Sundance Institute Announces Films In Competition And Next For 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Offering a first look at the year ahead in independent film, culture and new ideas, The Sundance Institute announced the 65 films selected for the U.S. Competition, World Competition and out-of-competition NEXT category set to premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Films that have premiered in these sections include Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station,Whiplash, Blackfish, The September Issue, The Cove, An Education, Animal Kingdom, Precious, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Obvious Child, Tangerine and Escape from Tomorrow.Announcement1_C

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “From diverse backgrounds, places and perspectives, these independent artists are united by the power of their stories and vision. Their films will soon launch onto the global stage, beginning their journeys through our culture. A new year in independent film will start right here—on the mountain—in January.”

For the 2016 Festival, 120 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 48 first-time filmmakers, including 28 in competition. These films were selected from 12,793 submissions, including 4,081 feature-length films and 8,712 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 1,972 were from the U.S. and 2,109 were international. 98 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. The Midnight films have been announced and more films will be announced soon; watch www.sundance.org/festival.

Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, The 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.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “At a time when big-budget blockbusters and free online content are ubiquitous, independent filmmakers continue to be extraordinarily creative, artful and inventive. Our mission remains to amplify these voices from outside the mainstream at the Festival and, through our year-round filmmaker Labs, programs and events, to celebrate their truly independent passion and spirit.”

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 New Frontier Initiative, celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2016, has showcased groundbreaking media works by artists and creative technologists including Chris Milk, Doug Aitken, Palmer Luckey, Klip Collective and Nonny de la Peña. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®.

The Festival is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency Labs for independent artists in theatre, film, new media and episodic content and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Fueled by wild creativity, fresh perspectives and a deep understanding of the craft of storytelling, independent film is evolving. Our Festival continues to show that film has the power to inspire, challenge and surprise audiences in new ways.”

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

As You Are Director, Miles Joris Peyrafitte )Photo Credit: YouthFX)

As You Are Director, Miles Joris Peyrafitte )Photo Credit: YouthFX)

As You Are: Credit: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg (Photo Credit: Caleb Heymann)

As You Are: Credit: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg (Photo Credit: Caleb Heymann)

As You Are / U.S.A. (Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Screenwriters: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Madison Harrison) — As You Are is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, Mary Stuart Masterson. World Premiere

The Birth of a Nation / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nate Parker) — Set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people to freedom. Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Jr. World Premiere

Christine / U.S.A. (Director: Antonio Campos, Screenwriter: Craig Shilowich) — In 1974, a female TV news reporter aims for high standards in life and love in Sarasota, Florida. Missing her mark is not an option. This story is based on true events. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron. World Premiere

Equity / U.S.A. (Director: Meera Menon, Screenwriter: Amy Fox) — A female investment banker, fighting to get a promotion at her competitive Wall Street firm, leads a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial-crisis world, where regulations are tight but pressure to bring in big money remains high. Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner. World Premiere

The Free World / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jason Lew) — Following his release from a brutal stretch in prison for crimes he didn’t commit, Mo is struggling to adapt to life on the outside. When his world collides with Doris, a mysterious woman with a violent past, he decides to risk his newfound freedom to keep her in his life. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Waleed Zuaiter. World Premiere

Goat / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Neel, Screenwriters: David Gordon Green, Andrew Neel, Michael Roberts) — Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood,” tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty, Austin Lyon. World Premiere

The Intervention / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Clea DuVall) — A weekend getaway for four couples takes a sharp turn when one of the couples discovers the entire trip was orchestrated to host an intervention on their marriage. Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Alia Shawkat, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Ben Schwartz. World Premiere

Joshy / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Josh treats what would have been his bachelor party as an opportunity to reconnect with his friends. Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate. World Premiere

Lovesong / U.S.A. (Director: So Yong Kim, Screenwriters: So Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray) — Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, Rosanna Arquette. World Premiere

Morris from America / U.S.A., Germany (Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Thirteen-year-old Morris, a hip-hop loving American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father. In this completely foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl, befriends his German tutor-turned-confidant, and attempts to navigate the unique trials and tribulations of adolescence. Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał, Levin Henning. World Premiere

Other People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chris Kelly) — A struggling comedy writer, fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and younger sisters, David feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother worsens, he tries to convince everyone (including himself) he’s “doing okay.” Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, June Squibb. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM ****

Southside With You / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Richard Tanne) — Southside With You is a chronicle of the summer afternoon in 1989 when the future president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side. Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway. World Premiere

Spa Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at Korean spas in Los Angeles. Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim, Youn Ho Cho, Tae Song, Ho Young Chung, Linda Han. World Premiere****

Swiss Army Man / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan) — Hank, a hopeless man stranded in the wild, discovers a mysterious dead body. Together the two embark on an epic journey to get home. As Hank realizes the body is the key to his survival, this once-suicidal man is forced to convince a dead body that life is worth living. Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. World Premiere Continue reading

Sundance Institute Announces Films In Out-Of-Competition Premieres And Documentary Premieres For 2014 Sundance Film Festival

pdc_sundance2014logo

The list of the films selected to screen in the Out-of-Competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was announced by the Sundance Institute. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival will be held January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival feature new work from many established independent filmmakers who began their careers at our Festival years ago, which allows us to reflect on the impact, legacy and growth of the independent film movement over the past 30 years.”

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, added, “In many of the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we see fascinating characters and subjects throughout. Whether portrayed by recognized actors taking on more challenging and diverse roles, or in the stranger-than-fiction reality of our documentaries, we look forward to sharing these incredible stories with audiences at our Festival.”

Out-of-Competition PREMIERES
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year. Presented by Entertainment Weekly.

Calvary, Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession)

Calvary, Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession)

Calvary / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh) — Calvary is a blackly comedic drama about a priest tormented by his community. Father James is a good man intent on making the world a better place. When his life is threatened one day during confession, he finds he has to battle the dark forces closing in around him. Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Marie-Josée Croze.

Director Lenny Abrahams

Director Lenny Abrahams

Frank (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender Domhnall Gleeson), Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Photo Credit: Lorey Sebastian)

Frank (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender Domhnall Gleeson), Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Photo Credit: Lorey Sebastian)

Frank / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Lenny Abrahamson, Screenwriters: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan) — Frank is an offbeat comedy about a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant garde rock band led by the enigmatic Frank—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy.

Hits / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Cross) — A small town in upstate New York is populated by people who wallow in unrealistic expectations. There, fame, delusion, earnestness, and recklessness meet, shake hands, and disrupt the lives around them. Cast: Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, James Adomian, Jake Cherry Derek Waters, Wyatt Cenac.

I Origins / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mike Cahill) — A molecular biologist and his lab partner uncover startling evidence that could fundamentally change society as we know it and cause them to question their once-certain beliefs in science and spirituality. Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi.

Laggies Director Lynn Shelton (Photo by Barbara Kinney/Laggies Pictures LLC)

Laggies Director Lynn Shelton (Photo by Barbara Kinney/Laggies Pictures LLC)

Laggies -Chloe Moretz and Keira Knightley (Photo by Barbara Kinney - Laggies Pictures LLC)

Laggies -Chloe Moretz and Keira Knightley (Photo by Barbara Kinney – Laggies Pictures LLC)

Laggies/ U.S.A. (Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriter: Andrea Seigel) — Laggies is a coming of age story about a 28-year-old woman stuck in permanent adolescence. Unable to find her career calling, still hanging out with the same friends, and living with her high school boyfriend, Megan must finally navigate her own future when an unexpected marriage proposal sends her into a panic. Cast: Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, Mark Webber. Continue reading

Sundance Institute Announces Films in Contention in the U.S. and World Competitions, NEXT Section for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE 118 FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS The Sundance Institute has announced the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT <=> (Wave) Section of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. pdc_sundance2014logo Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Sundance Film Festival (www.sundance.org/festival) has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Little Miss Sunshine, An Education, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Sundance Institute (www.sundance.org) is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as the ones previously mention and including Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “We are energized by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Independent filmmakers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.”story-sundance-2014-logo-web-2-220492 For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In addition to those announced, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section and new Sundance Kids section of films for younger audiences, are forthcoming.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.”

On Day One, January 16, 2014, the Festival will screen one film from each of the four Competition sections, as well as one shorts program. A selection of films from the 2014 Festival will be among those presented at other Sundance Institute programs throughout the year, including the Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-27 at The O2, and the NEXT WEEKEND summer film festival in Los Angeles.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “That the Festival has evolved and grown as it has over the past 30 years is a credit to both our audiences and our artists, who continue to find ways to take risks and open our minds to the power of story. This year’s films and artists promise to do the same.”

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man’s life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell. Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket/ U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction “accident,” Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro. Continue reading