Kiser
7 DIG Adam Barker
7 THE FIXER Bill Kennedy
7 SUGAR IN MY VEINS Barbara Stepansky
7 SEA OF TREES Chris Sparling
7 MAKE A WISH Zach Frankel
6 BURY THE LEAD Justin Kremer
6 FROM HERE TO ALBION Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani
6 FREE BYRD Jon Boyer
6 BEAUTY QUEEN Annie Neal
6 THE REMAINS Meaghan Oppenheimer
6 LAST MINUTE MAIDS Leo Nichols
6 PAN Jason Fuchs
6 DUDE Olivia Milch
6 PATIENT Z Michael Le
6 MISSISSIPPI MUD Elijah Bynum

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film 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 Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)