(LOS ANGELES, CA) – Slamdance today announced its Special Screenings, Beyond, and Shorts programs for their 23nd Film Festival. It is a bold selection of films from visionary filmmakers from across the globe. This year the festival will host 35 World, 9 North American and 10 US premieres within these programs.
“This year Slamdance’s Special Screenings selections are hard-hitting, revelatory films that deserve exposure in Park City,” says Paul Rachman, Special Screening Programmer. “Averting trends and remaining premiere agnostic this program reflects the gut instinct Slamdance programmers rely on in their singular choices.”
Last year the festival presented EMBERS, a sci-fi indie directed by Claire Carre. Carre was recently nominated by the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards for the Kiehl’s Someone To Watch Award.
“The support of Slamdance has had a powerful impact on my first feature from selecting the film as the festival’s Closing Night film, through releasing it theatrically with Slamdance Presents,” shares Carre. “It’s challenging making a low budget indie movie on your own, and it’s easy to get lost. Slamdance has championed EMBERS in monumental ways.”
This year, several Slamdance Alumni return with highly anticipated presentations in the Beyond Program. These selections are made be emerging narrative and documentary filmmakers working beyond their first features.
“The films in the Beyond section exhibit bold directorial vision and singular characters that introduce audiences to exciting and uncharted new worlds,” says Beyond programmer Josh Mandel. “These emerging filmmakers are beacons of light in a sea of darkness that will continue to forge new paths in the years to come.”
Films in this program are eligible for the Audience Award. Additionally, the filmmakers are eligible for the Spirit of Slamdance Awards, which is voted upon by their festival filmmakers peers.
“Our slate of short films this year is one of the most daring we have been privileged to showcase,” says Narrative Shorts programmer Taylor O. Miller. Fellow programmer Breven Angaelica adds, “We continue this year with short films that fit into their own category, or none at all, and bring a rawness and and originality to the future of filmmaking that we are humbled to recognize and share.”
The 2017 OscarⓇ Qualifying Shorts competition showcases 51 US and 20 International productions in the Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Anarchy and Experimental sections. All Slamdance films are programmed entirely by the Slamdance filmmaking community from blind submissions.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS PROGRAM
Director and Screenwriter: Stephen Elliott
In 2010 James Franco optioned the rights to my memoir, The Adderall Diaries. In 2015 The Adderall Diaries starring James Franco and Ed Harris premiered at the TriBeca Film Festival. This is a movie about James Franco making a movie about me. Cast: Stephen Elliott, Mickaela Tombrock, Bill Heck, Michael C. Hall, Ned Van Zandt, James Urbaniak, Lili Taylor, Jerry Stahl
A Narrative Film*
Director: Michael Edwards
The most narrative narrative never narrated. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end…. It is at once both a three-act assault on the conceit of the traditional narrative, and also perhaps, a futile attempt to escape the narrative impulse of cinema.
What Lies Upstream (USA) World Premiere
Director: Cullen Hoback
In this detective story, filmmaker Cullen Hoback investigates the largest chemical drinking water contamination in a generation. But something is rotten in state and federal regulatory agencies, and through years of persistent journalism, we learn the shocking truth about what’s really happening with drinking water in America. Cast: Dr. Marc Edwards, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Cullen Hoback, Randy Huffman, Dr. David Lewis, Maya Nye, Dr. Andrew Whelton
You Never Had It: An Evening with Bukowski
(Italy/Mexico/USA) US Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Matteo Borgardt
A night of drinking and talking about sex, literature, childhood and humanity with the irreverent writer poet Charles Bukowski in his California house in 1981. A story of tapes lost, found and brought back to life. Cast: Charles Bukowski, Linda Lee Beighle, Silvia Bizio
*Animated Short Preceding You Never Had It: An Evening with Bukowski
Automatic at Sea
(USA/ Denmark) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Lessner
Eve, a young Swedish traveler, finds herself stranded on a private island with Peter, a wealthy heir whom she hardly knows. While waiting for other guests to arrive, Eve becomes trapped in an unstable reality punctuated by feverish visions, dimensional shifting and secret soft drinks. How can she escape if she’s not even sure she’s there? Cast: David Henry Gerson, Livia Hiselius, Breeda Wool
(Poland) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Kuba Czekaj
It’s the end of the world for a teenage genius, the feverish approach of the apocalypse – adulthood. Cast: Staszek Cywka, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Sebastian Łach,
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Greenberg
1938 screwball comedy set in the far-off future year of 2018 Cast: Betty Gilpin, Nick Westrate, Robert John Burke, Ethan Phillips, Sean Young, Tom Riis Farrell, Sophie von Haselberg, Tabitha Holbert
Neighborhood Food Drive
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jerzy Rose; Screenwriter(s): Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, Jerzy Rose
A group of awful idiots fail at throwing a party over and over. Cast: Lyra Hill, Bruce Bundy, Ruby McCollister, Ted Tremper, Marcos Barnes, Jared Larson
Suck It Up
(Canada) World Premiere
Director: Jordan Canning; Screenwriter: Julia Hoff
Faye lost the love of her life, Ronnie lost her brother. These two best friends take off on a debaucherous journey into the mountains to cope with the loss of the man they both loved. Cast: Erin Carter, Grace Glowicki, Daniel Beirne, Toby Marks, Nancy Kerr, Michael Rowe
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Caitlyn Greene
Deep in Louisiana’s swampland, a woman wakes from a fever dream where it has been August for 16 years. Cast: Kaelyn Charbonnet, Reginald Robinson, Sanita C. Irvin (Voice)
Birds with Human Heads
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Max Wilde
Basking in the wildlife of a handmade universe, a girl receives her first stick and poke tattoo from her best friend. Cast: Emma Factor, Emma Kikue Munson
Brad Cuts Loose
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Christopher Good
An uptight office drone seemingly discovers the perfect vehicle for letting off steam when an advertisement for a business catering to his innermost desires pops up one morning on his computer. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Tipper Newton, John Ennis, Wilson Vance
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Kati Skelton
A terrified young man gets tangled up in a surreal and demoralizing “business opportunity.” Cast: Branson Reese, Peter Reznikoff, Dagmar Stansova, Matt Dennie
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Mike Olenick
A mom cries, photos fly, cats spy, and bodies collide in this sci-fi soap opera that unravels the secret dreams of people who are desperately searching for ways to cure their fears of loneliness. Cast: David Rysdahl, Jennifer Estlin, Justin Rose, Kait Staley, Mrva Russell
A Doll’s Hug (Taiwan/USA) World Premiere
Director: Rob Chihwen Lo; Screenwriter(s): Rob Chihwen LO (Story), Cheng-Han WU (Screenplay)
A Taiwanese boy learns to fight back from the threatening violence in his Barbie doll world. Cast: Pin-Chieh Su, Jackson Lou, Mengxi Hus, Fabio Grangeon, Ivon Huang
Dr. Meertz (USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Steve Collins
A renegade psychotherapist has a brief window of time to cure a patient with ungodly dreams. Cast: John Merriman, Byron Brown, Paul Gordon
(Canada) US Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Raphaël Ouellet
5 women : 5 tales of ordinary oppression. Cast: Victoria Barkoff, Sandrine Bisson, Debbie Lynch-White, Sarah Pellerin, Alexa-Jeanne Dubé
Ford Clitaurus (USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: MP Cunningham
An aspiring artist struggles to find his voice, his sexual identity, and the meaning of creativity. Cast: Bryce Van Leuven, Taylor Young, MP Cunningham
Get Out Fast (USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Haley Elizabeth Anderson
Alex’s best friend, Coyote Boy, is missing and he doesn’t know why. Cast: Hale Lytle, Tre Marquis Frazier, Warren Dedrick, Tori Wolsefer
I’m in Here
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Willy Berliner
When a man finds a family of strangers in his house who claim to have bought the place, he agrees to let them stay until they can get to the bottom of the mix-up. They never leave. Cast: Dave Hanson, Jim Santangeli, Jillian Lebling, Kathy Searle
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Steve Collins
A mysterious salesman offers an inadvisable investment opportunity to a lonely woman in need of a friend. Cast: Courtney Davis, Paul Gordon
Director and Screenwriter: Kent Juliff
On the final night of their DIY stand up tour around Texas, five comics grow closer as friends. Cast: Kent Juliff, Elizabeth Spears, Joe Tullar, Martin Urbano
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Henry Jinings
High schooler Marshall hopes to seal the deal on prom night, but his date, Sarah, might not be as into it as he had hoped. Cast: Bryce Earhart, Rachelle Henry, Eric Newsome, Anne Ruttencutter, Nic Chase, Mason Knight, Alice Tokaryev
Neon Lights (USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Bradley Bixler
After a seemingly ordinary transaction goes wrong, a young stripper encounters a violent customer on her way home to her father’s birthday. Cast: Adriana Llabrés, Parker Torres, Michael Barbour, Giovanny Cruz-Marín
No Other Way To Say It (USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Tim Mason
A voice over actor tries to deliver the right performance while receiving confusing text messages and confusing direction. Cast: Beth Melewski, Sue Salvi, Megan Kellie
Nonna (Canada) US Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Pascal Plante
Just another visit at granny’s… Cast: Micheline Chamberland, Catherine Beauchemin
Oh What a Wonderful Feeling (Canada)
Director and Screenwriter: François Jaros
Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires. Nor any truck. Cast: Karelle Tremblay, Frédérike Bédard, Catherine Hughes, Patrice Beauchesne
Director(s) and Screenwriter(s): Forest Ian Etsler, Sébastien Simon
“One-minded” tells the story of one fan’s transformation from dog to God. Cast: Moon Choi, Yaerin Erin Joo, Ryu Jun-yeol, Kwak Jin-moo
The Package (USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Benjamin Whatley
An experimental narrative which follows the journey of a product from the factory line to a consumer and beyond. Cast: Michael Rudolf
Director and Screenwriter: Catalina Jordan Alvarez
He wants you to bounce on his lap. Cast: Brian Jordan Alvarez, Rosalyn Williams, Daniel Fishkin, Parker Dilworth
Director and Screenwriter: Alejandro Peña
After a garish and violent ceremony, two lovers are thrown into a mysterious cave inhabited by flying creatures. Cast: Henry MacLean, Will Stryker
Redmond Hand, Private Dick (USA) World Premiere
Director: Todd Selby; Screenwriter: Jason Kreher
On her quest to find a beautiful woman’s missing cactus, LA’s most notorious detective gets caught up in some crazy shit and then dies. Cast: Felicia Pearson, Miranda Parham, Katya Zamolodchikova, Jay London
Sadhu in Bombay (India) North American Premiere
Director: Kabir Mehta
Sadhu In Bombay is a documentary portrait of a man, with ascetic origins, who has been radically transformed by city life . The film explores the grey zones between truth, fiction and the construction of reality; while vividly addressing contemporary life in India.
Student Union (Hungary) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: György Mór Kárpáti
The return journey on a train from a freshman summer camp, where 18-year-old Dóra has just been sexually abused. Cast: Katica Nagy, Krisztián Rózsa
Voyage of Galactic Space Dangler
Director and Screenwriter: Evan Mann
A space man meets a cave man. Cast: Andrew Finzel, Nolan Brown, Rick Romero, Valerie Simon
Director and Screenwriter: Henry Kaplan
A zombie is awakened. Cast: Martel Rudd, Kristopher McAfee
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Lauren DeFilippo
On a Sunday morning the congregation of the Daytona Beach Drive-In Christian Church tunes in. Cast: Robert Kemp-Baird
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Sasha Gransjean
Animals are used to express the dislocation, helplessness, and anger, while nature illustrates the lack of control that we have on events that come to pass. Cast: Sasha Gransjean
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jessica Kingdon
An observation of the daily lives of vendors who work in China’s Yiwu Markets, the largest consumer market in the world. The film explores moments of tension between the fake and the real, between what is for sale and the humans who sell them.
The Dundee Project
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Mark Borchardt
In his long-awaited follow-up to 1997’s ‘Coven,’ filmmaker Mark Borchardt steps behind the camera again with ‘The Dundee Project,’ a documentary chronicling a small town UFO festival in Wisconsin. Cast: Mark Borchardt, UFO Bob, Mike, Sheldon
Dust & Dirt (USA) World Premiere
Director: Chris Stanford
Mason Massey dreams of one day making it to the top level of racing but with a lack of big money sponsorship he knows that it is going to be a long, hard road. Cast: Mason Massey
(Uganda/USA) World Premiere
Director: Paul Szynol
Uganda’s most surprising boxer steps into the ring one more time.
Director: Fabio Palmieri
Against a tellingly hypnotic factory backdrop, a refugee encapsulates the global immigration crisis in his own wrenching words. Cast: Cyrille Kabore
It Is What It Is
(USA) US Premiere
Director: Cyrus Yoshi Tabar
As filmmaker Cyrus Yoshi Tabar digs deep into his family history for answers to questions that have shaped his life, he finds that there are some things that might be better off left in the past. Cast: Cyrus Yoshi Tabar, Afsaneh Sade, Roxane Maiko Pate
Director(s): Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa
Moriom, a beautiful but strange young woman, says her parents must be punished for holding her prisoner and torturing her. They have a different story.
The Real Wi-Fi of Baltimore (USA) World Premiere
Director: Julia Kim Smith
Featuring the genre-busting talent of James Nasty and TT the Artist, The Real Wi-Fi Of Baltimore offers a punny and nuanced view of Baltimore neighborhoods in a short film edited from iPhone screenshots of Wi-Fi network names. Cast: James Nasty, TT the Artist
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Matthew Salton
Richard Atkins, the singer and songwriter of the early 70’s California psychedelic folk duo ‘Richard Twice’, was on his way to stardom and a huge success with his first debut album when he mysteriously walked away from it all. Cast: Richard Atkins
Searching for Wives
(Singapore) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Zuki Juno Tobgye
A foreign worker from South India, whose customs says he is not allowed to marry at an even age, comes to Singapore in search of a job and a chance to find a wife before he turns 32. Cast: Shanmugavel Pathakarnan, Sheeja Sajeev Lal, K. Sajeev Lal, Ramalingam Muthu
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Pierce Cravens
Sweet Pie, also known as Paul Winer, revives his career as the baron of bare-assed boogie-woogie and blues at the Public Theater in NYC. Cast: Sweet Pie aka Paul Winer, Joanne Winer, Will Perone
This is Yates
Director: Josh Yates
A reflexive analog-elegy that hates itself.
Troll: A Southern Tale (USA)
Director: Marinah Janello
An eccentric artist navigates self-expression through his experiences living and growing up in the South. Cast: Tony Arnold
ANIMATION SHORTS PROGRAM
(USA) US Premiere
Director: Conner Griffith
Cars dance on highways, crowds of people wash across sidewalk shores.
Director: Amanda Bonaiuto
Wacky relatives give way to mounting tensions with broken dolls, boiling stew and a bang.
(USA) Us Premiere
Director: Adele Han Li
A disembodied memory of adolescence in a Southern Californian suburb. The stuck-stillness of endless summer is disrupted only by a passing El Niño.
Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)
Flap flapflapflapflap flap. A large bird and a small boy cohabit in an unhappy relationship, trapped by four walls and a mutual codependency. The fragile balance of their existence is cracked by an un-eggs-pected arrival.
Director: Grace Nayoon Rhee
A tiny bug tries to figure out what it wants to become.
It Is My Fault
(China) North American Premiere
Director: Liu Sha
This work utilizes the own approach of the digital medium itself to deconstruct, to form the subliminal synesthesia visually and to create a fictional experience for the mind.
(China) US Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Shen Jie
One of the three monkeys died.
My Father’s Room (South Korea) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Nari Jang
Sometimes, family members can be worse than strangers.
The Noise of Licking
Director and Screenwriter: Nadja Andrasev; Short story by: Ádám Bodor
A woman is being watched every day by the neighbor’s cat, as she takes care of her exotic plants. Their perverted ritual comes to an end when the cat disappears. Next spring a peculiar man pays her a visit.
Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Wade
Neon ghosts dreaming in dead landscapes.
(USA) US Premiere
Director: James Bascara
A bashful encounter.
Director and Screenwriter: Shunsaku Hayashi
“Leaving home, ‘I’ got a phone call. As ‘I’ answered it, the house exploded. ‘I’ went to work and continued as normal”…
Serpentine (USA) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Bronwyn Maloney
A young woman’s reflective fantasy arouses a surreal exploration of sensuality, self-esteem, and deeply rooted fears.
EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS PROGRAM
(Colombia) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Carolina Charry Quintero
What do we see when we really look at an animal? Certainly, not just what meets the eye. Cast: Margarita Quintero, Chuja Seo, Rafa Rojas, José Adam Arriola
Experiments in Non-Cinema (USA) World Premiere
Director(s) and Screenwriter(s): Spencer Holden, Noah Engel
Making cinematic experiences without a camera apparatus. Non-Cinema Cast: Spencer Holden, Noah Engel
Girl Becomes Snow (USA) World Premiere
Director(s) and Screenwriter(s): Ryan Betschart, Tyler Betschart
An investigation into death induced dream ephemera or; a body (mind) dissolves into video signal memories. Cast: Karissa Hahn
Press Play (USA) World Premiere
Director: Kym McDaniel
Discernment becomes crucial as a little girl negotiates an adult world where different forms of entrapment threaten reality.
The Trembling Giant (United Kingdom)
Director: Patrick Tarrant
The bark of the quaking aspen is thought to provide the cure for any fear who cause can’t be named.
Unknown Hours (USA) North American Premiere
Director: Calum Walter
An observer journeys down a main street in Chicago towards a neighborhood known for its nightlife.
Director: Ariana Gerstein
Cycling from original footage shot on super 8mm, up to 16mm, 35mm, down again to 16, optically printed, hand processed, and then optically printed again using a digital still camera to end on digital video.
ANARCHY SHORTS PROGRAM
Director and Screenwriter: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Three degenerates navigate the descending hierarchy of post-consumerist enlightenment. Cast: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Mihaly Szabados, Perrie Olthuis, David Cronenberg
(USA/Japan) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Brian Harrison
Betrayed by his clan and murdered for his past evil deeds, a sadistic killer’s soul possesses his identical twin’s body and sets out onto the road of vengeance for one final crusade of extermination… Everywhere he goes… HELL FOLLOWS. Cast: Takuya Iba, Shu Sakimoto, Masahiro Takahashi, Sohanny Rose
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown; Screenwriter(s): Jonathan Daniel Brown, Travis Harrington
A weapons deal between a white supremacist and a member of the Islamic State blossoms into more. Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Amir Malaklou, Lily Harrington, Travis Harrington
In a World of Bad Breath
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Christopher Graybill
Watch general confusion amongst an ancient presence. Cast: Oates Wu, Asher Knowles
Lighter Click (USA) World Premiere
Director: Robbie Ward
An odyssey through a mysterious psychedelic landscape full of monsters and secrets both beautiful and dark.
(USA) US Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Lewis Vaughn
A deranged, 300 lb. masked ax murderer terrorizes the streets of Chicago as a calculated hunter tracks him. Cast: Christopher Porter, Corbin Manning, Clayvon Reeves, Jason Grey, Jarren Davis, Rodney Andrews, Ashley Pough
(USA) US Premiere
Director(s): Jack Turpin, Davy Walker
An expressionistic journey through the gilt-pop-entrapment in which we find ourselves.
Vitamins for Life (USA)
Director: Grier Dill; Screenwriter: T. R. Darling
An educational film about some lesser known vitamins. Cast: Tessa Greenberg
What a Beautiful World This Will Be (USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Tyler Walker
While a mysterious disease called “the Blank” ravages New York City, a young drunk must find his missing friend. Cast: Jordan Michael Blake, Luke Marinkovich, Kara Dudley, Amanda Evans
Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement. Established in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers who were tired of relying on a large, oblique system to showcase their work, Slamdance has proven, year after year, that when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, independent and grassroots communities can do it themselves.
Slamdance alums are responsible for the programming and organization of the festival. With a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents, but with no individual filmmaker’s vote meaning more than any others, Slamdance’s programming and organizing committees have been able to stay close to the heart of low budget and do-it-yourself filmmaking. In this way, Slamdance continues to grow and exemplify its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.
The 2017 Slamdance Film Festival will run January 20-26 in Park City, Utah.
Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (World War Z), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), Lynn Shelton (Humpday) and Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche). Box Office Mojo reports alumni who first showed their work at Slamdance have earned over $11.5 billion at the Box Office to date.
In addition to the Festival, Slamdance serves emerging artists and a growing audience with several year-round activities. These include the popular Slamdance Screenplay Competition, the traveling On The Road screening events, the Anarchy Workshop for student filmmakers, and The ArcLight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club – a monthly cinema club partnership with ArcLight Cinemas based at the ArcLight Hollywood and ArcLight Chicago, with two screenings and filmmaker Q&A’s each month: www.arclightcinemas.com/en/news/arclight-presents-slamdance-cinema-club
Slamdance Presents is a new distribution arm established to access broader distribution of independent films. The goal is to build the popularity of independent films and support filmmakers on a commercial level through theatrical releases. In August 2016, Slamdance Presents launched the week long release of Claire Carré’s feature sci-fi film, Embers, at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood. Steve Yu’s The Resurrection of Jake The Snake was the first film to be released by the company. The documentary reached number one on iTunes in December, 2015.
In November 2015, Slamdance announced DIG (Digital, Interactive & Gaming), a new digital, interactive and gaming showcase dedicated to emerging independent artists working in hybrid, immersive and developing forms of digital media art. Ten works were featured in the inaugural DIG show that opened in Los Angeles at Big Pictures Los Angeles on December 4, running through December 13, 2015. The show was also featured at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival.
DIG will open December 2-10, 2016 in Los Angeles and form part of the 2017 Film Festival.
2017 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors include Blackmagic Design, Distribber, CreativeFuture, Directors Guild of America, Fusion, Different By Design, Pierce Law Group LLP, Writers Guild Of America West, Salt Lake City’s Slug Magazine, Beehive Distilling, and BlueStar Café. Slamdance is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and filmmakers. Additional information about Slamdance is available at http://www.slamdance.com
Park City, UT — Sundance Institute convenes a full slate of provocative and agenda-setting independent films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, beginning with today’s announcement of the 66 films selected for U.S. Competition, World Competition and NEXT, as well as a slate of environmentally focused programming under the Festival’s The New Climate program. The Festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort January 19-29.
The Festival celebrates creativity and independence at the summit of the Institute’s year-round public programming, which also includes festivals in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Sundance Institute programs support artists year-round, with more than $2.5 million in grants and 25 global residency Labs across theatre, film, New Frontier and episodic content.
Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “From the passion and chaos of creativity, independent filmmakers make decisions to harness that energy, break new ground and tell their stories. This year’s Festival reflects every step of that journey, and shows how art can engage, provoke and connect people all over the world.”
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “It’s more crucial now than ever to have storytellers illuminating the world around us. Artists help us better understand one another and recognize what we have in common. We are proud to champion and amplify original independent work through the Festival and our year-round programs.”
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films in this year’s Festival show the human sides of issues, people and places we don’t often see. Independent filmmakers, with their fearless, bold perspectives, are challenging us to witness our world’s whole story. These artists, armed with their films, will lead us into the future.”
For the first time, the Festival is focusing its programming efforts to drive attention and action around a specific theme: climate change and environmental preservation. The New Climate program builds on the Institute’s longstanding commitment to showcasing environmental films and projects, including An Inconvenient Truth, Blackfish, The Cove, Gasland, Chasing Ice, Racing Extinction and Collisions. The program includes Chasing Coral, which follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists documenting the world’s changing coral reefs; Trophy, an in-depth look at the controversial, multi-billion-dollar big-game hunting industry; Water & Power: A California Heist, an investigation of California’s convoluted water system; and Plastic China, an examination of employee life at a Chinese recycling plant.
About The New Climate, Redford said, “My own engagement on climate change began more than 40 years ago, and the urgency I felt then has only grown stronger given its very real and increasingly severe consequences. If we’re going to avoid the worst-case scenario, then we must act boldly and immediately, even in the face of indifference, apathy and opposition.”
For the 2017 Festival, 113 feature-length films were selected, representing 32 countries and 37 first-time filmmakers, including 20 in competition. These films were selected from 13,782 submissions including 4,068 feature-length films and 8,985 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,005 were from the U.S. and 2,063 were international. Ninety-eight feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In 2016, the Festival drew 46,600 attendees, generated $143.3 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and supported 1,400 local jobs.
Recent films that have premiered in the sections announced today include Morris From America, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Swiss Army Man, City of Gold, Fruitvale Station, The Diary of A Teenage Girl, Whiplash, Blackfish, Life, Animated, All These Sleepless Nights, Weiner and First Girl I Loved.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.
Band Aid / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Zoe Lister-Jones) — A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band. Cast: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman, Hannah Simone, Ravi Patel. World Premiere
Beach Rats / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) — An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online.Cast: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff. World Premiere
Brigsby Bear / U.S.A. (Director: Dave McCary, Screenwriters: Kevin Costello, Kyle Mooney) — Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. Cast: Kyle Mooney, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins. World Premiere
Burning Sands / U.S.A. (Director: Gerard McMurray, Screenwriters: Christine Berg, Gerard McMurray) — Deep into a fraternity’s Hell Week, a favored pledge is torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing. Cast: Trevor Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton, Trevante Rhodes. World Premiere
Crown Heights / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matt Ruskin) — When Colin Warner is wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend, Carl King, devotes his life to proving Colin’s innocence. Adapted from This American Life, this is the incredible true story of their harrowing quest for justice. Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Nestor Carbonell, Amari Cheatom. World Premiere
Golden Exits / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) — The arrival of a young foreign girl disrupts the lives and emotional balances of two Brooklyn families. Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny. World Premiere
The Hero / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch) — Lee, a former Western film icon, is living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. After receiving a lifetime achievement award and unexpected news, Lee reexamines his past, while a chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future. Cast: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross. World Premiere
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Macon Blair) — When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves, alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy, Devon Graye. World Premiere.DAY ONE
Ingrid Goes West / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Spicer, Screenwriters: Matt Spicer, David Branson Smith) — A young woman becomes obsessed with an Instagram lifestyle blogger and moves to Los Angeles to try and befriend her in real life. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen. World Premiere
Landline / U.S.A. (Director: Gillian Robespierre, Screenwriters: Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre) — Two sisters come of age in ’90s New York when they discover their dad’s affair—and it turns out he’s not the only cheater in the family. Everyone still smokes inside, no one has a cell phone and the Jacobs finally connect through lying, cheating and hibachi. Cast: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock. World Premiere
Novitiate / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maggie Betts) — In the early 1960s, during the Vatican II era, a young woman training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, sexuality and the changing church. Cast: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, Morgan Saylor. World Premiere
Patti Cake$ / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Geremy Jasper) — Straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory. Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty. World Premiere
Roxanne Roxanne / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Larnell) — The most feared battle MC in early-’80s NYC was a fierce teenager from the Queensbridge projects with the weight of the world on her shoulders. At age 14, hustling the streets to provide for her family, Roxanne Shanté was well on her way to becoming a hip-hop legend. Cast: Chanté Adams, Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips, Shenell Edmonds. World Premiere
To the Bone / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marti Noxon) — In a last-ditch effort to battle her severe anorexia, 20-year-old Ellen enters a group recovery home. With the help of an unconventional doctor, Ellen and the other residents go on a sometimes-funny, sometimes-harrowing journey that leads to the ultimate question—is life worth living? Cast: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston, Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp, Liana Liberato. World Premiere
Walking Out / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Alex Smith, Andrew Smith) — A father and son struggle to connect on any level until a brutal encounter with a predator in the heart of the wilderness leaves them both seriously injured. If they are to survive, the boy must carry his father to safety. Cast: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, Alex Neustaedter, Lily Gladstone. World Premiere
The Yellow Birds / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriters: David Lowery, R.F.I. Porto) — Two young men enlist in the army and are deployed to fight in the Iraq War. After an unthinkable tragedy, the returning soldier struggles to balance his promise of silence with the truth and a mourning mother’s search for peace. Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jason Patric, Toni Collette, Jennifer Aniston. World Premiere
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people and events that shape the present day.
Casting JonBenet / U.S.A., Australia (Director: Kitty Green) — The unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey remains the world’s most sensational child murder case. Over 15 months, responses, reflections and performances were elicited from the Ramsey’s Colorado hometown community, creating a bold work of art from the collective memories and mythologies the crime inspired. World Premiere
Chasing Coral / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. World Premiere.THE NEW CLIMATE
City of Ghosts / U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Heineman) — With unprecedented access, this documentary follows the extraordinary journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”—a group of anonymous citizen journalists who banded together after their homeland was overtaken by ISIS—as they risk their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today. World Premiere
Dina / U.S.A. (Directors: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini) — An eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door-greeter navigate their evolving relationship in this unconventional love story. World Premiere
Dolores / U.S.A. (Director: Peter Bratt) — Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by co-founding the country’s first farmworkers’ union. Wrestling with raising 11 children, gender bias, union defeat and victory, and nearly dying after a San Francisco Police beating, Dolores emerges with a vision that connects her newfound feminism with racial and class justice. World Premiere
The Force / U.S.A. (Director: Pete Nicks) — This cinema verité look at the long-troubled Oakland Police Department goes deep inside their struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson and an explosive scandal. World Premiere
ICARUS / U.S.A. (Director: Bryan Fogel) — When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold—exposing the biggest scandal in sports history. World Premiere
The New Radical / U.S.A. (Director: Adam Bhala Lough) — Uncompromising millennial radicals from the United States and the United Kingdom attack the system through dangerous technological means, which evolves into a high-stakes game with world authorities in the midst of a dramatically changing political landscape. World Premiere
NOBODY SPEAK: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press / U.S.A. (Director: Brian Knappenberger) — The trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, and raised important questions about how big money can silence media. This film is an examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality. World Premiere
Quest / U.S.A. (Director: Jonathan Olshefski) — For over a decade, this portrait of a North Philadelphia family and the creative sanctuary offered by their home music studio was filmed with vérité intimacy. The family’s 10-year journey is an illumination of race and class in America, and it’s a testament to love, healing and hope. World Premiere
STEP / U.S.A. (Director: Amanda Lipitz) — The senior year of a girls’ high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in their troubled city. World Premiere
Strong Island / U.S.A., Denmark (Director: Yance Ford) — Examining the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this documentary interrogates murderous fear and racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change. World Premiere
Trophy / U.S.A. (Director: Shaul Schwarz, Co-Director: Christina Clusiau) — This in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels the complex consequences of treating animals as commodities. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE
Unrest / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Brea) — When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story—and four other families’ stories—fighting a disease medicine forgot. World Premiere
Water & Power: A California Heist / U.S.A. (Director: Marina Zenovich) — In California’s convoluted water system, notorious water barons find ways to structure a state-engineered system to their own advantage. This examination into their centers of power shows small farmers and everyday citizens facing drought and a new, debilitating groundwater crisis. World Premiere.THE NEW CLIMATE
Whose Streets? / U.S.A. (Director: Sabaah Folayan, Co-Director: Damon Davis) — A nonfiction account of the Ferguson uprising told by the people who lived it, this is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back—and sparked a global movement. World Premiere. DAY ONE
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.
Axolotl Overkill / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Helene Hegemann) — Mifti, age 16, lives in Berlin with a cast of characters including her half-siblings; their rich, self-involved father; and her junkie friend Ophelia. As she mourns her recently deceased mother, she begins to develop an obsession with Alice, an enigmatic, and much older, white-collar criminal. Cast: Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Arly Jover, Mavie Hörbiger, Laura Tonke, Hans Löw, Bernhard Schütz. World Premiere
Berlin Syndrome / Australia (Director: Cate Shortland, Screenwriter: Shaun Grant) — A passionate holiday romance takes an unexpected and sinister turn when an Australian photographer wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave. Cast: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt. World Premiere
Carpinteros (Woodpeckers) / Dominican Republic (Director and screenwriter: José María Cabral) — Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance with fellow prisoner Yanelly must develop through sign language and without the knowledge of dozens of guards. Cast: Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez, Ramón Emilio Candelario. World Premiere
Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl! / Brazil, Netherlands, France, Paraguay (Director and screenwriter: Felipe Bragança) — In this fable about love and memories, Joca is a 13-year-old Brazilian boy in love with an indigenous Paraguayan girl. To conquer her love, he must face the violent region’s war-torn past and the secrets of his elder brother, Fernando, a motorcycle cowboy. Cast: Cauã Reymond, Eduardo Macedo, Adeli Gonzales, Zahy Guajajara, Claudia Assunção, Ney Matogrosso. World Premiere
Family Life / Chile (Directors: Alicia Scherson, Cristián Jiménez, Screenwriter: Alejandro Zambra) — While house-sitting for a distant cousin, a lonely man fabricates the existence of a vindictive ex-wife withholding his daughter, in order to gain the sympathy of the single mother he has just met. Cast: Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin, Cristián Carvajal. World Premiere
Free and Easy / Hong Kong (Director: Jun Geng, Screenwriters: Jun Geng, Yuhua Feng, Bing Liu) — When a traveling soap salesman arrives in a desolate Chinese town, a crime occurs, and sets the strange residents against each other with tragicomic results. Cast: Gang Xu, Zhiyong Zhang, Baohe Xue, Benshan Gu, Xun Zhang. World Premiere
God’s Own Country / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Francis Lee) — Springtime in Yorkshire: isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path. Cast: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones.World Premiere
My Happy Family / Germany, Georgia, France (Directors: Nana & Simon, Screenwriter: Nana Ekvtimishvili) — Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016: In a patriarchal society, an ordinary Georgian family lives with three generations under one roof. All are shocked when 52-year-old Manana decides to move out from her parents’ home and live alone. Without her family and her husband, a journey into the unknown begins. Cast: Ia Shugliashvili, Merab Ninidze, Berta Khapava, Tsisia Qumsishvili, Giorgi Tabidze, Dimitri Oragvelidze. World Premiere
The Nile Hilton Incident / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Tarik Saleh) — In Cairo, weeks before the 2011 revolution, Police Detective Noredin is working in the infamous Kasr el-Nil Police Station when he is handed the case of a murdered singer. He soon realizes that the investigation concerns the power elite, close to the President’s inner circle. Cast: Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Mohamed Yousry, Yasser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Hania Amar. World Premiere
Pop Aye / Singapore, Thailand (Director and screenwriter: Kirsten Tan) — On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a journey across Thailand in search of the farm where they grew up together. Cast: Thaneth Warakulnukroh, Penpak Sirikul, Bong. World Premiere. DAY ONE
Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language) / Mexico, Netherlands (Director: Ernesto Contreras, Screenwriter: Carlos Contreras) — The last two speakers of a millennia-old language haven’t spoken in 50 years, when a young linguist tries to bring them together. Yet hidden in the past, in the heart of the jungle, lies a secret concerning the fate of the Zikril language. Cast: Fernando Álvarez Rebeil, Eligio Meléndez, Manuel Poncelis, Fátima Molina, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Hoze Meléndez. World Premiere
The Wound / South Africa (Director: John Trengove, Screenwriters: John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu) — Xolani, a lonely factory worker, joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel. Cast: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini. World Premiere
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary international filmmakers working today.
The Good Postman / Finland, Bulgaria (Director: Tonislav Hristov) — In a small Bulgarian village troubled by the ongoing refugee crisis, a local postman runs for mayor—and learns that even minor deeds can outweigh good intentions. North American Premiere
In Loco Parentis / Ireland, Spain (Directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane) — John and Amanda teach Latin, English and guitar at a fantastical, stately home-turned-school. Nearly 50-year careers are drawing to a close for the pair who have become legends with the mantra: “Reading! ’Rithmetic! Rock ’n’ roll!” But for pupil and teacher alike, leaving is the hardest lesson. North American Premiere
It’s Not Yet Dark / Ireland (Director: Frankie Fenton) — This is the incredible story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a young filmmaker who becomes completely paralyzed from motor neurone disease but goes on to direct an award-winning feature film through the use of his eyes. International Premiere
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Piscatella) — When the Chinese Communist Party backtracks on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong, teenager Joshua Wong decides to save his city. Rallying thousands of kids to skip school and occupy the streets, Joshua becomes an unlikely leader in Hong Kong and one of China’s most notorious dissidents. World Premiere
Last Men in Aleppo / Denmark, Syria (Directors: Feras Fayyad, Steen Johannessen) — After five years of war in Syria, Aleppo’s remaining residents prepare themselves for a siege. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud, founding members of The White Helmets, have remained in the city to help their fellow citizens—and experience daily life, death, struggle and triumph in a city under fire. World Premiere
Machines / India, Germany, Finland (Director: Rahul Jain) — This intimate, observant portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship. North American Premiere.
Motherland / U.S.A., Philippines (Director: Ramona Diaz) — The planet’s busiest maternity hospital is located in one of its poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. There, poor women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative Catholic ideologies. World Premiere
Plastic China / China (Director: Jiu-liang Wang) — Yi-Jie, an 11-year-old girl, works alongside her parents in a recycling facility while dreaming of attending school. Kun, the facility’s ambitious foreman, dreams of a better life. Through the eyes and hands of those who handle its refuse, comes an examination of global consumption and culture. International Premiere.THE NEW CLIMATE
RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World / Canada (Directors: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana) — This powerful documentary about the role of Native Americans in contemporary music history—featuring some of the greatest music stars of our time—exposes a critical missing chapter, revealing how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives and, through their contributions, influenced popular culture. World Premiere
Tokyo Idols / United Kingdom, Canada (Director: Kyoko Miyake) — This exploration of Japan’s fascination with girl bands and their music follows an aspiring pop singer and her fans, delving into the cultural obsession with young female sexuality and the growing disconnect between men and women in hypermodern societies. World Premiere
WINNIE / France (Director: Pascale Lamche) — While her husband served a life sentence, paradoxically kept safe and morally uncontaminated, Winnie Mandela rode the raw violence of apartheid, fighting on the front line and underground. This is the untold story of the mysterious forces that combined to take her down, labeling him a saint, her, a sinner. World Premiere
The Workers Cup / United Kingdom (Director: Adam Sobel) — Inside Qatar’s labor camps, African and Asian migrant workers building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup compete in a football tournament of their own. World Premiere. DAY ONE
Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. Presented by Adobe.
Columbus / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kogonada) — Casey lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin, a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them. Cast: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, Michelle Forbes. World Premiere
Dayveon / U.S.A. (Director: Amman Abbasi, Screenwriters: Amman Abbasi, Steven Reneau) — In the wake of his older brother’s death, 13-year-old Dayveon spends the sweltering summer days roaming his rural Arkansas town. When he falls in with a local gang, he becomes drawn to the camaraderie and violence of their world. Cast: Devin Blackmon, Kordell “KD” Johnson, Dontrell Bright, Chasity Moore, Lachion Buckingham, Marquell Manning. World Premiere. DAY ONE
Deidra & Laney Rob a Train / U.S.A. (Director: Sydney Freeland, Screenwriter: Shelby Farrell) — Two teenage sisters start robbing trains to make ends meet after their single mother’s emotional meltdown in an electronics store lands her in jail. Cast: Ashleigh Murray, Rachel Crow, Tim Blake Nelson, David Sullivan, Danielle Nicolet, Sasheer Zamata. World Premiere
A Ghost Story / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Lowery) — This is the story of a ghost and the house he haunts. Cast: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, Liz Franke. World Premiere
Gook / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Chon) — Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers who own a struggling women’s shoe store, have an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Kamilla. On the first day of the 1992 L.A. riots, the trio must defend their store—and contemplate the meaning of family, their personal dreams and the future. Cast: Justin Chon, Simone Baker, David So, Curtiss Cook Jr., Sang Chon, Ben Munoz. World Premiere
L.A. Times / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Morgan) — In this classically styled comedy of manners set in Los Angeles, sophisticated thirtysomethings try to determine whether ideal happiness exists in coupledom or if the perfectly suited couple is actually just an urban myth. Cast: Michelle Morgan, Dree Hemingway, Jorma Taccone, Kentucker Audley, Margarita Levieva, Adam Shapiro. World Premiere
Lemon / U.S.A. (Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman) — A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his blind girlfriend. Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Fred Melamed. World Premiere
Menashe / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Z Weinstein, Screenwriters: Joshua Z Weinstein, Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed) — Within Brooklyn’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood. Cast: Menashe Lustig. World Premiere
Person to Person / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa) — A record collector hustles for a big score while his heartbroken roommate tries to erase a terrible mistake, a teenager bears witness to her best friend’s new relationship and a rookie reporter, alongside her demanding supervisor, chases the clues of a murder case involving a life-weary clock shop owner. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III. World Premiere
Thoroughbred / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Cory Finley) — Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be—and that a murder might solve both of their problems. Cast: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks, Francie Swift, Kaili Vernoff. World Premiere
Three films announced today were funded in part through Kickstarter campaigns: Dayveon, Gook and Unrest.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2017 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire®, and Canada Goose; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, AT&T, DIRECTV, and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – American Airlines, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Google VR,The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb, Jaunt, Kickstarter, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and the University of Utah Health. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home.