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Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | 4 New Interviews and Dozens More

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | 4 New Interviews and Dozens More

Tonight, the Sundance Film Festival begins anew, and indieWIRE has 52 director interviews from the festival’s U.S. Dramatic and Documentary as well as the World Dramatic and Documentary competitions in addition to the fest’s NEXT section.

Even as Awards Season heads to its final phase with many of last year’s Sundance filmmakers in the race for an Oscar nomination, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival begins a new cycle of work that will be closely followed and anticipated throughout the year. It is iW’s hope that these profiles will help familiarize audiences and industry alike to the names and films that will become a part of 2011’s films to watch.

The final four films in this series of interviews being published today include David Weissman’s “We Were Here” (U.S. Dramatic Competition), Alrick Brown’s “Kinyarwanda,” (World Cinema Dramatic Competition), Iwai Shunji’s “Vampire” (World Cinema Dramatic Competition) and “The Off Hours” by Megan Griffiths (NEXT).

Soon after the Sundance Film Festival unveiled its 2011 lineup, indieWIRE invited directors with films in the Sundance U.S. Dramatic & Documentary Competitions, as well as the World Dramatic & Documentary Competitions and NEXT section, to submit responses in their own words about their films. indieWIRE has been the place to get to know the Sundance filmmakers ahead of the festival for more than a half-dozen years.

indieWIRE began publishing this year’s interviews beginning soon after the New Year.

A snapshot of Thursday’s new featured interviews:

David Weissman’s “We Were Here” is described as a deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis. In his comments about the film, Weissman said the story came about from a conversation. “…Initially [it] seemed like the last thing I’d want to do, but very quickly it became clear that this was exactly what I should be doing.” 

Megan Griffiths’s “The Off Hours” is centered on a small-town diner in the Pacific Northwest. Francine’s life is a series of quickies in the public restroom and pouring coffee. The inertia of the environment, however, is penetrated when Oliver, a banker turned big-rig driver, becomes a diner regular and a source of hope. “I’ve held a lot of odd jobs over the years, and when I started writing the script for “The Off Hours” I was working the night shift at a film lab.  I worked alongside several people who had worked nights for years and years, and the culture of the night shift began to really interest me…There was a loneliness and isolation that I saw in these individuals that really intrigued me…”

In Iwai Shunji’s “Vampire,” Simon seems like a normal guy who is devoted to his teaching job and ailing mother. Underneath the surface, however, things are not what they seem. Simon hunts through online chat rooms and message boards, searching for the perfect girl: beautiful, shy, and suicidal. Simon has a particular condition: he is compelled to drink blood. Talking about his film, Iwai quipped, “I had the idea that if the victims are working with the killer in helping kill themselves, would it be considered murder or aided suicide?”

Alrick Brown’s “Kinyarwanda” is described by Sundance as an “extraordinary telling of the 1994 genocide that expands the common victim/perpetrator narrative to illuminate the complex fabric of life during the tragic event, and the even more complicated process of redemption in the truth and reconciliation process.” The shoot for the film was quite a feat with a painfully short time frame. “We had a very short production period, so planning was of the essence.  We could not go over and we could not reshoot.  We had to get it in the can in 16 days and we did it.”

Below are today’s four new interviews and all 52 being featured in iW’s run-up to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

The full-length interviews for “We Were Here,” “The Off Hours,” “Vampire” and “Kinyarwanda.” (1/20):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “We Were Here” Director David Weissman

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Off Hours” Director Megan Griffiths

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Vampire” Director Iwai Shunji

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Kinyarwanda” Director Alrick Brown

Three Sundance filmmaker interviews for Wednesday (1/19):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Martha Marcy May Marlene” Director (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Guard” Director John Michael (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Knuckle” Director Ian Palmer (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Three Sundance filmmaker interviews from Tuesday (1/18)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Lord Byron” Director Zack Godshall (NEXT)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Salesman” Director Sebastien Pilote (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Last Mountain” Director Bill Haney (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Three Sundance filmmaker interviews from Monday (1/17):

Meet The 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Redemption of General Butt Naked” Directors

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Green Wave” Director Ali Samadi Ahadi

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Lie” Director Joshua Leonard

Three Sundance filmmaker interviews from Friday (1/14)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Another Happy Day” Director Sam Levinson (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Sing Your Song” Director Susanne Rostock (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Thursday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/13):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “On The Ice” Director Andrew Okpeaha Macle (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Bengali Detective” Director Philip Cox (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Tyrannosaur” Director Paddy Considine (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Sound of My Voice” Director Zal Batmanglij (NEXT)

Wednesday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/12):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Page One” Director Andrew Rossi (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Hot Coffee” Director Susan Saladoff (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Project Nim” Director James Marsh

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Restless City” Director Andrew Dosunmu

Tuesday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/11):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Homework” Director Gavin Wiesen (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Another Earth” Director Mike Cahill (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Little Birds” Director Elgin James (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Mad Bastards” Director Brendan Fletcher (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Monday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/10):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Higher Ground” Director Vera Farmiga (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Like Crazy” Director Drake Doremus (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Resurrect Dead” Director Jon Foy (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Position Among the Stars” Director Leonard Retel Helmrich (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Friday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/7):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Ledge” Director Matthew Chapman (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Buck” Director Cindy Meehl (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Family Portrait in Black and White” Director Julia Ivanova (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “to.get.her” Director Erica Dunton (NEXT)

Thursday’s three Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/6):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “If a Tree Falls” Director Marshall Curry (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “An African Election” Director Jarreth Merz (World Cinema Documentary Competiton)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Take Shelter” Director Jeff Nichols (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Wednesday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/5):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Gun Hill Road” Director Rashaad Ernesto Green (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Prairie Love” Director Dusty Bias (NEXT)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “A Few Days of Respite” Director Amor Hakkar (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Hell and Back Again” Director Danfung Dennis (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Last Tuesday’s four Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/4):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “HERE” Director Braden King (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey” Director Constance Marks (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “All Your Dead Ones” Director Carlos Moreno (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Senna” Director Asif Kapadia (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Last Monday’s five Sundance filmmaker interviews (1/3):

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Benavides Born” Director Amy Wendel (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Crime After Crime” Director Yoav Potash (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Bellflower” Director Evan Glodell (NEXT)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “The Flaw” Director David Sington (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | “Abraxas” Director Naoki Kato (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

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