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Sara Colangelo's The Kindergarten Teacher

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher

An exciting, first feature film credit as a producer for Maggie Gyllenhaal (creatively she is at an important juncture) this could be the Israeli film remake we didn’t know we needed. Based on Nadav Lapid’s seminal, 2nd feature film (read review) in a still nascent filmography (we were at the world premiere in Cannes – see video), the original The Kindergarten Teacher was much lauded among critics. We were originally scratching our heads as to why this politically infused film would be worth a translation for the North American market, but Sara Colangelo‘s surely approached the material from a different angle. The filmmaker was a last minute edition at the 2015 edition of the Sundance film festival with her debut film (we called ittoo convenient, and ultimately, not very provocative, Little Accidents feels like a dysthymic version of classical tragedy, with a bright streak of classism threaded throughout.” Gyllenhaal was joined by Gael Garcia Bernal, Rosa Salazar, Michael Chernus, Anna Baryshnikov and Daisy Tahan in a film project that lensed in July.

Gist: Gyllenhaal stars as Lisa Spinelli, a kindergarten teacher who grows more and more numb each day she remains stuck in her mundane Staten Island life. When she discovers what may be a prodigious five-year old poet in her class, she becomes obsessed with the child and his talent– risking her career, family, and freedom.

Production Co./Producers: Pie Films’ Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Hadlesman-Keren (The Kindergarten Teacher), Maven Pictures‘ Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler (Kings), PaperChase Films’ Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Prediction: Premieres section.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. WME (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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