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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies

This 2.5 films per year filmmaker was a SXSW favorite up until he was first included in the Sundance family with Uncle Kent (Sundance ’11) and V/H/S (Sundance ’12) the following year. Undoubtedly, Drinking Buddies, which lensed in July and has been in post-prod since August is perhaps sometimes actor (see pic with A Horrible Way to Die) Joe Swanberg’s best packaged film with Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston toplining. Andrea Roa and Alicia Van Couvering are part of the producing team and this is officially Cinematographer Ben Richardson’s first project after Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Gist: Drinking Buddies is the story of what happens when the worlds of home life and work-buddy camaraderie collide. LUKE and KATE are two beer geeks in a Chicago brewery. Inseparable on the job, the two share everything from childish inside jokes and a penchant for alcoholic snobbery to a congenial attraction barely masked by their casual flirting. Both are in committed relationships – Jake with his live-in girlfriend, JILL and Kate with her older music-producer boyfriend, CHRIS. A spin on the tangled relationship politics for the age of texting, Drinking Buddies is about the limits of friendship, the rules and trials of relationships, and, of course, the unique fellowship that comes from sharing a perfect craft beer.

Production Co./Producers: Swanberg, Burn Later Productions’ Paul Bernon and Sam Slater, Andrea Roa (Sunlight Jr.) and Alicia Van Couvering (Nobody Walks)

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition

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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