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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert’s Swiss Army Man


Receiving wall-to-wall support from the Sundance Institute participating in a fivesome of labs all in 2014 (the January Screenwriters Lab, Directors Lab, Music and Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound, Creative Producing Summit and finally, the June Screenwriters Lab), music-video director (Foster the People and the Shins) tandem Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert made ’14 a true year to connect with the Sundance folk by submitting Possibilia (a 16 parallel universe world with Zoe Jarman and Alex Karpovsky playing tumultuous lovers) in the New Frontier section. Featured in Filmmaker Magazine Top 25 Faces, production on Swiss Army Man took place this past July and surely got submitted in rough form. While their trio noteworthy topliners in Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Paul Dano suggest a certain clout, it’s the equal promise of visual cleverness (see this hypnotic award-winning video) and wide-ranging possibilities for where they might take the genre (it may draw comparisons to a pair of recently shown Sundance films in zombie rom com Life After Beth and Carter Smith’s Jamie Marks Is Dead) that sets them apart.

Gist: This is  hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a journey to get home.

Production Co./Producers: Cold Iron’s Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Blackbird’s Lawrence Inglee and Jonathan Wang (Time Out of Mind), The Tadmor Group’s Eyal Rimmon (The Quiet American), and Lauren Mann (Stone).

Prediction: Park City After Midnight, NEXT section and even U.S. Dramatic Comp (which surprised us with comedies in 2015) could have be suitable sections.

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 (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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