Eric Hollenbeck '05 has two films accepted to Sundance

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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WATKINS GLEN — A film shot last fall in and around Rochester and Lyons was accepted to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

“The Tomorrow Man” was one of two films accepted that film producer Eric Hollenbeck from Watkins Glen has worked on.

The Festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3. This year’s festival had a recording-breaking 14,259 submissions from 152 countries. 112 feature-length films were selected in this year’s programming. Two of those were worked on by Hollenbeck, who also is a founder of the Seneca Film Festival.

He served as unit production manager and co-producer for “The Tomorrow Man” and “Native Son,” which will each have their world premieres at Sundance.

“I’m very excited to have another two films have their world premiere at Sundance Film Festival. My previous films Compliance (2012) and Kings of Summer (2013) had their premieres at Sundance years ago. The magic of Sundance was the reason why I created the Seneca Film Festival in Watkins Glen. It’s great to be able to bring some of those ideas and excitement around the celebration of movies to the Finger Lakes,” he said.

“My goal is to film more projects in the region, and put the Finger Lakes on the screen as much as possible.”

Many Finger Lakes products used as props in “The Tomorrow Man” will be showcased in Park City.

“Wines from Barnstormer Winery, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, and spirits from Finger Lakes Distilling were in the movie, because of my involvement,” said Eric Hollenbeck.

“Native Son,” directed by Rashid Johnson and written by Suzan Lori-Parks, stars Ashton Sanders, Sanaa Lathan, Kiki Layne, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Bill Camp, Lamar Johnson and Jerod Haynes. In this modern reimagining of Richard Wright’s seminal novel, a young African-American man named Bigger Thomas takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family, a decision that will change the course of his life forever.

“The Tomorrow Man,” director and written by Noble Jones, stars John Lithgow, Blythe Danner, Derek Cecil, Katie Aselton, Sophie Thatcher and Eve Harlow. In it, Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come. Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. In a small town somewhere in America, these two people will try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.

A Horseheads native and Mercyhurst University graduate, Hollenbeck moved back to the region two years ago, after being gone for 16 years, traveling the country making films, TV shows, and national commercials. He is now based out of Watkins Glen.