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by Indiewire
November 21, 2012 12:31 PM
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Sundance 2013 Wishlist: 25 Films We Hope Will Head To Park City

Brian Brooks

Thanksgiving is an anxious holiday for indie filmmakers as the Sundance Film Festival begins making its round of calls with (hopefully) good news. The first round of programming announcements are expected following the four-day holiday weekend, with over 100 features expected over various sections of the January 2013 festival.

Ahead of those announcements, Indiewire is offering 25 films as a Sundance wish list. Basically, it's a wholly unscientific collection of films that might reasonably make the cut and/or we hope will make it to Park City.

Much more so than fellow festival powerhouses Cannes or Toronto, Sundance is a hard lineup to predict. Tiny films from up-and-coming directors often end up being the most talked about films at the festival (who'd ever heard of Benh Zeitlin or Quvenzhané Wallis this time last year?). Of course, some of the lineup will be comprised of more high-profile possibilities -- and it's all but certain that some of the festival's breakouts are not going to be on our list.

So with those caveats in mind, here are 25 titles to consider (in alphabetical order). And if you have a title to add, tell us in the comments.

"A.C.O.D.," directed by Stu Zicherman
Stu Zicherman and Ben Karlin's "A.C.O.D." (or "Adult Children Of Divorce") has promising roots, as the satirical comedy began as a Blacklist script favorite in 2008 before being picked up and attracting an array of talent. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who recently showcased her acting prowess in "Smashed," was cast among more seasoned comic veterans such as Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Jane Lynch. The film will be produced by Black Bear Pictures and revolves around one man as he participates in a follow-up study about children of divorce after unknowingly taking part in the initial study years before. This will be Zicherman's directorial debut. [Justin Krajeski]


Admission," directed by Paul Weitz
This grown-up romantic comedy may seem too mainstream — and Tina Fey a little too big a star — for an indie-film showcase like Sundance. But director Paul Weitz (mostly) has an indie sensibility despite his frequent work for studios, so it’s not a total stretch. Fey’s co-star Paul Rudd has made the trip to Park City numerous times, most recently with the 2011 comedy “Our Idiot Brother,” which the Weinstein Co. acquired for release last year. Yes, this story of a college admissions officer and an unruly prospective student is a Universal project, but its March release date puts Sundance in a prime promotional window to kickstart the film’s release. [Jay A. Fernandez]

"Are We Not Men?" directed by Tony Pemberton
From director Tony Pemberton, whose last film, "Beyond the Ocean," garnered a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance in 2000, comes the authorized feature-length Devo documentary three years in the making. "Are We Not Men?" promises an unusual glimpse into secretive inner workings of all things Devo, from artistic process to quotidian habits. Given the band's long-standing rapport with indie-rock types, nerds and artists the world over, it's hard to imagine this year's lineup without Pemberton's latest somewhere in the mix.   [Christopher Pomorski]


  • HJ | November 27, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    Adam and Dog!

  • Steve | November 27, 2012 8:01 AMReply

    Heard great things about "Friended to Death" too. Hope it makes it in. It's a true indie.

  • Jonathan | November 26, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    It's "Kill YOUR Darlings" not Kill My Darlings.

  • Spmeans | November 25, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    The Coens debuted both "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Big Lebowski" at Sundance.

  • Spmeans | November 25, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    The Coens debuted both "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Big Lebowski" at Sundance.

  • twinstarg | November 25, 2012 11:25 PMReply

    A while ago I read a fantastic book by DW Gibson called Not Working and know that there's a companion documentary in the works. Have to imagine it's made it into Sundance's 'slush pile' by now. Hope so because I'd love to see it this January!!

  • Starsforarms | November 25, 2012 5:06 AMReply

    I saw the trailer for a doc called Next Goal Wins which looked hilarious. Hope to see it there!

  • Alu | November 24, 2012 4:22 PMReply

    Great list, particularly excited for GBF, Before Midnight, Can a Song Change Your Life?, Kill Your Darlings, Lovelace, and Franco's Forty Minutes. Just a minor correction: GBF stands for "gay best friend", not "gay boyfriend." :)

  • Marshall North | November 22, 2012 6:59 PMReply

    How about Backgammon, which is directed by Francisco Orvananos and stars Brittany Allen, Noah Silver and Alex Beh?

  • Ed | November 22, 2012 8:47 AMReply

    @DEEJ. Sundance hasn't been an independent festival in 15 years. This list is comprised of far too many "Hollywood" films helmed by veteran/established/mainstream directors. Of the films that are not Hollywood productions using the Sundance brand to market their spring releases, we're left with a handful of banal genre pieces by mediocre filmmakers in a very crowded and jaded lineup. The 90's brought us a renaissance that birthed the careers of some of the greatest and most original voices in cinematic history. The last ten years have given us mumbleBORE, pompous neo-realist "awkward white people" films, and the Duplass Brothers. Sundance might as well be a Hollywood Studio. To be fair, the studios have bankrupted and stripped many of the middle road, "indie" subsidiaries and the festivals are almost forced to keep premiering films from mediocre previous classes. 50,000 films produced every year and barley a film on the list by a true first time filmmaker. If you want daring, bold, and original content by independent filmmakers than Sundance should be the very last place you look. Supporters will point to "Beasts" as evidence of their discovery of a MAJOR new talent, and I'd applaud them for as much, but he's one filmmaker in 15 years IMHO.

  • Marshall North | November 22, 2012 7:01 PM

    I agree with Ed that there are FAR TOO MANY established, mainstream Hollywood stars and directors on your list!

  • ian | November 22, 2012 1:02 AMReply

    I think it's highly likely that James Franco will debut his adapation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God at Sundance, probably in competition. (Heck, he already shot another feature since; As I Lay Dying)

    Both Mathew Weiner and Nat Faxon/Jim Rash have stated that they intend both The Way, Way Back and I am Here to debut at Sundance. Ditto, Joseph Gordon Levitt's Don Jon's Addiction.

    It's also highly likely that The Necessary Deaths of Charlie Countryman will debut at Sundance. (It's been locked for awhile) Ditto Gods Behaving Badly.

  • Mitchell | November 21, 2012 9:39 PMReply

    How about "The East", the new film from the Zal Batmanglij/Brit Marling team, starring Marling, Alexander Skarsgaard and Ellen Page?

  • Bob Giovanelli | November 21, 2012 6:34 PMReply

    "Boys Don't Cry" was shown at Sundance in a special work-in-progress highlight-reel kind of screening, when it had a different title shortly after it wrapped.

  • Luke | November 21, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    Toy's House!!!

  • Luke | November 21, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    Toy's House!!!

  • RK | November 21, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    I love that you guys are still using that Sundance photo...

  • Deej | November 21, 2012 1:07 PMReply

    Will there ever be an Asian American "indie" at Sundance (besides Better Luck Tomorrow). Or, any film with an Asian American cast ... Enought of the DIY-hipster-OWS filmmakers....please.

  • Charlie | November 21, 2012 1:01 PMReply

    The Big Lebowski premiered at Sundance.

  • CHAT N' OOGA | November 21, 2012 12:59 PMReply

    It'd be a bummer if the "The Spectacular Now" doesn't make it in. It's directed by James Ponsolt (the guy who made "Smashed", which was phenomenal) and written by the "(500) Days of Summer" duo. Plus, it's got teenage drinking and Shailene Woodley. It's like a Sundance superbaby. And I mean that in a good way.

  • Ryan | November 21, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    Surprised one of the most obvious to be there, in my opinion, isn't on this list, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don John's Addiction.