As usual, the Spotlight section is populated with films that have shown elsewhere, mainly at other festivals, and prompted notable chatter. This year, Jeff Nichols' "Mud" and Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers," both Cannes premieres, share space with Rama Burshtein's New York Film Festival drama "Fill the Void" and Sarah Polley's Venice-Telluride-Toronto quasi-doc "Stories We Tell."
Park City at Midnight's more genre-heavy sidebar includes comedies, horror films and movies that straddle both: Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon's "Hell Baby," Calvin Lee Reeder's "The Rambler" and the creepy anthology sequel "S-VHS" all made the cut this year.
The highly experimental New Frontier section highlights films and multimedia presentations such as "Charlie Victor Romeo," a 3D documentary made entirely of actors reciting airlines' Black Box transcripts, and "Interior. Leather Bar.," a re-imagining of rumored lost X-rated footage from "Cruising" co-directed by and starring Franco.
You can check out the competition and NEXT <=> line-ups for Sundance 2013 here.
Fill the Void / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Rama Burshtein) — A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi’s word are absolute. Cast: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir, Razia Israeli, Hila Feldman.
Gangs of Wasseypur / India (Director: Anurag Kashyap, Screenwriters: Anurag Kashyap, Zeishan Quadri) — Exiled and outcast for robbing British trains, Shahid Khan spurs a battle for revenge that passes down generations. Shahid's son vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man in the Indian town of Wasseypur. Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddique, Richa Chadda, Huma Qureshi, Tigmanshu Dhulia. U.S. Premiere
The Gatekeepers (documentary) / Israel, Germany, Belgium, France (Director: Dror Moreh) — Since its stunning military victory in 1967, Israel has hoped to achieve a long-lasting peace. Forty-five years later, this has yet to happen. Six former heads of Israel’s Secret Service reflect on the successes and failures of the “peace process.”
No / Chile, U.S.A. (Director: Pablo Larraín, Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano) — When Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet calls for a referendum to decide his permanence in power, the opposition persuades a young advertising executive to head its campaign. With limited resources and under scrutiny, he conceives a plan to win the election. Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Luis Gnecco, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana.
Sightseers / United Kingdom (Director: Ben Wheatley, Screenwriters: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram) — Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but when events conspire against the couple, their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn. Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram. U.S. Premiere
Stories We Tell (documentary) / Canada (Director: Sarah Polley) — Sarah Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving.
Click through for the Park City at Midnight program: