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Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | New Batch of 4 Interviews

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 5, 2011 at 3:21AM

Continuing with indieWIRE's "Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers" series, four additional films and filmmakers are being spotlighted from the festival's U.S. Dramatic Competition, NEXT series, World Cinema Dramatic Competition and World Cinema Documentary Competition.
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Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | New Batch of 4 Interviews
Scenes from all four films. Images courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Continuing with indieWIRE's "Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers" series, four additional films and filmmakers are being spotlighted from the festival's U.S. Dramatic Competition, NEXT series, World Cinema Dramatic Competition and World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Wednesday's films include Dusty Bias' "Prairie Love," Danfung Dennis' "Hell and Back Again," Florence Bouteloup's "A Few Days of Respite," and Rashaad Ernesto Green's "Gun Hill Road."

Soon after the Sundance Film Festival unveiled its 2011 lineup, indieWIRE invited directors with films in the Sundance U.S. Dramatic & Documentary Competitions, as well as the World Dramatic & Documentary Competitions and NEXT section, to submit responses in their own words about their films. indieWIRE has been the place to get to know the Sundance filmmakers ahead of the festival for more than a half-dozen years.

Over 50 filmmakers in the four sections provided their responses and indieWIRE will roll them out daily through the start of the festival later this month.

A snapshot of Wednesday's four featured interviews:

A bizarre love story set amidst the frozen plains of North Dakota, Dusty Bias' "Prairie Love" (NEXT) follows a mysterious vagrant who invades the lives of a pen-pal couple. North Dakota is an area Bias knows well, as he revealed to indieWIRE: "Having gone to high school in North Dakota, I had a good understanding of what winter time can be like, especially out in the rural areas. The winters there are their own character; for our film, the winter was the "fourth character.""

Competing in the World Cinema Documentary Competition is Darfung Dennis' war exposé "Hell and Back Again." Beginning in 2009 when Dennis embedded himself with a group of U.S. Marines who performed a major helicopter assault on a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan, his film tracks his own experience from the inside and the effect it subsequently had on him following his return home to North Carolina. As Dennis revealed to indieWIRE, it was not his intention to shoot a film when he signed up to document the war. "I didn't go to Afghanistan with the intention to make a film," he said. "I had no script, no shot list, no financing. I simply had body armor, a backpack and a camera to try to convey what was happening there as honestly and truthfully as I could."

Amor Hakkar's World Cinema Dramatic Competition entry "A Few Days of Respite," meanwhile chronicles the struggle a homosexual couple endure after fleeing from Iran, where there relationship means a death sentence, to France. Hakkar feels strongly about the issues raised in his feature. "The idea that two human beings could be sentenced to death or to a prison sentence only because they love each other is unbearable," he told indieWIRE. "For me, there aren’t heterosexual love stories on one side and homosexual love stories on the other: there are LOVE STORIES between persons who must choose and act freely."

Finally in "Gun Hill Road" (U.S. Dramatic Competition), director Rashaad Ernesto Green delves into the turbulent life of a man who returns home after three years in prison, only to be met by a distant wife, a son with a newfound identity, and a parole officer watching his every move. Green, originally an actor who attended grad school at NYU, told indieWIRE why he gave up performing to pursue filmmaking. "It didn’t take me too long to realize that there was a severe lack of roles for actors of color," he said. "As an African American and Latino artist, I wanted to be a part of stories and films that explored our cultures with more depth, complexity of characters and understanding of the world that creates them."


Four new Sundance filmmaker interviews for Wednesday:

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Gun Hill Road" Director Rashaad Ernesto Green (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Prairie Love" Director Dusty Bias (NEXT)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "A Few Days of Respite" Director Amor Hakkar (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Hell and Back Again" Director Danfung Dennis (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Tuesday's four Sundance filmmaker interviews:

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "HERE" Director Braden King (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey" Director Constance Marks (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "All Your Dead Ones" Director Carlos Moreno (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Senna" Director Asif Kapadia (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Monday's five Sundance filmmaker interviews:

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Benavides Born" Director Amy Wendel (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Crime After Crime" Director Yoav Potash (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Bellflower" Director Evan Glodell (NEXT)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "The Flaw" Director David Sington (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Abraxas" Director Naoki Kato (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

This article is related to: Features, Filmmaker Toolkit, Interviews