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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Ryan Koo’s Amateur

As detailed by the filmmaker/ Founding Editor himself, it was no easy task to land a coveted Sundance institute spot but not unlike perfecting your jumpshot, practice does indeed make perfect. Prior to the 2014 January Screenwriters Lab, Ryan Koo laid the foundations for his eventual feature via his proof of concept short film, and prior to filming with Josh Charles and Michael Rainey Jr. toplining, Amateur (formerly known as Man Child) was picked up by Netflix. A Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces personality, successful media outlet, unconventional approach to launching his short, the recipient of the A3 Foundation Fellowship and a successful Kickstarter campaign this picture already has a fanbase in place ready for the premiere buzzer.

Gist: Based on the short film of the same name, this follows Terron Forte (Rainey Jr.), a 14 year-old basketball phenom, whose highlight video goes viral only to find himself struggling to fit in with the older high schoolers on his new team. He then must defeat his greatest rival yet — his new coach (Charles).

Production Co./Producers: Jason Michael Berman (The Birth of a Nation), Chip Hourihan (Desert Cathedral) and Mark Moran

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Comp.

U.S. Distributor: Netflix.

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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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