watching movies of course. More than that, like John Cooper said, he just didn’t shut up when he was in the room; he was opinionated and spoke his
opinions. He also always liked international cinema as he was born in Ireland and grew up in The Netherlands, Belgium and London where his father worked
for international companies. When he was 12 he came to the U.S.
international was always of great interest. The same is true for myself, although out of the 118 feature films selected out of 4,105 feature length
submissions, many of the U.S. films look great to me as well. For instance, I am so happy that Matt Sobel’s “
Take Me To The River
” which won the prize at US in Progress this past November in Wroclaw, Poland at The American Film Festival is in the NEXT section.
This year on Day One, January 22, 2015, the Festival will feature
one of each type of film shown at the Festival: one shorts program, a
U.S. documentary, a
U.S. dramatic, an international documentary and an international
dramatic which will be the first ever Lithuanian film in Competition, a
lesbian love story
that is stylish and smartly directed by Alanté Kavaïté with two
fantastic actors, Julija Steponaitytė and Aistė Diržiūtė. Actually ” The Summer of Sangaile” is a coproduction
of Lithuania, France, and Holland . I think Alanté lives in France.
I know the Chileans love Sundance. Last year Alejandro Fernández Almendras
said in our interview about “To Kill a Man” that Sundance is very important for Chile. I am also a longtime fan of Sebastian Silva since “The Maid”. Two
years ago he had two films, “Crystal Fairy” and “Magic, Magic” in Sundance, so why is this Chilean film not in World Competition but in NEXT?
I’m glad Alejandro said that. Yes we like Chile too. They make many good films. But “Nasty Baby” by Sebastian Silva is a U.S. film, about people
living in Brooklyn.
He lives in U.S. and has spent a lot of time here. He knows
Brooklyn and yet his curiosity and his view of it is that of an
outsider. He knows these people
because he watches and listens so well. “
“Bridesmaids” star and co-writer Kristen Wiig stars. A short promo of “Nasty Baby” was
shown to buyers while it was in post-production in Cannes and Toronto.
production company of Juan de Dios Larrain and Pablo Larrain, Fabula,
produced “No” as well as Sebastian’s later films. Papi Boye and Violaine Pichon’s
production and international sales agent Versatile
out of France along with the film’s international sales agent Funny
Balloons — also based in France – helped finance this U.S. Production.
World Cinema is now 10 years old. Overall, the Competition sections
have evolved over the years. We have a sense of emerging directors here.
We have come
directors or highly anticipated second or third features. Of all the
Sundance has the strongest program of emerging talent. Watch these
filmmakers over the next years. Like “Homesick” by Anna Sewitsky. Her previous film “Happy, Happy”
at Sundance in 2011 and took the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema.
“Happy, Happy” also became the Norwegian Official entry for the Academy
TrustNordisk sold “Happy, Happy” to more than 50 countries, so they must be poised to sell this one as well.
But not all the second and third films are from filmmakers whose first films were at Sundance, although Canada’s “ Chorus” director Francois Delisle showed “The Meteor”
at Sundance two years ago.
by director and screenwriter, Gerard Barrett, “Pilgrim Hill” won
the Galway Film Festival and was very sought after and was signed with a U.S. agent then. “Sangaile” is also a second feature.
immigrant story directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby whose film “Wild” is now playing .
I see from IMDbPro that Hanway has already sold
Middle Eastern rights to Front Row Entertainment who must have pre-bought “Brooklyn” in Cannes or Toronto.
Of the 12 films in World Cinema the less expected films come from Turkey, “Ivy” by the talented director Tolga Karacelik. This is his second film. His first was
“Toll Booth” which Global Initiative distributed in the U.S. The DP on this was Nuri Bilge Ceylan (“Winter’s Sleep”)’s DP on “Winter’s Sleep”, Gökhan Tiryaki. It is about guys stuck on a freighter whose company
goes bankrupt. Power dynamics play out.
Have there been Oscar nominated films in Sundance (Aside from “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”)?
“To Kill a Man” is
Chile’s submission, “Difret” which won the
Audience Award is Ethiopia’s submission this year and “Liar’s Dice”
from India was in World Competition last
year. It is a very artful film. We knew it would do well with the
critics, but it did extremely well with the audience too. A couple of
films in Spotlight
will probably be nominated next year. Watch for them.
: We haven’t even discussed the World documentaries.
: Are there any that stand out for you?
Yes, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism”, from U.K., Romania
and Germany. Chuck Norris?
How interesting it is that something like Chuck Norris means
something very different to others. It is a sign of cultural differences
between us. Chuck
Norris shows how independent films built a community of counter
culture against an authoritarian government.
I also notice that there are six docs from the U.K. Out of 12 films.
Yes we noticed and discussed that. U.K. really supports documentary filmmaking. Great work is coming out of the U.K. And many of the films are about
different countries, so it doesn’t fit so simply into a U.K. pigeon hole.
: Yes I see “Chuck Norris” is about Romania, “Dreamcatcher” is about teenage prostitution, “How to Change the World” is about Greenpeace, “Listen to Me
Marlon” is about a famous U.S. actor, “The Russian Woodpecker” is about a Ukrainian survivor of Chernobyl.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
/ U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Phang, Screenwriters: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang) — In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic
hardship, Gwen and her daughter, Jules, do all they can to hold on to their joy, despite the instability surfacing in their world. Cast: Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Bryan Buckley, Screenwriters: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch) — In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the
bronze medal for the women’s gymnastics team. Today, she’s still living in her small hometown, washed-up and embittered. Stuck in the past, Hope must
reassess her life when a promising young gymnast threatens her local celebrity status.Cast: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Cecily Strong. DAY ONE FILM
The D Train
/ U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel) — With his 20th reunion looming, Dan can’t shake his high school insecurities. In a
misguided mission to prove he’s changed, Dan rekindles a friendship with the popular guy from his class and is left scrambling to protect more than just
his reputation when a wild night takes an unexpected turn. Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, Kyle Bornheimer.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marielle Heller) — Minnie Goetze is a 15-year-old aspiring comic-book artist, coming of age in the haze of the 1970s
in San Francisco. Insatiably curious about the world around her, Minnie is a pretty typical teenage girl. Oh, except that she’s sleeping with her mother’s
boyfriend. Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig.
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Rick Famuyiwa) — Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college
applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from
being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself. Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky.
I Smile Back
/ U.S.A. (Director: Adam Salky, Screenwriters: Amy Koppelman, Paige Dylan) — All is not right in suburbia. Laney Brooks, a wife and mother on the edge, has
stopped taking her meds, substituting recreational drugs and the wrong men. With the destruction of her family looming, Laney makes a last, desperate
attempt at redemption. Cast: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski, Mia Barron, Terry Kinney, Chris Sarandon.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
/ U.S.A. (Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Screenwriter: Jesse Andrews) — Greg is coasting through senior year of high school as anonymously as possible,
avoiding social interactions like the plague while secretly making spirited, bizarre films with Earl, his only friend. But both his anonymity and
friendship threaten to unravel when his mother forces him to befriend a classmate with leukemia. Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon.
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Patrick Brice) — Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them
to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on. Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godrèche.
People, Places, Things
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: James C. Strouse) — Will Henry is a newly single graphic novelist balancing being a parent to his young twin daughters
and teaching a classroom full of college students, all the while trying to navigate the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left
him. Cast: Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Gia Gadsby, Aundrea Gadsby.
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) — Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client. Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooklyn Decker.
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chloé Zhao) — This complex portrait of modern-day life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation explores the bond between
a brother and his younger sister, who find themselves on separate paths to rediscovering the meaning of home. Cast: John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Irene Bedard, Taysha Fuller, Travis Lone Hill, Eléonore Hendricks.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
/ U.S.A. (Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Screenwriter: Tim Talbott) — This film is based on the actual events that took place in 1971 when Stanford
professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo created what became one of the most shocking and famous social experiments of all time. Cast: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby.
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nikole Beckwith) — A young woman is returned home to her biological parents after living with her abductor for 17
years. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cynthia Nixon, Jason Isaacs, David Warshofsky.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Kris Swanberg, Screenwriters: Kris Swanberg, Megan Mercier) — When Samantha Abbott begins her final semester teaching science at a
Chicago high school, she faces some unexpected news: she’s pregnant. Soon after, Samantha learns that one of her favorite students, Jasmine, has landed in
a similar situation. Unexpected follows the two women as they embark on an unlikely friendship. Cast: Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean, Elizabeth McGovern.
/ U.S.A., Canada (Director and screenwriter: Robert Eggers) — New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five
children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond
their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood. Cast: Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger.
Z for Zachariah
/ U.S.A. (Director: Craig Zobel, Screenwriter: Nissar Modi) — In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets
a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s
affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Marc Silver) — On November 23, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael David
Dunn. 3½ MINUTES explores the aftermath of Jordan’s tragic death, the latent and often unseen effects of racism, and the contradictions of the
American criminal justice system.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Junge) — An unprecedented, candid portrait of American icon Robert “Evel” Knievel and his legacy.
Best of Enemies
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon) — Best of Enemies is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive 1968 televised debates
between the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and their rancorous disagreements about politics, God, and sex.
Call Me Lucky
/ U.S.A. (Director: Bobcat Goldthwait) — Barry Crimmins was a volatile but brilliant bar comic who became an honored peace activist and influential
political satirist. Famous comedians and others build a picture of a man who underwent an incredible transformation.
/ U.S.A., Mexico (Director: Matthew Heineman) — In this classic Western set in the 21st century, vigilantes on both sides of the border fight the vicious
Mexican drug cartels. With unprecedented access, this character-driven film provokes deep questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether
citizens should fight violence with violence.
City of Gold
/ U.S.A. (Director: Laura Gabbert) — Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold casts his light upon a vibrant and growing cultural movement in which he
plays the dual roles of high-low priest and culinary geographer of his beloved Los Angeles.
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Bryan Carberry, Clay Tweel) — Recovering addict and amputee John Wood finds himself in a stranger-than-fiction battle to reclaim his
mummified leg from Southern entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill he bought at an auction and believes it to therefore be his rightful
Hot Girls Wanted
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus) — Hot Girls Wanted is a first-ever look at the realities inside the world of the amateur porn
industry and the steady stream of 18- and 19-year-old girls entering into it.
How to Dance in Ohio
/ U.S.A. (Director: Alexandra Shiva) — In Columbus, Ohio, a group of teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum prepare for an iconic American rite
of passage — a spring formal. They spend 12 weeks practicing their social skills at a local nightclub in preparation for the dance.
Larry Kramer in Love and Anger
/ U.S.A. (Director: Jean Carlomusto) — Author, activist, and playwright Larry Kramer is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary
gay America, a political firebrand who gave voice to the outrage and grief that inspired gay men and lesbians to fight for their lives. At 78, this
complicated man still commands our attention.
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi) — Three elite mountain climbers sacrifice everything but their friendship as they struggle through
heartbreaking loss and nature’s harshest elements to attempt the never-before-completed Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most coveted first ascent in the
dangerous game of Himalayan big wall climbing.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Louie Psihoyos) — Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a unique team to show the world never-before-seen
images that expose issues surrounding endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets or exploring humans’ effect on
the environment, Racing Extinction will change the way you see the world.
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe) — (T)ERROR is the first film to document on camera a covert counterterrorism sting as
it unfolds. Through the perspective of *******, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned FBI informant, viewers are given an unprecedented glimpse of the
government’s counterterrorism tactics, and the murky justifications behind them.
Welcome to Leith
/ U.S.A. (Directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker) — A white supremacist attempts to take over a small town in North Dakota.
/ U.S.A., Mexico (Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross) — For generations, all that distinguished Eagle Pass, Texas, from Piedras Negras, Mexico, was the Rio
Grande. But when darkness descends upon these harmonious border towns, a cowboy and lawman face a new reality that threatens their way of life. Western portrays timeless American figures in the grip of unforgiving change.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Moselle) — Six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a Manhattan housing project.
All they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously). Yet as adolescence looms, they dream of escape,
ever more urgently, into the beckoning world.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.
/ Italy (Director: Lamberto Sanfelice, Screenwriters: Lamberto Sanfelice, Elisa Amoruso) — Jenny, 17, dreams of becoming a synchronized swimmer. Family
events turn her life upside down and she is forced move to a remote area to look after her ill father and younger brother. It won’t be long before Jenny
starts pursuing her dreams again. Cast: Sara Serraiocco, Ivan Franek, Giorgio Colangeli, Anatol Sassi, Piera Degli Esposti, Andrea Vergoni. World Premiere
/ Canada (Director and screenwriter: François Delisle) — A separated couple meet again after 10 years when the body of their missing son is found. Amid the
guilt of losing a loved one, they hesitantly move toward affirmation of life, acceptance of death, and even the possibility of reconciliation. Cast: Sébastien Ricard, Fanny Mallette, Pierre Curzi, Genevieve Bujold. World Premiere
/ Ireland (Director and screenwriter: Gerard Barrett) — In a desperate attempt to reunite his broken family, a young taxi driver becomes entangled in the
criminal underworld. Cast: Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, Michael Smiley. International Premiere
/ Norway (Director: Anne Sewitsky, Screenwriters: Ragnhild Tronvoll, Anne Sewitsky) — When Charlotte, 27, meets her brother Henrik, 35, for the first time,
two people who don’t know what a normal family is begin an encounter without boundaries. How does sibling love manifest itself if you have never
experienced it before?Cast: Ine Marie Wilmann, Simon J. Berger, Anneke von der Lippe, Silje Storstein, Oddgeir Thune, Kari Onstad. World Premiere. ISA: TrustNordisk
/ Turkey (Director and screenwriter: Tolga Karaçelik) — Sarmasik is sailing to Egypt when the ship’s owner goes bankrupt. The crew learns there is a lien
on the ship, and key crew members must stay on board. Ivy is the story of these six men trapped on the ship for days. Cast: Nadir Sarıbacak, Özgür Emre Yıldırım, Hakan Karsak, Kadir Çermik, Osman Alkaş, Seyithan Özdemiroğlu. World Premiere
/ Australia (Director: Ariel Kleiman, Screenwriters: Ariel Kleiman, Sarah Cyngler) — Alexander is like any other kid: playful, curious and naive. He is
also a trained assassin. Raised in a hidden paradise, Alexander has grown up seeing the world filtered through his father, Gregori. As Alexander begins to
think for himself, creeping fears take shape, and Gregori’s idyllic world unravels. Cast: Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara. World Premiere
/ Israel (Director and screenwriter: Tali Shalom Ezer) — While her mother is away from home, 12-year-old Adar’s role-playing games with her stepfather move
into dangerous territory. Seeking an escape, Adar finds Alan, an ethereal boy that accompanies her on a dark journey between reality and fantasy. Cast: Keren Mor, Shira Haas, Ori Pfeffer, Adar Zohar Hanetz. International Premiere
The Second Mother
/ Brazil (Director and screenwriter: Anna Muylaert) — Having left her daughter, Jessica, to be raised by relatives in the north of Brazil, Val works as a
loving nanny in São Paulo. When Jessica arrives for a visit 13 years later, she confronts her mother’s slave-like attitude and everyone in the house is
affected by her unexpected behavior. Cast: Regina Casé, Michel Joelsas, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles, Lourenço Mutarelli. World Premiere
/ New Zealand (Director: John Maclean, Screenwriters: John Maclean, Michael Lesslie) — Set at the end of the nineteenth century, 16-year-old Jay Cavendish
journeys across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. He is joined by Silas, a mysterious traveler, and hotly pursued by an outlaw along
the way. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rory McCann, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooke Williams, Caren Pistorius. World Premiere
/ Australia, Ireland (Director: Kim Farrant, Screenwriters: Fiona Seres, Michael Kinirons) — When Catherine and Matthew Parker’s two teenage kids disappear
into the remote Australian desert, the couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children’s fate. Cast: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown. World Premiere
The Summer of Sangaile
/ Lithuania, France, Holland (Director and screenwriter: Alanté Kavaïté) — Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her
age at the summer aeronautical show, nearby her parents’ lakeside villa. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process
finds in her teenage love, the only person that truly encourages her to fly. Cast: Julija Steponaitytė, Aistė Diržiūtė. World Premiere. ISA: Films Distribution.
/ India (Director and screenwriter: Prashant Nair) — When a young village boy discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone
missing, he begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him. Cast: Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang, Prateik Babbar. World Premiere
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary international filmmakers working today.
The Amina Profile
/ Canada (Director: Sophie Deraspe) — During the Arab revolution, a love story between two women — a Canadian and a Syrian American — turns into an
international sociopolitical thriller spotlighting media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet. World Premiere
/ Israel, Germany (Director: Mor Loushy) — One week after the 1967 Six-Day War, renowned author Amos Oz and editor Avraham Shapira recorded intimate
conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing only a fragment of the conversations to be
published. Censored Voices reveals these recordings for the first time. World Premiere
The Chinese Mayor
/ China (Director: Hao Zhou) — Mayor Geng Yanbo is determined to transform the coal-mining center of Datong, in China’s Shanxi province, into a tourism
haven showcasing clean energy. In order to achieve that, however, he has to relocate 500,000 residences to make way for the restoration of the ancient
city. World Premiere
Chuck Norris vs Communism
/ United Kingdom, Romania, Germany (Director: Ilinca Calugareanu) — In 1980s Romania, thousands of Western films smashed through the Iron Curtain, opening
a window to the free world for those who dared to look. A black market VHS racketeer and courageous female translator brought the magic of film to the
masses and sowed the seeds of a revolution. World Premiere. Producers Rep: UTA
/ United Kingdom (Director: Louise Osmond) — Dark Horse is the inspirational true story of a group of friends from a workingman’s club who decide
to take on the elite “sport of kings” and breed themselves a racehorse. World Premiere
/ United Kingdom (Director: Kim Longinotto) — Dreamcatcher takes us into a hidden world seen through the eyes of one of its survivors, Brenda
Myers-Powell. A former teenage prostitute, Brenda defied the odds to become a powerful advocate for change in her community. With warmth and humor, Brenda
gives hope to those who have none. World Premiere
How to Change the World
/ United Kingdom, Canada (Director: Jerry Rothwell) — In 1971, a group of friends sails into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world’s
imagination. Using rare, archival footage that brings their extraordinary world to life, How to Change the World is the story of the pioneers who
founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM
Listen to Me Marlon
/ United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stevan Riley, Co-writer: Peter Ettedgui) — With exclusive access to previously unheard audio archives, this is
the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career and extraordinary life away from the stage and screen, the film fully
explores the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely in Marlon’s own voice. World Premiere
/ Sweden, Denmark (Directors: Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors) — Pervert Park follows the everyday lives of sex offenders in a Florida trailer park
as they struggle to reintegrate into society, and try to understand who they are and how to break the cycle of sex crimes being committed. International Premiere
The Russian Woodpecker
/ United Kingdom (Director: Chad Gracia) — A Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his
life by revealing it, amid growing clouds of revolution and war. World Premiere
/ U.S.A., Senegal (Directors: Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman) — In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming
an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. This true story celebrates how the “father of African cinema,” against enormous odds,
fought a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give Africans a voice. World Premiere
/ Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Norway (Director: Michael Madsen) — “This film documents an event that has never taken place…” With unprecedented
access to the United Nations’ Office for Outer Space Affairs, leading space scientists and space agencies, The Visit explores humans’ first
encounter with alien intelligent life and thereby humanity itself. “Our scenario begins with the arrival. Your arrival.” World Premiere
Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology paired with unfettered
creativity promises that the films in this section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. Presented by Adobe.
Bob and the Trees
/ U.S.A., France (Director: Diego Ongaro, Screenwriters: Diego Ongaro, Courtney Maum, Sasha Statman-Weil) — Bob, a 50-year-old logger in rural
Massachusetts with a soft spot for golf and gangsta rap, is struggling to make ends meet in a changed economy. When his beloved cow is wounded and a job
goes awry, Bob begins to heed the instincts of his ever-darkening self. Cast: Bob Tarasuk, Matt Gallagher, Polly MacIntyre, Winthrop Barrett, Nathaniel Gregory. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charles Poekel) — A heartbroken Christmas tree salesman returns to New York, hoping to put the past year behind him.
He spends the season living in a trailer and working the night shift, until a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from
self-destruction. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Hannah Gross, Jason Shelton, Oona Roche. North American Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Larnell) — Twenty-two-year-old Louis doesn’t know whether his childhood friendship with Jack will last beyond
today. Cast: George Sample III, Zurich Buckner, Brian Kowalski. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker) — En route to meeting with his estranged daughter, in an
attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave Desert. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek. World Premiere
/ U.S.A., Argentina (Directors and screenwriters: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia) — Two women, each named Helen, find their lives spinning out of control
after a meteor allegedly explodes over their city of Troy, New York. Cast: Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble, Roger Robinson. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Josh Mond) — A young New Yorker struggles to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of
momentous family challenges. Cast: Chris Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh, David Call. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sebastian Silva) — A gay couple try to have a baby with the help of their best friend, Polly. The trio navigates the
idea of creating life while confronted by unexpected harassment from a neighborhood man called The Bishop. As their clashes grow increasingly aggressive,
odds are someone is getting hurt.
Cast: Sebastian Silva, Tunde Adebimpe, Kristin Wiig, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Denis O’Hare. World Premiere
The Strongest Man
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kenny Riches) — An anxiety-ridden Cuban man who fancies himself the strongest man in the world attempts to recover
his most prized possession, a stolen bicycle. On his quest, he finds and loses much more. Cast: Robert Lorie, Paul Chamberlain, Ashly Burch, Patrick Fugit, Lisa Banes. World Premiere
Take Me To The River
” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matt Sobel) — A naive California teen plans to remain above the fray at his Nebraskan family reunion, but a
strange encounter places him at the center of a long-buried family secret.Cast: Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff, Ursula Parker, Azura Skye. World Premiere. Producer rep: Cinetic Media
/ U.S.A. (Director: Sean Baker, Screenwriters: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch) — A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the
pimp who broke her heart.
Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, Alla Tumanyan, James Ransone. World Premiere
Regardless of where these films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.
6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia
/ United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, DH Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their
experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a letter to Lawrence — or
“Bert” — a detail that’s typical of the film’s inviting sense of conversational intimacy.International Premiere
/ United Kingdom (Director: Yann Demange, Screenwriter: Gregory Burke) — ‘71 takes place over a single night in the life of a young
British soldier accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, he must
survive the night alone and find his way to safety. Cast: Jack O’Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, Martin McCann.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Ramin Bahrani, Screenwriters: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi) — A father struggles to get back the home that his
family was evicted from by working for the greedy real-estate broker who’s the source of his frustration. Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Cullen Moss, J.D. Evermore.
/ Spain, France, Canada (Director and screenwriter: Claudia Llosa) — Aloft tells the story of a struggling mother, Nana, and her evolution to
becoming a renowned healer. When a young artist tracks down Nana’s son 20 years after she abandoned him, she sets in motion an encounter
between the two that will bring the meaning of their lives into question. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, Mélanie Laurent, William Shimell. North American Premiere
/ France (Director: Mia Hansen-Løve, Screenwriters: Mia Hansen-Løve, Sven Hansen-Løve) — Mia Hansen-Løve’s electronic-dance-music epic follows
the rise and fall of a DJ (based on her brother, Sven, a contemporary of Daft Punk) who gets into the rave scene in 1994 and spends the next 20
years navigating the French club scene. Cast: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Greta Gerwig, Brady Corbet, Arsinee Khanjian, Vincent Macaigne.
/ France (Director and screenwriter: Céline Sciamma) — Oppressed by her family, dead-end school prospects, and the boys law in the
neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of free-spirited girls. She changes her name and dress, and quits school to be
accepted in the gang, hoping to find a way to freedom. Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré, Idrissa Diabaté, Simina Soumaré.
/ Ukraine (Director and screenwriter: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) — Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds
purely through sign language without the need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic
experience that engages the audience on a new level. Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander Dsiadevich.
/ Hungary (Director: Kornél Mundruczó, Screenwriters: Kata Wéber, Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi) — When young Lili is forced to give up
her beloved dog, Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back toward
each other. Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sandor Zsótér, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, László Gálffi, Lili Horváth. U.S. Premiere
/ Argentina, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Damián Szifrón) — Inequality, injustice, and the demands of the world cause stress and
depression for many people. Some of them, however, explode. This is a movie about those people. Vulnerable in the face of an unpredictable
reality, the characters of Wild Tales cross the thin line dividing civilization and barbarism. Cast: Ricardo Darín, Julieta Zyberberg, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Darío Grandinetti, Erica Rivas, Oscar Martínez.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) — Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car. Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim. World Premiere
/ Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) — When a London-based conservationist is sent to
Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of
terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley. World Premiere
/ Canada (Director: Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) — Teenage Dora Vogel must survive a Halloween night from hell when
malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door. Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) — After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish
visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.
/ U.S.A. (Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo) — Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man’s
life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director: Rodney Ascher) — A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people.
They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware
of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds. World Premiere
/ U.S.A. (Director: J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) — A gritty psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a
basement of a sexual predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to
turn the tables on her captor. Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere
/ Canada, New Zealand (Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell, Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard,
Yoann-Karl Whissell) — In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl. They become friends until Zeus, the
sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl. Cast: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Edwin Wright. World Premiere
NEW FRONTIER FILMS
The Forbidden Room
/ Canada (Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk) — A submarine crew, a feared pack of
forest bandits, a famous surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for as they wend their way toward
progressive ideas on life and love.
Cast: Geraldine Chaplin, Caroline Dhavernas, Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Karine Vanasse. World Premiere
/ Colombia, Mexico (Director: Carlos Moreno, Screenwriters: Alberto Ferreras, Alonso Torres, Carlos Moreno) — Driven by the music and dancing
she finds along the way, a teenager leaves home willing to try anything her provocative and tolerant city has to offer, even if she burns out
in the process. Inspired by the best-selling novel “Que viva la música” by Andres Caicedo. Cast: Paulina Davila, Alejandra Avila, Luis Arrieta, Juan Pablo Barragan, Nelson Camayo, Christian Tappan. World Premiere
The Royal Road
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson) — This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish
colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’sVertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes. Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. World Premiere
Sam Klemke’s Time Machine
/ Australia (Director: Matthew Bate) — Sam Klemke has filmed and narrated 50 years of his life, creating a strange and intimate portrait of
what it means to be human. World Premiere
Station to Station
/ U.S.A. (Director: Doug Aitken) — Station to Station is composed of 60 individual one-minute films featuring different artists,
musicians, places, and perspectives. This revolutionary feature-length film reveals a larger narrative about modern creativity. World Premiere
Things of the Aimless Wanderer
/ Rwanda, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Kivu Ruhorahoza) — A white man meets a black girl, then she disappears. The white man
tries to understand what happened to her while also trying to finish a travelogue. Things of the Aimless Wanderer is a film about the
sensitive topic of relations between “locals” and Westerners, about paranoia, mistrust, and misunderstandings. Cast: Justin Mullikin, Grace Nikuze, Ramadhan Bizimana, Eliane Umuhire, Wesley Ruzibiza, Matt Ray Brown. World Premiere
NEW FRONTIER INSTALLATIONS
1979 Revolution Game
Artists: Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari
1979 Revolution Game
presents an innovative approach to non-fiction storytelling. Designed to engage players with an immersive “on the ground” experience of the
Iranian Revolution, the game integrates an emotionally impactful narrative with interactive moral choices and intuitive touchscreen gameplay
while remaining true to history.
Artist: Oscar Raby
This immersive documentary uses virtual reality technology to put the user in the footsteps of Director Oscar Raby’s father, who in 1973 was a
22-year-old army officer stationed in the north of Chile, on the day when the Caravan of Death came to his regiment.
Artist: Max Rheiner
Flying is one of the oldest dreams of humankind. Birdly is an experiment to capture this dream, to simulate the experience of being a bird from
a first-person perspective. This embodiment is conducted through a full-body virtual reality setup.
Artist: François Quévillon
This interactive installation uses the audience’s body motions and positions to explore 3-D reconstructions of urban and natural spaces that
are transformed according to live environmental data, including meteorological and astronomical phenomena.
Evolution of Verse
Artist: Chris Milk
Chris Milk, working with visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain and virtual reality production company VRSE.works, has created this
photo-realistic CGI-rendered 3-D virtual reality film that takes the viewer on a journey from beginning to new beginning.
Artist: Ian Hunter
A dark energy experiment leads to a devastating attack by monstrous Kaiju, and you are standing at ground zero — all in 360-degree,
stereoscopic 3-D cinematic virtual reality. You will “be there” as the beasts lay waste to a crumbling city and humanity makes its last stand. Cast: Susie Abromeit, Bill Lippincott, Daniel Martin, Brian Dodge, Vincient Chiantelli.
is certainly not paradisiacal if you look at it through our eyes. But neither is it totally devoid of humor, melancholy and absurdity. Perhaps
it is first and foremost life as it is, and then a touch exaggerated in the digital overdrive.
Perspective; Chapter I: The Party
Artists: Rose Troche, Morris May
A young college woman attends a party with the intention of shedding her “shy girl” persona. At the same party, a young man is after a similar
reinvention. They meet, drink, and misinterpreted signals turn into things that cannot be undone. Virtual reality simulators let viewers
experience both characters. Cast: Tabitha Morella, Caleb Thomas, Zachary Zagoria, Anna Grace Barlow.
Artists: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
is a multi-layered narrative experience from acclaimed directing duo the Daniels. The story of two quarreling lovers splits exponentially into
more and more possible worlds as their relationship unravels.Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Zoe Jarman.
Artist: Nonny de la Peña
More than one million children have fled Syria and news reports indicate children are being specifically targeted in the violence. By combining
pioneering virtual reality technologies with audio and video captured during a real event, audiences feel transported to the powerful scene,
becoming witnesses as the intense tragedy unfolds.
The VR works of Felix & Paul
Artists: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël
Felix & Paul’s groundbreaking live-action virtual reality experiences range from independent documentary to fictional work with major
Hollywood studios and stars. These experiences let viewers sit in the room with musicians making music, roam the Mongolian plains with yak
herders, and experience an encounter with the afterlife.
Way to Go
Artist: Vincent Morisset
It is a walk in the woods. It is an astonishing online and virtual reality interactive experience, a restless panorama, a mixture of hand-made
animation, 360-degree video capture, music, dreaming, and code; but mostly it is a walk in the woods, c’mon!
Artist: Danfung Dennis
, a 3-D and 360-degree documentary for the Oculus Rift headset, creates an entirely new digital dimension. From combat training simulations to
research labs at Stanford to indie game developers and hackers, this immersive experience highlights the future of virtual reality.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, includingWhiplash, Boyhood, Rich Hill, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station,Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative has showcased
groundbreaking media works by artists and creative technologists including Chris Milk, Doug Aitken, Palmer Luckey, Klip Collective and Nonny de
la Pena. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2015 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting
Sponsors – HP, Acura, SundanceTV and Chase Sapphire Preferred®; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Airbnb, Grey Goose® Vodka, LensCrafters and
Southwest Airlines; Sustaining Sponsors – Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Chobani, LLC, Omnicom, Stella Artois®
and VIZIO. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as
Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film,
theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new
work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to
artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute
has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre,The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join
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