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Sundance 2014: U.S. Dramatic Competition

Sundance 2014: U.S. Dramatic Competition

Here are the 16 world premieres in the U.S. Dramatic Competition program.

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 / 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.

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 / 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.

Happy Christmas / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) — After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman
moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast:
Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.

Hellion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Kat Candler) — When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob’s
delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt,
Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for
their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul,
Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts.
 

Infinitely
Polar Bear
/
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maya Forbes) — A manic-depressive mess of a
father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of
their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any
easier. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley
Aufderheide.

Jamie Marks is Dead / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Carter Smith) — No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until
after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life,
Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the
bleak world between the living and the dead. Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah
Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler.
 

Kumiko,
the Treasure

Hunter
/ U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner,
Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes
convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real.
Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness,
she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast:
Rinko Kikuchi.

Life
After Beth
/
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Zach is devastated by the
unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he
gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down… Cast:
Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul
Reiser.

Low
Down
/ U.S.A.
(Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) — Based on
Amy Jo Albany’s memoir, Low Down
explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while
being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between
incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood
in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey,
Peter Dinklage, Flea.

The
Skeleton
Twins / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson,
Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) — Estranged twins Maggie and Milo
coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and
confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. As the twins’ reunion
reinvigorates them, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing
their relationship. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell,
Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason.

The
Sleepwalker
/
U.S.A., Norway (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady
Corbet) — A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia´s secluded
family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests
arrive. The Sleepwalker
chronicles the unraveling of the lives of four disparate characters as
it transcends genre conventions and narrative contrivance to reveal something
much more disturbing. Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet,
Stephanie Ellis.

Song
One
/ U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Kate Barker-Froyland) — Estranged from her family,
Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his
life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James
Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James
develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. Cast:
Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield.

Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor,
a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his
humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons.
DAY ONE FILM


2014 Competition Lineup:

U.S Dramatic Competition

U.S. Documentary Competition

World Dramatic Competition

World Documentary Competition


NEXT<=>

2014 Out of Competition:

Premieres

Documentary Premieres

New Frontier Films

Park City at Midnight

Spotlight

Sundance Kids

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged ,


Comments

Wondering

The Kristen Stewart film is a joke. She has "an unlikely friendship." So that's what they're going to call it? I doubt that's what the Tea Party will call it. And her other films that premiered at Sundance have all been bombs, like The Runaways.

I'm not sure how she keeps getting cast in indies, they never show a profit. I understand art for the sake of art, but this is ridiculous. On The Road wasn't even critically acclaimed. Just make me wonder what's going on. Her Q rating dropped drastically this year, she's not very popular with audiences, as a producer, I'd think twice. Her negatives are quite high.

jrose

Wow. In times past, only the Premieres were this star-studded. The Dramatic Competition at least had SOME semblance of actual indies with fresh faces. Only "Fishing Without Nets" has a cast of unknowns – and it's adapted from the short that won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012, so go figure.

If anyone still believed that Sundance was for real independent filmmakers, not industry players, this roster will set them straight.

Alex

I have 5 must see films, and another 5 hopefully will see! Cannot wait!

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