Sundance: Newcomer June Pictures Heads to Fest With Three Films

Alex Saks, Andrew Duncan

June Pictures didn’t even exist one year ago, but the L.A.-based production company has, incredibly, three films playing at the Sundance Film Festival.

Co-founded by Andrew Duncan and former ICM agent Alex Saks, the banner is heading to Park City with Thoroughbred, starring Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy; Fun Mom Dinner with Toni Collette and Molly Shannon; and the documentary Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower about Hong Kong student activist and politician Joshua Wong. (All are looking for distribution at the fest.)

Financial independence and making a point of being hands-on producers has been the secret to their success so far. "We pride ourselves on being the investor and the producer," says Duncan. "We actually hate being called investors. We do partner with other people, but we try to keep the focus on the movie, and we keep outside noise on a minimum."

Backed by Duncan's personal finances (his background is in tech startups), June Pictures hit the ground running one year ago, after Saks met Duncan when he came to ICM as a client looking to get involved with film projects. Their projects, ranging in the $5 million to $10 million range, span all genres.

"We like to keep it open because we really would do anything with the right filmmaker and script and theme," says Saks, who runs the L.A. office while Duncan works from New York. "The diversity of the slate up until this point says as much."

The banner's upcoming projects include Paul Dano's directorial debut with Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan and breakout Tangerine director Sean Baker's next film, The Florida Project.

"Our slogan as a company is ‘humble and hungry,'" says Duncan. "We say that every single day to each other."