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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Chloe Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me

More time in post-production means more time for nips, tucks, another Sundance lab (2014’s Music and Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound) and even a title change. Formerly going by the title of “Lee”, Chloé Zhao’s more descriptive moniker in Songs My Brothers Taught Me was on our radar last year, but obviously was a little ways off from completion. Thesps Irene Bedard (from 1998’s Sundance selected Smoke Signals from helmer Chris Eyre) and Eleonore Hendricks (Heaven Knows What) support newbie John Reddy in a project that was supported by a laundry list of orgs: both Sundance Labs, the Ang Lee Scholarship for Filmmaking and the Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship and Christopher Columbus/Richard Vague Film Production Grant, a very successful 80+ grand Kickstarter campaign, was recently the IFP Filmmaker lab and is in line for some possible funds from the SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant.

Gist: This is about a seventeen-year-old Lakota boy who idly spends his days in young love with his kind and ambitious girlfriend Aurelia, his nights carousing with his loyal and wayward best friend Evan, and avoiding anything to do with his broken home life. When his sister unexpectedly dies and his home is taken away from him, Lee is driven to keep his family together at all costs, but his risky actions have consequences that forever alter his most cherished relationships.

Production Co./Producers: Standalone Productions’ Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions’ Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker (Fruitvale Station), Vox3 Films’ Mollye Asher and Chloé Zhao.

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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