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PARK CITY, Utah — Lynn Shelton‘s Laggies suffered a brief blackout when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival’s Eccles Theatre on Friday night.
When the screen went black about two-thirds of the way through the film, the packed house was quick to grumble, but within moments, the film came back to life. However, one scene was skipped entirely.
Other than that hiccup, the screening went smoothly, with the film receiving warm applause when the credits rolled. Several distributors told THR they enjoyed the film to varying degrees, and there are multiple buyers circling the project, according to sources.
Shelton, a Sundance vet, told the crowd that it was “a big leap” for her to direct a film that she had not written. The comedy-drama, which follows a 20-something woman (Keira Knightley) who tells her fiance she’s going on a retreat but instead hangs out with a teenage girl (Chloe Moretz), was written by first-time screenwriter Andrea Seigel. It was produced by Anonymous Content.
Shelton, Seigel, Knightley, Moretz and much of the cast and crew were in the audience, with at least a dozen people coming onstage after the screening to participate in a Q&A session.
Knightley and Moretz, whose performances were both praised by attendees, said they bonded by going to dinner together ahead of shooting. “She told me about life and I basically listened,” said Knightley.
Shelton told the audience that she felt blessed to get all the actors she cast for Laggies, which was shot in 25 days during the summer. She said her favorite scene involved Knightley dancing with an advertising sign. “My idea for the marketing is just put that on YouTube and make it go viral,” she joked.
Shelton’s previous Sundance films have included Humpday and Touchy Feely. The director, who said she would “never get used to seeing how many people fit into this theater,” made a point to emphasize her love for the Park City fest.
“I feel like I owe my career as a filmmaker to [the organizers of Sundance] because they provided a platform for a very small, tiny film that I made with friends for pennies,” she said, referring to 2009’s Humpday.
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