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Rhys Ernst - Adam

Festival Predictions

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #3. Rhys Ernst – Adam

2019 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: #3. Rhys Ernst – Adam

A project that once had Desiree Akhavan attached to direct, Adam would land in the lap of “This Is Me” and “Transparent” producer-director Rhys Ernst somewhere in 2017. Ernst who has been, forgive the pun, trans-parent in his own life (read his remarkable story here) would be returning to Park City — as his 2012 short shot on 16mm The Thing was an official selection. Adapted from Ariel Schrag’s comic novel which NYTimes describes as “a bewildered teen-ager suddenly immersed in New York’s post-collegiate lesbian and queer hipster scene,” production would have taken place sometime last year. Established indie it personality Margaret Qualley is joined by potential breakout star Nicholas Alexander.

Rooftop Films 2019

Gist: Set in 2006 Brooklyn, this tells the story of an awkward teenager Adam (played by Nicholas Alexander) who goes to spend his final summer of high school with his older sister, who has thrown herself into New York City’s lesbian and trans activist scene. Adam meets the girl of his dreams (Margaret Qualley) at a party; but there’s one wrinkle – he can’t quite figure out how to tell her he’s not the trans man she thinks he is.

Production Co./Producers: Howard Gertler (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), Symbolic Exchange’s James Schamus (Indignation).

Prediction: U.S. Dramatic Competition.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic). TBD (international)



Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, 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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