Thirty features including three world premieres, two North American debuts and twenty shorts are on tap for the 13th installment of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, which will open with 2007 Sundance film, “Waitress,” by the late Adrienne Shelly this Wednesday. The film is Shelly’s second at USCAF. In 2000, her film “I’ll Take You There” won best director. Fox Searchlight acquired the film at Sundance where her husband Andrew Ostroy announced the creation of the “Adrienne Shelly Foundation” to support the efforts of women writers and directors.
World premieres at the festival, which is sponsored by HBO, include Guy Shalem’s “Cook Off!,” Armen Kaprelian’s “Closing Escrow,” Frank Oz’s “Death at a Funeral,” Jim Pasternak’s “Certifiably Jonathan,” and Gary Toll’s “Judy Toll: The Funniest Woman You’ve Never Heard Of.” The film program will also feature special screenings of works in progress including John Landis‘ “The Rickles Project,” “The Combacks” directed by Tom Brady and Jamie Kennedy‘s “Heckler.” Jamie Kennedy will also host this year’s festival awards ceremony. Also set for the fest, taking place in Aspen, CO February 28 – March 4, is Brian W. Cook‘s “Colour Me Kubrick,” a true account of a man who posed as director Stanley Kubrick during the production of his last film, “Eyes Wide Shut,” despite knowing very little about his work and looking nothing like him. Sundance 2007 favorite “Eagle Vs. Shark” by New Zealand director Taika Waititi also joins the line up. The film follows two socially awkward misfits and the strange ways they try to find love via revenge on high school bullies, burgers, and video games.
Also included as a part of the film program will be a curated collection from guest directors Stella Pence and Bill Pence, the recently retired co-founders of the Telluride Film Festival. Fox Atomic‘s Debbie Liebling, Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos as well as JibJab‘s Gregg Spiridellis will join the fest’s “Fireside Chat” series in addition to other invitees. The event will also host a “speed dating” program bringing together industry execs and filmmakers.
“The films that we have selected to showcase alongside the live performances at the festival offer a diverse group of talent from different backgrounds and experiences, but all solidified in the foundation of comedy,” said Kevin Haasarud, director of the USCAF Film Program. “Each year the festival looks forward to bringing together such a vast community of filmmakers, film buyers, television executives, comedians, writers and actors and giving them the rare opportunity to collaborate with each other and admire one another.”
[For more information including details of USCAF’s full line up, visit their website.]