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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Hager Ben-Asher’s The Burglar


It might be wishful thinking on our part to think that Hager Ben-Asher would somehow submit her sophomore film in January instead of holding out for the month of May. Before The Burglar (which will drop in 2016), there was the Critics’ Week Cannes Film Festival 2011 selected The Slut (see pic above) which helped make a proper name for the filmmaker. This directorial debut was indeed affiliated to the Sundance – as it was selected by the Sundance Institute for what  was the 2010 Israel mini lab. Featuring newbie actress, popular Israeli model Lihi Kornowski, The Burglar was on our radar for 2015, but now we’re hopeful it’ll drop in early ’16 with stops at Rotterdam and/or Berlin as a strong possibility. While her debut was a little bit louder than a pin drop, featuring another strong female heroine, this could make a thunderous noise for her national cinema.

Gist: Lihi Kornowski plays a young woman who becomes a female burglar herself after her mother’s home is broken into by brutal thieves.

Production Co./Producers: Hagar Ben Asher, rohfilm’s Benny Drechsel and Karsten Stöter (My Sweet Pepper Land), Nathalie Vallet, Eitan Mansuri (The Congress).

Prediction: Low chances for Sundance entry with World Dramatic Comp eyed. Cannes most probable from all the fests.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). The Match Factory (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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