Those looking for an alternative to the 118 feature films unspooling at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival will be wise to check out Slamdance, which runs concurrently to Sundance in Park City, Utah, and launches Friday, January 24. One standout among Slamdance’s narrative features is “Thunderbolt in Mine Eye,” executive-produced by unstoppable indie duo Mark and Jay Duplass, as part of their ongoing efforts to bolster new voices via their Hometown Heroes partnership. Funded via Seed&Spark, this is the first film to come out of the Duplass brothers’ new collaboration, and IndieWire has the exclusive first trailer below.
Directed by Sarah Sherman and Zachary Ray Sherman, “Thunderbolt in Mine Eye” follows a brainy 14-year-old who embarks on the awkward journey of first love — with her brother’s best friend! — all the while exploring her budding feminism at her high school. “’Thunderbolt’ has no business being as sweet, smart, and accomplished as it is. Zach and Sarah show us Gen Z through a truly unique lens,” said Mark Duplass in a statement to IndieWire.
The film stars rising talents Anjini Taneja Azhar and Quinn Liebling. Here’s the official synopsis: “Tilly and Harper have lived across the street from each other since they were small children. Harper’s older brother is Tilly’s best friend. When Harper enters high school, she and Tilly find themselves in an unexpected relationship that challenges social expectations, self identities and family standings, providing us with an honest look into the naive yet complex social/cultural worlds of today’s young people.”
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Slamdance programmer Harry Cherniak offered his take on the film: “‘Thunderbolt in Mine Eye’ gives us a nuanced and authentic look at Generation Z, eschewing the extreme gloss (or despair!) that we often see in its portrayal. While set in what looks like a relatively typical middle-class community, the film is subversive in its message, giving complete agency to the young lead as she navigates family, friends, a genuine passion for academics, and — in a refreshingly direct way — sex. Actress Anjini Taneja Azhar remarkably embodies the character, using a mix of warmth, confidence, and uncertainty to convey her complicated, and evolving truth.”
“Thunderbolt in Mine Eye” debuts at Slamdance on Friday, January 24, followed by an encore screening on Monday, January 27. ICM is currently handling sales. Watch the trailer below.