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Festival Predictions

2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Andy Goddard’s A Kind of Murder

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Climbing up the ranks with mostly writing and directing television gigs (this includes a handful of “Downton Abbey” episodes), Andy Goddard flew under the radar with the release of this debut film, a set in the 50’s biopic item featuring Elijah Wood called Set Fire to the Stars (read our review) which had a ’14 festival release and was shown in the U.S. this past summer. With Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Haley Bennett, Vincent Kartheiser and Eddie Marsan onboard, his sophomore film will undoubtedly gain a lot more traction. With all the award season hype surrounding Todd Haynes’ Carol, not all of Patricia Highsmith’s work as panned out into winners — for every The Talented Mr. Ripley there are several failed adaptation attempts. Backed by a pair of key indie titan producers, previously entitled The Blunderer and now anointed as A Kind of Murder, this wrapped up a good while back in December of 2014 in the same city (Cincinnati) where Carol was filmed. The added value here is that it’s a thriller item, of another era and high value Premieres item sans a distributer on board.

Gist: Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, set in 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.

Production Co./Producers: Killer Films’ Christine Vachon (Carol), Ted Hope (Dark Horse) and Susan Boyd. Executive producers: Darren M. Demetre, David Hinojosa, John Jencks, Kelly McCormick, Nick Meyer, Alexa Seligman, Joe Simpson, Jay Taylor.

Prediction: A valuable acquisitions title and the star wattage could make this a Premieres category event.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). Sierra Affinity (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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