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Duke Johnson The Actor

Festival Predictions

2024 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Duke Johnson’s The Actor

2024 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Duke Johnson’s The Actor

This is one of those titles that could fit a bit anywhere in terms of major film festival premiere — it all depends on how the NEON folks see the film in the awards rally. A book to film adaptation of the 2010 novel Memory by Donald E. Westlake was taken on by Duke Johnson as his first solo directing gig (his previous film was 2015’s stick figure existentialism-filled dramedy Anomalisa). The Actor stars André Holland (who replaced Ryan Gosling) toplines the ensemble comprised of Gemma Chan, May Calamawy, Toby Jones, Tracey Ullman, Olwen Fouéré, Joe Cole, Tanya Reynolds, Asim Chaudhry, Youssef Kerkour, Simon McBurney and Edward Hogg. Production took place in Budapest of November 2022 and wrapped up in April 2023.

Gist: Stranded in 1950s Ohio after a brutal attack, actor Paul Cole (Holland), suffering from severe memory loss, struggles to find his way back to his life in New York and reclaim what he has lost. The Actor follows a thrilling journey we must all make, to find home, to find love and ultimately to find ourselves.

Production Co./Producers: Innerlight Films’ Duke Johnson and Abigail Spencer, MAKE GOOD’s Paul Young, Waypoint Entertainment’s Ken Kao.

Prediction: Premieres.

U.S. Distributor: NEON.

2023 American Film Festival Wroclaw

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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