Seeing The Unforeseen

An award-winning documentary is headed to your local theater.

In June 2007, presented a Q&A with filmmaker Laura Dunn on her documentary, The Unforeseen (read the Q&A here). Writer Ricci Shryock talked with Dunn about the film’s main focus—the ongoing concerns about residential development and its environmental implications in Austin, Texas. But Shryock also brought up a concern: Would a documentary that doesn’t oversimplify growth and real estate issues limit its audience? Dunn replied, “If you do something that’s different than what people are used to seeing, you can limit your audience. The current trend is all about oversimplifying…Our goal is to make the film we want to make and see where it goes.”

Apparently, Dunn’s staunch stance (supported by husband and co-producer Jef Sewell and executive producers Terrence Malick and Robert Redford) has made the industry take notice. On February 23 at the Independent Spirit Awards, the little indie-sister of the Academy Awards, The Unforeseen won the IFC Truer Than Fiction Award. The little-film-that-could beat other heavyweight contenders including Helvetica and Running Stumbled.

Now, after a worldwide film festival frenzy that included Rome, Vancouver, Buenos Aries, SXSW, Munich, Sundance (Redford-power!), and MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, the film is making its theatrical debut today at New York’s CinemaVillage.

But worry not, non-NYC-based documentary lovers: The Unforeseen is coming your way as well.

• Kendall Square, Boston, MA 3/7/08
• Nuart Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 3/14/08
• Lumiere, San Francisco, CA 3/14/08
• Shattuck, Berkeley,CA 3/14/08
• Alamo South Lamar, Austin, TX 3/28/08
• Varsity, Seattle, WA 4/4/08
• Landmark, Denver, CO 4/11/08
• Ritz Theater, Philadelphia, PA 4/18/08
• Ken Cinema, San Diego, CA 4/18/08
• Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH 5/17/08

Keep an eye on the film’s website,, because the filmmakers are “cautiously optimistic” that the list of cities will continue to grow.


Recent Programs