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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Marielle Heller’s Diary of a Teenage Girl

We’d be hard pressed to find more of an enraptured superfan of Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel than Marielle Heller. The actress adapted Diary of a Teenage Girl into a stageplay, played the lead, and at the end of the playhouse run figured she wasn’t done with the material. 2012 was a pivotal bloom year for the adaptation, with Heller landing all encompassing support  from the Sundance Institute folks with a quartet of workshoppy goodness: Creative Producing Summit, June Screenwriters Lab, Directors Lab and Screenplay Reading Series. Production took place in San Francisco this past January, with the love triangle roles being distributed to Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig, and newbie Bel Powley in the title role. Set in the Farrah Fawcett pin-up era, this potentially thorny The Ice Storm-esque drama pits irresponsible adults with grown up teenagers and should be a highly sought after acquisitions title …. especially if Wiig nabs a Supporting Actress nom for The Skeleton Twins at the Indie Spirits later this month.

Gist: Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel of the same name, this follows a teen artist (Powley) living in San Francisco in the ’70s who attempts to navigate her way through an affair with her mother’s boyfriend.

Production Co./Producers: Cold Iron Pictures’ Miranda Bailey (Super), Archer Gray’s Anne Carey (Little Accidents), Caviar’s Bert Hamelinck (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I & II) and Madeline Samit.

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition most logical route.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. UTA (domestic). K5 International (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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