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2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything

Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything is another example of how Sundance champions filmmakers who use the premise, structure, formula of their short as the basis for an eventual feature-length debut. Meyer was at the 2008 edition with Aquarium, spent a couple of years from on other folks’ films in different capacities and it is in 2010 that the feature length film starting gaining traction with the Sloan Science-in-Film Initiative Fellowship (the vid below best demonstrates how the short morphed into a feature). Featuring Ben Kingsley (see on set pic), Kodi Smit-McPhee and James LeGros, production on the coming-of-ager began in May and post started in August.

Gist: Written by Meyer and Luke Matheny, after spotting what he thinks is an extinct duck, high school sophomore and bird enthusiast David Portnoy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) persuades his two dorky buddies and the “new girl in school” to join him on a quest to locate the mysterious bird. What begins as a simple and straightforward mission becomes a coming-of-age adventure for all involved, particularly David, who must come to terms with some painful aspects of his family life.

Production Co./Producers: dreamFly prod’s Kirsten Duncan Fuller and Lisa K. Jenkins, Crossroad Films’ Dan Lindau, Nightshade’s R. Paul Miller.

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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