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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Ian Olds’ The Fixer


It would be a futile exercise to try to pigeonhole this filmmaker into one category and just looking at the work samples that have crossed into Sundance territory he has
2007’s short Bomb, brought an unproduced screenplay The Western Habit at the 2011 January Screenwriters Lab and was the editor on the 2013’s kink. However, Ian Olds is better known for his docu features contributions in Occupation: Dreamland (winner of a 2006 Independent Spirit Award) and Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. He has two different films on the burner with the SFFS backed (2011 SFFS / Hearst Screenwriting Grant Recipient and Fall 2013, Spring 2014 & Spring 2015 SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant Recipient)  The Fixer (the feature film version) that might break in early 2016. Starring James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan, Melissa Leo and Dominic Rains, they were still making casting announcements in early August, but we’re feeling that this might have crossed the finish line in time.

Gist: Co-written by Olds and Paul Felten, this follows a young Afghan journalist exiled from his war-torn country to a small bohemian community in Northern California. When he attempts to turn his menial job on the local police blotter into “Afghan-style” coverage of local crime, he gets drawn into the backwoods of this small town — a shadow Northern California where sex is casual, true friendship is hard to come by, and an unfamiliar form of violence bubbles up all around him.

Production Co./Producers: Jennifer Glynn, Caroline von Kuhn, Lily Whitsitt and Adeel Ahmed.

Prediction: NEXT Section.

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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