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Julius Onah - Luce

Festival Predictions

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #50. Julius Onah – Luce

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #50. Julius Onah – Luce

Part of his “American Lives” output, production on Luce took place in November of 2017 and becomes Julius Onah‘s third feature following in the footsteps of the distinctly indie The Girl Is in Trouble and big budgeted (45 million dollar price tag)  The Cloverfield Paradox. Shot in NYC, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth and Sundance “it” actor Kelvin Harrison Jr., the worldly filmmaker has had a long gestation for post prod.

Rooftop Films 2019

Gist: Based on J.C. Lee’s play, which was adapted by Lee and Onah, Harrison Jr. plays Luce Edgar, a model student, track star and champion debater, stature that pleases the parents (Watts and Roth) who adopted him from a war-torn African nation and were concerned he might be haunted by the violent trauma of his upbringing in Africa. Luce’s teacher, Harriet (Spencer), believes he represents a symbol of black excellence setting a positive example for his peers – until she discovers the well-researched paper he wrote, one littered with disturbing statements about political violence. Eager to protect her star pupil, Harriet investigates but her discoveries force Luce’s parents to question their assumptions of who their adopted child really is and set a chain of events in motion that will change everyone’s lives forever.

Production Co./Producers: John Baker, Onah and Andrew Yang.

Prediction: Premieres category or Tribeca Comp title.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. CAA/Endeavor Content (domestic). BLOOM (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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