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Festival Predictions

2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Antonio Campos’ Christine

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If Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux doesn’t snag it away first, we might be chalking this unsettling piece of cinema as yet another Park City homecoming for the Borderline films crew. Ever since Afterschool was launched in Cannes back in 2008, their string of feature films Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin), Antonio Campos‘ sophomore film Simon KillerJames White (Josh Mond) plus the award-winning short Mary Last Seen all got their starts at this January set fest. While creative collaborators such as dp Joe Anderson and composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans return to the fold, Campos’ third film is a departure of sorts as he works from a screenplay other than his own, and very busy filmmakers in their own right in Durkin and Mond are on board in the executive producer roles. Production on Christine took place last May, so this will indeed to fit to go. Rebecca Hall toplines a drama that touches upon themes and techniques that Campos is particularly nimble at: collective voyeurism and the participatory axis of victim and future audience. Expect a strong visual treatment and strong reactions.

Gist: Written by Craig Shilowich, this chronicles the true story of the final months of Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall), a depressed 29-year-old WXLT-TV news reporter who shot herself on the air in Florida. Chubbuck carefully planned her suicide and even wrote a script for her program that included a third-person account of the shooting to be read by whichever staff member took over the broadcast after the incident. 14 hours after she was taken to the same hospital she predicted, she was pronounced dead.

Production Co./Producers: Craig Shilowich (Creative Control), Melody C. Roscher (Creative Control). Executive producers: Borderline Films’ Sean Durkin and Josh Mond. Co-producers: Alicia Van Couvering (Digging for Fire), Rowan Riley, Nick Case (Take Me to the River).

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition with a bullet.

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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