The 2010 Sundance Film Festival, or Sundance Twentyten as the institute has dubbed it, kicks off Thursday night with the world premiere of "Howl."  The narrative directorial debut of noted documentarians Rob Epstein and Jefrey Friedman ("The Celluloid Closet"), "Howl" chronicles the obscenity trial of famed poet Allen Ginsburg faced after the publication of his poem of the same title. 

James Franco makes his return to the festival as Ginsburg, "Mad Men's Jon Hamm is his defense attorney Jake Ehrlich and David Strathairn is prosecutor Ralph McIntosh.  The cast also includes Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, Alessandro Nivola and Treat Williams.  The world won't get its first screening of "Howl" until tonight, but you can check out these four clips featuring Franco, Hamm, Strathairn and Williams below.


 

Another intriguing Sundance selection is Dramatic Competition entry "Winter's Bone."  This drama gives a rare, modern day look into live in the Ozark Mountains where Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family together.  The three clips below provide a glimpse of what could be a strong Sundance debut.


 


Look for continuing coverage of the festival over the next 10 days at HitFix.com/Sundance.