Connect with us
Jeremy Saulnier's Hold the Dark

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark

A filmmaker we’ve been keeping tabs on since the late naughts when his Slamdance/SXSW preemed 2007’s Murder Party dropped, Jeremy Saulnier played a significant creative role with dp contributions to Baltimore originals in Matthew Porterfield’s Hamilton and Putty Hill and Michael Tully’s Septien (2011). He has a way with visceral experiences and a knack for third acts that turn into delirious, uncommon tonal atmospheric twists, it’s with the Cannes Film Fest preemed and Sundance showcased Blue Ruin (2013) and Green Room (2015) where Saulnier became part of an American indie and internationalized it director. He recently signed up for True Detective’s third season, but his fourth feature, a different beast altogether in terms of budget size and name cast, failed to drop in 2017, so there is a good chance that it’ll land in Park City, a showing in Cannes. A first for Saulnier who works from a screenplay that is not his own, nonetheless, with Hold the Dark he continues the creative collaboration with Macon Blair, who after winning the U.S Dramatic Comp prize for I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore, wrote the adaptation. The Netflix folks swooped in to pick up the rights prior to lensing which began in February in Alaska backdrop for a two month run, this might be likened to Insomnia, or even white out Wind River. Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough (she has an epic 2018 in the works), James Badge Dale, Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Whitesell and Blair, there is no release date, but a fest preem is an absolute must with what should be a lush as Tobias Lindholm’s often used dp Magnus Nordenhof Jønck photographed the thriller.

Gist: Written by Macon Blair, adapted from William Giraldi’s 2014 novel by the same name, set in the Alaskan wilderness, is about family and fate. The story revolves around a child taken from his village by a pack of wolves and an expert hunter is called in to track them down and kill them. He finds himself confronting not only the cruelty of Mother nature but also his own failings. As the child’s grief-crazed father follows behind him, it becomes unclear who is really being hunted.

Production Co./Producers: Addictive Pictures’ Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder (upcoming Fonzo), filmscience‘s Neil Kopp and Anish Savjani (Certain Women), Eva Maria Daniels (The Dinner).

Prediction: Premieres category …. or could hold off until Cannes.

U.S. Distributor: Netflix.



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).

Click to comment

More in Festival Predictions

To Top