Sundance 2015 is just getting underway, but there’s already a lot of exciting news coming in for female directors, novices and vets alike.
Yesterday, the opening day of the festival, brought word that Rose McGowan had signed on to make her feature directorial debut, The Pines. According to Variety, the psychological thriller will focus on “a troubled young woman [whose] dreams of stability are threatened by a family of healers who could help save her mind, or lose it completely.” Sundial Pictures and Tangerine Entertainment will produce.
McGowan has openly criticized the fact that the overwhelming majority of movies being produced are by and about men, so it comes as little surprise that she’s signed on to helm a woman-centric project. Also of note is the fact that Tangerine Entertainment is headed by two women, Amy Hobby and Anne Hubbel, and was established as a production company with the specific goal of making films by female directors. This seems like an ideal partnership and project for McGowan, whose short film Dawn premiered at Sundance last year.
Two women-directed documentaries have also been sold prior to their premieres at Park City. Relativity Sports acquired distribution rights to In Football We Trust, an exploration of the high-stakes world of competitive sports and how it is influenced by, and influences, cultural identity.
In Football We Trust co-director Erika Cohn told Women and Hollywood why she was drawn to this story: “I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT, where In Football We Trust takes place and played sports throughout high school. I really identified with the highs and lows of competitive athletics and felt that using sports as a catalyst to address a larger societal issue was key to reaching a wide audience.” This marks the first time Relativity Sports has acquired a doc, and will hopefully lead to reaching that wide audience that first-time filmmaker Cohn aspires to.
Finally, Showtime Networks has acquired the rights to Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher, a portrait of Brenda Myers-Powell and her Dreamcatcher Foundation, which works towards ending human trafficking and preventing sexual exploitation. Longinotto shared what she wants people to think about when they leave the theater after watching Dreamcatcher in an upcoming interview with us: “I want people to have had an emotional, life-affirming experience and
to feel that the film resonates in their own lives. I try to make films where
the audience forgets the filmmaking and gets engrossed in the story as it
unfolds. I don’t want them to ever feel bored, or that they’re being told what
to think, or to feel depressed. I don’t like films about victims — I want to
celebrate brave survivors like Brenda and the wonderful women in the film.”
The Showtime premiere of Dreamcatcher hasn’t been determined yet. Longinotto’s previous credits include Salma, Rough Aunties, and Divorce Iranian Style. Fun fact: In an interview with Women and Hollywood, In Football We Trust co-director Erika Cohn identified Longinotto’s work as an inspiration. We are hoping these talented women cross paths at Sundance.