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Sundance Kids: The Games Maker
by Karen Pecota

Argentine filmmaker Juan Pablo Buscarini brings to the silver screen a whimsical tale about the history of a talented and creative family, revered by the world, for making delightful board games. An apprentice (Morodian--Joseph Fiennes) of the Drago family patriarch, Nicholas Drago ( Ed Asner) becomes an evil rival bent on destroying the Drago family name. Morodian was jealous of Mr. Drago's creative empire and resented the thought of the business being passed on to the rightful heirs, Mr. Drago's son and grandson. Though he learned so many good things from Mr. Drago, Morodian became embittered and set out to destroy Mr. Drago's work.     Buscarini's narrative is a fight between good vs. evil showing the power that allows each side to prosper.

Ten-year-old Ivan Drago (David Mazouz) comes from a long line of board game creators. Ivan's father (Tom Cavanagh) observes the family talent in his son but forbids the play of games in their home. His memories of heartache and pain experienced as a child with a father as talented as Ivan, was too much to bear. He did not want Ivan to grow-up with an obsessive father, as he did.

Ivan's father loved adventure and created other avenues for the family to experience joy outside of the games genre. Ivan's father and mother (Valentina Lodovini) entered a hot air ballooning race. As Ivan was watching them take off, right before his eyes they vanish into thin air. Shocking and ever so odd.

Before his parents' strange disappearance and against his father's wishes, Ivan competes in a creative games competition and wins first prize. Now parentless, Ivan has no one to share in the joy of the accomplishment not to mention celebrate. Ivan, convinced that his parents are alive, wonders if his talent for games making will be instrumental to bringing his family together. In the meantime, Ivan enters a frightful boarding school for orphans. His life here is like a game to which Ivan's instinctive talents keep him "one step ahead of the game" for his safety and survival.

Upon his escape from the school, Ivan's desire to find his family is what keeps him focused. In his pursuit, his journey is one of self-discovery and learning about his family tree. It's a story of perseverance and love. Step-by-step, Ivan uncovers a remarkable family history of games makers, their enjoyment to create for man-kind and the precautions taken to save the family business. Ivan must decide how he will be remembered in the family tree. Will he be a game changer as well as a games maker? Will his decisions be strong enough to reunite him with his loved ones?