By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire November 16, 2006 at 5:6AM
The 2007 Sundance Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Brett Morgen's "Chicago 10," a new documentary about the 1968 protests around the Democratic covention in Chicago. This news is the first of a series of announcements coming this month from the Sundance Film Festival, which will announce its full lineup shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. According to Sundance planners, Morgen's film combines historical footage, interviews, animation and music to tell the story and also explore the subsequent Chicago Conspiracy Trial the following year. The 2007 Sundance Film Festival will kick-off on January 18, 2007 and continue through Janury 28 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
"We are pleased to open the 2007 Sundance Film Festival with Brett Morgen's "Chicago 10," festival director Geoff Gilmore said in a statement today. "We are particularly excited to be able to present a film that pushes the boundaries of many of the traditional aspects of documentary filmmaking, that speaks to audiences beyond what one might expect and that exemplifies the range of creativity and diversity that we support at the Festival."
The selection will mark the second time that the Sundance Film Festival opens with a documentary. The event debuted with Stacy Peralta's "Riding Giants" in 2004. Gilmore, head programmer John Cooper and the rest of the Sunndance team plan to announce the 2007 Sundance Film Festival competition lineups on November 29 and the balance of the feature roster the following day. The short film lineup for this year's festival is set to be announced on December 6th.
Filmmaker Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein's "The Kid Stays in The Picture" debuted at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, while their "On The Ropes" premiered at the fest in 1999.
In the words of the announcement today, the film "explores the build-up and aftermath of the week-long anti-war demonstrations staged during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, during which protestors clashed with the Chicago Police Department and the National Guard." The description continues, "The film presents contemporary history through a mix of bold and original animation with extraordinary archival footage that allows the film to move back and forth between the protests on the streets of Chicago and the resulting courtroom chaos. Set to the music of revolution, then and now, 'Chicago 10' is a story of young Americans speaking out and taking a stand in the face of an oppressive and armed government."
"Chicago 10" is from River Road Entertainment and Participant Productions and was produced by Vanity Fair magazine's Graydon Carter and Morgen. The executive producers are William Pohlad, Laura Bickford, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Peter Schlessel and Ricky Strauss. Cinetic Media is handling worldwide rights to the film.
"It seems fitting to me that a film about the importance of taking a stand should launch [the festival]," Morgen said in a statement, "For five years I have labored to bring this story into focus and with each passing day, the film becomes increasingly relevant. I can't think of a more appropriate time and place to unleash this beast."