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]