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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation

The main title theme song for “True Detective” now comes to mind when I think of the unfairly talented Cary Fukunaga. A scheduled autumn award season release is strategically more sound for the studio that lands the pic, but since the filmmaker broke out with Sin Nombre, perhaps there is one in a zillionth chance this could land. Shooting on Beasts of No Nation took place this summer in Ghana and we’d expect this to be sizeably larger budget item fit for a Premieres slot. The long in the works adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel starring Idris Elba (in the lead role of the Commander) is definitely a long shot, but not impossible. Non-professional child actors make up the cast, while on the tech side we find Production Designer Inbal Weinberg (St. Vincent) in the mix.

Gist: Starring Idris Elba with newbies Abraham Attah, Opeyemi Fagbohungbe and Richard Pepple, this follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who, when civil war engulfs his West African country is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Not only must Agu face the death of his father and disappearance of his mother and sister, but must also join a life of violence and brutality. Agu befriends a mute boy named Strika and together they face the crimes and hardships of war.

Production Co./Producers: Red Crown Productions’ Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker (What Maisie Knew), Parliament Of Owls’ Cary Fukunaga, Primary Productions’ Amy Kaufman and Idris Elba.

Prediction: Premieres category is the only available slot.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. WME Global (domestic). IM Global (international)

Note: Changes made to the original article to reflect inaccurate information.

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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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