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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: John Carney’s Sing Street

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Could acoustic lightening strike twice? 2006 was a mythical, magical year for John Carney when Once took the Sundance Film Festival and film world by storm. With buffer items Zonad (2009) and The Rafters (2012) only whetting our appetite for another Carney gem, 2013’s surprise box office indie hit Begin Again (with Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine) sort of got us back in the saddle. We now come full circle back to another micro film with potentially lots of heart. Considered a cousin to Once, Carney enlists U2’s Bono and The Edge for the this when Irish eyes are smiling coming-of-ager romance. Currently in the midst of a certain restructuring, the Weinsteins picked up Sing Street in at the Cannes Film Fest in 2014 and it was kept off the 2015 slate. Could this semi-biographical tale be tuned up as a crowd-pleasing Park City item?

Gist: This tells the story of 14-year-old Cosmo, a kid growing up in 1980s Dublin who is intent on breaking free from his screwed-up home life. He writes a song, forms a scrappy band with some schoolmates, writes more songs and shoots some wicked music videos. When he realizes he can’t save his family, he runs off with his 15-year-old wannabe model girlfriend to London.

Production Co./Producers: Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman (The Circle), PalmStar Media Capital’s Kevin Scott Frakes, Merced Media Partners’ Raj Brinder Singh (American Ultra), FilmWave’s Paul Trijbits (Alone in Berlin), Martina Niland (Milo) and Distressed Films’s John Carney.

Prediction: Premieres category.

U.S. Distributor: The Weinstein Co.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, 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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