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Sundance 2013 Wishlist: 25 Films We Hope Will Head To Park City

By Indiewire | Indiewire November 21, 2012 at 12:31PM

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.
21

"God Love Uganda," directed by Roger Ross Williams
Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams is perhaps best known for getting cut off by his producer during his acceptance speech for his documentary short "Music By Prudence."  Williams' feature-length documentary "God Loves Uganda" explores the evangelizing of Christian gospel in the East African nation.  Williams, whose father and brother are both pastors and grew up singing in a Baptist choir, set out to Uganda to complicate media portrayals of Africa by looking at the various ways Christianity lives in Uganda.  [Bryce J. Renninger]

“Inside Llewyn Davis," directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
The Coen Brothers haven’t screened a new movie at Sundance since their 1985 debut “Blood Simple,” which won the grand jury prize that year. And their increased stature in the years since has led to premieres at Cannes and the fall festivals for most of their films. So “Llewyn Davis,” a look at a singer-songwriter in 1960s New York City starring Oscar Isaac, may be a longshot to be a part of the 2013 program. But the film also has Scott Rudin as a producer and stars Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund and Carey Mulligan, who blew up at Sundance in 2009 with “An Education,” so its folkie sensibility and funky cast sounds like just the right fit. [Jay A. Fernandez]

"James Franco's Forty Minutes," directed by Travis Mathews and James Franco
"James Franco's Forty Minutes" is a project where Franco and art porn director Travis Mathews attempt to recreate the lost forty minutes of William Friedkin's cult film "Cruising."  Friedkin's film was a lightning rod for the NYC gay community at the time of its shooting, but after it was done and went to the censors, Friedkin worked tirelessly to get it cut down to something that passed the board.  Franco and Mathews, working with the idea that most of what was cut (and subsequently lost) was  scenes of sex in the dark underground bars that are the original film's settings, both shot an imagined version of those forty minutes and also shot behind-the-scenes footage of the actors contemplating their participation of the project and Franco's own coming-to-understanding of all the issues behind the creation of these forty minutes.  This hybrid film got a minor sneak peek as a 42-minute version when that version premiered at a clothing store-cum-temporary gallery in New York's SoHo earlier this year.  A longer version, which Mathews was working on when Indiewire caught up with him could make a debut at Sundance's New Frontiers or U.S. doc program. [Bryce J. Renninger]

"Kill My Darlings," directed by John Krokidas
John Krokidas has assembled a remarkable cast for his long gestating directorial debut, "Kill Your Darlings." The film -- which surrounds the 1944 murder of David Kammerer that drew together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs -- features Daniel Radcliffe (as Ginsberg), Ben Foster (as Burroughs) and Jack Huston (as Kerouac) alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Cross (who plays Louis Ginsberg here after his memorable turn as Allen Ginsberg in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There). The film finished shooting in March, and seems like a certainty for Sundance. [Peter Knegt]

"Lovelace," directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (who made their narrative debut with Sundance premiere "Howl" a few years ago after decades of incredible doc work like "Common Threads" and "The Celluloid Closet") are taking on the story of notorious porn star Linda Lovelace (née Boreman) in a very likely Sundance premiere, "Lovelace." Starring Amanda Seyfried in title role, "Lovelace" offers a very promising ensemble cast backing her up: Peter Sarsgaard, Juno Temple, James Franco, Adam Brody, Chloë Sevigny, Hank Azaria and Sharon Stone (as Lovelace's mother). In an article on Indiewire earlier this year, "Lovelace" producer Heidi Jo Markel said of Seyfried's casting: "Casting was crazy. We didn't come upon Amanda right away. We actually immediately approached her camp and we approached a few other actresses. We pinched ourselves that we got an actress as brave and fearless as Amanda." [Peter Knegt]

"May in the Summer," directed by Cherien Dabis
In 2009, Cherien Dabis's "Amreeka" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival before heading off to Cannes and recieving multiple Indie Spirit and Gotham Award nominations including best feature. Her follow up, "May in Summer," was shot this summer and seems like a shoo-in for Dabis' return to Sundance. Starring Hiam Abbass ("The Visitor"), Alia Shawkat (who was also in "Amreeka") and Dabis herslef, the film centers on a thirtysomething Palestinian American May (Dabis) who travels to Amman to reunite with divorced mother Nadine (Abbass), a devout Christian who disapproves of May's Muslim fiancé. [Peter Knegt]







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