The Sunlit Night – Marketing Recap

How a new film about finding yourself is being sold.

Jenny Slate plays Frances in the new film The Sunlit Night, based on the novel of the same name from writer Rebecca Dinerstein. Frances is a struggling artist who can’t seem to catch the break she needs in that world. Frustrated and needing a job, Frances takes an assistant position with a reclusive artist located in Norway.

While there she meets a handful of colorful characters, including Yasha (Alex Sharp), who has come there to give his late father a Viking funeral, and others, many of whom have wound up in the same village because of circumstances or fate. Frances finds a sense of home there that she never really had before and learns something about herself in the process.

The campaign from Quiver Distribution doesn’t break a lot of new ground, but sells a quirky story about unusual characters all working through their own personal issues.

The Posters

June brought the release of the first poster (by marketing agency Champ & Pepper). Frances is shown boarding a ship, jacket on and suitcase behind her. A wistful and uncertain look is seen on her face as she heads out on what is clearly a new adventure, something that’s reinforced by the grey mountainous landscape seen behind her. The story of personal growth as well as the setting of that story are both communicated in the copy “Find your height at the top of the world.”

The Trailers

Frances, we see in the trailer (4,800 views on YouTube) released in June, is an aspiring painter whose overall life doesn’t seem to be on track. Her work isn’t received well, her younger sister is engaged and her parents are separating. She gets a job as an assistant to an artist in Norway, taking her to a remote village where she meets all sorts of eclectic and unusual personalities, all of whom have converged there for their own reasons. It’s lighthearted and shows how the story moves along nicely, offering a lowkey alternative to some flashier films.

Online and Social

Nothing I’ve been able to uncover, which is surprising.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

The movie got pretty mixed buzz coming out of its premiere at the 2019 edition of the Sundance Film Festival.

Media and Publicity

A first look still from the movie was released at the same time it was announced it would be screening at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Slate was profiled in that time, commenting on the movie and her career as a whole as well.

The period leading up to release has been pretty silent, though, save for a random interview with Slate here and there.

Overall

It’s kind of surprising how low-key things got at the end here. Not that it came out of Sundance 2019 with any great momentum the film has a strong cast of likeable actors and while the story seems like the kind of “have to go somewhere to find yourself” narrative we’ve seen countless times before, there’s always the chance it offers an interesting spin on that idea. Unfortunately little of that comes through here and the audience is left with significant “Northern Exposure” vibes.

Picking Up The Spare

There was finally a decent profile of Slate where she talked about this movie specifically. She also later appeared on “The Tonight Show.” 

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