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Holofcener’s “Friends” To Open Sundance; Fest’s Premieres Lineup Unveiled

Holofcener's "Friends" To Open Sundance; Fest's Premieres Lineup Unveiled

Nicole Holofcener‘s “Friends With Money” will open the 2006 Sundance Film Festival on January 19th in Park City, UT. The festival’s closing film will be Nick Cassavetes‘ “Alpha Dog.” Sundance organizers made the announcement today, also unveiling the roster of high-profile, often star-driven, titles that will screen in the event’s Premieres section. Julian Jarrold‘s “Kinky Boots” will be the festival’s Salt Lake City opening film on Friday, January 20th.

Calling Holofcener, “one of the finest independent filmmakers”, Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore called the movie “perhaps her most accomplished and appealing work to date.” In the statement, he added, “With a magnificent ensemble cast, ‘Friends With Money’ addresses both contemporary social issues and personal lives, a characteristic of many great movies and a perfect film to open this year’s Festival.” The film stars Jennifer Aniston, Scott Caan, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand.

Cassavetes’ “Dog” stars Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone and is inspired by true events. In the announcement, Sundance said that the film is the story of “a suburban drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever to be on the FBI’s most wanted list.”

The Sundance Film Festival competition lineups and out of competition lineups were announced earlier this week. Festival director Geoff Gilmore and head of programming John Cooper spoke with indieWIRE about this year’s lineup.

[EDITORS NOTE: The festival’s short film lineup will be released on Monday, December 5th.]


A Little Trip to Heaven,” (directed and written by Baltasar Kormakur (Iceland/U.S.A.)
A husband and wife tangle with an investigator over her dead brother’s million-dollar insurance policy. [U.S. Premiere]
CAST: Forest Whitaker, Julia Stiles, Jeremy Renner, Peter Coyote

Alpha Dog,” directed and written by Nick Cassavetes (U.S.A)
A drama inspired by true events and the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a suburban drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever to be placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. [World Premiere.]
CAST: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone

Art School Confidential,” directed by Terry Zwigoff and written by Daniel Clowes (U.S.A.)
Believing that art school will bring him success and the girl of his dreams, an untalented young man becomes embroiled in a murder that makes him a celebrity. [World Premiere]
CAST: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, Matt Keesler, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Anjelica Huston

Cargo,” directed by Clive Gordon and written by Paul Laverty (Spain/UK)
After becoming mixed up in some trouble while traveling through Africa, a young backpacker stows away on a Europe-bound cargo ship filled with mysteries. [World Premiere]
CAST: Peter Mullan, Daniel Bruhl, Luis Tosar

The Darwin Awards,” directed and written by Finn Taylor (U.S.A.)
A forensic detective and an insurance claims officer investigate a potential winner of a Darwin Award which honors “those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways.” [World Premiere]
CAST: Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, David Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Juliette Lewis, Julianna Margulies, Chris Penn, Nora Dunn, Lukas Haas, Ty Burrell

Don’t Come Knocking,” (directed by Wim Wenders and written by Sam Shephard (Germany/U.S.A)
A washed-up and disillusioned Western movie star returns home, where he reluctantly encounters elements of his past and an entire life that he had missed. [North American Premiere]
CAST: Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Fairuza Balk, Eva Marie Saint

Friends With Money” directed and written by Nicole Holofcener (U.S.A.)
A drama about three married women, their husbands, and their lone single friend. [World Premiere]
CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Scott Caan, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand

Kinky Boot,” directed by Julian Jarrold and written by Geoff Dean and Tim Firth (U.K.)
In an effort to save his father’s small town shoe factory, a man finds an unlikely ally in Lola, a brassy cabaret singer. [North American Premiere]
CAST: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jones Potts, Jemima Rooper, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett

Little Miss Sunshine,” directed by Johnathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and written by Michael Arndt (U.S.A.)
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross- country trip in their VW bus. [World Premiere]
CAST: Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano

Lucky Number Slevin,” directed by Paul McGuigan and written by Jason Smilovic (U.S.A.)
A case of mistaken identity lands a man in the middle of a murder being plotted by one of New York City’s biggest crime bosses. [World Premiere]
CAST: Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Sir Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu

Neil Young Heart of Gold,” directed by Jonathan Demme (U.S.A.)
An emotionally rich musical portrait of icon Neil Young, shot over a two- night performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. [World Premiere]

The Illusionist,” directed and written by Neil Burger (U.S.A.)
In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing. [World Premiere]
CAST: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell

The Night Listener,” directed by Patrick Stettner and written by Armistead Maupin and Terry Anderson (U.S.A.)
In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy’s identity arise, the host’s life is thrown into chaos. [World Premiere]
CAST: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Bobby Cannavale, Joe Morton, Rory Culkin, Sandra Oh

The Science of Sleep,” directed and written by Michel Gondry (France)
A man held captive by the people in his dreams tries to wake himself up and take control of his own imaginings. [World Premiere]
CAST: Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Emma de Caunes, Aurelia Petit, Sacha Bourdo, Pierre Vaneck

The Secret Life Of Words,” directed and written by Isabel Coixet (Spain)
A nurse forgoes her first holiday in years, opting to travel to a remote oil rig, where she cares for a man suffering from severe burns. [North American Premiere]

Thank You For Smoking,” directed and written by Jason Reitman (U.S.A.)
Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, who manages “spin
on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son. [U.S. Premiere]
CAST: Maria Bello, Aaron Eckhart, Sam Elliot, Katie Holmes, William H. Macy

This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” (directed by Kirby Dick) (U.S.A.)
A breakthrough investigation into Hollywood’s best-kept secret: the MPAA film ratings system and its profound impact on American culture. [World Premiere]

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