Sundance Institute has announced the lineup of shorts, feature films, and panels set for its third Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-27 at the O2.
Of note in the feature film program, Fela Kuti documentary Finding Fela will screen along with Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, which is surprisingly screening for the first time in the UK since its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Coogler is expected to attend and will also sit on a panel, Guts to Glory: How Do You Find Your Story?
Of note in the shorts program, Frances Bodomo’s Afronauts will have its UK premiere after screening at this year’s festival in Park City.
Find the full Sundance London lineup below:
FEATURE FILM PROGRAMME
American independent narrative and documentary films that
premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A.
Blue Ruin (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Saulnier) — A
mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his
childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur
assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Cast:
Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.
The Case Against 8 (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) — A
behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex
marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took
the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
(Documentary) Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2014
Sundance Film Festival. International Premiere
Dinosaur 13 (Director: Todd Miller) — An unprecedented saga
in human history unfurls in this true tale of the world’s greatest dinosaur
discovery and the ensuing battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure.
(Documentary) International Premier
Drunktown’s Finest (Director and screenwriter: Sydney
Freeland) — Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout
Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian
reservation. Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa
Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis. International Premiere
Finding Fela (Director: Alex Gibney) — Fela Anikulapo Kuti
created the musical movement Afrobeat and used it as a political forum to
oppose the Nigerian dictatorship and advocate for the rights of oppressed
people. This is the story of his life, music, and political importance, from
the award-winning director of Taxi to the Dark Side and We Steal Secrets: The
Story of Wikileaks. (Documentary) European Premiere
In conjunction with the film, the festival will host a free
performance from Dele Sosimi, one of the original members of Fela Kuti’s band,
alongside an Afrobeat orchestra on Sunday, 27 April.
Fruitvale Station (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler)
— The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths
with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008. Cast:
Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand,
Chad Michael Murray. Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic presented by Acura at the 2013 Sundance Film
Festival. UK Premiere
Hits (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. Hits is the directorial debut of
writer, comedian and actor David Cross, best known for his work on Arrested
Development. Cast: Michael Cera, Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, James Adomian,
Jake Cherry, Derek Waters, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Ritter. International Premiere
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (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. Winner of a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical
Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. UK Premiere
LAMBERT & STAMP (Director: James D. Cooper) — In this
crazy, chaotic gospel of chance, aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit
Lambert set out to search for a subject for their underground movie, leading
them to discover, mentor, and manage the iconic band known as The Who and
create rock ‘n’ roll history. (Documentary) UK Premiere
Little Accidents (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo)
— In a small American coal town living in the shadow of a recent mining
accident, the disappearance of a teenage boy draws three people together—a
surviving miner, the lonely wife of a mine executive, and a local boy—in a web
of secrets. Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland,
Josh Lucas. International Premiere
Memphis (Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A strange
singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful
women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a
wolf pack of kids. Under a canopy of ancient oak trees and burning
spirituality, his doomed journey breaks from conformity and reaches out for
glory. Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull,
John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson. International Premiere
Obvious Child (Director and screenwriter: Gillian
Robespierre) — An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna
Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best
Valentine’s Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David
Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind. UK Premiere
They Came Together (Director: David Wain, Screenwriters:
Michael Showalter, David Wain) — This subversion/spoof/deconstruction of the
romantic comedy genre has a vaguely, but not overtly, Jewish leading man, a
klutzy, but adorable, leading lady, and New York City itself as another
character in the story. They Came Together reunites director Wain with many of
the stars from his 2001 cult teen classic, Wet Hot American Summer. Cast: Amy
Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher
Meloni. International Premiere
Under the Electric Sky (EDC 2013) (Directors: Dan Cutforth,
Jane Lipsitz) — This 3-D film chronicles the love, community, and life of
festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music
festival in the U.S. Behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with
Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella reveal the magic that makes this three-night,
345,000-person event a global phenomenon. (Documentary) UK Premiere
The Voices (Director: Marjane Satrapi, Screenwriter: Michael
R. Perry) — This genre-bending tale centers around Jerry Hickfang, a lovable
but disturbed factory worker who yearns for attention from a woman in
accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s
evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path
where he ultimately finds salvation. Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna
Kendrick, Jacki Weaver. International Premiere
SPECIAL EVENT PROGRAMME
On-screen stories complemented by extraordinary off-screen
Axiom (Director: NYSU, Screenwriters: David Gambero &
NYSU) — Axiom is an island in the middle of nowhere, steep cliffs on all sides.
On the island there is an underground city dominated by a bell, the bell
decides the fate of the city’s inhabitants. Cast: Jonathan David Mellor, Santi
Senso, Cova de Alfonso, Silvia Vacas, Pablo Menasanch, Julia Llerena. World
Includes a live performance and DJ set by South London collective
Archive, who will also participate in a post-screening Q&A.
Drawing on the Sundance Film Festival’s rich legacy of
premiering outstanding films produced in the UK – including An Education, Four
Weddings and a Funeral, In Bruges, In the Loop, Kinky Boots, and Lock, Stock,
and Two Smoking Barrels – this showcase presents two UK films that premiered in
Park City, Utah, U.S.A. this year.
Frank (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. UK Premiere
The Trip to Italy (Director: Michael Winterbottom,
Screenwriters: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Michael Winterbottom) — Michael
Winterbottom reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for more delectable food,
some sharp-elbowed rivalry, and plenty of laughs. Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob
Brydon. European Premiere
FROM THE COLLECTION
A selection of notable films discovered by the Sundance Film
Festival and presented at Sundance London in association with Empire Magazine.
These films are included in the Sundance Collection at UCLA, which preserves
independent documentaries, narratives and short films supported by Sundance Institute.
Memento (Director: Christopher Nolan, Screenwriters:
Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan) — A man with a relentless desire to revenge
his wife’s brutal murder faces a rare, untreatable form of memory loss that
hinders his path. Memento is a complex puzzle in which the outcome is known and
the enjoyment comes from piecing together the steps leading up to it. Cast:
Harriet Sansom Harris, Mark Boone Junior, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Guy
Pearce, Stephen Tobolowsky. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the
2001 Sundance Film Festival.
Reservoir Dogs (Director and screenwriter: Quentin
Tarantino) — Six unacquainted professional criminals are brought together by a
veteran thief to execute an elaborate diamond robbery that goes awry. Confused
and panicked by their narrow escape, the four surviving jewel thieves regroup
at the planned rendezvous spot, where they question trustworthiness and face
harrowing confrontations and fierce dissension. Cast: Steve Buscemi, Harvey
Keitel, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Tim Roth, Lawrence Tierney.Premiered at the
1992 Sundance Film Festival.
Winter’s Bone (Director: Debra Granik, Screenwriters: Debra
Granik, Anne Rosellini) — When a teenage girl’s crystal-meth-making father
skips bail and goes missing, she and her young siblings and disabled mother
face losing their home. In a heroic quest, the girl traverses the county to
confront her kin, break their silent collusion, and bring her father home.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin
Breznahan. Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2010 Sundance
SHORT FILM PROGRAMME
Two wide-ranging collections of short films that screened in
January at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Short Film Programme 1
Cruising Electric (1980) / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Brumby Boylston) — The marketing department green-lights a
red-light tie-in: 60 lost seconds of modern movie merchandising. International
Dawn / U.S.A. (Director: Rose McGowan, Screenwriters: M.A.
Fortin, Joshua John Miller) — Dawn is a quiet young teenager who longs for something
or someone to free her from her sheltered life. Dawn is the directorial debut
of actress Rose McGowan (Planet Terror). International Premiere
Exchange & Mart / United Kingdom (Directors: Cara
Connolly, Martin Clark, Screenwriter: Cara Connolly) — Reg is a lonely girl at
a remote Scottish boarding school where paranoia about rape is rife. Her
unorthodox self-defense class provides the human touch she craves so deeply.
When she is attacked in the woods, she knows what she has to do…
Love. Love. Love. / Russia (Director: Sandhya Daisy
Sundaram) — Every year, through the endless winters, her love takes new shapes
and forms. Winner of a Short Film Special Jury Award for Non-fiction at the
2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Marilyn Myller / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director and
screenwriter: Mikey Please) — Marilyn maketh. Marilyn taketh awayeth. Marilyn
is trying really hard to create something good. For once, her expectation and
reality are going to align. It will be epic. It will be tear-jerkingly
profound. It will be perfect. Nothing can go wrong.
Notes on Blindness / United Kingdom, U.S.A., Australia
(Directors: Peter Middleton, James Spinney) — In 1983, writer and theologian
John Hull became blind. To help make sense of his loss, he began keeping an
audio diary. Encompassing dreams, memories, and his imaginative life, Notes on
Blindness immerses the viewer in Hull’s experience of blindness.
Of God and Dogs / Syrian Arab Republic (Director:
Abounaddara Collective) — A young, free Syrian soldier confesses to killing a
man he knew was innocent. He promises to take vengeance on the God who led him
to commit the murder. Winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the 2014
Sundance Film Festival. European Premiere
Phantom Limb / United Kingdom, Australia (Director and
screenwriter: Alex Grigg) — James and Martha narrowly survive a motorcycle
accident. During the aftermath, however, James begins to experience Martha’s
The winner of the Sundance London Short Film Competition
will also be featured in this programme.
Short Film Programme 2
Afronauts / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frances
Bodomo) — On July 16th 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of
miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon.
Inspired by true events. UK Premiere
Burger / United Kingdom, Norway (Director and screenwriter:
Magnus Mork) — It’s late night in a burger bar in Wales… Winner of a Short
Film Special Jury Award for Direction and Ensemble Acting at the 2014 Sundance
The Cut / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Geneviève
Dulude-Decelles) — The Cut tells the story of a father and a daughter, whose
relationship fluctuates between proximity and detachment, at the moment of a
haircut. Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction at the 2014
Sundance Film Festival.
I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked /
Israel (Directors: Yuval Hameiri) — A man with poor means recreates a lost
memory of the last day with his mom. Objects come to life in a desperate
struggle to produce a single moment that is gone. Winner of the Short Film Jury
Award: Non-fiction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
The Last Days of Peter Bergmann / Ireland (Director: Ciaran
Cassidy) — In 2009, a man claiming to be from Austria arrived in the town of
Sligo, Ireland. During his final days, Peter Bergmann went to great lengths to
ensure no one ever discovered who he was and where he came from. UK Premiere
Life’s a Bitch / Canada (Director: François Jaros,
Screenwriter: Guillaume Lambert) — Love. Grief. Choc. Denial. Sleeplessness.
Bubble bath. Mucus. Masturbation. Pop tart. Pigeons. Toothpaste. Hospital.
F__k. Bye. Hair. Sports. Chicken. Bootie. Kids. Rejection. Squirrels. Cries.
Awkward—95 scenes, five minutes: life’s a bitch. UK Premiere
MeTube: August Sings Carmen “Habanera” / Austria (Director
and screenwriter: Daniel Moshel) — George Bizet`s “Habanera” from
Carmen has been reinterpreted and enhanced with electronic sounds for MeTube,
an homage to thousands of ambitious YouTube users and video bloggers, and
gifted and less gifted self-promoters on the Internet.
The Obvious Child / United Kingdom (Director and
screenwriter: Stephen Irwin) — Somebody broke the girl’s parents. The rabbit
was there when it happened. It was an awful mess.
Yearbook / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bernardo
Britto) — A man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence
before the planet blows up. Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: Animation at
the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. International Premiere