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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete

Seeing that Andrew Haigh‘s career has been climbing in the same upward trajectory as the best stock options on the fortune 500, we shouldn’t be surprised if an early look to Cannes Film Fest’s Thierry & co. might push this to a world preem status in May. We thought that 2011’s Weekend was his big break, but then 45 Years was launched in 2015 and in most positive sense of the term, it’s been onwards and upwards for this talent filmmaker. Before climbing onto biopic terrain with the Alexander McQueen project, Haigh works from an award-winning novel with the young Charlie Plummer in the lead and mostly American indie vets in Steve Buscemi, Steve Zahn, Chloë Sevigny, Travis Fimmel, Thomas Mann and Amy Seimetz supporting roles. Lean On Pete was a vote of confidence pick up by the A24 folks before filming began, and production wrapped up in July in the beautiful Pacific Northwest region.

Gist: An adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s novel, this is about 15-year-old teenager Charley as he embarks on a perilous journey in search of his long lost aunt and a possible home, his only companion the stolen racehorse Lean on Pete.

Production Co./Producers: The Bureau’s Tristan Goligher (45 Years).

Prediction: Premieres section and Berlin Film Fest double dip is possible, Cannes not out of the question.

U.S. Distributor: A24. The Bureau Sales/Celluloid Dreams (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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