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Festival Predictions

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jonás Cuarón’s Forsaken

Due to the film’s against all odds protagonist, look for Forsaken (formerly known as Desierto) to be mentioned as a reference point to Who is Dayani Cristal?. Here, Gael García Bernal treks thru the desert again, but fights off the antagonistic forces that are Jeffrey Dean Morgan in this border drama that is still very much a white hot topic issue even for southern folks who may or may not be a in a bordering state with Mexico. Filmed in La Paz, Baja California, Jonás Cuarón’s sophomore film began production in March and benefits from a solid producing team including father Alfonso and uncle Carlos. Cuarón’s directorial debut Year of the Nail premiered at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and we imagine much of his focus was put towards 2013’s Gravity prior to focusing on this showdown.

Gist: Set against the backdrop of the border desert, where the brutal yet beautiful landscape itself becomes a metaphor for the characters’ own inner struggles, this is described as a cat and mouse chase between a Mexican undocumented migrant worker, Moises (Bernal), and an American vigilante, Sam (Morgan) who has taken up border patrol duties in his own racist hands.

Production Co./Producers: Esperanto’s Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón and Jonas, Itaca Films’ Alex Garcia, CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert. Executive Producers: David Linde, Nicolás Celis, Santiago Garcia Galvan, Canana’s Gael García Bernal.

Prediction: Obviously the film could play at prestige fests such as Cannes and Venice, but we’re thinking the has could be unveiled in the U.S. Dramatic Competition or Premieres categories.

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