To showcase the diversity to contemporary independent cinema, the Sundance Film Festival Premieres section offers the latest work from American and international directors as well as world premieres of highly anticipated films. Presented by Entertainment Weekly.
Abel / Mexico, USA (Director: Diego Luna; Screenwriters:Diego Luna and Agusto Mendoza)—A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence. Cast: Jose Maria Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza. World Premiere
Cane Toads: The Conquest / USA (Director and screenwriter: Mark Lewis)—In 3D, Mark Lewis explores one of Australia's greatest environmental catastrophes as he follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. World Premiere
The Company Men / USA (Director and screenwriter: John Wells)—Three company men attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its effects on their families and their identities. Cast: Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt. World Premiere
The Extra Man / USA (Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; Screenwriters: Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames and Shari Springer Berman)—A down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan's Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. Cast: Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, Paul Dano, Kevin Kline, Alicia Goranson. World Premiere
Get Low / USA (Director: Aaron Schneider; Screenwriters: Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell)—A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who plans his own rollicking funeral party... while still alive. Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray. U.S. Premiere SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM
Jack Goes Boating / USA(Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Screenwriter: Bob Glaudini)—A limo driver’s blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tom McCarthy. World Premiere
The Killer Inside Me / USA (Director: Michael Winterbottom; Screenwriter: John Curran)—Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texan town; patient, polite and well liked, until he starts killing people. Cast: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker, Elias Koteas. World Premiere
Nowhere Boy / United Kingdom (Director: Sam Taylor Wood; Screenwriters: Julia Baird and Matt Greenhalgh)—A teenage John Lennon confronts wrenching family secrets and finds his musical voice in late 1950s Liverpool. Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey. International Premiere
Please Give / USA (Director and screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener)—In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives next door. Cast: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Sarah Steele. World Premiere
The Runaways / USA (Director and screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi)—In 1970s LA, a tough teenager named Joan Jett connects with an eccentric producer to form an all-girl band that would launch her career and make rock history. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O'Neal. World Premiere
Shock Doctrine / USA (Directors: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross)—Closely based on the book by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine exposes how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. North American Premiere
Twelve / USA (Director: Joel Schumacher; Screenwriter: Jordan Melamed)—A chronicle of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan's Upper East Side involving sex, drugs and murder. Cast: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent, Zoë Kravitz. World Premiere CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Untitled Duplass Brothers Project / USA (Directors and screenwriters: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass)—A recently divorced guy meets a new lady. Then he meets her son who is, well...interesting. Cast: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei,Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener. World Premiere
A new section composed of eight American films selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.
Armless (Director: Habib Azar; Screenwriter: Kyle Jarrow)—In this off-kilter comedy, a woman comes to terms with her husband's strange secret. Cast: Daniel London, Janel Moloney, Keith Powell, Laurie Kennedy, Matt Walton. World Premiere
Bass Ackwards (Director and screenwriter: Linas Phillips)—After ending a disastrous affair with a married woman, a man embarks on a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus. Cast: Linas Philips, Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar. World Premiere
Bilal’s Stand (Director and screenwriter: Sultan Sharrief)—Bilal, a Muslim high school senior in Detroit juggles his dysfunctional family, their taxi stand, and an ice carving contest in his secret attempt to land a college scholarship. Cast: Julian Gant. World Premiere
The Freebie (Director and screenwriter: Katie Aselton)—A young married couple decides to give each other one night with someone else. Cast: Dax Shepard, Katie Aselton. World Premiere
Homewrecker (Director: Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes; Screenwriters: Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, Sophie Goodhart)—The last romantic in New York City is an ex-con locksmith on work release. Cast: Ana Reeder, Anslem Richardson, Stephen Rannazzisi. World Premiere
New Low (Director: Adam Bowers)—A neurotic twentysomething struggles to figure out which girl he really belongs with: the best one he's ever known, or the worst. Cast: Adam Bowers, Jayme Ratzer, Toby Turner, Valerie Jones. World Premiere
One Too Many Mornings (Director: Michael Mohan; Screenwriters: Anthony Deptula, Michael Mohan, Stephen Hale)—Two damaged young men recover their high school friendship by awkwardly revealing to each other just how messed up they've become. Cast: Anthony Deptula, Stephen Hale, Tina Kapousis. World Premiere
The Taqwacores (Director: Eyad Zahra; Screenwriter: Michael Muhammad Knight)—When a Pakistani-Muslim engineering student moves into a house with punk Muslims of all stripes in Buffalo, New York, his ideologies are challenged to the core. Cast: Noureen DeWulf, Dominic Rains, Rasika Mathur, Tony Yalda, Anne Marie Leighton. World Premiere
New for 2010, the Spotlight section is a tribute to the cinema we love. Regardless of where these impressive films have played throughout the world, the Sundance Film Festival is thrilled to light a marquee for them.
Narrative films screening in the Festival’s Spotlight are:
Bran Nue Dae/ Australia (Director: Rachel Perkins; Screenwriters: Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, and Jimmy Chi)—In the summer of 1965, a young man is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome – fishing, hanging out with his mates and his girl. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo. U.S. Premiere
Daddy Longlegs / USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie)—A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it’s like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult. Cast: Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo. North American Premiere
Enter the Void / France (Director and Screenwriter: Gaspar Noé)—A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. Cast: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn. U.S. Premiere
I Am Love (Io Sono L’amore) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Luca Guadagnino)—A tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. Cast: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher, Marisa Berenson. U.S. Premiere
Louis C.K.: Hilarious / USA (Director: Louis C.K.)—Sharp-tongued comedian Louis C.K. pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience. World Premiere
Lourdes / Austria, France, Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jessica Hausner)—A woman in a wheelchair travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner. U.S. Premiere
Mother & Child / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rodrigo García)—The lives of three women – a physical therapist, the daughter she gave up at birth three decades ago, and an African American woman seeking to adopt a child of her own – intersect in surprising ways. Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson. U.S. Premiere
New African Cinema / A collection of short films from multiple countries
Pumzi / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Wanuri Kahiu)—A Sci-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, "The Water War." Cast: Kudzani Moswela. North American Premiere
Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun) / France, Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Dyana Gaye)—Along the journey from Dakar to Saint Louis, seven passengers of a taxi meet each other and tell their lives through songs. Cast: Umban Gomez de Kset, Bigué Ndoye, Adja Fall, Yakhoub Ba, Abdoulaye Diakhaté. U.S. Premiere
The Tunnel / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Jenna Bass)—When her father vanishes in 1980s Zimbabwe, young Elizabeth believes he has dug a tunnel to the city. Only by facing reality will she discover the truth behind his disappearance. Cast: Sibulele Mlumbi, Finch Moyo, Patricia Matongo, Anthony Watterson, Pakamisa Zwedala, Vuyisile Pandle. World Premiere
A Prophet (Un Prophète) / France (Director: Jacques Audiard; Screenwriters: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard)—An engaging examination of a seedy, gangster-driven underworld set in a French prison. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb.
Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan)/ Germany, Austria, France (Directors and Screenwriters: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari)—A dissection of Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power. Cast: Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth. U.S. Premiere
Documentary films screening in the Festival’s Spotlight are:
8: The Mormon Proposition / USA(Director: Reed Cowan)—An examination of the relationship between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8 denying marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples. World Premiere
Catfish / USA(Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman)—When a young New York City photographer is contacted on Facebook by an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan, he becomes deeply enmeshed in her life, even falling in love with her older sister--that is, until a crack appears in her story. World Premiere
Climate Refugees / USA (Director: Michael Nash)—An over-consuming, crowded world, with depleting resources and a changing climate is giving birth to 25 million climate refugees resulting in a mass global migration and border conflicts. World Premiere
Countdown to Zero / USA (Director: Lucy Walker)—A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament. World Premiere
Life 2.0 / USA(Director: Jason Spingarn-Koff)—More than an examination of new technology, the film is foremost an intimate, character-based drama about people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world called Second Life. World Premiere
Teenage Paparazzo / USA(Director: Adrian Grenier)—A 13-year-old paparazzi boy snaps a photo of actor Adrian Grenier, leading Grenier to explore the effects of celebrity on culture. World Premiere
To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America / Bangladesh, USA (Director: Gayle Ferraro)—Tapping into the success of Muhammad Yunus after winning the Nobel Peace Prize (2006), Grameen America has opened in Queens, NY replicating the banking model program Yunus first started in Bangladesh. World Premiere
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks / USA (Director: Dan Klores)—Reggie Miller single-handedly crushed the hearts of Knick fans multiple times. But it was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that solidified Miller as Public Enemy #1 in New York City. World Premiere
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
Home to horror films and crazy comedies, Black Dynamite, The Blair Witch Project and Saw are among the films that have screened here.
7 Days / Canada (Director: Daniel Grou; Screenwriter: Patrick Senecal)—A doctor seeks revenge by kidnapping, torturing and killing the man who murdered his young daughter. Cast: Rémy Girard, Claude Legault, Fanny Mallette, Martin Dubreuil, Rose-Marie Coallier. World Premiere
Buried / Spain, USA (Director: Rodrigo Cortes; Screenwriter: Chris Sparling)—A U.S. contractor working in Iraq awakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. Cast: Ryan Reynolds. World Premiere
Frozen / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Adam Green)—Three skiers are mistakenly stranded on a chairlift, forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death. Cast: Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers. World Premiere
HIGH school / USA (Director: John Stalberg, Jr.; Screenwriters: Erik Linthorst, John Stalberg, Jr., and Stephen Susco)—A random drug test coincides with a high school valedictorian's first hit of pot.Cast: Sean Marquette, Matt Bush, Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, Andrew Wilson, Yeardley Smith, Michael Vartan, Curtis Armstrong, Erica Phillips, Adhir Kaylan. World Premiere
The Perfect Host / USA (Director: Nick Tomnay; Screenwriters: Nick Tomnay and Krishna Jones)—A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary. Cast: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy, Nathaniel Parker. World Premiere
Splice / France, Canada (Director: Vincenzo Natali; Screenwriters: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, and Doug Taylor)—Clive and Elsa are young, brilliant, and ambitious. The new animal species they engineered has made them rebel superstars of the scientific world. In secret, they introduce human DNA into the experiment.Cast:Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, David Hewlett. North American Premiere
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil / Canada (Director: Eli Craig; Screenwriters: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson)—Two West Virginian hillbillies go on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin, but their peaceful trip goes horribly awry. Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss. World Premiere
The Violent Kind / USA (Directors and screenwriters: The Butcher Brothers) A group of rowdy young bikers party it up at a secluded farmhouse when, tormented by a mysterious force, things take a turn for the worst. Cast: Taylor Cole, Christina Prousalis, Tiffany Shepis, David Fine, Joseph McKelheer. World Premiere.
This program highlights work that explores the limits of traditional aesthetics and the narrative structures of filmmaking.
All My Friends Are Funeral Singers / USA (Director and screenwriter: Tim Rutili)—A fortune teller lives and works in and old house crowded with ghosts. When a mysterious light appears in the woods, the ghosts realize they are trapped and begin to rebel. Cast: Angela Bettis. World Premiere
Double Take / Germany, Netherlands (Director: Johan Grimonprez)— Alfred Hitchcock is unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period. As television hijacks cinema, and Khrushchev debates Nixon, sexual politics quietly take off and Hitchcock himself blackmails housewives with brands they can't refuse. Cast: Mark Perry, Ron Burrage. North American Premiere
Memories of Overdevelopment / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Miguel Coyula)—Live action mixes with animation and newsreel footage of historical events to form a collage that emulates the way personal memory works for a misanthropic Cuban intellectual. An adaptation of a novel by Cuban author Edmundo Desnoes. Cast: Ron Blair. World Premiere
ODDSAC/ USA (Director: Daniel Perez)—An earthy, psychedelic experimental narrative infused with the band, Animal Collective’s aural and musical sensibilities. World Premiere
Pepperminta / Austria, Switzerland (Director: Pipilotti Rist; Screenwriters: Pipilotti Rist, Chris Niemeyer)— A magical and visually stunning contemporary fantasy about a young woman with an anarchist imagination. Together with Pepperminta’s best friends, colors and strawberries, she sets out to fight for a more humane world. Cast: Ewelina Guzik North American Premiere.
Utopia in Four Movements / USA (Director: Sam Green)—In this “live documentary” Sam Green’s live narration blends with Dave Cerf’s soundtrack to explore the battered state of the utopian impulse at the dawn of the 21st century. World Premiere