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Per Fly's Backstabbing for Beginners

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Per Fly’s Backstabbing for Beginners

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Per Fly’s Backstabbing for Beginners

The A24 folks landed the rights to this Scandi-North American production and globe-trotting English language debut from Per Fly at the onset of the summer, but they noticeably opted for 2018 premiere over fall fest showing for this book to film adaption. Lensed in Copenhagen, Toronto and Morocco back around April of 2016, Backstabbing for Beginners features Theo James and Ben Kingsley in a sort of journey to the center of the white collar crime truth. Known for tackling the class system, the Danish helmer embarks on this bigger fish to fry corruption with his seventh feature film in a filmography that spans just over the two decade mark. The great Jacqueline Bisset is also onboard.

Gist: Inspired by Danish former UN employee and whistle-blower Michael Soussan’s Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy, written by Daniel Pyne and Fly, Soussan (Theo James) lands the job of his dreams: programme coordinator for the UN’s Oil-for-Food Programme. Supported by his boss and mentor (Ben Kingsley), but when he realizes that the corruption reaches the innermost circles, he knows that the only way to stop it is by disclosing everything – with the reputation of the UN, the career of his boss, his love affair with a Kurdish woman and probably his own life at stake.

Production Co./Producers: Creative Alliance’s Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen and Malene Blenkov (Bridgend), Parts & Labor’s Lars Knudsen and Jay van Hoy (The Witch).

Prediction: Receiving its domestic theatrical release in mid January in native Denmark, this would be more likely to pay in the Premieres section with a minor chance at the the World Dramatic Comp at Sundance, with a likely showing in Berlin.

U.S. Distributor: A24


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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