5 December 2013

Lilting to open World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance

By otm

Sundance unveils first wave

4 December 2013 By Jeremy Kay

Festival top brass announced on December 4 the US and world cinema dramatic and documentary competition entries as well as 11 NEXT titles for the upcoming 30th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, set to run in Utah from January 16-26 2014.

The US dramatic strand features work from independent auteurs Joe Swanberg and Jim Mickle as well as the feature directorial debut of Mad Men star John Slattery, Anne Hathaway in Song One and Rinko Kikuchi inKumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

Several titles including Kat Cander’s Hellion and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash – a Day One Film – previously screened at Sundance as shorts.

Festival director John Cooper and director of programming Trevor Groth said genre was no longer the sole preserve of the Park City At Midnight section and had percolated into the broader selection. Cooper added that genre was often a good device for film-makers to hook audiences on a story.

World cinema dramatic entries include Hong Khaou’s UK drama and Day One Film Lilting, David Wnendt’s sexually provocative German feature Wetlands and Geetu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice from India.

Documentary subjects from US and world film-makers range from a Chinese clinic for internet addicts to a profile on a human rights investigative team, a portrait of film-maker Leos Carax and a meditation on colonisation and the slave trade.

The remaining Day One Films are Nadav Schirman’s The Green Prince from the World Cinema Documentary Competition and Dinosaur 13 from the US Documentary Competition.

A slightly expanded NEXT section – now with 11 titles instead of 10 – includes a smattering of celebrated names. Susan Sarandon stars in the 80s ensemble Ping Pong Summer, while Sundance veteran Catherine Keener and Ben Kingsley are in the war photographer tale War Story.

“That the festival has evolved and grown as it has over the past 30 years is a credit to both our audiences and our artists, who continue to find ways to take risks and open our minds to the power of story,” said Sundance Institute president and founder Robert Redford. “This year’s films and artists promise to do the same.”

“We are energised by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival<’ said Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam. “Independent film-makers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.”

“The films selected for our 2014 festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement,” said John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival. “The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.”

The 117 feature-length selections, of which 96 are world premieres, represent 37 countries and 53 first-time film-makers, including 34 in competition.

The selections were culled from 12,218 submissions (72 more than festival programmers received in 2013), including 4,057 features and 8,161 shorts. Of the feature submissions, 2,014 were from the US and 2,043 were international.

A selection of films from the 2014 festival will be among those presented at other Sundance Institute programmes throughout the year, including the Sundance London film and music festival set for April 25-27 at The O2, and the NEXT WEEKEND summer film festival in Los Angeles.

Films in the Spotlight, Park City At Midnight, the new Sundance Kids sections and the New Frontier films and installations will be announced on December 5. Premieres and Documentary Premieres will be announced on December 9 and the shorts will be unveiled on December 10.

All films listed below are world premieres unless stated otherwise. The festival provided all synopses.

US DRAMATIC COMPETITION

The world premieres of 16 American narrative features.

Camp X-RayDirector: Peter Sattler
A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees.
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, JJ Soria, John Carroll Lynch.

Cold In JulyDirector: Jim Mickle
After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man’s life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence.
Cast: Michael C Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell.

Dear White PeopleDirector: Justin Simien
Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in post-racial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world.
Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Fishing Without Nets (US-Somalia-Kenya)
Director: Cutter Hodierne
A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman.
Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

God’s PocketDirector: John Slattery
When Mickey’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction “accident”, Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay.
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro.

Happy ChristmasDirector: Joe Swanberg
After a break-up with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their two-year-old son.
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.

HellionDirector: Kat Candler
When motocross and heavy metal-obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob’s delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home.
Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts.

Infinitely Polar BearDirector: Maya Forbes
A manic depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier.
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide.

Jamie Marks Is DeadDirector: Carter Smith
No-one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the bleak world between the living and the dead.
Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler.

Kumiko, the Treasure HunterDirector: David Zellner
A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune.
Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.

Life After BethDirector: Jeff Baena
Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down.
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser.

Low DownDirector: Jeff Preiss
Based on Amy Jo Albany’s memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s.
Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Flea.

The Skeleton TwinsDirector: Craig Johnson
Estranged twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. As the twins’ reunion reinvigorates them, they realise the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship.
Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason.

The Sleepwalker (US-Norway)
Director: Mona Fastvold
A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kai’s secluded family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests arrive. The Sleepwalker chronicles the unraveling of the lives of four disparate characters as it transcends genre conventions and narrative contrivance to reveal something much more disturbing.
Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Stephanie Ellis.

Song OneDirector: Kate Barker-Froyland
Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives.
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield.

WhiplashDirector: Damien Chazelle
Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity.
Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons.
DAY ONE FILM

US DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

The world premieres of 16 American documentaries.

Alive Inside: A Story of Music & MemoryDirector: Michael Rossato-Bennett
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.

All the Beautiful ThingsDirector: John Harkrider
John and Barron are lifelong friends whose friendship is tested when Barron’s girlfriend says Barron put a knife to her throat and raped her. Not knowing she has lied, John tells her to go to the police. Years later, John and Barron meet in a bar to resolve the betrayal.

CAPTIVATED The Trials Of Pamela Smart
 (US-UK)
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
In an extraordinary and tragic American story, a small town murder becomes one of the highest profile cases of all time. From its historic role as the first televised trial to the many books and movies made about it, the film looks at the media’s enduring impact on the case.

The Case Against 8Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White
A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the US Supreme Court.

Cesar’s Last FastDirectors: Richard Ray Perez, Lorena Parlee
Inspired by Catholic social teaching, Cesar Chavez risked his life fighting for America’s poorest workers. The film illuminates the intensity of one man’s devotion and personal sacrifice, the birth of an economic justice movement, and tells an untold chapter in the story of civil rights in America.

Dinosaur 13Director: Todd Miller
The true tale behind one of the greatest discoveries in history.
DAY ONE FILM

E-TEAMDirectors: Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman
E-TEAM is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic work in the field.

Fed UpDirector: Stephanie Soechtig
Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the US government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron SwartzDirector: Brian Knappenberger
Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organising. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.

Ivory TowerDirector: Andrew Rossi
As tuition spirals upward and student debt passes a trillion dollars, students and parents ask, “Is college worth it?” From the halls of Harvard to public and private colleges in financial crisis to education startups in Silicon Valley, an urgent portrait emerges of a great American institution at the breaking point.

MarmatoDirector: Mark Grieco
Colombia is the center of a new global gold rush, and Marmato, a historic mining town, is the new frontier. Filmed over the course of nearly six years, Marmatochronicles how townspeople confront a Canadian mining company that wants the $20bn in gold beneath their homes.

No No: A DockumentaryDirector: Jeffrey Radice
Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling drug abusers. Dock’s soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates, friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of the spotlight.

The OvernightersDirector: Jesse Moss
Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor’s decision to help them has extraordinary and unexpected consequences.

Private ViolenceDirector: Cynthia Hill
One in four women experience violence in their homes. Have you ever asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave?”Private Violence shatters the brutality of our logic and intimately reveals the stories of two women: Deanna Walters, who transforms from victim to survivor, and Kit Gruelle, who advocates for justice.

Rich HillDirectors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos
In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility.

Watchers Of The SkyDirector: Edet Belzberg
Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world.

52 Tuesdays (Australia)
Director: Sophie Hyde
Sixteen-year-old Billie’s reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans for gender transition, and their time together becomes limited to Tuesdays. This emotionally charged story of desire, responsibility, and transformation was filmed over the course of a year — once a week, every week, only on Tuesdays.
Cast: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane, Imogen Archer, Mario Späte, Beau Williams, Sam Althuizen
International Premiere

Blind (Norway-Netherlands)
Director: Eskil Vogt
Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home—a place she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. But Ingrid’s real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over.
Cast: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt.

Difret (Ethiopia)
Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
Meaza Ashenafi is a young lawyer who operates under the government’s radar helping women and children until one young girl’s legal case exposes everything, threatening not only her career but her survival.
Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere.

The Disobedient (Serbia)
Director: Mina Djukic
Leni anxiously waits for her childhood friend Lazar, who is coming back to their hometown after years of studying abroad. After they reunite, they embark on a random bicycle trip around their childhood haunts, which will either exhaust or reinvent their relationship.
Cast: Hana Selimovic, Mladen Sovilj, Minja Subota, Danijel Sike, Ivan Djordjevic.

God Help The Girl (UK)
Director: Stuart Murdoch
This musical from Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian is about some messed up boys and girls and the music they made.
Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Cora Bissett, Pierre Boulanger.

Liar’s Dice (India)
Director: Geetu Mohandas
Kamala, a young woman from the village of Chitkul, leaves her native land with her daughter to search for her missing husband. Along the journey, they encounter Nawazudin, a free-spirited army deserter with his own selfish motives who helps them reach their destination.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa, Manya Gupta.
International Premiere

Lilting (UK)
Director: Hong Khaou
The world of a Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger who doesn’t speak her language. Lilting is a touching and intimate film about finding the things that bring us together.
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, Naomi Christie, Morven Christie. World Premiere.
DAY ONE FILM

Lock Charmer (El Cerrajero) (Argentina)
Director: Natalia Smirnoff
Upon learning that his girlfriend is pregnant, 33-year-old locksmith Sebastian begins to have strange visions about his clients. With the help of an unlikely assistant, he sets out to use his newfound talent for his own good.
Cast: Esteban Lamothe, Erica Rivas, Yosiria Huaripata.

To Kill A Man (Chile-France)
Director: Alejandro Fernandez Almendras
When Jorge, a hardworking family man who’s barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge’s son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot. Even though Jorge’s son nearly dies, Kalule’s sentence is minimal, heightening the friction.
Cast: Daniel Candia, Daniel Antivilo, Alejandra Yañez, Ariel Mateluna.

Viktoria (Bulgaria-Romania)
Director: Maya Vitkova
Although determined not to have a child in Communist Bulgaria, Boryana gives birth to Viktoria, who despite being born with no umbilical cord, is proclaimed to be the baby of the decade. But political collapse and the hardships of the new time bind mother and daughter together.
Cast: Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova, Mariana Krumova, Dimo Dimov, Georgi Spassov.

Wetlands (Germany)
Director: David Wnendt
Meet Helen Memel. She likes to experiment with vegetables while masturbating and thinks that bodily hygiene is greatly overrated. She shocks those around her by speaking her mind in a most unladylike manner on topics that many people would not even dare consider. Cast: Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Meret Becker, Axel Milberg, Marlen Kruse, Edgar Selge.
North American Premiere

White Shadow (Italy-Germany-Tanzania)
Director: Noaz Deshe
Alias is a young albino boy on the run. His mother has sent him away to find refuge in the city after witnessing his father’s murder. Over time, the city becomes no different than the bush: wherever Alias travels, the same rules of survival apply.
Cast: Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, Salum Abdallah.
International Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Twelve documentaries from around the world.

20,000 Days On Earth
 (UK)
Directors: Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international culture icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, this film examines what makes us who we are and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit.

Concerning Violence (Sweden-US-Denmark-Finland)
Director: Göran Hugo Olsson
Concerning Violence is based on newly discovered, powerful archival material documenting the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, accompanied by classic text from The Wretched Of The Earth by Frantz Fanon.

The Green Prince (Germany-Israel-UK)
Director: Nadav Schirman
This real-life thriller tells the story of one of Israel’s prized intelligence sources, recruited to spy on his own people for more than a decade. Focusing on the complex relationship with his handler, The Green Prince is a gripping account of terror, betrayal, and unthinkable choices, along with a friendship that defies all boundaries.
DAY ONE FILM

Happiness (France-Finland)
Director: Thomas Balmès
Peyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. Soon the world will come to him: the village is about to be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Peyangki’s eyes.
North American Premiere

Love Child (South Korea-US
Director: Valerie Veatch
In Seoul in the Republic of Korea, a young couple stands accused of neglect when “Internet addiction” in an online fantasy game costs the life of their infant daughter. Love Child documents the 2010 trial and subsequent ruling that set a global precedent in a world where virtual is the new reality.

Mr leos caraX (France)
Director: Tessa Louise-Salomé
Mr leos caraX plunges us into the poetic and visionary world of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker who was already a cult figure from his very first film. Punctuated by interviews and previously unseen footage, this documentary is most of all a fine-tuned exploration of the poetic and visionary world of Leos Carax, alias Mr. X.

My Prairie Home (Canada)
Director: Chelsea McMullan
A poetic journey through landscapes both real and emotional, Chelsea McMullan’s documentary/musical offers an intimate portrait of transgender singer Rae Spoon, framed by stunning images of the Canadian prairies. McMullan’s imaginative visual interpretations of Spoon’s songs make this an unforgettable look at a unique Canadian artist.
International Premiere

The Notorious Mr. Bout (US-Russia)
Directors: Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin
Viktor Bout was a war profiteer, an entrepreneur, an aviation tycoon, an arms dealer, and – strangest of all – a documentary film-maker. The Notorious Mr. Bout is the ultimate rags-to-riches-to-prison memoir, documented by the last man you’d expect to be holding the camera.

The Return To Homs (Syria-Germany)
Director: Talal Derki
Basset Sarout, the 19-year-old national football team goalkeeper, becomes a demonstration leader and singer, and then a fighter. Ossama, a 24-year-old renowned citizen cameraman, is critical, a pacifist, and ironic until he is detained by the regime’s security forces.
North American Premiere

SEPIDEH – Reaching For The Stars (Denmark)
Director: Berit Madsen
Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. As a young Iranian woman, she knows it’s dangerous to challenge traditions and expectations. Still, Sepideh holds on to her dream. She knows a tough battle is ahead, a battle that only seems possible to win once she seeks help from an unexpected someone.
North American Premiere

We Come As Friends (France-Austria)
Director: Hubert Sauper
We Come As Friends views colonisation as a human phenomenon through both explicit and metaphoric lenses without oversimplified accusations or political theorising. Alarmingly, It is not a historical film since colonisation and the slave trade still exist.

Web Junkie (Israel)
Directors: Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia
China is the first country to label Internet addiction a clinical disorder. Web Junkie investigates a Beijing rehab center where Chinese teenagers are deprogrammed.

NEXT <=>

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this programme.

Appropriate Behavior (US-UK)
Director: Desiree Akhavan
Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, a politically correct bisexual, and a hip, young Brooklynite, but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold on to can be a lonely experience.
Cast: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Halley Feiffer, Scott Adsit, Anh Duong, Arian Moayed.

Drunktown’s Finest (US)
Director: Sydney Freeland
Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian reservation.
Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis.

The Foxy Merkins (US)
Director: Madeleine Olnek
Two lesbian hookers work the streets of New York. One is a down-on-her-luck newbie; the other is a beautiful—and straight—grifter who’s an expert on picking up women. Together they face bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women, and each other in this prostitute buddy comedy.
Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Alex Karpovsky, Susan Ziegler, Sally Sockwell, Deb Margolin.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night(US)
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
In the Iranian ghost town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, depraved denizens are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.
Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnó, Milad Eghbali.

Imperial Dreams (US)
Director: Malik Vitthal
A 21-year-old, reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.
Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De’aundre Bonds.

Land Ho! (US-Iceland)
Directors: Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz
A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. This bawdy adventure is a throwback to 1980s road comedies, as well as a candid exploration of aging, loneliness, and friendship.
Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Nelson, Alice Olivia Clarke, Karrie Krouse, Elizabeth McKee, Emmsjé Gauti.

Listen Up Philip (US)
Director: Alex Ross Perry
A story about changing seasons and changing attitudes, a newly accomplished writer faces mistakes and miseries affecting those around him, including his girlfriend, her sister, his idol, his idol’s daughter, and all the ex-girlfriends and enemies that lie in wait on the open streets of New York.
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume.

Memphis (US)
Director: Tim Sutton
A strange singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids. Under a canopy of ancient oak trees and burning spirituality, his doomed journey breaks from conformity and reaches out for glory.
Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson.

Obvious Child (US)
Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre
An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s Day of her life.
Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind.

Ping Pong Summer (US)
Director: Michael Tully
1985. Ocean City, Maryland. Summer vacation. Rap music. Parachute pants. Ping pong. First crushes. Best friends. Mean bullies. Weird mentors. That awkward, momentous time in your life when you’re treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know deep down you’re as funky fresh as it gets.
Cast: Susan Sarandon, John Hannah, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris, Robert Longstreet, Marcello Conte.

War Story (US)
Director: Mark Jackson
A war photographer retreats to a small town in Sicily after being held captive during the conflict in Libya.
Cast: Catherine Keener, Hafsia Herzi, Vincenzo Amato, Donatella Finocchiaro, Ben Kingsley.

Source: http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/sundance/sundance-news/sundance-unveils-first-wave/5064316.article?blocktitle=LATEST-FILM-NEWS&contentID=40562


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