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Festival Predictions

2014 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Andrea Di Stefano’s Paradise Lost: The Untold Story of Pablo Escobar’s Treasure

There will digital blood in the streets of ’14. The first to get their portrait of Pablo Escobar out first, might “win” the battle of the biopics. On a regular, annual basis, Sundance has served as a festival where a known actor can unveil his/her debut behind the camera, there might be a couple of those type of debuts year, of which we might want to include Andrea Di Stefano (Life of Pi). To be honest – this might be my Hail Mary pass pick of the 80 predictions as Pathe Int. doesn’t really do Sundance with their bigger budget films, but this Paradise Lost (not to be confused with the West Memphis Three trilogy) which was shot in Panama in March, has got a cast in Brady Corbet, Josh Hutcherson, Ana Girardot, Claudia Traisac and Benicio Del Toro that would make Eccles crowds salivate.

Gist: Paradise Lost: The Untold Story of Pablo Escobar’s Treasure is about a young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) thinks all his dreams have come true when he goes to visit his brother in Columbia. Against an idyllic backdrop of blue lagoons and white beaches he falls madly in love with a beautiful Colombian girl called Maria (Claudia Traisac). It all seems perfect until he meets her uncle, one Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro). For over two decades, Escobar led the infamous Cartel de Medellín which terrorized Colombia for more than two decades until he was killed by Colombian soldiers in 1993. His successful production and distribution of cocaine resulted in an estimated 9 billion dollar fortune that cost more than 4,000 individuals their lives.

Production Co./Producers: Dimitri Rassam (The Little Prince)

Prediction: Premieres. Or Cannes a la Che.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available – Pathe Int.

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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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