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Festival Predictions

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: James Franco’s Bukowski

Feeding our curiosity for what a major transgressive adonis in future literary world might look like in the pre stench of cigarettes and booze era, I’m imagining something akin to Kill Your Darlings in term of look and feel, and a perfect drinking partner to Bent Hamer’s Factotum. Quite frankly it’s got everything you’d want in a Park City indie biopic – hence why I originally circled Bukowski as a possible 2014 Sundance selection. Little did I know that production would be tied up in legal troubles. The good news is, as of last month, whatever woes existed between right holders of “Ham on Rye” and this project have been resolved. Moving forward, we can expect to see a transformative performance from Josh Peck and peak into the man behind the method, and the madness. Shannen Doherty, Alex Kingston, Keegan Allen (see set pic above) and Tim Blake Nelson support the titular player.

Gist: Written by Dave and James Franco, this is the story of writer Charles Bukowski’s formative years from childhood to high school and his struggles with an abusive father, disfiguring acne, alcohol abuse, and his initial attempts at writing.

Production Co./Producers: Jay Davis, RabbitBandini Productions’ Vince Jolivette, Miles Levy, Iris Torres (Interior. Leather Bar.)

Prediction: Premieres category ripe for a buyer frenzy.

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

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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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