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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot

Atom Egoyan has been invited to Sundance as a filmmaker Next of Kin (Sundance ’87), Exotica (Sundance ’95), producer, juror and the list goes on, but the chances are less than likely that he shows up with his latest — as it comes across more like a TIFF, award season title. So why include a completed project that has long been in the works and whose relevance might be in question because of the intense film treatments it has received from the docu world with the Paradise Lost trilogy and West of Memphis? Simple. I’m thinking that the pro-active fest would want a narrative feature that not only continues this discussion but might contribute to the current aftermath a la The Thin Blue Line. Devil’s Knot has heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth are joined by Alessandro Nivola, Amy Ryan, Matt Letscher, Michael Gladis, Stephen Moyer, Rex Linn and Bruce Greenwood.

Gist: Penned by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson and based on Mara Leveritt’s Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, Reese Witherspoon stars as Pam Hobbs, the intrepid mother of murder victim Stevie Hobbs, and Colin Firth plays private investigator Ron Lax, whose tireless efforts uncovered troubling details about the case ultimately led to the release of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin after 18 years in prison.

Production Co./Producers: Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein and Christopher Woodrow

Prediction: Premieres section

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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