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November 30, 2011 3:58 PM
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Sundance 2012: World Cinema Documentary Competition

Lise Birk Pedersen's "Putin's Kiss" Sundance Film Festival
Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary filmmakers working today.

½ REVOLUTION / Denmark (Directors: Omar Shargawi, Karim El Hakim) — In January 2011, two filmmakers captured the reality of the Egyptian revolution as it occurred out of view from the world's media in the alleyways and streets away from the square – and in the process were arrested by the secret police. North American Premiere

5 Broken Cameras / Palestine, Israel, France (Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi) — A Palestinian journalist chronicles his village’s resistance to a separation barrier being erected on their land and in the process captures his young son’s lens on the world. International Premiere

THE AMBASSADOR / Denmark (Director: Mads Brügger) — What happens when a very white European man buys his way into being a diplomat in one of Central Africa's most failed nations? Welcome to the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free. North American Premiere

BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* / Sweden (Director: Fredrik Gertten) — The behind-the-scenes story of a full-scale attack on freedom of speech. When Dole set its sights on the WG Film production Bananas!*in May 2009, confusion was the method, aggression was the tactic and media control was the story. North American Premiere

China Heavyweight / Canada, China (Director: Yung Chang) — In central China, where a coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions, the top students face dramatic choices as they graduate – should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the choices everyone in the New China faces now. World Premiere

Gypsy Davy  / Israel, U.S.A., Spain (Director: Rachel Leah Jones) — How does a white boy with Alabama roots become a Flamenco guitarist in Andalusian boots? A tale of self-invention and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the cost to others. International Premiere

The Imposter / United Kingdom (Director: Bart Layton) — In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in Spain with a shocking story of kidnap and torture. But all is not what it seems in this tale that is truly stranger than fiction. World Premiere

Indie Game: The Movie / Canada (Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky) — Follow the dramatic journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world. World Premiere

The Law in These Parts / Israel (Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz) — Israel's 43-year military legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories unfolds through provocative interviews with the system’s architects and historical footage showing the enactment of these laws upon the Palestinian population. International Premiere

Payback / Canada (Director: Jennifer Baichwal) — Based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling book, Payback explores how debt is a central organizing principle in our lives – influencing relationships, societies, governing structures and the very fate of this planet. World Premiere

Putin's Kiss / Denmark (Director: Lise Birk Pedersen) — 19-year-old Marsha is a model spokesperson in a strongly nationalistic Russian youth movement that aims to protect the country from its enemies. When she starts recognizing the organization’s flaws, she must take a stand for or against it. North American Premiere

Searching for Sugar Man / Denmark, United Kingdom (Director: Malik Bendjelloul) — Rodriguez was the greatest ‘70s US rock icon who never was. Hailed as the greatest recording artist of his generation he disappeared into oblivion – rising again from the ashes in a completely different context many miles away. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM

2012 Competition Lineup:
U.S. Dramatic Competition
U.S. Documentary Competition
World Cinema Dramatic Competition
World Cinema Documentary Competition

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4 Comments

  • joe | December 7, 2011 3:48 AMReply

    Nice diverse selection from around the world in the dramatic and documentary competitions. Pity the same can't be said for the shorts international selection. A lot of shorts from UK and Sweden (half the international narrative shorts come from those two countries alone), an unusually high count from the UK this year (almost all of the animated shorts are from UK), not a very diverse international selection. There must have been shorts submitted from other countries too! Seem like lazy programming.

  • The Imposter | November 30, 2011 5:32 PMReply

    Seriously did we really need ANOTHER dramatic film about Frédéric Bourdin? Just read the David Grann article in the New Yorker. Nice try at being coy Sundance but we all know the story.

  • bob hawk | December 1, 2011 3:52 AM

    Your Comment

    Your post was initially puzzling. You were referring to a DRAMATIC film following a listing of films in the world DOC competition. Then, I had to Google Frederic Bourdin to find out who the hell he was (I don't read the New Yorker thoroughly or regularly enough, I guess). Then I IMDb'd Bourdin to discover a 2010 film ("The Chameleon") which must have had very limited exposure (I do try to keep up). In any case, "we all" don't ALL know the story. And this is a documentary, which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I'm now very intrigued to see "The Imposter." Thanks for being the catalyst.

  • orly ravid | November 30, 2011 4:11 PMReply

    Israel and Palestine w/ Israel in the house! go-Sundance-go!