Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sundance Film Fest Schedule



There are 57 feature films selected for the four competition programs of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival which begins this month, and the titles include some exciting works from returning filmmakers (including Oscar-winning documentarian James Marsh, whose 'Man on Wire' also won a Grand Jury Prize at the fest in '08), actors making their feature directorial debuts (Vera Farmiga and Paddy Considine, notably) and plenty of newcomers that we'll have fun being introduced to (such as Barry Levinson's son, Sam) when the event kicks off next month. Some of the stars who will appear in these works and others include Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Katie Holmes, and John C. Reilly.

One significant entry in the U.S. Dramatic Competition is 'Like Crazy,' a love story starring Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence which marks the second film from Drake Doremus in two years to be competing. His previous work, 'Douchebag," debuted at Sundance in 2010. Doremus spoke with Cinematical today in response to the honor of having back-to-back selections:
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U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

This year's 16 films were selected from 1,102 submissions. Each is a world premiere.

Another Earth (Director: Mike Cahill; Screenwriters: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling) - On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair. Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker, Robin Lord Taylor, Flint Beverage.

Benavides Born (Director: Amy Wendel; Screenwriters: Daniel Meisel and Amy Wendel) - A high school senior in a forgotten town has earned admission to the University of Texas at Austin but can't afford to go. Her one shot is a scholarship for winning the State Powerlifting Championship. Cast: Corina Calderon, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Joseph Julian Soria, Julia Vera, Julio C├ęsar Cedillo.

Circumstance/U.S.A., Iran (Director and screenwriter: Maryam Keshavarz) - Iran's new generation fighting for personal freedom in the face of ongoing repression is explored through the lens of a teenage love triangle. Cast: Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, Reza Sixo Safai, Soheil Parsa, Nasrin Pakkho.

Gun Hill Road (Director and screenwriter: Rashaad Ernesto Green) - After three years in prison, Enrique is back in his beloved Bronx, back in the arms of an estranged wife and back in the life of his teenage son, who is stumbling towards a transformation that will put the bonds of their embattled family to the test. Cast: Esai Morales, Judy Reyes, Harmony Santana, Vanessa Aspillaga.

HERE (Director: Braden King; Written By: Braden King and Dani Valent) - On assignment to create a new, more accurate satellite survey of Armenia, an American cartographer forms a powerful bond with an Armenian expatriate and art photographer. Cast: Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal with Narek Nersisyan, Yuri Kostanyan and Sofik Sarkisyan.

Higher Ground (Director: Vera Farmiga; Screenwriters: Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe) - A frustrated young mother turns to a fundamentalist community for answers, but after years of dogma and loss, she must find the courage to ask the questions that will help her reclaim her life. Cast: Vera Farmiga, Joshua Leonard, John Hawkes, Dagmara Dominczyk, Norbert Leo Butz.

Homework (Director and screenwriter: Gavin Wiesen) - Quirky, rebellious George has no ambitions other than to cut his next class. But one day, one girl gives him the perfect reason to figure out who he really is. Cast: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser with Rita Wilson and Blair Underwood.

Like Crazy (Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones) - A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Cast: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston.

Little Birds (Director and screenwriter: Elgin James) - Amidst the stark landscape of the Salton Sea, two 15-year-old girls test the limits of their friendship when one follows the other to Los Angeles, only to discover that the boredom of home may be better than learning to survive in the big city. Cast: Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Kyle Gallner.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Director and screenwriter: Sean Durkin) - Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult. Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson.

The Music Never Stopped (Director: Jim Kohlberg; Screenwriters: Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, based on the story "The Last Hippie" by Oliver Sacks) - A father struggles to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. He learns to embrace his son's choices and to try to connect with him through the power of music. Cast: J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Mia Maestro. SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM

On the Ice (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean) - On the snow-covered Arctic tundra, two teenagers try to get away with murder. Cast: Josiah Patkotak, Frank Qutuq Irelan, Teddy Kyle Smith, Adamina Kerr, Sierra Jade Sampson.

Pariah (Director and screenwriter: Dee Rees) - When forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family, a Bronx teenager juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression. Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Aasha Davis.

The Reasonable Bunch (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson) - A pair of reckless siblings are dragged into a chaotic family wedding by their overwrought mother. Cast: Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey DeMunn, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Thomas Haden Church.

Take Shelter (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Nichols) - A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he's feared his whole life. Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker.

Terri (Director: Azazel Jacobs; Screenwriters: Patrick Dewitt and Azazel Jacobs) - Orphaned to an uncle who is fading away, mercilessly teased by his peers and roundly ignored by his teachers, Terri is alienated and alone. When the dreaded vice-principal sees something of himself in Terri, they establish a friendship which opens Terri up to the possibility that life is not something to be endured, but something to be shared, and even enjoyed. Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina.

Personally out of them all, I'm really curious and anticipating great character J.K. Simmons actually be a lead and carry a film in The Music That Never Stopped. Also keeping my eyes opne for The Guard as well.

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Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !