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Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale

A filmmaker who needs no introduction, the award-winning The Babadook (among our top 20 for 2014) is among the upper echelon titles that premiered at Sundance in the past decade. If she arrives at the fest with her sophomore film, it’ll be the first item to sell out and will have buyers salivating prior to. Great news dropped this last March that Jennifer Kent would go into production with this distinct revenge thriller period piece. Shot in Tasmania, Kent enlisted the services of Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman, Ewen Leslie, Harry Greenwood, Djuki Mala, Baykali Ganambarr and Magnolia Maymuru. Kent reteams with Jed Kurzel who since writing the score for The Babadook, has been working on larger studio projects. If selected, The Nightingale might just be the most anticipated foreign film at the fest.

Gist: Set in Tasmania in 1825, this follows a beautiful 21-year-old Irish female convict who witnesses the brutal murder of her husband and baby by her soldier master and his cronies. Unable to find justice, she takes an Aboriginal male tracker with her through the hellish wilderness to seek revenge on the men, and gets much more than she bargained for.

Production Co./ProducersCauseway Films‘ Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook), Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea (Warm Bodies).

Prediction: Several fests will attempt to woe the filmmaker, but this premium item feels like a must have for Sundance and should be programmed in the Premieres category.

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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