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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Bart Freundlich’s Wolves

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This is what we can already confirm. 2016 will be an epic year for Michael Shannon and not because he just received an Indie Spirit nom for Best Supporting Actor in 99 Homes (see pic above). With his services enlisted by Jeff Nichols, Liza Johnson, Tom Ford, Robert Scott Wildes, Werner Herzog and Matthew M. Ross, the versatile actor will be everywhere…including Bart Freundlich‘s sixth feature film. Freundlich got his big start at Sundance back in 1997 for The Myth of Fingerprints and would follow that up by bringing World Traveler (2002) to the fest but he hasn’t been back since. Shot this past June in NYC, Wolves stars Shannon, Carla Gugino and newcomer Taylor John Smith in this tragi-family drama.

Gist: Taylor John Smith will star as an 18-year-old basketball star who is being recruited by Cornell University. He seems to have it all figured out: captain of his team, a good student, has a longtime girlfriend and some good friends. But at home he’s struggling with his troubled Father (Shannon) who has a gambling addiction. His mother (Gugino) tries to keep the family afloat but has done so only with great emotional and financial sacrifice.

Production Co./Producers:
Process Media’s Tim Perell (A.C.O.D.) and Erica Steinberg (Inglourious Basterds). Executive producers: Bill Koenigsberg, Erika Jannotta.

Prediction: U.S Dramatic Comp.

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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