WSF Shines at Sundance 2017

Published 02.01.2017

It was a great year for Washington Square Films productions and for its management clients at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

WSF’s production of Matt Ruskin’s CROWN HEIGHTS starring Lakeith Stanfield and Nnamdi Asomugah won the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and its world rights were picked up by Amazon Studios. The film was inspired by an episode of the popular podcast “This American Life.” It follows the true story of Colin Warner, who was sent to prison following a wrongful murder conviction, and his best friend Carl King, who dedicated his own life to proving his friend’s innocence. The movie has been praised by SLUG Magazine as one that “challenges audiences” and refuses to “shy away from Warner’s hopelessness and devastation.” Pop Matters called it “a powerful testament to the political gamesmanship, racial profiling, and social inequities that continue to shape the criminal justice system.”

Another WSF production, Alex Ross Perry’s GOLDEN EXITS starring Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Chloe Sevigny, Mary Louise Parker, and Jason Schwartzman was named on almost every best-of-festival list.  GOLDEN EXITS explores what happens when two Brooklynite families are thrown off their equilibrium following the arrival of a young, attractive Aussie. Vanity Fair called the film a “micro-masterpiece”, The Film Stage said it was Perry’s “most humane and emotionally complex film.” The Hollywood Reporter hailed it as “close to superb,” and Film School Rejects praised Perry’s writing as “clever and vicious,” grading the film overall as “exceptional.”

On the management side, client Eliza Hittman received the Sundance award of Best Director: U.S. Dramatic for her film BEACH RATS. The story examines a Brooklyn teenager’s struggle to understand and explore his own sexuality while attempting to escape his bleak home life. Variety described the film as an “anxious, tactile, profoundly sad study of a young man’s journey of sexual self-discovery and behavior.” Hittman’s latest project is certainly linked to her 2012 “It Felt Like Love” in terms of its focus on adolescence and self-discovery, though The Hollywood Reporter writes that BEACH RATS is “a leap forward in terms of craft and narrative maturity.”  Also on the management side, client Zoe Kazan starred in one of the big hits of the festival THE BIG SICK.

Congratulations to all our artists!