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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Shorts From Janicza Bravo, Calvin Reeder, Dustin Guy Defa & Boyd Holbrook


Last week, we had fun chiming in on how Sundance 2016 might look like with our Sundance predictions list. Our series was exactly one short from the promised 75. We decided to switch things up this year. Our last pick is reserved for what is a next to impossible, needle in the haystack guess at what films might break into the short film sections. Out of the 8000 plus submissions the Sundance Short Film programmers will receive, they’ll end up selecting a little less than a hundred short films. Here are some ideas as to who and what could show up.

The Bulb and The Procedure
No stranger to Park City, Calvin Reeder has supplied the fest with features such as The Oregonian (2011), The Rambler (2013) and could very well bring this Kickstarter pairing to public access television blitz and X-Files love. Production wrapped in August. Actors Linas Phillips and Christian Palmer star.

Cool As Ice 2
I took notice of Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer with their shorts Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke (2012) and the especially the wacky #PostModem (2013) slayed auds. In 2013, Sundance put them through the New Frontier Story Lab Fellowship at the Sundance Institute. A sequel to Cool As Ice (1991 movie vehicle starring Vanilla Ice), Cool As Ice 2 has been featured at their fest same time last year. Will it resurface?

Dramatic Relationships
Part of the micro indie landscape as both an actor and filmmaker, Dustin Guy Defa has been piling up
shorts prior to and after his feature film debut in 2012’s Bad Fever. Most recently he contributed to TheIntercept (God is an Artist) but the item we’d like to see is this nine minute project that sees Lindsay Burdge, Jennifer Kim, Hannah Gross, and Keith Poulson in a loose satire about the male gaze and the relationship between a male director and his female actors.

Hard World for Small Things
The well-deserved jury award winner for 2014’s Gregory Go Boom, production on Janicza Bravo‘s latest short began this past May. Featuring Keith Stanfield, Brandon Scott and Hannah Heller in what is a Virtual Reality film.

Nicole Riegel workshopped her screenplay Lynch at the 2014 January Screenwriters Lab, but we could be seeing her short film break into the fest. Currently in the final stages of it’s Kickstarter campaign, this is about Coon and Blaze, two young brothers growing up in small town southern Ohio.

Out the Hospital Window
Currently making the rounds with his feature God Bless the Child, Robert Machoian has seen a little bunch of his shorts break into the fest (Movies Made from Home #15 and Movies Made from Home #6). This falls into the docu short category.

Peacock Killer
Having been to the fest for Very Good Girls, The Skeleton Twins and Little Accidents, Boyd Holbrook made his directing debut with a short story by Sam Shepard. Starring Elizabeth Marvel and Shea Whigham, this is about a man and his dog go on an unlikely journey of reconciliation.

Field of Vision: Documentary Short
Brainchild from Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook, I wouldn’t be surprised if the premiere one of their latest shorts from the plethora of filmmakers who have so far collaborated.

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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