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Festival Predictions

Top 70 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Forecasting the 2013 Edition

Thanksgiving. A time for tradition, a time for reflecting and a time for family. This week, while the Sundance programers led by John Cooper are wrapping up their selection process and will be adding to their forever expanding family this week (they break the news to the lucky few during the civic Holiday amongst family and friends), I continue my “tradition” of predicting and “reflecting” on the current year of production and what films and filmmakers will be part of the next January’s edition of the 29th Sundance Film Festival (17th-27th). Via industry contacts, the festival’s history and current trends, I’ve selected 70 titles that have a bona fide chance at cracking the ’13 line-up and according to my hit and misses of the previous year, the majority of my inaccurate calls trickle into SXSW or end up being items to watch out for when TIFF programmer Jane Schoettle builds her slate.

In terms of quality, I expect to see a sampling of names featured in Scott Macaulay’s Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces break new ground in Park City, and I’m expecting to see a handful of items from Franklin Leonard’s The Black List, the annual survey of the best unproduced screenplays that eventually do see the light of day with bankable indie actors, become a key source for several must see acquisition titles at the Eccles.

For 2013, in terms of themes, if my predictions are accurate, journos looking for an angle might tag this upcoming edition as an X-rated type of year – a fascination with porn could slip into practically all sections of the festival and the coming of age film and biopic items should be dominant characteristics as well. In terms of trends, we will continue to see grassroots support for indie film: crowd-sourcing giant Kickstarter should break last year’s number of supported items (Keep the Lights On, Room 237 and Black Rock) and we’ll see the Sundance Institute’s mandate of providing various Sundance Labs and Grants continue to pan out in terms of festival berths – which is especially true (as pointed out by our docu guru Jordan Smith) for documentary films that received recent grants: 2011, 2011, 2012.

In terms of prognostications, I think Sam Rockwell, Brie Larson and Julia Garner are thesps who might be spending just about as much time at the fest as our team of reporters will, and prior to Sundance’s official announcements, a complimentary set of further predix can usually be found over at Michael Tully’s Hammer to Nail (who is currently in post with his latest feature film Ping Pong Summer).

Enjoy exploring/discovering the 70 titles/filmmakers (click thru arrow below) who we think stand a chance at cracking into the line-up.

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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