By Brian Brooks | Indiewire January 3, 2011 at 5:46AM
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.
Through the month of December, over 50 filmmakers in the four competitions and NEXT provided indieWIRE with insights about their work which will debut at the festival, from January 20 - 30. Filmmakers were asked about their background and what lead them to filmmaking, how their particular stories developed and evolved, anecdotes about the set, inspirations and more.
The first five interviews are being published today and indieWIRE will post two to three more per day through the beginning of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Today's initial roll out includes Amy Wendel's U.S. Dramatic Competition film, "Benavides Born," about a south Texas teen who wants something more than the usual options to her after graduation. Yoav Potash's U.S. Doc Competition feature, "Crime After Crime" focuses on the battle to free Debbie Peagler, an imprisoned survivor of domestic violence, while Evan Glodell's "Bellflower" (NEXT) centers on two friends who spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur.
In the World Cinema Documentary Competition, British director David Sington's "The Flaw" takes a look at the roots of the world financial crisis, while Japanese director Naoli Kato's "Abraxas" (World Cinema Dramatic Competition) is the story of a Buddhist monk who has a breakdown after he realizes the importance of music to his life.
"Out of college, I joined Teach for America in LA. Surprisingly, filmmaking and teaching hormonally imbalanced seventh graders have a lot in common: both require a vision, endurance, and passion," Wendel notes in her interview for indieWIRE.
"Emotional pain is much harder to deal with than physical pain, it can be literally like a living hell... I wanted to find a way to tell the story in the script in a way that could actually illustrate what it's like to go through something like that," Evan Glodell ("Bellflower") told indieWIRE.
"As a kid I toyed around with all of these art forms, as well as a few others, and I felt like I could never decide to do just one of them and leave all the others alone," shared Potash ("Crime After Crime").
"When I think back, the movies saved me," said "Abraxas" director Naoli Kato.
Please check in daily between now and the beginning of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for more interviews from over four dozen filmmakers whose names will now doubt become more familiar in the coming months (some of whom already are). indieWIRE wishes to give a big thanks to the Sundance Film Festival press office for their help last month in reaching out to this year's group, especially Brooks Addicott, Julieta Esteban, Kelly Frey and Kate McMillan.
The first five interviews from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival:
Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers: "Benavides Born" Director Amy Wendel (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Crime After Crime" by Yoav Potash (U.S. Documentary Competition)
Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "The Flaw" by David Sington (World Cinema Documentary Competition)
Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Abraxas" Director Naoki Kato (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)