Tag Archives: Storytelling

2019 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Pahokee, photo by Patrick Bresnan

A RECORD-BREAKING 14,259 SUBMISSIONS FROM 152 COUNTRIES

For the 2019 Festival, slated to run January 24th through February 3rd, 2019, 112 feature-length films were selected from a record high of 14,259 submissions including 4,018 feature-length films, representing 33 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. Of the feature film submissions, 1,767 were from the U.S. and 2,251 were international; 31% were directed by one or more women; 38% were directed by one or more filmmaker of color; 11% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA. 24 films are supported by Sundance Institute in development, whether through direct granting or residency Labs. In addition, 102 of the Festival’s feature films, or 91% of the lineup, will be world premieres.

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting dramatic and documentary feature-length films from emerging and established artists, innovative short films, filmmaker forums and panels, live music performances, cutting-edge media installations, and engaging community programs, the Festival is known for bringing together the most original storytellers of our time.

Robert Redford, pictured below, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, recently said this about storytellers,

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“Society relies on storytellers.

The choices they make, and the risks they take, define our collective experience.

This year’s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment.

In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.”

 

 

Supported by the non-profit Sundance Institute, the Sundance Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water, and Central Station and, through its New Frontier initiative, has brought the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julian, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

In 2018, the Festival drew 124,900 attendees from 49 U.S. states and 26 other countries, generated $191.6 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and supported 3,323 local jobs.

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 23 – February 2, 2020.

Stay tuned for this year’s program! Until then….

I’ll see you at the movies!

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New Frontier Showcases Storytelling’s Future at 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Park City, UT — Now in its second decade of breaking new ground at the forefront of art and technology, Sundance Institute has curated an in-depth vision of storytelling’s future for the 2017 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, January 19-29 in Park City. The full slate — including storyworlds in Augmented Reality headsets, projection-mapped acrobatics, a VR beauty salon producing neuroscience data via the internet of things and a host of socialized, interactive and immersively haptic VR story experiences — stands as a testament to New Frontier’s expertise in identifying, developing and amplifying the most relevant and high-impact modes of tech-enabled narrative.

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Live performances, a feature film and augmented reality experiences will complement a total of 20 VR experiences and 11 installations, showcased between three venues in Park City. The historic Claim Jumper will host seven immersive installations focused on cross-disciplinary story construction and and two video works; the VR Palace will feature 15 VR experiences alongside additional installations; and the VR Bar will offer a lineup of mobile VR. Three projects are part of the Festival’s The New Climate program, which highlights the environment and climate change. More New Frontier projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “Every year, more artists are drawn to the vanguard of art and technology: independent, creative storytellers have more tools to break the mold than ever before. For the last decade-plus, New Frontier’s vision has evolved and grown with this expanding palette, to curate and showcase the most exciting new work made with the latest advances.”

Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator, New Frontier, said, “In an era that has recalibrated economies, redefined social realms and rewired the connection between the individual and the world, we must also reimagine what it is to be human. Through Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and various crafted immersive experiences, New Frontier this year challenges the very nature of perception and what we consider to be ‘reality.’”

Through New Frontier’s history, Sundance Institute has been at the forefront of new media storytelling, recognized as a pioneer of story-based, tech-enabled experiences; New Frontier alumni include Doug Aitken, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist and Jennifer Steinkamp. The Institute’s support extends well beyond its curated slate of Festival projects, and includes the annual New Frontier Story Lab, which offers mentorship and development opportunities for new media storytellers, New Frontier Day Labs in cities nationwide and the New Frontier Residency Program, which combines the might of partners such as MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing Group and Jaunt Studios to drive groundbreaking data-visualization and VR storytelling tools, training and resources to independent artists.

2016 marked New Frontier’s 10th Anniversary, with celebrations at MoMA in New York City, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In addition to the New Frontier program announced today, films in U.S. and World Competitions and NEXT have been announced and are listed at sundance.org/festival.

FILMS AND PERFORMANCE

18 Black Girls / Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and Are Thus Spiritual Machines: $X in an Edition of $97 Quadrillion / U.S.A. (Director and writer: Terence Nance) — In this pair of performances, the artist Googles the phrase “one-year-old black boy” and “one-year-old black girl,” ascending in age to 18, allowing Google’s “popular searches” algorithm to populate what words will follow.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? / U.S.A. (Director: Travis Wilkerson) — This documentary murder mystery about the artist’s own family is a Southern Gothic torn apart and reassembled. Journeying straight into the black heart of a family and country, this multimedia performance explores a forgotten killing by the artist’s great-grandfather—a white Southern racist—of a black man in lower Alabama.

World Without End (No Reported Incidents) / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jem Cohen) — Close observations around Southend-on-Sea, a small English town along the Thames estuary, reveal not only everyday streets, everyday birds, unflagging tides, mud and sky, but also prize-winning Indian curries, an encyclopedic universe of hats and a nearly lost world of proto-punk music.

INSTALLATIONS

A selection of single-channel works by the collective A Normal Working Day / Switzerland — A Normal Working Day is an artist collective consisting of the installation artist Zimoun and the choreographers and dancers Delgado Fuchs (Marco Delgado, Nadine Fuchs). Formed from the bodies of the two performers, these splendidly hypnotic projections are visual rabbit holes that shimmer with a presence that is larger than the sum of their parts.

Full Turn / Switzerland (Lead Artist: Benjamin Muzzin) — This installation explores the notion of the third dimension with the desire to get out of the usual frame of a flat screen. The rotation of two tablets creates a three-dimensional, animated sequence that can be seen at 360 degrees, unlike any other type of display.

Heartcorps: Riders of the Storyboard / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: dandypunk, Key Collaborators: Darin Basile, Jo Cattell) — Follow the story of Particle, a two-dimensional light being, as you walk through the pages of a giant, immersive comic book. Hand-drawn illustrations come to life around you using projection-mapping technology, while high-level Cirque du Soleil performers interact with animated characters in this “digital light poem.” Cast: Ekenah Claudin, Elon Höglund, Youssef El Toufali, Jenni Gamas.

Heroes / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Melissa Painter, Key Collaborators: Tim Dillon, Thomas Wester, Jason Schugardt, Laura Gorenstein Miller) — The setting: An extravagant movie palace where silent films were shown. One dance—fiercely athletic and romantic—invites you inside. Through both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, the story comes off the screen, challenging you to move, navigate heroic shifts in perspective and scale and reach out to touch the experience. Cast: Helios Dance Theater, Stephanie Maxim, Chris Stanley, Melissa Sandvig.

Journey to the Center of the Natural Machine / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Daniella Segal, Daniel Lazo, Eran May-Raz, Charles Niu) — From stone axe to super-computer, our brain’s evolution has been guided by our tools, evolving it into the most complicated object in the known universe. Explore a holographic brain with a friend on the Meta 2 Augmented Reality Headset, and rebuild your relationship to the Natural Machine.

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov) — A three-part exploration of black women and the roles they play in technology, society and culture—including speculative products, immersive experiences and neurocognitive impact research. Using fashion, cosmetics and the economy of beauty as entry points, the project illuminates issues of privacy, transparency, identity and perception.

Pleasant Places / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Quayola) — A return to, and a modern elaboration upon, Vincent Van Gogh’s Provence landscapes, this series of digital paintings interrogates and reframes concepts of representation and perception through image manipulation and augmented reality. Using bucolic and contemplative images, juxtaposed with raw data visualization, this project suggests alternate modes of visual synthesis.

Synesthesia Suit: Rez Infinite and Crystal Vibes / Japan (Lead Artists: Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Ayahiko Sato, Kouta Minamizawa) — A full-body 26-sensor suit combines audiovisual and vibrotactile textures to push technology-mediated sensory frontiers. Experience a multisensory climax with pounding beats and stringed instruments in acclaimed PlayStation 4/PS VR game Rez Infinite, or feel vibrations of candy-colored psychedelic sound rippling through the Crystal Vibes universe.

VIRTUAL REALITY

ASTEROIDS! / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Eric Darnell) — From the director of Madagascar comes Baobab’s VR animation. Journey the cosmos aboard the spaceship of Mac and Cheez, an alien duo so mission-focused they forget what’s important in life. It’s up to you to show them what really matters. Cast: Eric Darnell.

Chasing Coral: The VR Experience / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Jeff Orlowski) — Zackary Rago, a passionate scuba diver and researcher, documented the unprecedented 2016 coral bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef with this exclusive underwater VR experience. THE NEW CLIMATE

Chocolate / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Tyler Hurd) — This VR experience for the song “Chocolate” by Giraffage sets you in a cat-centric world of sparkling, colorful chrome with a tribe of people doing a ritualistic dance just for you, their robot god, to provide them with their precious resource, cute lil’ chrome kitties.

Dear Angelica / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Saschka Unseld, Key Collaborators: Angela Petrella, Wesley Allsbrook, Maxwell Planck, Ryan Thomas) — This project is a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember lost ones and, even though they are gone, what remains of the ones we loved. Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman.

Hue / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nicole McDonald, Key Collaborators: KC Austin) — This is an immersive and visually driven interactive film about a man who has lost the ability to see color. Participants reawaken the protagonist’s sense of wonder and imagination through empathetic action as color and connection return to his world view. Cast: David Strathairn, Benedikt Negro.

If Not Love / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rosemarie Troche, Key Collaborator: Bruce Allan) — A conflicted Christian man carries out a mass shooting. In his past: a same-sex hookup and self-loathing. What if events had unfolded differently? What if his partner had convinced him to face himself? Could that simple act change the course of history? Cast: Zachary Booth, Mitchell Winter.

Life of Us / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Pharrell Williams, Key Collaborators: Megan Ellison, McKenzie Stubbert, Jona Dinges) — This shared VR journey tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth.

Melting Ice / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Danfung Dennis) — We take viewers on a transcendent exploration into the devastating consequences of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet. Stand under collapsing glaciers, next to raging rivers of ice melt and witness rising sea levels—all visceral warnings of our planet’s future. THE NEW CLIMATE

Mindshow / U.S.A.(Lead Artists: Gil Baron, Jonnie Ross, Adam Levin, Key Collaborators: Jonnie Ross, Gil Baron) — Make VR cartoons with your body and voice. Teleport into different characters and act out all the parts. Create with your friends by passing scenes back and forth, then share your shows in VR and on social media. Cast: Dana Gould.

Miyubi / Canada (Lead Artists: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Key Collaborator: Owen Burke) — Experience love and obsolescence as a Japanese toy robot, gifted to a child in the home of a fractured family in 1982 suburban America. Cast: Jeff Goldblum, P.J. Byrne, Emily Bergl, Owen Vaccaro, Richard Riehle, Ted Sutherland, Tatum Kensington Bailey.

Orbital Vanitas / Australia (Lead Artist: Shaun Gladwell, Key Collaborator: Leo Faber, ) — This virtual reality experience presents a surreal sci-fi mystery and meditation on death. Initially placed in Earth’s orbit, participants soon notice an enigmatic form floating toward them. What takes place next makes perfect use of the VR format.

Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nonny de la Peña) — In August 2014, Daniel Ashley Pierce’s family verbally and physically accosted him before kicking him out of the house because they disapproved of his sexuality. Built directly around audio Daniel recorded from that encounter, this project includes thoughts of hope and triumph from Daniel and three other LGBTQ youth. Cast: Daniel Ashley Pierce, Kyle Wills, Julene Renee, Cyntia Domenzain, Angel VanStark, Phoebe VanCleefe.

The Sky is a Gap / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rachel Rossin) — The viewer is allowed to precisely move time with space by the use of a positionally tracked headset. Existing in the physical and virtual realms, the installation depicts a pyroclastic explosion inspired by Zabriskie Point, where the scene’s progress is physically mapped to the participant’s forward and backward movement.

Through You / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Saschka Unseld, Lily Baldwin) — Dance is used to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever—only to be found again. Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood.

Tree / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Milica Zec, Winslow Porter, Key Collaborators: Aleksandar Protic, Jacob Kudsk Steensen) — This virtual experience transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as the branches and body as the trunk, you experience the tree’s growth from a seedling to its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. THE NEW CLIMATE

Zero Days VR / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Scatter, Yasmin Elayat, Elie Zananiri, Key Collaborators: Mei-Ling Wong, Alexander Porter, James George) — The story of a clandestine mission hatched by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage an underground Iranian nuclear facility told from the perspective of Stuxnet, a sophisticated cyber weapon, and a key NSA informant. Audiences experience the high stakes of cyber warfare placed inside the invisible world of computer viruses. Cast: Joanne Tucker, Eric Chien, Liam O’Murchu, Ralph Langner, Olli Heinonen, David Sanger.

The Sundance Institute New Frontier program is supported by Cindy Harrell Horn and Alan Horn, Lyn and Norman Lear, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Time Warner Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Oculus Story Studio, Nokia OZO, Comcast Ventures, The Fledgling Fund, and David E. Quinney III.

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

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Sundance Institute
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. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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*Featured photo courtesy of Sundance.org

(Source:http://www.sundance.org)

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival announces opening movie, retrospective directors

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has announced its opening night film and the filmmakers selected for its retrospectives.

The festival, set for Feb. 17-26, features 150 nonfiction films from across the world at venues in Missoula, the Wilma Theater, the Roxy Theater, the Silver Theatre and the Missoula Hellgate Elks Lodge.

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The free Feb. 17 opener presented in partnership with HBO is Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

According to a press release, the film is “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty, in all its eccentricity. At 83 years old, grand dame Reynolds (star of Singin’ in the Rain) still performs a Vegas act dressed in gold lamé at the risk of her health, and her daughter, Fisher (of Star Wars fame) is helpless to react in the face of her mother’s determination that ‘the show must go on.”

Bright Lights gives us a rare peek into the normal lives of two very different yet intertwined Hollywood starlets, a truly human story that will have you laughing in one moment and tug at your heartstrings in the next,” festival director Rachel Gregg said in a news release.

The Big Sky retrospectives, a regular festival feature, examine the careers of influential documentary filmmakers.

This year, they’ve picked Daniel Junge. He won an Academy Award for the 2012 short Saving Face. The film, co-directed with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, focuses on a plastic surgeon in Pakistan who helps women disfigured in acid attacks. He won the South by Southwest Grand Jury award in 2009 for They Killed Sister Dorothy, which examined the murder of an Ohio nun in the Amazon.

 Closer to Montana, Junge directed 2015’s Being Evel, about the Butte-born daredevil legend Evel Knievel.

The other retrospective package is billed as the most expansive ever done at Big Sky. It examines the work of EyeSteel Films, a Montreal collective that has covered topics around the world.

Last year’s festival-goers may have caught Chameleon, by collective member Ryan Mullins. The film took viewers inside the world of Anas, a Ghanaian investigative journalist whose deep-cover techniques merge spycraft and advocacy.

The 2017 festival the Big Sky DocShop, a film forum with panels, workshops and the Big Sky Pitch for works in progress.

The forum this year will highlight aspects in the rapidly growing medium of short film, such as conceiving, funding, producing and distributing.

DocShop will include panels and workshops with Vice, ITVS, The Atlantic, ESPN, Film Collaborative, and Tribeca Film Institute among other film industry experts, as well as master classes with the 2017 BSDFF retrospective artists.

The official selections and the schedule will be announced mid-January. Sales for tickets and passes as well as DocShop registration open in late January. For more information, go to bigskyfilmfest.org.

(Source:http://missoulian.com)

SLAMDANCE 2017 ANNOUNCES SPECIAL SCREENINGS, BEYOND FEATURES, AND SHORT FILM COMPETITIONS

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Slamdance Opening Night Film: World Premiere Of What Lies Upstream. Oscar Qualifying Shorts Program Features 24 World Premieres

(LOS ANGELES, CA – December 6, 2016) – (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

After Adderall
(USA)
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*
(USA)
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

BEYOND PROGRAM

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

The Erlprince
(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,

Future ‘38
(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

August
(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

Business
(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

The Cure
(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

E
(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

The Investment
(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

Last Night
(USA)
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

Losing It
(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

One-Minded
(France/USA/South Korea)
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

Paco
(USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Catalina Jordan Alvarez
He wants you to bounce on his lap.
Cast: Brian Jordan Alvarez, Rosalyn Williams, Daniel Fishkin, Parker Dilworth

Pedazos
(USA)
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
(USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Evan Mann
A space man meets a cave man.
Cast: Andrew Finzel, Nolan Brown, Rick Romero, Valerie Simon

We Together
(USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Henry Kaplan
A zombie is awakened.
Cast: Martel Rudd, Kristopher McAfee

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM

Clean Hands
(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

Clip-135-02-05
(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

Commodity City
(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

Eveready
(Uganda/USA) World Premiere
Director: Paul Szynol
Uganda’s most surprising boxer steps into the ring one more time.

Irregulars
(Italy)
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

Moriom
(Switzerland)
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

Richard Twice
(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

Sweet Pie
(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
(USA)
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

Auto
(USA) US Premiere
Director: Conner Griffith
Cars dance on highways, crowds of people wash across sidewalk shores.

Batfish Soup
(USA)
Director: Amanda Bonaiuto
Wacky relatives give way to mounting tensions with broken dolls, boiling stew and a bang.

Chella Drive
(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)
(USA)
Renee Zhan
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.

Insect Bite
(USA)
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.

Monkey
(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
(Hungary)
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.

Plena Stellarum
(USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Wade
Neon ghosts dreaming in dead landscapes.

Q
(USA) US Premiere
Director: James Bascara
A bashful encounter.

Remember
(Japan)
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

Blua
(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.

UpCycles
(USA)
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

Ape Sodom
(Canada)
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

Hell Follows
(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

Horseshoe Theory
(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.

Silverhead
(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

TheBox
(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

Press Stills: http://bit.ly/2goPmzt

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ABOUT SLAMDANCE
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

Facebook: SlamdanceFilmFestival
Twitter: @slamdance
Instagram: @slamogram

Additional References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slamdance_Film_Festival

 

 

PRESS CONTACT:

After Bruce PR
Eseel Borlasa
eseel@afterbruce.com
562-881-6725

Tracy Nguyen-Chung
tracy@afterbruce.com
503-701-2115

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(Source: Slamdance.com)

 

PREMIERES, MIDNIGHT, KIDS, AND MORE: LATEST ADDITIONS TO 2017 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Park City, UT— The final pieces of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival feature film program fall into place today, as Sundance Institute announces the lineup for Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight, Kids and Special Events. The Festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort January 19-29.

Three projects announced today are part of The New Climate, the Festival’s new environmental program: Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman (Documentary Premieres), Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (Spotlight) and RISE (Special Events).

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-4-34-11-pm

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Some of the most pressing themes that we can trace through the Festival lineup — the environment, political upheaval, social change — are distilled to their very human essences in both comic and dramatic stories. These stories, and the conversations they spark, start here and will extend well beyond the mountain and the Festival in the months ahead.”

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Powerful visions of our times — past, present and future — resound throughout these sections. Inspired storytellers are shining a light on urgent issues or providing an exhilarating escape from them. From citizen journalists to robust and powerful roles for women — in front of and behind the camera — these projects are a testament to the force and value of the individual.”

Among the films that have premiered in these sections in recent years are Boyhood, Under The Shadow, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Captain Fantastic, The Lobster, Mistress America, Manchester By The Sea, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Shaun the Sheep, O.J.: Made in America and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

For a full list of films announced to date, including selections for the U.S. and World Competitions, NEXT and New Frontier, visit sundance.org/festival. The Short Film program announcement will be forthcoming.

PREMIERES
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated narrative films of the coming year.

Beatriz at Dinner / U.S.A. (Director: Miguel Arteta, Screenwriter: Mike White) — Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner. Doug Strutt is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Cast: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow. World Premiere

Before I Fall / U.S.A. (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriter: Maria Maggenti) — Samantha Kingston has everything. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, she wakes up with no future at all. Trapped into reliving the same day over and over, she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Diego Boneta. World Premiere

The Big Sick / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani) — Based on the real-life courtship: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail and grad student Emily fall in love, but they struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail must navigate the crisis with her parents and the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher. World Premiere

Call Me by Your Name / Italy, France (Director: Luca Guadagnino, Screenwriters: James Ivory, Luca Guadagnino) — The sensitive and cultivated Elio, only child of the American-Italian-French Perlman family, is facing another lazy summer at his parents’ villa in the beautiful and languid Italian countryside when Oliver, an academic who has come to help with Elio’s father’s research, arrives. Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois. World Premiere

The Discovery / U.S.A. (Director: Charlie McDowell, Screenwriters: Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader) — In a world where the afterlife has just been scientifically proven—resulting in millions of people taking their own lives to get there—comes this love story. Cast: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough, Ron Canada. World Premiere

Fun Mom Dinner / U.S.A. (Director: Alethea Jones, Screenwriter: Julie Rudd) — Four women, whose kids attend the same preschool class, get together for a “fun mom dinner.” When the night takes an unexpected turn, these unlikely new friends realize they have more in common than just marriage and motherhood. Together, they reclaim a piece of the women they used to be. Cast: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Adam Levine. World Premiere

The Incredible Jessica James / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jim Strouse) — Jessica James, an aspiring NYC playwright, is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She sees a light at the end of the tunnel when she meets the recently divorced Boone. Together, they discover how to make it through the tough times while realizing they like each other—a lot. Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Keith Stanfield, Noël Wells. World Premiere. CLOSING NIGHT FILM

The Last Word / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Pellington, Screenwriter: Stuart Ross Fink) — Harriett is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth, resulting in a life-altering friendship. Cast: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche, Thomas Sadoski, Philip Baker Hall. World Premiere

Manifesto / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Julian Rosefeldt) — Can history’s art manifestos apply to contemporary society? An homage to the twentieth century’s most impassioned artistic statements and innovators, from Futurists and Dadaists to Pop Art, Fluxus, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch, this series of reenactments performed by Cate Blanchett explores these declarations’ performative components and political significance. Cast: Cate Blanchett. World Premiere

Marjorie Prime / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Almereyda) — In the near future—a time of artificial intelligence—86-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? Cast: Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Lois Smith, Tim Robbins. World Premiere

Mudbound / U.S.A. (Director: Dee Rees, Screenwriters: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees) — In the post–World War II South, two families are pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad. This epic pioneer story is about friendship, heritage and the unending struggle for and against the land. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks. World Premiere

The Polka King / U.S.A. (Director: Maya Forbes, Screenwriters: Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky) — Based on the remarkable true story of the world’s only known Polka Ponzi scheme, this mix of comedy and tragedy is about Jan Lewan, a polish immigrant who believed in the American Dream. But with big dreams came big mistakes for the man who became the “King of Pennsylvania Polka.” Cast: Jack Black, Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove. World Premiere

Rebel in the Rye / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Danny Strong) — This portrait of the life and mind of reclusive author J.D. Salinger goes from the bloody front lines of World War II to his early rejections and the PTSD-fueled writer’s block that led to his iconic novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch, Hope Davis, Victor Garber. World Premiere

Rememory / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Mark Palansky, Screenwriters: Michael Vukadinovich, Mark Palansky) — A visionary inventor found dead. A machine that can record people’s memories. A man haunted by the past. This noir mystery explores the ways in which memory defines the present. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Anton Yelchin, Henry Ian Cusick, Evelyne Brochu. World Premiere

Sidney Hall / U.S.A. (Director: Shawn Christensen, Screenwriters: Shawn Christensen, Jason Dolan) — Over the course of 12 years, and three stages of life, Sidney Hall falls in love, writes the book of a generation and then disappears without a trace. Cast: Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Lane, Margaret Qualley. World Premiere

Where is Kyra? / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriters: Andrew Dosunmu, Darci Picoult) — Pushed to the brink after losing her job, a woman struggles to survive. As the months pass and her troubles deepen, she embarks on a perilous and mysterious journey that threatens to usurp her life. Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland. World Premiere

Wilson / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriter: Daniel Clowes) — Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope, reunites with his estranged wife and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer. World Premiere

Wind River / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan) — An FBI agent teams with the town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that ocurred on a Native American reservation. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal. World Premiere

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES
Renowned filmmakers and films about far-reaching subjects comprise this section highlighting our ongoing commitment to documentaries.

500 YEARS / U.S.A. (Director: Pamela Yates) — From a historic genocide trial to the overthrow of a president, the sweeping story of mounting resistance played out in Guatemala’s recent history is told through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to reimagine their society. World Premiere

Cries from Syria / U.S.A., Syria, Czech Republic (Director: Evgeny Afineevsky) — This documentary attempts to recontextualize the European migrant crisis and ongoing hostilities in Syria, through eyewitness and participant testimony. Children and parents recount the revolution, civil war, air strikes, atrocities and ongoing humanitarian aid crises, in a portrait of recent history and the consequences of violence. World Premiere

Give Me Future: Major Lazer in Cuba / U.S.A., Cuba (Director: Austin Peters) — In the spring of 2016, global music sensation Major Lazer performed a free concert in Havana, Cuba—an unprecedented show that drew an audience of almost half a million. This concert documentary evolves into an exploration of youth culture in a country on the precipice of change. World Premiere

Legion of Brothers / U.S.A. (Director: Greg Barker) — Afghanistan, immediately post-9/11: Small teams of Green Berets arrive on a series of secret missions to overthrow the Taliban. What happens next is equal parts war origin story and cautionary tale, illuminating the nature and impact of 15 years of constant combat, with unprecedented access to U.S. Special Forces. World Premiere

Oklahoma City / U.S.A. (Director: Barak Goodman) — The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 is the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history; this documentary explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement—including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco—led to it. World Premiere

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman / U.S.A. (Directors: Susan Froemke, John Hoffman, Beth Aala) — From the Montana Rockies to the wheat fields of Kansas and the Gulf of Mexico, families who work the land and sea are crossing political divides to find unexpected ways to protect the natural resources vital to their livelihoods. These are the new heroes of conservation, deep in America’s heartland. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE

TAKE EVERY WAVE: The Life of Laird Hamilton / U.S.A. (Director: Rory Kennedy) — This is the remarkable story of an American icon who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Transcending the surf genre, this in-depth portrait of a hard-charging athlete explores the fear, courage and ambition that push a man to greatness—and the cost that comes with it. World Premiere

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities / U.S.A. (Director: Stanley Nelson) — A haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries—and path of promise toward the American dream—Black colleges and universities have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. They have been unapologetically Black for 150 years. For the first time ever, their story is told. World Premiere

This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous / U.S.A. (Director: Barbara Kopple) — Are there limits to your love for your family? One family’s acceptance is tested when a champion diver, destined for the Olympics, announces he’s transitioning into a woman—and invites his YouTube followers along for every moment. It’s a story about unconditional love and finding the courage to be yourself. World Premiere

Untitled Lucy Walker / Buena Vista Social Club Documentary / U.S.A., United Kingdom, Cuba (Director: Lucy Walker) — The musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club exposed the world to Cuba’s vibrant culture with their landmark 1997 album. Now, against the backdrop of Cuba’s captivating musical history, hear the band’s story as they reflect on their remarkable careers and the extraordinary circumstances that brought them together. World Premiere

MIDNIGHT
From horror and comedy to works that defy genre classification, these films will keep you wide awake, even at the most arduous hour.

78/52 / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Philippe) — This is an unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the “man behind the curtain,” and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema. World Premiere

Bad Day for the Cut / Northern Ireland (Director: Chris Baugh, Screenwriters: Chris Baugh, Brendan Mullin) — A middle-aged Irish farmer, who still lives at home with his mother, sets off on a mission of revenge when the old lady is murdered. Cast: Nigel O’Neill, Susan Lynch, Józef Pawłowski, Stuart Graham, Anna Próchniak, Ian McElhinney. World Premiere

Bitch / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marianna Palka) — A woman snaps under crushing life pressures and assumes the psyche of a vicious dog. Her philandering, absentee husband is forced to become reacquainted with his four children and sister-in-law as they attempt to keep the family together during this bizarre crisis. Cast: Jason Ritter, Jaime King, Marianna Palka, Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, Kingston Foster. World Premiere

Bushwick / U.S.A. (Directors: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott, Screenwriters: Nick Damici, Graham Reznick) — Lucy emerges from a Brooklyn subway to find that her neighborhood is under attack by black-clad military soldiers. An ex-Marine corpsman, Stupe, reluctantly helps her fight for survival through a civil war, as Texas attempts to secede from the United States of America. Cast: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow, Angelic Zambrana, Jeremie Harris, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Arturo Castro. World Premiere

Killing Ground / Australia (Director and screenwriter: Damien Power) — Ian and Samantha arrive at an isolated campsite to find an SUV and a tent—with no sign of the occupants. The discovery of a distressed child wandering in the woods unleashes a terrifying chain of events that will test the young couple’s breaking point. Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Ian Meadows, Harriet Dyer, Aaron Glenane. International Premiere

Kuso / U.S.A. (Director: Steven Ellison, Screenwriters: Steven Ellison, David Firth, Zach Fox) — Broadcasting through a makeshift network of discarded televisions, this story is tangled up in the aftermath of Los Angeles’s worst earthquake nightmare. Travel between screens and aftershocks into the twisted lives of the survived. Cast: Iesha Coston, Zack Fox, Hannibal Buress, The Buttress, Tim Heidecker, Mali Matsuda. World Premiere

The Little Hours / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a dysfunctional convent in medieval Tuscany. Cast: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon. World Premiere. DAY ONE

XX / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Annie Clark, Karyn Kusama, Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic) — This all-female horror anthology features four dark tales from four fiercely talented women. Cast: Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool, Christina Kirk. World Premiere

SPOTLIGHT
The Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love from throughout the past year.

Colossal / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nacho Vigalondo) — An unapologetic party girl dreams of a fresh start only to discover a mysterious and fantastical connection between herself and a city-wrecking monster on the other side of the globe. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis, Tim Blake Nelson, Austin Stowell.

Frantz / France, Germany (Director: François Ozon, Screenwriters: François Ozon, Philippe Piazzo) — In a small German town after World War I, Anna mourns daily at the grave of her fiancé, Frantz, killed in battle in France. One day a young Frenchman, Adrien, also lays flowers at the grave. His presence, so soon after the German defeat, ignites passions. Cast: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Johann von Bülow, Anton von Lucke.

Lady Macbeth / United Kingdom (Director: William Oldroyd, Screenwriter: Alice Birch) — Rural England, 1865: Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man and his unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a stableman from the estate, the force unleashed inside her is so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Cast: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank. U.S. Premiere

Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry / U.S.A. (Directors: Laura Dunn, Jef Sewell) — This cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture is seen through the mind’s eye of farmer and writer Wendell Berry. THE NEW CLIMATE

Raw / France (Director and screenwriter: Julia Ducournau) — When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, she develops an unbidden taste for meat, with unexpected consequences. Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss.

Sami Blood / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Amanda Kernell) — Elle Marja, 14, is a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl. Exposed to race biology examinations at her boarding school and the racism of the 1930s, she starts dreaming of another life—one that demands she become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture. Cast: Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Mia Sparrok, Maj-Doris Rimpi, Olle Sarri, Hanna Alström, Malin Crépin. U.S. Premiere

Their Finest / United Kingdom (Director: Lone Scherfig, Screenwriter: Gaby Chiappe) — During the 1940 London Blitz, untried screenwriter Catrin struggles to find her voice amidst war, as she and a makeshift cast work under fire to create a film to lift the nation’s spirits—and inspire America to join the war. Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Jake Lacy, Jeremy Irons. U.S. Premiere

KIDS
This section of the Festival is especially for our youngest independent film fans. Programmed in cooperation with Utah Film Center, which presents the annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival, Utah’s premiere film festival for children and youth.

The Mars Generation / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Barnett) — Aspiring teenage astronauts reveal that a journey to Mars is closer than you think. World Premiere. SALT LAKE CITY OPENING NIGHT FILM

My Life as a Zucchini / Switzerland, France (Director: Claude Barras, Screenwriter: Céline Sciamma) — After his mother’s death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer, Raymond, who accompanies him to a foster home filled with other orphans his age. There, with the help of his newfound friends, Zucchini eventually learns to trust and love as he searches for a new family of his own. World Premiere (English Version)

RED DOG: True Blue / Australia (Director: Kriv Stenders, Screenwriter: Daniel Taplitz) — When 11-year-old Mick is shipped off to his grandfather’s cattle station in Australia’s remote Pilbara, he prepares himself for a life of dull hardship but instead finds myth, adventure and a friendship with a scrappy, one-of-a-kind pup that will change his life forever. Cast: Levi Miller, Bryan Brown, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Thomas Cocquerel, Jason Isaacs. North American Premiere

SPECIAL EVENTS
One-of-a-kind moments highlighting new independent works that add to the unique Festival experience. An evolving section, this year includes episodic work, short films and live post-screening discussions.

Downward Dog / U.S.A. (Showrunners: Kat Likkel, John Hoberg, Creators: Michael Killen, Samm Hodges) — The story of a struggling millennial, Nan, as observed from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin. The Festival will premiere the first four episodes of the series, followed by an extended Q&A with the cast, creators and showrunners. Cast: Allison Tolman, Samm Hodges, Lucas Neff, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Barry Rothbart. World Premiere

The History of Comedy / U.S.A. (Executive Producers: Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen, Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner) — Utilizing archival footage punctuated by contemporary interviews with comedy legends and scholars, this is the history of not only what makes us laugh, but how comedy has affected the social and political landscape throughout history. The Festival will premiere two episodes of this docuseries, Spark of Madness and Going Blue, followed by an extended Q&A. World Premiere

I Love Dick / U.S.A. (Directors: Jill Soloway, Andrea Arnold, Kimberly Peirce, Executive Producers: Jill Soloway, Sarah Gubbins, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu) — Chris and Sylvere, a married couple in the intellectual community of Marfa, Texas, become obsessed with a charismatic artist named Dick. What follows is the unraveling of a marriage, the deification of a reluctant messiah and the awakening of the female gaze. The Festival will present the first three episodes of this Amazon original series, followed by an extended Q&A. Cast: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne, Roberta Colindrez, India Menuez, Phoebe Robinson. World Premiere

RISE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Latimer) — This vibrant and immersive documentary series explores the front lines of indigenous resistance. Episodes Apache Stronghold, Sacred Water and Red Power examine factors that threaten indigenous liberation in the 21st century. A series of contrasts, this series is both a condemnation of colonialism and a celebration of indigenous peoples. Continuing Sundance Institute’s ongoing commitment to presenting bold stories from within the Native American and Indigenous communities, we are proud to debut three episodes: Apache Stronghold, Sacred Water and Red Power, followed by an extended Q&A. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE

Shots Fired / U.S.A. (Executive Producers: Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo) — After racially-charged shootings in a North Carolina town, an investigator digs into the cases alongside a special prosecutor. Together they seek justice while navigating the ensuing media attention and public unrest threatening the divided town. The Festival will premiere two episodes of this 10-hour series, followed by an extended Q&A. Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Moyer, Mack Wilds. World Premiere

TIME: The Kalief Browder Story / U.S.A. (Director: Jenner Furst, Executive Producers: Jenner Furst, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Harvey Weinstein, David C. Glasser, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason, Michael Gasparro) — After his arrest at age 16, Kalief Browder fought the system and prevailed, despite unthinkable circumstances. He became an American hero. The Festival will debut the first two episodes of this in-depth, humanizing look at a broken justice system, followed by an extended Q&A. World Premiere

Docuseries Showcase — The Festival is proud to debut individual episodes from two exciting new Netflix docuseries, featuring an extended Q&A with directors Morgan Neville and Rashida Jones.

  • Abstract: The Art of Design / U.S.A. (Director and executive producer: Morgan Neville) — A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world. The Festival will debut one episode of the series, followed by an extended Q&A with Director and Executive Producer Morgan Neville. Cast: Christoph Niemann. World Premiere
  • Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On / U.S.A. (Director: Rashida Jones, “Women on Top,” Executive Producers: Rashida Jones, Ronna Gradus, Jill Bauer, Peter LoGreco) — Porn has gone mainstream; the question is, can we handle it? This exploration of the intersection of sex and technology is told through the stories of the people whose lives are defined by the current explosion of internet porn—whether they’re creating it, consuming it, or both. The Festival will debut one episode of the series, followed by an extended Q&A with Director and Executive Producer Rashida Jones. World Premiere

Independent Pilot Showcase — We are proud to present the world premieres of these outstanding pilot presentations, highlighting the best in episodic series work from the independent community.

  • Playdates / U.S.A. (Writers: Giles Andrew, Dan Marshall, Creators: Giles Andrew, Dan Marshall, Alex Bourne) — Uprooted from their Midwestern life, Bennett, a new stay-at-home dad, and Julie, a working mom, are forced to take their kids on playdates inside the elitist parenting culture of Silicon Beach. Cast: Paul Scheer, Carla Gallo, Miles Fisher, Craig Frank, Gemma Brooke Allen, Landon Gordon. World Premiere
  • Shit Kids / U.S.A. (Director and creator: Kyle Dunnigan) — The daughter of an earth-shatteringly boring couple, along with the son of an equally humdrum set of parents, have decided to plot their parents’ murders. Cast: Kyle Dunnigan, Kevin Berntson, Candace Brown, Margee Magee, Grace van Dien, Doug Noble. World Premiere
  • When The Street Lights Go On / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Morgen, Screenwriters: Eddie O’Keefe, Chris Hutton) — The residents of a small town grapple with the ruthless killing of a young girl and a teacher. Cast: Max Burkholder, Odessa Young, Adam Long, Ben Winchell, Kelli Mayo, Graham Beckel. World Premiere

Made in Cuba — We are proud to present these three cinematic and affecting Cuban short documentaries, reflecting Sundance Institute’s longstanding commitment to international artists. These films were guided by the Institute’s Documentary Film Program in collaboration with La Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (EICTV) and The Guardian Multimedia Program.

  • Connection (Conectifai) / Cuba (Director: Horizoe Garcia Miranda) — ETECSA—Cuba’s only telephone company—installed Wi-Fi routers in 18 public parks in 2016. For many Cubans, this meant being able to go online for the first time. This film shows us how Cubans of all ages initially explore social media, online dating and more. U.S. Premiere
  • Great (Muy Bien) / Cuba (Director: Sheyla Pool Pástor) — The United States restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015, making it no longer unrealistic for Cubans to dream of one day living and working abroad. Cubans of all ages and diverse aspirations enroll at the makeshift Big Ben English school in Havana. U.S. Premiere
  • House for Sale (Casa en Venta) / Cuba (Director: Emanuel Giraldo Betancur) — After more than 50 years, the ban on individuals in Cuba selling their houses was lifted in 2011. Three Cubans invite us into their homes—full of memories, souvenirs and family members—to hear their “sales pitch.” U.S. Premiere

Midnight Episodic Showcase — For the after-dark crowd, we present the world premieres of two thrilling new episodic additions to our Midnight lineup: Pineapple, from Adaptive Studios, and Snatchers, from Stage 13, followed by an extended Q&A with the creators of both series.

  • Pineapple / U.S.A. (Director and writer: Arkasha Stevenson) — When a miner’s daughter is assaulted in the local coal mine, she utters only one word, leaving the town’s sheriff baffled. The event quickly spirals out of control, impacting the entire town. The Festival will premiere three short-form episodes of this uniquely cinematic drama series. Cast: Tyler Vickers, Kel Owens, Ron Gilbert, Gloria Vonn, Lucille Sharp, Brooklyn Robinson. World Premiere
  • Snatchers / U.S.A. (Directors: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Screenwriters: Scott Yacyshyn, Benji Kleiman, Stephen Cedars) — After status-obsessed teen Sara has sex for the first time, she wakes up the next day nine months pregnant—with an alien. Turning to her nerdy ex-bestie, Hayley (the only person she can trust without ruining her reputation), they strive to put an end to all the carnage. The Festival will premiere eight short-form episodes of this otherworldly horror-comedy series. Cast: Mari Nepi, Gabrielle Elyse, Austin Fryberger, J.J. Nolan, Nick Gomez, Rich Fulcher. World Premiere

Short-Form Episodic Showcase — A celebration of the evolving landscape of content consumption, we present these short-form episodic series as new voices in the medium, defying broadcast boilerplates with a redefinition of traditional episodic conventions.

  • The Chances / U.S.A. (Director: Anna Kerrigan, Creators: Josh Feldman, Shoshannah Stern) — Best friends Kate and Michael, who are deaf, try their best to see their friendship through new changes in their lives, as Kate adjusts to being newly married and Michael attempts to get over his ex-boyfriend. The Festival will debut five episodes of this short-form episodic series. Cast: Josh Feldman, Shoshannah Stern, Aaron Costa Ganis, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Darryl Stephens, Wilson Cruz. World Premiere
  • Gente-fied / U.S.A. (Creator: Marvin Lemus, Executive Producers: Charles D. King, Aaliyah Williams, America Ferrera) — Seven characters deal with the effects of change in LA’s Boyle Heights. Bicultural millennials and old-school business owners hustle to create spaces that celebrate their Latino identities—even while faced with rent hikes, a housing crisis, and a steady stream of outsiders threatening to gentrify their barrio. The Festival will debut three episodes of this short- form episodic series. Cast: Edsson Morales, Alicia Sixtos, Victoria Ortiz, Yareli Arizmendi, Salvador Velez Jr, Rafael Sigler. World Premiere
  • Strangers / U.S.A. (Director: Mia Lidofsky, Executive Producers: Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub, Jesse Peretz, Mia Lidofsky) — Isobel decides to rent out her spare bedroom in order to generate much-needed extra income after a messy and painful breakup. With the help of her best friend, she navigates the most emotionally, sexually and professionally complicated time of her life, while hosting a constant stream of new guests. The Festival will debut the first three episodes of this short- form episodic series. Cast: Zoë Chao, Meredith Hagner, Jemaine Clement, Breeda Wool, Matthew Oberg, Shiri Appleby. World Premiere

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 WildFruitvale 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 Sunshinesex, lies, and videotapeReservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry InchAn Inconvenient TruthPrecious 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

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Sundance Institute
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. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Q&A: Gosling and Stone on ‘La La Land’ & their movie romance

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW YORK (AP) — Bogart and Bacall. Tracy and Hepburn. Stone and Gosling.

The hugely charming Los Angeles musical “La La Land” seals it: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have entered the ranks of great cinematic couples. Their easy rapport together was first hinted at with “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and carried through the crime drama “Gangster Squad.”

Those, though, were only appetizers to Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” in which they star as two flailing aspirants trying to make it in LA. Stone plays an actress, Gosling a jazz pianist. They sing. They dance. They patter like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

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Ryan Gosling, right and Emma Stone dancing in a scene from their upcoming movie, La La Land. (Photo Credit: Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, “La La Land.” (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

“La La Land,” a resurrection of joyful 1930s studio musicals on contemporary LA streets, is an impassioned argument for the movies, in all their widescreen glory. And part of that vintage Hollywood experience includes big ol’ movie stars.

In an era that has struggled to produce them, Stone and Gosling stand apart as two of our best answers. In “La La Land,” they’re our version of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, maybe not quite as light on their feet (who is?), but more natural and funnier.

How far will they push their on-screen chemistry? “Do you think people would let us do anything together again?” Stone asked her co-star during an interview earlier this fall. “I don’t think we’d be allowed.”

After greeting warmly (Gosling had been shooting “Blade Runner 2049”), the actors sat down to reflect on why they go so well together, their own tortured paths to Hollywood success and just how deep their movie love runs.

AP: Did either of you hesitate about working together again?

STONE: That was an exciting aspect that it was our third thing together. The characters also have by the end five years between them and I think we’d probably known each other that long by that point. It’s kind of nice to not have to find that when the story depends so much on the connection between the two of them.

GOSLING: It’s also nice when you know the people you’re working with. Most of the time, everyone’s a stranger. It’s fine. That’s your job to make it seem like you have a relationship. But it certainly makes it a lot easier when you have one. And you listen to the way that person says their line more closely. You watch the way they’re playing the scene because you know each other. You’re more engaged in the scene than you would be otherwise.

AP: Did you feel a connection right away on your first film together, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”?

GOSLING: We’ve been asked to improvise a lot in the films that we’ve done together. I think even in our first audition we were asked to improvise. That just kind of connects actors in a way that just saying dialogue doesn’t do.

AP: Emma, you started in improv comedy.

STONE: That was the thing I loved to do the most. I thought I was just going to do comedy forever. I’ve always really loved to improvise but maybe strangely less so as time goes on. (She laughs.) Sometimes it’s nice to have a script nailed down. But comedy improv is pretty different from dramatic improv. Comedy improv is a lot of heckling.

AP: You both seem to a certain degree like comedic actors at heart.

STONE: It’s the best. It’s my favorite. Not to the exclusion of other types of films, but I do love comedy. That will always be my first love. (Turns to Gosling.) What do you think?

GOSLING: Well I don’t have as much experience with it…

STONE: But you’re so good at it.

GOSLING: What’s nice about it is you want to feel that whatever you’re doing is working. With comedy, it’s funny or it’s not.

AP: The film portrays some soul-crushing auditions. Were they familiar?

STONE: The first audition was inspired by Ryan’s story.

GOSLING: Yeah, where I had to cry and this lady took a call in the middle of it. And then just told me to go on, “Pick up where I left off.” That was part of what was great about making this film was Damien encouraged us to bring our experiences to these characters.

AP: Were they traumatic experiences?

GOSLING: Yeah, but it was so nice to see it realized in a movie and see Emma doing it. We made some lemonade out of lemons.

AP: Did either of you ever think about giving up?

STONE: I definitely thought about it. It was like a twice a year thing. Every six months there was a little meltdown. I’ve also thought about giving up in the middle of shoots before. “Well, after this one, I’m just never going to work again. That’s going to be fine. I’m never, ever going to work again because this is clearly not for me.”

GOSLING: About two week before shooting. “Can I still get out of this? They have time to find someone else.” It can be very discouraging. It’s kind of built in a way to discourage you. In some ways now being outside of it, I realize how inefficient it is, the auditioning process. It seems to reward people who are good at auditioning, which doesn’t really have anything to do with what happens when you get on set. The kind of people who are really great in a film I think you’ll find are for the most part pretty bad at auditioning. Yet they never feel they need to tinker with that system at all.

AP: How do you feel about being part of a proudly big-screen film like “La La Land” at a time when television is seen as eclipsing the movies?

STONE: I don’t think films are less than TV now, but there are some amazing characters on TV, so I understand why people want to do TV. When movies are at their full glory, I think it’s pretty mind-blowing. What do you think, Ry?

GOSLING: When I first met with Damien, it wasn’t about this. It was just kind of a general meeting. He has a very infectious love of movies but also of the experience of going to the movies. He talked a lot about wanting to make movies that you couldn’t watch on your iPhone, that you really wanted to see in a theater with an audience.

AP: Your love of movies seems clear, since you’ve previously acknowledged stuffing DVDs down your pants.

STONE: You put DVDs down your pants?!

GOSLING: (laughing) VHS. Look, in these kinds of situations, you’re encouraged to say anything. And it’s celebrated. And then you pay the price for that later.

STONE: Was it to be closer to your favorite movie?

GOSLING: No. It was one story a long time ago where I had to hide an R-rated movie from my parents. It was very intimate. This is the danger of this kind of thing that you do because it haunts us.

AP: Well, it’s a very vivid example of movie love.

GOSLING: I do love movies but I love making them more. I’ve never found something professionally that engages me as much as that. You work with such a large group of people and it’s this constant problem solving process that gets you to this end, whatever that is. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s always a crapshoot.

STONE: For me, watching movies is what makes me want to make movies. I’m so inspired by watching movies. The process of making it is engaging but I get so reinvigorated every time I see a great movie. Then I feel like I’m the character in the movie for the rest of the day. Then I realize I can’t play that same character I just watched.

AP: What was the first film that you mimicked that way?

STONE: “The Jerk.” Also “Hocus Pocus.” It was a combination of “The Jerk” and “Hocus Pocus,” so it shows my age and not my age. (Turns to Gosling) What was yours?

GOSLING: “Hocus Pocus.”

*Featured photo: Ryan Gosling, left, and Emma Stone posing for a portrait to promote their film, “La La Land,” at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Source: http://www.bigstory.ap.org)

Mark Wahlberg and Partriots Day Wrap Up 2016 AFI FEST

Closing down this year’s American Film Institutes Film Festival (AFI FEST) presented by Audi on Thursday, November 17th, it’s not so difficult to imagine what might have been had it not been for extraordinary efforts of first-responders, law enforcement and investigators alike in Boston, Mass. Patriots Day, the closing night film, brought to the big screen the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings from several different angles and drew an at-capacity crowd at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

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Patriots Day star actor Mark Wahlberg, left, along with the film’s director, Peter Berg, right, posing on the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre before the screening of Patriots Day as the AFI FEST 2016’s Closing Night film. (Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter)

Afterwards, Director Peter Berg and star actor Mark Wahlberg called several of the film’s real life heroes down on stage for a rousing standing ovation. They included one of the civilian victims of the bombings, Patrick  Downes;  Dun Meng, the young Chinese man who escaped his captors and alerted police to the whereabouts of the bombers; Boston Police Department Commissioner Ed Davis (played in the film by John Goodman); FBI Special Agent In Charge Richard DesLauriers (played by Kevin Bacon); and Watertown Police Sgt. Jeffrey Puglisese (played by J.K. Simmons).

The night before lead actress Annette Bening sat with director Lisa Cholodenko on the TCL Chinese Theater for a warm and heartfelt conversation before the screening of Writer/Director Mike Mills’ dramedy, 20th Century Women, a story of three women and a make-shift extended family in Santa Barbara during the late 1970’s.

I can honestly say I didn’t see a bad film at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi.

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Oulaya Amamra as Dounia (pictured above) in Houda Benyamina’s Divines picked up this year’s New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting. (Photo via geekgirlauthority.com)

Divines , from Houda Benyamina, carted off several winner awards, including the Breakthrough Audience Award, New Auteurs Audience Award, and New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting, Oulaya Amamra. Other favorite films reviewed by HollywoodGlee included Fraud, Jackie, Mifune: The Last Samurai, and Citizen Kane.

Interestingly, this year’s festival opened wide the gates for virtual reality (VR) filmmaking. In addition to several presentations and an extended display of short films complete with VR technology, Anthony Blatt, Co-Founder of Wevr, kicked off the State of the Art Technology Showcase Presented by Google Spotlight Stories as the Keynote Speaker with his enthusiastic remarks on the world of virtual reality in present time.

All in all, this 30th edition of the AFI Film Festival – Hollywood program included a whopping 118 films (79 features, 39 shorts) representing 46 countries, including 33 films directed/co-directed by women, 11 documentaries and 12 animated short films.

Until next year, I’ll see you at the movies!

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(Photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)