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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 (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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