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2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini’s Ten Thousand Saints

Who can forget 2003 when filmmaker-duo Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini landed at Sundance with a highly inventive biopic, a seminal film really in the indie film cannon.  Featuring the debatably unlikeable Clevelander Harvey Pekar,  American Splendor moved put the pair on a pedestal, and while they’ve been back to Sundance for The Extra Man (’10), they’ve pretty much stuck to commercial indie items in The Nanny Diaries (07), Cinema Verite – HBO ’11, and Girl Most Likely (aka Imogene) ’12. Starring Asa Butterfield, Ethan Hawke, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, Emily Mortimer and Julianne Nicholson, production began way back at the end of January on Ten Thousand Saints, which comes with a built-in fanbase due to the novel on which it is based on. Should be a high value sales item if included.

Gist: Based on the novel of the same name by Eleanor Henderson, set in the 1980s, a teenager (Asa Butterfield) from Vermont moves to New York City to live with his father (Ethan Hawke) in East Village. There we find adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, hardcore punk rock, the unbridled optimism and reckless stupidity of the young–and old–are all major elements in this heart-aching tale of the son of diehard hippies and his strange odyssey through the extremes of late 20th century youth culture.

Production Co./Producers: Luca Borghese (Gabriel), Archer Gray’s Anne Carey and Amy Nauiokas (Little Accidents), Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray (Still Alice)

Prediction: Premieres section.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). The Solution Entertainment Group (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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