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Festival Predictions

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Robinson Devor’s You Can’t Win

Films gods be damned. After guesstimating its eventual arrival on the film fest circuit and tracking it since it first went into production back in 2012, I’m inclined to think that the shot in state of Washington production either hit a rough patch, needed a longer production schedule due to seasonal shifts in backdrops or, my latest theory: Robinson Devor concurrently worked on not one, but two projects: the other being Pow Wow, his latest documentary project. Devor began editing the film at the start of the year and as part of Park City fabric in the naughts with successive releases of The Woman Chaser (2000), Police Beat (2005) and Zoo (2007) – we may see the filmmaker double up his presence with You Can’t Win finally cutting the finish line ribbon. Cast includes Jeremy Allen White, Charles Baker, Julia Garner, Will Patton, Hannah Marks and Louisa Krause (look out for her perf in the upcoming Bluebird) alongside I Origins‘ Michael Pitt who not only stars, but produces and was part of the team of screenwriters. Tech crew includes cinematographer Sean Kirby (Happy Valley) and Production Designer Gerald Sullivan (Rosewater).

Gist: Scripted by Devor, Pitt, Barry Gifford and Charles Mudede, this is an adaptation of adventurer Jack Black’s 1926 autobiographical novel of the same name which tells of his experiences in the hobo underworld, freight-hopping around the still Wild West of the United States and Canada while he explores the topics of crime, addiction, criminal justice and human folly from various viewpoints. The drama is centered on the unusual friendship between Black (Pitt) and a young prostitute (Marks).

Production Co./Producers: Robert Scarff, Zach Sebastian, Michael Pitt

Prediction: Toss up between U.S. Dramatic Competition or Premieres category.

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 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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