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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Yance Ford’s Strong Island

You can’t rush a good thing, and you certainly can’t rush a project that is not that far removed from one’ self. We’ve been in accurately predicting that this Cinereach, IDFA Forum and the Sundance Institute project would break into the line-up for several years now. We have a feeling that Yance Ford’s Strong Island will have been worth the wait.

Gist: This examines the violent death of filmmaker Ford’s brother over 20 years ago, and the collision of silence, race, fear and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free. Artfully made, with extraordinary insight, this film calls us to bear witness to the reality rather than the abstraction of injustice. It goes beyond interviews into the homes of those left behind, into profound crises of civic faith. It interrogates murderous fear, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change.

Production Co./Producers: Yanceville Films & Louverture Films and Producers Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford.

Prediction: U.S. Documentary Competition.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). 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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