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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Laurie Collyer’s Sunlight Jr.

Half a dozen years since she first broke out at Sundance with the micro-budgeted Sherrybaby (Sundance ’05) which still stands as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s most raw performance to date, Laurie Collyer finally returns with her sophomore fiction project, her third film when you include her docu Nuyorican Dream (Sundance ’00). With the of trio of players of Norman Reedus, Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon (see collage above from set), Sunlight Jr. is perhaps the most readied film among our predictions set – as filming began in Florida back all the way back in November of 2011. Tech folk includes cinematographer Igor Martinovic and Production Designer Jade Healy.

Gist: Sunlight Jr. is a love story set in the ruins of the American dream. Melissa is a convenience store clerk who lives in a motel with her paraplegic boyfriend, Richie. When they learn they are going to have a baby, they are genuinely excited. But when she loses her job and they are evicted from the motel, they face difficult choices about life and their relationship.

Production Co./Producers: Charlie Corwin, Ariel Elia and Andrea Roa

Prediction: Tempted to call this as a U.S. Dramatic Competition title, but the star wattage means this should go to the 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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