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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Cherien Dabis’ May in Summer

Her immigrant dramedy debut film Amreeka (’09 Sundance) blasted helmer Cherien Dabis into movie culture consciousness and her highly anticipated follow-up with players such as Alexander Siddig and Hiam Abbass has been in post-production since late summer. A Screenwriters Lab project at Sundance in 2010, May in the Summer not only sees Dabis wear the writer/director/producer hat, but she stars in the pic as well – all signs are pointing towards a second Park City visit.

Gist: Written by Dabis, high off the success of her first book and planning to marry Ziad (Alexander Siddig), her sensible, stable and studious fiance, May Brennan (Dabis) has it all. At least that’s what she’d like people to believe. Reunited with her family in Amman, she’s thrust back into the chaos of her former existence. Her headstrong mother Nadine (Abbass), a born-again Christian disapproves of her Muslim fiance so thoroughly she plans to boycott the wedding. Her younger sisters Dalia and Yasmine behave like her children. And her estranged father Edward is suddenly and suspiciously interested in making amends. As her wedding day looms, May finds herself more and more confronted by the trauma of her parents divorce. And soon, her once carefully structured life spins hopelessly out of control.

Production Co./Producers: Anonymous Content’s Alix Madigan (Winter’s Bone) and first-time producer Christopher Tricarico.

Prediction: Could either fall in the U.S. Dramatic Competition or Premieres Program.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

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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