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Sun Valley Film Festival Slate Features ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity,’ ‘I Saw the Light’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sun Valley Film Festival Slate Features 'The Man Who Knew Infinity,' 'I Saw the Light' (EXCLUSIVE)

This year’s lineup also includes several favorites from the festival circuit, such as Trey Edward Shults’ 2015 SXSW prizewinner “Krisha,” Joachim Trier’s Cannes competition entry “Louder Than Bombs,” Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic “Miles Ahead,” and popular Sundance 2016 selection “The Fits.” Sony Pictures Classics’ delayed “I Saw the Light,” starring Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams, will close the festival in advance of its March 25 theatrical release.

READ MORE: “TIFF: In Defense of the Conventional Movie, from ‘Spotlight’ to ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity'”  

In addition to screening more than 60 films in all, SVFF will see the return of the festival’s popular Coffee Talks with industry insiders, including filmmaker Oliver Stone — recipient of the 2016 SVFF Lifetime Vision
Award — as well as a Screenwriters Lab led by Mark Duplass and Nat Faxon. Additional films, including shorts, will be announced at a later date. Read the list of feature selections below.

READ MORE: “Why Sony Pictures Classics Pulled ‘I Saw the Light’ from Awards Season” 

Narrative Fiction


Director/Writer: Julian Branciforte

Producers: Nick Shore, Brendan McHugh, Thomas Kaier, Sam
Harper, Jean-Raphael Ambron

Cast: John Magaro, Christopher McDonald, Dreama Walker, Tom
Lipinski, Talia Balsam, Britt Lower, Phil Burke

A father and son unknowingly sleep with the same woman, then
four years later compete over the paternity of a child either of them could be
the father of. 88 min./U.S.A.


Director: Gavin Hood

Writer: Guy Hibbert

Producers: Ged Doherty, Colin Firth, David Lancaster

Cinematography: Haris Zambarloukos

Cast: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi,
Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen

EYE IN THE SKY stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine
Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation
to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground
intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the
mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as American pilot Steve Watts
(Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone,
triggering an international dispute reaching the highest levels of US and
British government over the moral, political, and personal implications of
modern warfare. 102 min./United Kingdom


Director/Writer: Lorenzo Vigas

Based on a Story by: Guillermo Arriaga

Producers: Guillermo Arriaga, Rodolfo Cova, Michel Franco

Cast: Alfredo Castro, Luis Silva, Jericó Montilla

Armando, a 50 year old man, seeks young men in Caracas and
pays them just for company. One day he meets Elder, a 17 year old boy that is
the leader of a criminal gang, and that meeting changes their lives forever. 93 min./Venezuela, Mexico


Director/Writer: Marc Abraham

Based on the Book, “Hank Williams: The Biography”

Producers: Marc Abraham, Aaron L. Gilbert, Brett Ratner, G.
Marq Roswell

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Krumholtz,
Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones

I Saw the Light tells the story of Hank Williams, the
iconic, influential country singer and songwriter of the 1940’s and early 50’s
whose meteoric rise and fall, including his death at age 29, has become part of
American folklore. Writer-director Marc Abraham has created a compelling,
historically accurate narrative of Hank’s career that examines his tormented
creative genius and the turbulent domestic life that inspired him to write some
of his best-known songs. By literally going back in time, you see Hank as he
was, living his life on his terms, battling his demons and ultimately creating
music for the ages. 123 min./U.S.A.


Director/Writer: Trey Edward Shults

Producers: Justin R. Chan, Wilson Smith, Chase Joliet, Trey
Edward Shults

Cast: Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Bill Wise, Chris
Doubek, Olivia Grace Applegate, Chase Joliet, Trey Edward Shults

Winner of both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the
2015 South-by-Southwest Film Festival, and official selection of Critics’ Week
at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Krisha is the story of a woman’s return to
the family she abandoned years before, set entirely over the course of one
turbulent Thanksgiving. When Krisha shows up at her sister’s Texas home on
Thanksgiving morning, her close and extended family greet her with a mixture of
warmth and wariness. Almost immediately, a palpable unease permeates the air,
one which only grows in force as Krisha gets to work cooking the turkey and
trying to make up for lost time by catching up with her various relatives,
chief among them her nephew, Trey. As Krisha’s attempts at reconciliation
become increasingly rebuffed, tension and suspicion reach their peak, with long-buried
secrets and deep-seated resentments coming to the fore as everyone becomes
immersed in an emotionally charged familial reckoning. 83 min./U.S.A.


Director: Joseph Itaya

Writers: Erik Cardona, Joseph Itaya

Producers: Kim Selby, Scott Bridges

Cast: Justin Kelly, Benjamin Stockham, Cary Elwes, Jason

After getting caught stealing, Andy and his younger brother
Mark are sent to their estranged uncle on a mysterious island. They soon
discover that their eccentric grandfather vanished without a trace decades
earlier, taking with him the secret to a vast fortune. Delving into the
mysteries of the island, the boys find clues to a complex treasure hunt, a hunt
that could lead to unimaginable wealth and heal their broken family – if they
can find it in time. As the adventure unfolds, the boys learn that the bonds of
brotherhood are the most valuable riches of all, and that some family secrets
can’t stay buried forever. 90 min./U.S.A.


Director: Joachim Trier

Writers: Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Producers: Ron Yerxa, Marc Turtletaub, Joshua Astrachan,
Albert Berger, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Thomas Robsahm

Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy
Ryan, David Strathairn, Devon Druid

An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle
Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to
the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and
withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them
under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but
they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so
differently. 109 min./Norway, France, Denmark


Writer/Director: Celia Rowlson-Hall

Producers: Lauren Smitelli, Aaron Schnobrich

Cinematographer: Ian Bloom

Cast: Celia Rowlson-Hall, Andrew Pastides, Amy Seimetz

In this modern-day vision of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage, a
woman crosses the scorched landscape of the American Southwest. Reinvented and
told entirely through movement, the film playfully deconstructs the role of
this woman, who encounters a world full of bold characters that are alternately
terrifying and sublime. MA is a journey into the visceral and the surreal,
interweaving ritual, performance, and the body as sculpture. The absence of
dialogue stirs the senses, and leads us to imagine a new ending to this
familiar journey. The virgin mother gives birth to our savior, but is also
challenged to save herself. 85 min./U.S.A.


Director: Don Cheadle

Writers: Don Cheadle, Steven Baigelman

Producers: Darryl Porter, Vince Wilburn Jr., Daniel Wagner,
Robert Ogden Barnum, Don Cheadle

Cast: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi,
Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Michael Stuhlbarg

Inspired by events in Miles Davis’s life, this is a wildly
entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds-barred portrait of one of
twentieth-century music’s creative geniuses. Holed up in his Manhattan
apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments, sweating for the next
check from his record company, and dodging sycophants and industry executives,
Davis is haunted by memories of old glories, humiliations, and of his years
with Frances Taylor, his great love. 100 min./U.S.A.

Director: Josh Hyde

Writers: Josh Hyde, Travis Irvine

Producers: Claire Connelly, Dan Fischer, PJ Fishwick

Cast: Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Alex Hardaway, Rinska Carrasco,
Kenneth Yoder

Two old college buddies, Joseph and Oliver, reconnect over
drinks, eventually arguing about an unpaid debt.  Joseph demands the money, unsuccessfully, and then locks
Oliver in a closet.   He
convinces his hipster girlfriend and stoner roommate to help extort the money
from Oliver.  The rules are simple
– “No money.  No food.  No bathroom.” 74 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


Director: Anna Rose Holmer

Writers: Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis, Lisa Kjerulff

Producers: Lisa Kjerulff, Anna Rose Holmer

Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor,
Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam, Inayah Rodgers

Eleven-year-old tomboy Toni (a showstopping Royalty
Hightower) is bewitched by the tight-knit dance team she sees practicing in the same Cincinnati
gymnasium where she boxes. Enamored by the power and confidence of the strong
community of girls, Toni spends less and less time boxing with her older
brother, and instead eagerly absorbs the dance routines and masters drills from
a distance, and even pierces her own ears in an effort to fit in. But when a
mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for
acceptance becomes more complicated. Gorgeously shot and with a mesmerizing
score, THE FITS is a transformative experience and a marvelous portrait of
adolescence. 72 min./U.S.A., Italy

Director/Writer: Matthew Brown

Based on the biography by Robert Kanigel

Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Jim Young, Joe Thomas,
Matthew Brown, Sofia Sondervan, Jon Katz

Cast: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise, Stephen Fry,
Toby Jones, Jeremy Northam

Based on the untold story of one of the greatest minds of
his generation, The Man Who Knew Infinity charts the incredible life of
Srinivasa Ramanujan (Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel), whose genius for
mathematics takes him from the slums of India to Cambridge University in the
early 20th-century. Spurred on by his mentor G. H. Hardy (Academy Award winner
Jeremy Irons), Ramanujan overcomes racism and the rigidity of academia to revolutionize
the field with his startlingly original theorems, which he attributes to divine
inspiration. Driven by the engaging rapport between Patel and Irons as two
vastly different men who find common ground in the world of numbers, The Man
Who Knew Infinity is a fascinating look at how an unlikely, cross-cultural
friendship changed the world. 114 min./United Kingdom. US PREMIERE


Director/Writer: Dagur Kári

Producers: Agnes Johansen, Baltasar Kormákur

Cinematography: Rasmus Videbæk

Cast: Gunnar Jónsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Sigurjón

Fúsi is in his forties and yet to find courage to enter the
adult world. He sleepwalks through everyday life, where routine is key. When a
bubbly woman and an 8-year old girl unexpectedly enter his life, he is forced
to take a leap. 94 min./Iceland, Denmark


Director/Writer: Nicolas Steiner

Producers: Helge Albers, Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler

This not-quite-documentary takes place far away and out of
sight, on the margins and off the grid of American society. It tells the
stories of April, Dave, Cindy, Rick, and a man who calls himself ‘the
Godfather.’ From a couple scraping by in the depths of the flood channels
located beneath Sin City, to a man living in a reclaimed military bunker in the
middle of the dusty California desert, and beyond even the stratosphere, to a
place where Mars and Earth have become one and the same place, this motley crew
of individuals have been flung into periling circumstances on this
rollercoaster ride called life. Through the hustle, pain, and laughter, we are
whisked away to an unfamiliar world whose inhabitants are revealed to be souls
not unlike our very own. 110 min./U.S.A.


Director: Bernard MacMahon

Produced by: T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford, Jack White

Created by: Allison McGourty, Bernard MacMahon, Duke Erikson

Producers: Adam Block, Duke Erikson, Bill Holderman, Allison
McGourty, Bernard MacMahon

Narrator: Robert Redford

Two British filmmakers, Bernard MacMahon and Allison
McGourty, and American Producer Duke Erikson have pieced together this
extraordinary story set in the late 1920’s when record companies toured America
with a recording machine and for the first time captured the raw expression of
an emerging culture. It democratized music and gave a voice to the poorest in
the nation. The filmmakers follow the machine’s trail across the United States
to rediscover the families whose music was recorded, music that would lead to
the development of blues, country, gospel, Hawaiian, Cajun and folk music –
without which there would be no rock, pop, R&B or hip hop today. Part of a
larger body of work, comprising four films under the banner American Epic the
remarkable lives of these seminal musicians are revealed through previously
unseen film footage, unpublished photographs, and exclusive interviews with
some of the last living witnesses to that era, when the musical strands of a
diverse nation first emerged, sparking a cultural revolution whose
reverberations are felt to this day.

In American Epic: Out Of The Many The One, the filmmakers
travel deep into the Hopi nation and its music, explore the origins of Hawaiian
slack-key guitar, discover the hybrid of cultures in Tejano music, and head
through bayou country and it Cajun music, ending in Avalon, the delta blues and
its innovator, Mississippi John Hurt. 87 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


Directors: Annie Walker, Travis Knox

Producers: Annie Walker, Travis Knox

Each May hundreds of thousands of race fans flock to The
Indianapolis Motor Speedway to participate in the world’s largest single day
sporting event.  Over the past
century The Indianapolis 500 has become a month long affair culminating in a
grueling race where winners are made, hearts are broken and legends are
born.  Parnelli Jones has wins in
NASCAR, Baja 1000, Trans Am and countless more.  But like all racers, it’s his victories in Indianapolis that
have defined his career.  Join
Parnelli as he takes us for an in depth, behind the scenes look, at “The
Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. 46 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


Director: Ted Balaker

Producers: Courtney Balaker, Ted Balaker

Executive Producers: Phil Harvey, AC Bushnell, Greg Lukianoff

Narrated by: Christina Pazsitzky

Featuring: Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Jim Norton,
Lisa Lampanelli, Adam Corolla, Heather McDonald, Karith Foster, Jon Ronson,
Jonathan Rauch

In the age of social media, outrage has become commonplace.
While individuals have always found something to be offended by, their ability
to organize a groundswell of opposition to – and public censure of – their
offender has never been more powerful. Can We Take A Joke? offers a
thought-provoking and wry exploration of outrage culture through the lens of
stand-up comedy, with notables like Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, and
Adam Carolla detailing its stifling impact on free speech and the exchange of
ideas. 75 min./U.S.A.


Executive Producers: Emre Izat, Geoff Luck

Producer/Writer: Tom Barton-Humphreys

Producer: Bob Poole

Narrator: Chris Jackson

Imagine a baby elephant’s view of the herd: a forest of
giant legs and trunks, constant elephant chatter, and the unending search for
food and water. This intimate view provides a unique opportunity to experience
the life of a herd through the stories of individuals: characters with
backstories, personalities, quirks and desires. Working on the ground with
leading elephant behavior experts and the best natural history filmmakers,
Little Giant takes you into the thick of the action at the herd’s big social
events — the knock-down fights, emotional reunions and joyful births. 48 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


Executive Producer: David M. Frank

Writer: Jen Ciraldo

Narrator: Mike Secher

Never doubt the power of friendship. Sometimes man’s best
friend is not who you think it is, and sometimes predator and prey bond in the
most unexpected ways. Rats cuddling cats, dogs adopting goats, horses leading
the blind and many more.  With a
special introduction from 2014 National Geographic Expedition Granted winner
Charlie Engelman and Filipe DeAndrade, 2015 winner of Nat Geo WILD’s second
annual Wild to Inspire short film competition, we search out the most unique,
most surprising and most loving in Nat Geo WILD’s popular Unlikely Animal
Friends. 45 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


  The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, will take viewers on a
trip around the world to explore different cultures and religions on the
ultimate quest to uncover the meaning of life, God and all the questions in
between.    As a whole,
The Story of God with Morgan Freeman seeks to understand how religion has
evolved throughout the course of civilization, and in turn, how religion has
shaped the evolution of society. 
This is a quest for God:  to
shed light on the questions that have puzzled, terrified and inspired mankind,
not to mention Freeman himself.

Each episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman is centered
on a different big question about the divine: Creation, Who is God?, Evil,
Miracles, End of Days, Resurrection.

To explore each of these topics, host and narrator Freeman
went on the ground to some of humanity’s greatest religious sites, including Jerusalem’s
Wailing Wall, India’s Bodhi Tree, Mayan temples in Guatemala and the pyramids
of Egypt. 45 min./U.S.A. WORLD PREMIERE


Director: Jason Zeldes

Producer: Michael Klein

Featuring: Donté Clark, D’neise Robinson, Molly Raynor, DeAndre

A fatal turf war between neighborhoods haunts the city of
Richmond, CA. Donté Clark transcends the violence in his hometown by writing
poetry about his experiences. 
Using his voice to inspire those around him, he and the like-minded
youth of the city mount an urban adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet,
with the hope of starting a real dialogue about violence in the city. Will
Richmond force Donté to compromise his idealistic ambitions? Or will Donté end
Richmond’s cycle of trauma? 93 min./U.S.A.


Directors: Holly Morris, Anne Bogart

Producers: Holly Morris, Anne Bogart

In the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor
No. 4, a defiant community of women scratches out an existence on some of the most
toxic land on Earth. They share this hauntingly beautiful but lethal landscape
with an assortment of visitors– scientists, soldiers, and even ‘stalkers’ —
young thrill-seekers who sneak in to pursue post-apocalyptic video
game-inspired fantasies. Why the women chose to return after the disaster –
defying the authorities and endangering their health – is a remarkable tale
about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny, and the
subjective nature of risk. 71 min./Ukraine

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