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Ondi Timoner's Mapplethorpe

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe

Well versed in the music scene, arts and technology, this docu-helmer won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for Dig! (2004) and followed that up with yet another win for We Live in Public (2009). Moving into fiction feature film terrain for the first time, this new project marks a departure of sorts for veteran Ondi Timoner, but we’re thinking this intimate portrait of a photographer with a penchant for the controversial and the illness that took him away might be more off the wall than standard biopic. Lassoing Lost River thesp Matt Smith who has an uncanny resemblance to the enigmatic and controversial Robert Mapplethorpe and newbie Marianne Rendón to play Patti Smith (originally this has Zosia Mamet onboard), production began this past July, so there’ll have to have been a substantial quick pace in post-production. Originally going by the title of “The Perfect Moment” when it was workshopped at the Directors Lab back in 2010, it could be argued that Timoner courts controversy in terms of her subject matters, perhaps she’ll stoke some fires here as well.

Gist: Based on a story by Bruce Goodrich, and written by Mikko Alanne and Ondi Timoner, this follows Mapplethorpe from his rise to fame in the 1970s to his untimely death in 1989 due to complications from AIDS.

Production Co./Producers: Blue Creek Pictures’ Richard J. Bosner, Boston Diva Productions’ Eliza and Nate Dushku, Interloper Films‘ Ondi Timoner.

Prediction: A prime acquisitions title for the Premieres category.

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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