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Sundance Announces Premieres and Documentary Premieres, Including New Films From Kelly Reichardt, Werner Herzog and Whit Stillman

Sundance Announces Premieres and Documentary Premieres, Including New Films From Kelly Reichardt, Werner Herzog and Whit Stillman

The Sundance Film Festival has unveiled their prestigious picks for the annual festival’s Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, including new offerings from directors like Whit Stillman, Kelly Reichardt, Anne Fontaine, Jim Strouse, Taika Waititi, John Carney, Kenneth Lonergan, Liz Garbus, Spike Lee and Werner Herzog.

The January festival will play home to a wide variety of narrative and documentary stories from some returning favorites (Stillman’s “Love & Friendship” will see the director return to the festival while also reuniting with his “The Last Days of Disco” stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny) and familiar faces like Reichardt, Ira Sachs, Jim Strouse and many more. Solondz will also see a reunion of sorts, as his “Wiener-Dog” plays as a spiritual sequel to “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” which won the Grand Jury Prize when it debuted at the fest in 1996.

READ MORE: 9 Hidden Gems from the 2016 Sundance Lineup

Of this latest addition to the lineup, Trevor Groth,
Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Many of our
selections this year reveal that what resides at the core of captivating
stories are fascinating, and at times heroic, characters. In shining light on
these people, independent filmmakers are doing what they’ve always done best:
connecting the dots of human existence with a deeply charged emotional
current.”

More of the Sundance lineup will be revealed in the coming weeks, including their always-robust short film lineup. The festival takes place January 21-31, 2016. Below are the latest batches titles announced today by Sundance as part of their Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Synopses provided by Sundance.

PREMIERES
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly
anticipated narrative films of the coming year.

Agnus Dei” / France, Poland (Director: Anne Fontaine,
Screenwriters: Sabrina N. Karine, Alice Vial, Pascal Bonitzer) — 1945 Poland:
Mathilde, a young French doctor, is on a mission to help World War II
survivors. When a nun seeks her assistance in helping several pregnant nuns in
hiding, who are unable to reconcile their faith with their pregnancies,
Mathilde becomes their only hope. Cast:
Lou de Laâge, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek, Vincent Macaigne, Joanna Kulig,
Katarzyna Dabrowska. World Premiere

Ali & Nino” / United Kingdom (Director: Asif Kapadia,
Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton) — Muslim prince Ali and Georgian aristocrat
Nino have grown up in the Russian province of Azerbaijan. Their tragic love
story sees the outbreak of the First World War and the world’s struggle for
Baku’s oil. Ultimately they must choose to fight for their country’s
independence or for each other. Cast:
Adam Bakri, Maria Valverde, Mandy Patinkin, Connie Nielsen, Riccardo Scamarcio,
Homayoun Ershadi. World Premiere

Captain Fantastic” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matt
Ross) — Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to
raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is
forced to leave his paradise and re-enter society, beginning a journey that
challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent. Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George MacKay, Kathryn Hahn,
Steve Zahn, Ann Dowd. World Premiere

Certain Women” / U.S.A. (Director: Kelly Reichardt,
Screenwriter: Kelly Reichardt based on stories by Maile Meloy) — The lives of
three woman intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing
a trail. Cast: Laura Dern, Kristen
Stewart, Michelle Williams, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, Lily Gladstone. World
Premiere

Complete Unknown” / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Marston,
Screenwriters: Joshua Marston, Julian Sheppard) — When Tom and his wife host a
dinner party to celebrate his birthday, one of their friends brings a date
named Alice. Tom is convinced he knows her, but she’s going by a different name
and a different biography—and she’s not acknowledging that she knows him. Cast: Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy
Bates, Danny Glover. World Premiere

Frank & Lola” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matthew
Ross) — A psychosexual noir love story—set in Las Vegas and Paris—about love,
obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and, ultimately, the search for redemption. Cast: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Michael
Nyqvist, Justin Long, Emmanuelle Devos, Rosanna Arquette. World Premiere

The Fundamentals of Caring” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Rob Burnett) — Having suffered a tragedy, Ben becomes a caregiver to earn
money. His first client, Trevor, is a hilarious 18-year-old with muscular
dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor
hit the road, finding hope, friendship, and Dot in this funny and touching
inspirational tale. Cast: Paul Rudd, Craig
Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson, Frederick Weller. World Premiere.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM 

The Hollars” / U.S.A. (Director: John Krasinski, Screenwriter:
Jim Strouse) — Aspiring New York City artist John Hollar returns to his Middle
America hometown on the eve of his mother’s brain surgery. Joined by his
girlfriend, eight months pregnant with their first child, John is forced to
navigate the crazy world he left behind. Cast:
John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Sharlto
Copley, Charlie Day. World Premiere

Hunt for the Wilderpeople” / New Zealand (Director and
screenwriter: Taika Waititi) — Ricky is a defiant young city kid who finds
himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle in the wild New Zealand
bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their
differences and work together to survive in this heartwarming adventure comedy.
Cast: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rima Te
Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley. World Premiere

Indignation” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: James Schamus)
— It’s 1951, and among the new arrivals at Winesburg College in Ohio are the
son of a kosher butcher from New Jersey and the beautiful, brilliant daughter
of a prominent alum. For a brief moment, their lives converge in this
emotionally soaring film based on the novel by Philip Roth. Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy
Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, Ben Rosenfield. World Premiere

Little Men” / U.S.A. (Director: Ira Sachs, Screenwriters:
Mauricio Zacharias & Ira Sachs) — When 13-year-old Jake’s grandfather dies, his family
moves back into their old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends Tony, whose
single Chilean mother runs the shop downstairs. As their friendship deepens,
however, their families are driven apart by a battle over rent, and the boys
respond with a vow of silence. Cast: Greg
Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri. World
Premiere

Love & Friendship” / Ireland, France, Netherlands (Director
and screenwriter: Whit Stillman) — From Jane Austen’s novella, the beautiful
and cunning Lady Susan Vernon visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out
colorful rumors of her dalliances and to find husbands for herself and her
daughter. Two young men, handsome Reginald DeCourcy and wealthy Sir James
Martin, severely complicate her plans. Cast:
Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma
Greenwell, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry. World Premiere

Manchester by the Sea” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Kenneth Lonergan) — After his older brother passes away, Lee Chandler is forced
to return home to care for his 16-year-old nephew. There he is compelled to
deal with a tragic past that separated him from his family and the community
where he was born and raised. Cast: Casey
Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler. World Premiere

Mr. Pig” / Mexico (Director: Diego Luna, Screenwriters: Augusto
Mendoza, Diego Luna) — On a mission to sell his last remaining prize hog and
reunite with old friends, an aging farmer abandons his foreclosed farm and
journeys to Mexico. After smuggling in the hog, his estranged daughter shows
up, forcing them to face their past and embark on an adventurous road trip
together. Cast: Danny Glover, Maya
Rudolph, José María Yazpik, Joel Murray, Angélica Aragón, Gabriela Araujo.
World Premiere

Sing Street” / Ireland (Director and screenwriter: John Carney)
— A boy growing up in Dublin during the ’80s escapes his strained family life
and tough new school by starting a band to win the heart of a beautiful and
mysterious girl. Cast: Ferdia
Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Mark McKenna. World
Premiere

Sophie and the Rising Sun” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Maggie Greenwald) — In a small Southern town in the autumn of 1941, Sophie’s
lonely life is transformed when an Asian man arrives under mysterious
circumstances. Their love affair becomes the lightning rod for long-buried
conflicts that erupt in bigotry and violence with the outbreak of World War ll.
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Margo
Martindale, Lorraine Toussaint, Takashi Yamaguchi, Diane Ladd, Joel Murray.
World Premiere.
SALT LAKE CITY GALA
FILM

Wiener-Dog” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Todd Solondz) —
This film tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired
or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and
joy. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin,
Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, Zosia Mamet. World Premiere 

DOCUMENTARY
PREMIERES

Renowned filmmakers and films about far-reaching subjects
comprise this section highlighting our ongoing commitment to documentaries.

“Eat That Question—Frank Zappa in His Own Words” / France, Germany (Director: Thorsten
Schütte) — This entertaining encounter with the premier of sonic avant-garde is
acidic, fun-poking, and full of rich and rare archival footage. This
documentary bashes favorite Zappa targets and dashes a few myths about the man
himself. World Premiere

“Film Hawk” / U.S.A. (Directors:
JJ Garvine, Tai Parquet) — Trace Bob Hawk’s early years as the young gay child
of a Methodist minister to his current career as a consultant on some of the
most influential independent films of our time. World Premiere

“LO AND BEHOLD, Reveries of the Connected World” / U.S.A.
(Director: Werner Herzog) — Does the internet dream of itself? Explore the
horizons of the connected world. World
Premiere

“Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” / U.S.A. (Directors: Fenton
Bailey, Randy Barbato) — This examination of Robert Mapplethorpe’s outrageous
life is led by the artist himself, speaking with brutal honesty in a series of
rediscovered interviews about his passions. Intimate revelations from friends,
family, and lovers shed new light on this scandalous artist who ignited a
culture war that still rages on. World
Premiere 

“Maya Angelou And Still I Rise” / U.S.A.
(Directors: Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack) — The remarkable story of Maya
Angelou — iconic writer, poet, actress and activist whose life has intersected
some of the most profound moments in recent American history. World Premiere

“Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall” / U.S.A.
(Director: Spike Lee) — Catapulted by the success of his first major solo
project, Off the Wall, Michael Jackson
went from child star to King of Pop. This film explores the seminal album, with
rare archival footage and interviews from those who were there and those whose
lives its success and legacy impacted. World
Premiere

“Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” / U.S.A. (Directors:
Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady) — How did a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut bring
us Archie Bunker and become one of the most successful television producers
ever? Norman Lear brought provocative subjects like war, poverty, and prejudice
into 120 million homes every week. He proved that social change was possible
through an unlikely prism: laughter. World
Premiere.
DAY ONE FILM

“Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” / U.S.A.
(Director: Liz Garbus) — Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper each
tell the story of their past and present, their loves and losses, and reveal
how some family stories have the tendency to repeat themselves in the most
unexpected ways. World Premiere

“Resilience” / U.S.A. (Director: James Redford) — This film
chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists,
educators, and communities using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles
of violence, addiction, and disease. These professionals help break the cycles
of adversity by daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse, and
neglect. World Premiere

“Richard Linklater—dream is destiny” / U.S.A. (Directors: Louis
Black, Karen Bernstein) — This is an unconventional look at a fiercely
independent style of filmmaking that arose in the 1990s from Austin, Texas,
outside the studio system. The film blends rare archival footage with journals,
exclusive interviews with Linklater on and off set, and clips from “Slacker,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Boyhood,” and more. World Premiere

“Under the Gun” / U.S.A. (Director: Stephanie Soechtig) — The
Sandy Hook massacre was considered a watershed moment in the national debate on
gun control, but the body count at the hands of gun violence has only
increased. Through the lens of the victims’ families, as well as pro-gun
advocates, we examine why our politicians have failed to act. World Premiere

“Unlocking the Cage” / U.S.A. (Directors: Chris Hegedus, Donn
Alan Pennebaker) — Follow animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented
challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. By
filing the first lawsuit of its kind, Wise seeks to transform a chimpanzee from
a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with basic legal
protection. World Premiere

READ MORE: Sundance Announces Competition and NEXT Lineups, Featuring Returning Favorites and a Secret Director

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Comments

Nikoleta Morales

Internationally acclaimed Father’s Rights attorney Jeffery M. Leving is a Producer for “Little Men.” I am happy to see he is working on a film that promotes strong family values, which has been his life’s mission!

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