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

Organizers Announces the Complete Line-Up of Films, Documentaries and Events for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®

The British Film Institute has announced the complete program for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, with BFI’s Head of Cinemas and Festivals, Clare Stewart returning for her second year with a rich and diverse programme of international films and events from both established and upcoming talent over a 12 day celebration of cinema.

As Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI remarked in the Festival Introduction Letter on the BFI London Film Festival lff13-artworkwebsite, “The BFI London Film Festival is a brilliant achievement – and I think it’s okay for me to say that! Every year, without fail, I get a sense of excitement and anticipation that is heightened the minute I finally get to see the programme laid out in its entirety. Our Festival team has scoured the globe to set it before us. It is the BFI doing what it does best – completing the perfect circle from taking that initial act of confidence to invest in a film as yet unformed, to believing in the vision of filmmakers and writers, both established or as yet untried; igniting the imagination and minds of audiences with one of the richest and most imaginative cultural programmes in the world. We give film a powerful expression. The BFI London Film Festival celebrates new voices, new stories and new ideas and brings them not only to audiences across London, but increasingly UK-wide over a range of platforms. There are films that will dazzle, entertain, educate and astound; we have filmmakers who have picked up a camera for the first time, and established auteurs with more magic to unveil. It really is brilliant and it’s all for you.”

Stewart also took the opportunity to celebrate the life of her predecessor, who recently passed away: “On a more sombre note, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, the ground-breaking Sheila Whitaker who was LFF’s Festival Director from 1987 to 1996, as well as head of programming for the National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank) from 1984. Sheila, who remained an exemplary friend to our programming team, sadly passed away this August. All at the LFF acknowledge her legacy, and proudly carry it forward. It is timely that, during this year’s Festival, we will launch a new BFI Southbank strand – Discover Arab Cinema – and Sheila, whose speciality was in this field, had a guiding hand in establishing this important new programme.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

The Festival will screen a total of 234 fiction and documentary features, including 22 World Premieres, 16 International Premieres, 29 European Premieres and 20 Archive films. There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes and other special events. The 57th BFI London Film Festival will run from 9-20 October 2013.

Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square and a new addition this year the Cineworld Haymarket; central London venues – BFI Southbank; the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Ritzy Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse, Renoir, Everyman Screen on the Green and Rich Mix. Additional screenings and events will take place at the Curzon Chelsea, BFI London IMAX and Village Underground.

BFI PLAYER

The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK- wide with the upcoming launch of the BFI Player, the BFI’s new web VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the first range of services on the BFI Player and will also be available on the recently launched BFI Samsung smart TV app.

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips," a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips,” a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips", a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips”, a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Continue reading

OVATION TO PREMIERE A YOUNG DOCTOR’S NOTEBOOK STARRING JON HAMM AND DANIEL RADCLIFFE

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black) and Jon Hamm (Mad Men, 30 Rock) bring Bulgakov’s darkly comic A Young Doctor’s Notebook to the screen for the first time as the critically-acclaimed series will debut this October, on Ovation with episodes airing weekly.

A YOUNG DOCTORS NOTEBOOK: L to R. Old doctor (Jon Hamm), Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

A YOUNG DOCTORS NOTEBOOK: L to R. Old doctor (Jon Hamm), Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe) and old doctor (Jon Hamm)

Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe) and old doctor (Jon Hamm)

A YOUNG DOCTORS NOTEBOOK: L to R. Old doctor (Jon Hamm), Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

A YOUNG DOCTORS NOTEBOOK: L to R. Old doctor (Jon Hamm), Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

Renowned Russian writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov’s book A Young Doctor’s Notebook was adapted into a television series by writers Mark Chappell, Shaun Pye and Alan Connor (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret). It is a darkly humorous account of the turbulent experiences of a newly graduated young doctor (Radcliffe), artfully told through the eyes of his older, opiate-addicted self (Hamm), who narrates the action from his own notebooks. The young doctor lands a post at a small hospital in a remote village during the Russian Revolution.  Dealing with superstitious and poorly educated patients creates for the doctor a brutal, panic-inducing introduction to his medical practice, causing the young doctor to struggle with doubts about his own competence.

Old doctor (Jon Hamm)

Old doctor (Jon Hamm)

Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

Young doctor (Daniel Radcliffe)

Produced by Big Talk Productions, and originally broadcast on Sky Arts in the UK last year, A Young Doctor’s Notebook became the highest-rated program in the network’s history, with audiences up over 1000% on the slot average, and receiving universal critical acclaim. Continue reading