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Festival Predictions

2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Tommy O’Haver’s The Most Hated Woman in America

Not a biopic on Hillary Clinton but the title of one outspoken trailblazing personality who took on gawking religious folk, despite some television work Tommy O’Haver has seen any directing action since he pitted a nasty human being (Catherine Keener) against hope (Ellen Page) in 2007’s An American Crime. His relationship with the fest began in 1998 with Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss, then had a pair of fluffy Hollywood titles in between. Flash forward almost a decade later, and we’re ripe for what could be an outstanding performance from Melissa Leo in The Most Hated Woman in America. Production took place last March, Juno Temple, Vincent Kartheiser, Adam Scott, Josh Lucas, Rory Cochrane, and Vivienne Taylor complete the team.

Gist: A true story of the much debated rise and demise of a woman, named Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who was known as the head atheist activist of America. She founded the organization, American Atheist, and held the position of president within the organization for 13 years. Quickly this woman became the most loathed person in the country.

Production Co./Producers: Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman (Pitch Perfect 2), Laura Rister (The Free World).

Prediction: Premieres category.

U.S. Distributor: Netflix. TBD (international)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, 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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