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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Matthew Porterfield’s I Used to Be Darker

Putty Hill, his critically acclaimed Berlin and SXSW selected sophomore feature officially put Matthew Porterfield on the future of indie film map. He began lensing in the summer of 2011 – so this is definitely readied for a big festival showing and we won’t be surprised if Sundance wants to be affiliated with this filmmaker. Most recently included in the half dozen items for Poland’s American Film Fest’s US in Progress Wrocław, I Used to be Darker features the photography from Porterfield’s dp Jeremy Saulnier (he contributed on Porterfield’s debut film as well (2000’s Hamilton) and the pic will be toplined by newbie actresses Deragh Campbell (pictured above) and Hannah Gross.

Gist: Scripted by Amy Belk and Porterfield, this is about a young woman named Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, who finds herself pregnant in Ocean City, MD, she seeks refuge with American relatives in Baltimore. But Aunt Kim and her husband, Bill, have problems of their own: they’re trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby, just home from her first year of college. What follows is a story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting each other go, looking for love where they’ve found it before and, when that doesn’t work, figuring out where they might find it next.

Production Co./Producers: Nomadic Independence Pictures’ Ryan Zacarias, Eric Bannat and Steve Holmgren

Prediction: NEXT Program or U.S Dramatic – or it could follow the same route as Putty Hilland hit up Berlin and SXSW.



Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, 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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