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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected

We usually expect the unexpected, but in this case, the Unexpected would totally be unexpected. With two previous features under her belt, Kris Swanberg would be in different predictions posture if she had begun filming a little earlier in the year. While Joe Swanberg dug into Digging For Fire (also on my predictions list) in April-ish, shooting on dramedy begin in September and ended around the festival’s final submission date. A finalist for some coin support via the SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant, this stars Cobie Smulders (pictured above – Cap. America pic) in the lead role. Chances are slim, but we’re keeping tabs on it.

Gist: Written by Megan Mercier and Kris Swanberg, this tells the story of a 39-year-old inner-city high school science teacher who bonds with one of her more promising students when both find themselves dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Adopting a weekly routine of preparing college applications, prenatal yoga classes, and satisfying pregnancy cravings at the hot dog stand, the two women enter into a special friendship between teacher and student as they help each other prepare for the unknown challenges of motherhood.

Production Co./Producers: Andrea Roa (Drinking Buddies).

Prediction: NEXT section. SXSW more likely.

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

Update: Corrections were made to the piece — inaccurate attribution of roles.

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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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