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January 10, 2014 12:17 PM
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Sundance 2014: U.S. Dramatic Competition

'Dear White People'

Here are the 16 world premieres in the U.S. Dramatic Competition program.

Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.

Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man's life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell. 

Dear White People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one's unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

God's Pocket / U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey's stepson Leon is killed in a construction "accident," Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy's mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro.

Happy Christmas / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) — After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.

Hellion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob's delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts. 

Infinitely Polar Bear / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maya Forbes) — A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide.

Jamie Marks is Dead / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Carter Smith) — No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the bleak world between the living and the dead. Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler. 

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.

Life After Beth / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down... Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser.

Low Down / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) — Based on Amy Jo Albany's memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Flea.

The Skeleton Twins / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) — Estranged twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. As the twins' reunion reinvigorates them, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason.

The Sleepwalker / U.S.A., Norway (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady Corbet) — A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia´s secluded family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests arrive. The Sleepwalker chronicles the unraveling of the lives of four disparate characters as it transcends genre conventions and narrative contrivance to reveal something much more disturbing. Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Stephanie Ellis.

Song One / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kate Barker-Froyland) — Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield.

Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons. DAY ONE FILM


2014 Competition Lineup:

U.S Dramatic Competition

U.S. Documentary Competition

World Dramatic Competition

World Documentary Competition

NEXT<=>

2014 Out of Competition:

Premieres

Documentary Premieres

New Frontier Films

Park City at Midnight

Spotlight

Sundance Kids
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8 Comments

  • Wondering | December 4, 2013 9:25 PMReply

    The Kristen Stewart film is a joke. She has "an unlikely friendship." So that's what they're going to call it? I doubt that's what the Tea Party will call it. And her other films that premiered at Sundance have all been bombs, like The Runaways.

    I'm not sure how she keeps getting cast in indies, they never show a profit. I understand art for the sake of art, but this is ridiculous. On The Road wasn't even critically acclaimed. Just make me wonder what's going on. Her Q rating dropped drastically this year, she's not very popular with audiences, as a producer, I'd think twice. Her negatives are quite high.

  • Stop_Wondering | January 10, 2014 9:12 PM

    FYI, only 5% money has been recouped from the indies movies. I know you are Robert Pattison fan, so what do you think about his bombing movie Bel Ami? In fact, Robert's acting earned terrible reviews in most of all his movies except for Cosmopolis with mixed reviews.
    On The Road was critically acclaimed and it made more money than Robert's Cosmopolis. So the producers shouldn't cast Robert again since his movie didn't recoup their money.

  • guest | January 10, 2014 9:03 PM

    "she's not very popular with audiences" Really? Kristen Stewart is one of the new generation actress best known in the world. She has the new face of Florabotanica, Rosabotanica and Chanel. she is a fashion icon. On The Road went Cannes and TIFF last year and her perfomance has been one of the most acclaimed with Garrett Hedlund.

  • Ryan | January 10, 2014 8:53 PM

    Dear Mr. I'm a Producer,

    You seem to know more about Kristen Stewart movies than Kristen Stewart. I think someone is a little obsessed with Ms. Stewart. You sound like one of those TwiMoms that can't stand the fact that she got your guy. No one comes on sites to comment about people they hate, unless they are legit obsessed with the person. You don't hate her as much as you make it seem, you envy that you will never be her.

  • dorians | December 4, 2013 9:59 PM

    @wondering, you're a joke
    why you hate her so much ? your comment makes you look stupid.

  • jo | December 4, 2013 9:57 PM

    you're not a producer, you just a hater that keep trying to make her looks bad

  • jrose | December 4, 2013 6:22 PMReply

    Wow. In times past, only the Premieres were this star-studded. The Dramatic Competition at least had SOME semblance of actual indies with fresh faces. Only "Fishing Without Nets" has a cast of unknowns - and it's adapted from the short that won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012, so go figure.

    If anyone still believed that Sundance was for real independent filmmakers, not industry players, this roster will set them straight.

  • Alex | December 4, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    I have 5 must see films, and another 5 hopefully will see! Cannot wait!