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Jeremiah Zagar's We the Animals

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jeremiah Zagar’s We the Animals

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jeremiah Zagar’s We the Animals

Emmy-nominated Jeremiah Zagar last introduced Sundance auds to his 2014 docu look into a prosecution from the masses in Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart (U.S. Documentary Competition program), and shortly after the project known as We the Animals slowly started being assembled for an eventual shoot in Utica, New York in the summer of 2016. With a visit to the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Creative Producing Labs (producer Jeremy Yaches gave some insight into the process), this was then selected for the Sundance Directing & Screenwriting Labs shortly after. Zager attended the IFP labs, landed some post-prod coin (SFFS) and support from Cinereach, and what is worth noting is that micro indie rarely use novels as the source material, and here they had access to Justin Torres‘ first novel published in 2011. Worth noting, Zagar also went to Sundance with the short, Heart Stop Beating. We don’t much care for the coming of ager, but this might stick especially with Zagar’s docu background.

Gist: Based on the novel by Justin Torres, and co-written by Zagar and Dan Kitrosser, this is the story of three brothers, and a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up. It tells the story of a brutal yet loving dynamic of a mixed-race working class family, seen through the eyes of the youngest son named Jonah, as he discovers his heritage, his sexuality and his madness.

Production Co./Producers: Christina King, Jeremy Yaches

Prediction: NEXT section or SXSW Narrative Comp.

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



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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