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Festival Predictions

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Yance Ford’s Strong Island

There is nothing new in the subject matters covered in Yance Ford’s debut. Gun violence. Authorities taking a blind eye approach. A family and community torn. Pretty much sight unseen (although a peak at the trailer helps), I’d be surprised if I’ll personally be able to withstand the emotionally walloping that Strong Island promises to deliver. Forget about dry eyes. We’ve been anticipating this docu since we first heard of the person (Filmmaker Mag’s Scott Macaulay Top 25 Faces profile), and ever since then, it’s been collecting massive support from the Sundance Institute, Cinereach, IDFA Forum and just last month, a major helping hand from the MacArthur Foundation Documentary Grant. We’re wishful that this lands at the top of ’15.

Gist: Tracing the impacts of the 1992 shooting death of William Ford, Jr., an unarmed African American, and the devastation of the Ford family when his killer goes unpunished.

Production Co./Producers: Esther Robinson (The Canal Street Madam). Executive producers: Simon Kilmurry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front), Joslyn Barnes, Danny Glover and Susan Rockefeller – all involved on Concerning Violence).

Prediction: U.S. Documentary Competition.

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, 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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