There have been many pretenders of the years, but there is only one Queen of Sundance and after a two-year absences she's finally returning to her kingdom.
Parker Posey became the face of Sundance in the late '90s early '00s thanks to acclaimed roles in films such as the indie classic "Party Girl," "The House of Yes" and "Personal Velocity." The irony of course, is that those were the only three features she had at the festival in that period, but boy did they hit a nerve. But the moniker has stuck mostly because she represents a time when the festival hit a tipping point in recognition amongst the media and its peer festivals. Posey has returned since then, most notably with the under-appreciated "Broken English" in 2007, but is back for one more go around this year with the out-of-competition comedy "Price Check." In an attempt to possibly keep press or sponsors in town past the traditional mid-week departure date, the festival announced today that Posey will host this year's Awards Ceremony, set to take place on Sunday, January 28. It also means Posey will be around the fest a good chunk of the week which can only be a good thing.
The Festival also announced this year's competitive juries and, as always, it's an intriguing and political mix (and by that we mean festival politics). Finding appropriate jury members is never easy, but the festival seems to have found enough indie cred amongst the selections to satisfy most.
The grand jury dramatic will include Anthony Mackie who starred in Sundance selections "Night Catches Us," "Half Nelson" and "Brother to Brother"; acclaimed composer Cliff Martinez; previous jury prize winner Lynn Shelton ("Humpday") who returns with "Your Sister's Sister" out of competition; cinematographer Amy Vincent ("Eve's Bayou," "Hustle & Flow"); and Justin Lin. The latter is best known for directing "Fast Five" and "Fast & Furious," but got his start with Sundance selection "Better Luck Tomorrow" in 2002.
The documentary jury features filmmakers Fenton Bailey ("Party Monster," "Becoming Chaz"), Shari Berman ("American Splendor"), Charles Ferguson ("No End in Sight"), Kim Roberts ("Waiting for Superman," "Food, Inc.") and noted UK doc programmer Heather Croall.
The world dramatic jury is a bit smaller with Julia Ormond ("Legends of the Fall," "My Week with Marilyn"), screenwriter Alexei Popogrebsky and New York Film Festival director Richard Pena judging the field.
The world documentary jury includes journalist Nick Fraser, film curator Clara Kim and filmmaker and professor Jean-Marie Teno.
The jury for the Alfred P. Sloan award - given to films showcasing science and technology - will include screenwriter Scott Burns ("Contagion"), journalist and programmer Tracy Day and biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher.
The short film jury includes Mike Judge (yes, the "Beavis and Butthead" one), director and screenwriter Dee Rees ("Paraiah") and Toronto International Film Festival programmer Shane Smith.
Look for complete coverage of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival beginning Thursday, Jan. 19 on HitFix.
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