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Festival Predictions

2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Ryan Koo’s Amateur

As detailed by the filmmaker/nofilmschool.com 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 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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