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Interview Olivia Newman First Match


Interview: Olivia Newman – First Match | 2015 January Screenwriters Lab

Interview: Olivia Newman – First Match | 2015 January Screenwriters Lab

Selected for SXSW Film Festival’s Narrative Feature Competition, Olivia Newman‘s First Match (read review) picked up an audience award before quickly bowing over at Netflix. I had the chance to speak to the filmmaker back in 2015 during the Sundance Film Festival – as she was invited with her feature debut in script form for the 2015 January Screenwriters Lab. We got a sense of what her influences are (the Dardenne Bros.) and the long process of building a text about estrangement parallel to encouragement (found in team sports) with a short and then into a feature.


During the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, I got to individually chat with the filmmakers who participated in the Sundance Institute’s 2015 January Screenwriters Lab.

Sophia Al-Maria – Beretta
Yung Chang – Eggplant
Elizabeth Chomko – What They Had
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre – Mustang
Nia DaCosta – Little Woods
Christopher Makoto Yogi – I Was a Simple Man
Jonathan Minard & Scott Rashap – Archive
Olivia Newman – First Match

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric 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. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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