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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jennifer Fox’s The Tale

Not unlike Gabriela Cowperthwaite, here is the example of another female docu filmmaker who broke out at Sundance and has now climbed into fiction narrative territory. We know Jennifer Fox via Sundance entries such as the 1988 Grand Jury Prize for best documentary and the Excellence in Cinematography Award winner Beirut: The Last Home Movie, An American Love Story and Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, and this past May she directed Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Sebastien Koch and Elizabeth Debicki in an investigative thriller (first conceived in grade school) called The Tale

Gist: Written by Fox, this centers on Jennifer (Dern), a successful, globetrotting journalist whose mother (Burstyn) finds a story she wrote at age 13 describing a sexual triangle with two adult coaches. Jennifer sets out to find the coaches, now 40 years later, but as she delves deeper into her own mystery, the voice of her 13-year-old “Jenny” (played by Isabelle Nelisse) begins to surface and tell her side of the story. What Jenny reveals shatters everything Jennifer thought she knew about herself.

Production Co./Producers: Sol Bondy (Youth), Jennifer Fox, Lawrence Inglee (Norman), Gamechanger Films’ Mynette Louie (Buster’s Mal Heart), Oren Moverman, Laura Rister (The Most Hated Woman in America), Regina Kulik Scully (Eating Animals).

Prediction: U.S Dramatic or Premieres.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. CAA (domestic). Mongrel International (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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