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Festival Predictions

2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room


It might be a case of deja vu all over again for director Jeremy Saulnier. It’s hard enough breaking into Sundance, but the festival’s Spotlight section features about eight films that have landed a theatrical release deal and are being championed as favorites from the film festival circuit (some have pending releases just after January and some are up for major award consideration). Saulnier premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight with 2013’s Blue Ruin and that was followed by stops just about everywhere including TIFF and a couple of U.S. play dates and this didn’t prevent the festival from inviting the film all the same in 2014. With an almost identical route this time out and the same critical support, Green Room connected with the same auds this year and could make a quick detour before being released theatrically on April 1st by the A24 film folks.

Gist: A down-on-their-luck punk band (which includes the likes of Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat) accepts the wrong gig at the wrong club in the middle of nowhere and witnesses a murder committed by a gang of white supremacists. The group, which now includes a third-party bystander with a dark past (Imogen Poots), barricades itself in the club’s green room. And thus the film becomes a siege thriller, with our clueless, inept heroes defending themselves against a terrifying crew of killers. Yes, this is the Punk Rockers versus Neo-Nazis movie you never knew you wanted.

Production Co./Producers: Neil Kopp, Victor Moyers, Anish Savjani.

Prediction: Spotlight section. If not Sundance, then SXSW.

U.S. Distributor: A24

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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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