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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Nikole Beckwith’s Stockholm, Pennsylvania

An actor, musician and a playwright who sort of came swanning into the driver’s seat in 2012 stringing the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and ranking just below Whiplash on the 2012 Black List with the aptly titled Stockholm, Pennsylvania. The double mention jettisoned the first-time writer-director into Sundance’s Directors Lab for June of last year and went into production in early February. Saoirse Ronan and Cynthia Nixon toplined this party-pooper item — which promises to visit a truly dark place in the child survivor psyche, and as the trades suggested at the time, might be shockingly accurate in terms of some baffling real life events that occurred for the captive women they found in Cleveland. Bravura performances are almost assured in what might be a pin-drop subject matter stunner. Arnaud Potier (Mélanie Laurent’s Cannes debuted Respire) and oft Sundance film editor Joe Kloytz are among the tech fold.

Gist: Ronan stars as developmentally stunted Leia, a young woman raised by a kidnapper who now struggles to acclimate to her actual parents after 20 years of separation. Nixon plays the girl’s grief-stricken mother, who goes to extreme lengths to recapture her daughter’s love. Jason Isaacs plays her captor, and David Warshofsky plays her father.

Production Co./Producers: Fido Features’ Greg Ammon (Shiva and May), Manage-Ment’s Dan Halsted, Olympus Pictures’ Leslie Urdang (The Oranges).

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. Insert (domestic). Insert (international)

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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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