Where do Sundance films come from? If you’re an Indiewire reader, they’ve been hiding in plain sight.
We took a look at this year’s dramatic competition titles and realized that Indiewire and/or our blog network has written about virtually all of this year’s films and/or their makers.
So we searched our archives in order to give you an advance look at the films and the filmmakers. (To make up for the one we didn’t have — Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos’ “Filly Brown” — we’ve embedded clips from their prior works.)
Beasts of the Southern Wild / U.S.A. (Director: Benh Zeitlin, Screenwriter: Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar)
Michael Tully called Zeitlin’s “Glory at Sea” his favorite film of 2008. Zeitlin was also the subject of a benefit at the Alamo Drafthouse after a car accident during the 2008 SXSW left him with a broken hip and forced him to miss the entire event.
The Comedy / U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriter: Rick Alverson, Robert Donne, Colm O’Leary)
Of Alverson’s last film, “New Jerusalem,” The Playlist’s Christopher Bell said it “requires patience but will reward with a hypnotic experience, one that’ll bury itself into the brain and refuse to leave.” And Indiewire profiled Alverson and “New Jerusalem” at the 2011 SXSW.
The End of Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mark Webber)
The Playlist reported on the production of this drama (then untitled), which stars Webber’s toddler son.
Filly Brown / U.S.A. (Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, Screenwriter: Youssef Delara)
Youssef Delara is a Los Angeles-born Iranian filmmaker; his filmmaking debut was the 2004 short film “Air.”
Michael D. Olmos is a filmmaker and the adopted son of Edward James Olmos. Here’s a scene from the younger Olmos’ 2010 feature, “Bedrooms.”
The First Time / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jonathan Kasdan)
The Playlist reported on Kasdan’s “Before Sunset”-inspired high school drama.
For Ellen / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: So Yong Kim)
Kristi Mitsuda called Kim’s previous film, “Treeless Mountain,” “a raw portrait that’s exquisite in its miniaturist scope.” At the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the director told Indiewire: “Tell your story now and work within the limitations of what you have.” This year, The Playlist offered a first look at Paul Dano in a still from the drama and spoke to Jon Heder about his role as a lawyer in the film.
Hello I Must Be Going / U.S.A. (Director: Todd Louiso, Screenwriter: Sarah Koskoff)
Louiso’s film was a project at Sundance’s 2009 June Screenwriters Lab.
Keep the Lights On / U.S.A. (Director: Ira Sachs, Screenwriters: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias)
Indiewire spoke to Sachs about his autobiographical drama “Keep the Lights On”: “On the day this relationship ended, I knew immediately that it was a story. Sachs also told us how to make it look like you’re shooting sex when you’re not.
Luv / U.S.A. (Director: Sheldon Candis, Screenwriters: Sheldon Candis, Justin Wilson)
Shadow and Act shared the short film that served as the inspiration for “L.U.V.” and offered a first look at the film’s production stills.
Middle Of Nowhere / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ava DuVernay)
Shadow and Act broke exclusive details on DuVernay’s follow-up to “I Will Follow” and shared a still of cast members Emayatzy Corinealdi and David Oyelowo. DuVernay also answered 10 questions on filmmaking, race and what her tombstone would say.
Nobody Walks / U.S.A. (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriter: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young)
Last September, Russo-Young told Indiewire that the film was inspired in part by “the foreignness a New Yorker feels in Los Angeles… It’s a very sexually charged movie and the environment is a part of it.” Thompson on Hollywood reported on a Sundance Institute/WGA table read for “Nobody Walks,” while The Playlist reported on Rosemarie DeWitt, John Krasinski and Olivia Thirlby’s casting negotiations.
Safety Not Guaranteed / U.S.A. (Director: Colin Trevorrow, Screenwriter: Derek Connolly)
Indiewire reported the project in May, along with the backstory of the weird classified ad that inspired it. Later, The Playlist reported on the casting of Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Mark Duplass as well as Jeff Garlin, Lynn Shelton and Kristen Bell.
Save the Date / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Mohan, Screenwriters: Jeffrey Brown, Egan Reich, Michael Mohan)
Indiewire spoke to Mohan about long-term relationship worries and the inspirations behind “Save the Date,” while The Playlist reported Alison Brie and Lizzy Caplan’s casting.
Simon Killer / France, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Antonio Campos)
Last January, the Playlist reported on Campos prepping his films “Simon Killer” (which was originally believed to be a likely Cannes title) and “Momma.”
Smashed / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriter: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt)
Indiewire reviewed Ponsoldt’s first film, “Off the Black,” in 2006; in 2007, he was in the lineup for the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Lab with another project, “Refresh, Refresh” (later selected for the 2010 Rotterdam Cinemart). This year, The Playlist reported on the casting of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul and Nick Offerman in Ponsoldt’s “Smashed.”
The Surrogate / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ben Lewin)
The Playlist reported John Hawkes’ casting as real-life journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, who spent his life in an iron lung.