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Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You

Coming from the world of hip hop, you’d expect Boots Riley to be somewhat of a novice with film in general but a not commonly known fun fact is that he studied film in San Fran before launching into his music career. Prior to lining up a cast of Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Kate Berlant and Sundance fave Robert Longstreet, Riley took his first film project to the Sundance labs (2015 June Screenwriters Lab and 2016 Directors Lab) and lensed this June in the same backdrop as Fruitvale Station, Oakland California. If Sorry to Bother You plays out like Sundance hit Safety Not Guaranteed, Riley might have to make a permanent career change.

Gist: A black telemarketer with self-esteem issues discovers a magical key to business success, propelling him to the upper echelons of the hierarchy just as his activist comrades are rising up against unjust labor practices. When he uncovers the macabre secret of his corporate overlords, he must decide whether to stand up or sell out.

Production Co./Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker (Fruitvale Station), 6 Years‘ Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams, Charles D. King (Fences), George Rush (Bully).

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Comp.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). WME Global (international)

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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