Vail to Host First Film Festival, Including North American Premiere of "Before Sunset"
by Wendy Mitchell
The inaugural Vail Film Festival, presented by the non-profit Vail Film Institute, opened Thursday with a screening of Sandy McCleod's Oscar-nominated short film "Asylum" and a screening of the feature "Human Error" (formerly titled "Below the Belt"). An opening-night party at Vail Cascade was set to follow the screenings. Robert M. Young's comedy "Human Error" is about two men who take jobs with a corporation that only exists in an animated world and have to deal with a scheming new boss. Other highlights during the festival, which runs in the Colorado ski resort town through April 4, will include the North American premiere of Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset" on April 3, preceded by a screening of the film's prequel, the cult hit "Before Sunrise," on April 2.
The 10 other narrative feature films playing in Vail include Jean-Francois Pouliot's "Seducing Dr. Lewis," the Sundance audience award winner recently picked up by Wellspring; Guy Maddin's Winnipeg-set dark comedy "The Saddest Music in the World"; Tony Spiridakis' psychological thriller "Noise," starring Ally Sheedy and Trish Goff; and Thomas Ian Nicholas' "LA DJ," about trailer park brothers who try to break into L.A.'s club scene. Documentaries selected to screen in Vail are Wayne Ewing's "Breakfast with Hunter," John Dullaghan's "Bukowski: Born into This," John Darling Haynes' "The Dance," Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini's "Farmingville," Jon Gunn, Brian Herzlinger, and Brett Winn's "My Date with Drew," Manny Kivowitz, Ben Barraud, and Toby Barraud's "Red Light Go," and Michael Almereyda's "This So-Called Disaster." Shorts will include Chad Lowe's "The Space Between," Guinevere Turner's "Hummer," and Jeremy Saulnier's Slamdance-winner "Crabwalk." Student films will also screen.
Special programming at the festival includes panels on independent producing, Indiewood, and film criticism; a program of never-before-seen television pilots; a showcase of short films inspired by and integrating a Gershwin song; and tributes to director Robert M. Young ("Alambrista!," "Caught," "Triumph of the Spirit") and producer Amy Robinson ("After Hours," "Running on Empty," "White Palace," "Marie and Bruce").
Social highlights include a SESAC music showcase featuring six performers, a VIP party, an awards ceremony, a ski morning, and a closing brunch. For details, visit www.vailfilmfestival.org.
[ indieWIRE managing editor Wendy Mitchell will be attending and reporting on the Vail Film Festival. ]