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Festival Predictions

2013 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Yung Chang’s The Fruit Hunters

Sticking with the whole erotica theme that I think will play out at the fest this year, you can’t get more exotic with The Fruit Hunters – a doc about obscure, hard to find fruits and its select fans – which includes Bill Pullman. With a sneak preview screening at this year’s TIFF and debut at RIDM, filmmaker Yung Chang will likely be invited to Park City again – as it was the lieu for U.S premieres of his award-winning Up the Yangtze (Sundance ’08) and China Heavyweight (Sundance ’12). To the publicist: I definitely want an after-screening party invite for this one.

Gist: Co-written by Chang and Mark Slutsky, this is an adaptation of Adam Gollner’s bestselling nonfiction book of the same title. From Borneo to Hollywood, from Honduras to the monasteries of Umbria, the filmmaker follows these dogged fruit collectors (including actor Bill Pullman, among the most dogged of all) who dedicate their lives to tasting every possible variety of mango or seeking out figs like those seen in Renaissance paintings. A delectable odyssey that proves that monoculture was not practiced in the Garden of Eden!

Production Co./Producers: The Eye Steel Film team of Mila Aung-Thwin, Katherine Baulu and Bob Moore.

Prediction: World Cinema Documentary 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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