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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

"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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21 Comments

  • 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? http://backgammonfilm.com/

  • 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.