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Sundance 2014: U.S. Documentary Competition

Sundance 2014: U.S. Documentary Competition

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

Inside: A Story of Music & Memory
/ U.S.A. (Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett) — Five
million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—many of them
alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded
deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are
resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.

All the Beautiful Things / U.S.A. (Director: John Harkrider)
— John and Barron are lifelong friends whose friendship is tested when Barron’s
girlfriend says Barron put a knife to her throat and raped her. Not knowing she
has lied, John tells her to go to the police. Years later, John and Barron meet
in a bar to resolve the betrayal. 

CAPTIVATED The Trials of
Pamela Smart
/ U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director:
Jeremiah Zagar) — In an extraordinary and tragic American story, a small town
murder becomes one of the highest profile cases of all time. From its historic
role as the first televised trial to the many books and movies made about it,
the film looks at the media’s enduring impact on the case. 

The Case Against 8 / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Cotner,
Ryan White) — A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s
ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely
team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme

Cesar’s Last Fast / U.S.A. (Directors: Richard Ray
Perez, Lorena Parlee) — Inspired by Catholic social teaching, Cesar Chavez
risked his life fighting for America’s poorest workers. The film illuminates
the intensity of one man’s devotion and personal sacrifice, the birth of an
economic justice movement, and tells an untold chapter in the story of civil
rights in America.

Dinosaur 13 / U.S.A. (Director: Todd Miller) —
The true tale behind one of the greatest discoveries in history. DAY ONE

E-TEAM / U.S.A. (Directors: Katy Chevigny,
Ross Kauffman) — E-TEAM
is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human
rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic
work in the field.

Fed Up / U.S.A. (Director: Stephanie
Soechtig) — Fed Up

blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss,
revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S.
government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the
largest health epidemics in history.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The
Story of Aaron
Swartz / U.S.A. (Director: Brian
Knappenberger) — Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz
achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His
passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the
taking of his own life at the age of 26. 

Ivory Tower / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Rossi) —
As tuition spirals upward and student debt passes a trillion dollars, students
and parents ask, “Is college worth it?” From the halls of Harvard to
public and private colleges in financial crisis to education startups in
Silicon Valley, an urgent portrait emerges of a great American institution at
the breaking point.

Marmato / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Grieco) —
Colombia is the center of a new global gold rush, and Marmato, a historic
mining town, is the new frontier. Filmed over the course of nearly six years, Marmato
chronicles how townspeople confront
a Canadian mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their

No No: A Dockumentary / U.S.A. (Director: Jeffrey Radice)
— Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling
drug abusers. Dock’s soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters
honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates,
friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of
the spotlight. 

The Overnighters / U.S.A. (Director: Jesse Moss) —
Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North
Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor’s decision to help them has extraordinary and
unexpected consequences.

Private Violence / U.S.A. (Director: Cynthia Hill) —
One in four women experience violence in their homes. Have you ever asked, “Why
doesn’t she just leave?” Private Violence
shatters the brutality of our logic and intimately
reveals the stories of two women: Deanna Walters, who transforms from victim to
survivor, and Kit Gruelle, who advocates for justice.

Rich Hill / U.S.A. (Directors: Andrew Droz
Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) — In a rural, American town, kids face
heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and
dream of a future of possibility.

Watchers of the Sky / U.S.A. (Director: Edet Belzberg)
— Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from
Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.

2014 Competition Lineup:

U.S Dramatic Competition

U.S. Documentary Competition

World Dramatic Competition

World Documentary Competition


2014 Out of Competition:


Documentary Premieres

New Frontier Films

Park City at Midnight


Sundance Kids

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