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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick

Sometimes a given film isn’t ready, or is not quite the good fit for Sundance, which only means that whatever they pass on benefits the next major film fest that celebrates indie film in line. As a celebrated writer, Michael Showalter does have a Sundance stamped in his film fest passport for David Wain’s They Came Together (2014), but despite his contributions to TV with “Wet Hot American Summer” and more recently, “Search Party,” he was potentially passed over with the Sally Field surprise SXSW Audience Award winner hit Hello, My Name Is Doris in 2015. He broke out in 2005 with The Baxter (2005) in which he both directed and starred in, and his third film, which commenced filming in April-May-ish of this year, features a fun-sounding line-up that includes Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano and Adeel Akhtar. Rom com The Big Sick could easily be a top acquisitions title at the fest.

Gist: Written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, this is the story is that examines the challenges faced by a Pakistan-born man (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Kazan). Romano and Hunter play Kazan’s parents.

Production Co./Producers: Apatow Productions’ Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel (Trainwreck).

Prediction: Premieres category or back to back years at SXSW.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. UTA (domestic). FilmNation (international)

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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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