Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films screening at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in the out-of-competition sections of Premieres, Spectrum, New Frontier, and Park City at Midnight. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27, 2008 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah. A complete list of the films is available at Sundance Institute’s website at www.sundance.org/festival.
As previously announced, the Festival opens on January 17 in Park City with the world premiere of IN BRUGES, written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker and award-winning playwright, Martin McDonagh. With an international cast starring Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson, IN BRUGES tells the suspenseful, twisted tale of two London hit men ordered to take a forced vacation in Bruges, Belgium, and how their subsequent time in exile goes awry.
On Friday, January 26, the Closing Film screening in Park City signals the Festival’s final weekend. This year’s Closing Film is the world premiere of Neil Young’s CSNY DÉJÀ VU which examines Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s connection to its audience in both political and musical terms, and the relationship between Vietnam-era sentiment and today’s political environment.
The Salt Lake City Gala on Friday, January 18 will feature the world premiere of THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD, directed by Sean McGinly and starring Colin Hanks, John Malkovich and Emily Blunt about a law school dropout who answers an advertisement to be a celebrity’s personal assistant.
“It is impossible to describe in one word the full tapestry of films presented in this year’s Festival, particularly in the out-of-competition categories,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival.“ In an enormously eclectic way these films reflect the role cinema can play as an international language transcending borders of class, race, culture, and religion.”
“This is going to be a festival rich in talent,” said John Cooper, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival. “Independent film has reached a new plateau, from the filmmakers who tell stories that are fresh and unique, to a lineup of the best actors working today. Sundance audiences are going to see a range of work: both from those pushing the envelope of established careers and those soon to be discovered this January.”
To showcase the diversity of contemporary independent cinema, the Sundance Film Festival Premieres section offers the latest work from American and international directors and world premieres of highly anticipated films.
Films screening in Premieres are:
ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Simon; Screenwriter: Kevin Jakubowski)— A rookie journalist for the school paper unravels a mysterious plot involving the class president, drugs, and a ring of stolen test scores in this noir caper set at a quirky Catholic High School. Cast: Reece Thompson, Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Morris, Josh Pais. World Premiere
BE KIND REWIND / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Michel Gondry)— When a man whose body accidentally becomes magnetized unintentionally erases every tape in his friend’s video store, the pair set out to remake the lost films, including BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE LION KING and ROBOCOP. Cast: Jack Black, Mos Def, Mia Farrow, Danny Glover. World Premiere
CSNY DÉJÀ VU / U.S.A. (Director: Bernard Shakey; Screenwriters: Neil Young, Mike Cerre)— The war in Iraq is the backdrop as the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young “Freedom of Speech Tour” crisscrosses North America. Echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment abound as the band connects with today’s audiences. Cast: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Mike Cerre, Stephen Colbert. World Premiere, Closing Night Film
THE DEAL / Canada (Director: Steven Schachter; Screenwriters: William H. Macy, Steven Schachter)— A long-time Hollywood producer on the verge of suicide cons a major studio into financing a $100-million film based on a non-existent script, starring a black action star who has converted to Judaism. Cast: William H. Macy, Meg Ryan, LL Cool J. World Premiere
DEATH IN LOVE / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Boaz Yakin)— A self-assured but neurotic 40-year-old bachelor attempts to make sense of his complicated life as he negotiates his sexual relationships in the shadow of his mother’s concentration camp experience. Cast: Josh Lucas, Jacqueline Bisset, Adam Brody, Lukas Haas. World Premiere
DIMINISHED CAPACITY / U.S.A. (Director: Terry Kinney; Screenwriter: Sherwood Kiraly)— Learning that his senile uncle harbors a priceless baseball card, Cooper embarks on a road trip intent on selling it to save money for his uncle’s later years. He and his friends become entangled in the oddball world of baseball memorabilia and love. Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Virginia Madsen, Dylan Baker. World Premiere
THE ESCAPIST / Ireland (Director: Rupert Wyatt; Screenwriters: Rupert Wyatt and Daniel Hardy)— A convict twelve years into a life sentence is determined to make peace with his sick daughter. He develops an ingenious escape plan, recruiting a band of misfits to put it into action. Cast: Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Seu Jorge, Damian Lewis. World Premiere
THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Sean McGinly)— When a law school dropout answers an advertisement to be a personal assistant he unknowingly signs on to work for a belligerent has-been magician struggling to resurrect his career. This leads to a journey across the country staging the comeback of a lifetime. Cast: Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Tom Hanks, Steve Zahn. World Premiere, Salt Lake City Gala
THE GUITAR / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Redford; Screenwriter: Amos Poe)— The life of a woman is transformed after she is diagnosed with a terminal disease, fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend. Given two months to live, she throws caution to the wind to pursue her dreams. Cast: Saffron Burrows, Isaach De Bankole, Paz De La Huerta. World Premiere
HENRY POOLE IS HERE / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Pellington; Screenwriter: Albert Torres)— Henry Poole abandons his fiancée and family business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a “miracle” by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life . Cast: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Cheryl Hines, Adriana Barraza. World Premiere
IN BRUGES / United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: Martin McDonagh)— Two London hit men are ordered to take a forced vacation in Bruges, Belgium. This is the suspenseful, twisted tale of how their time in exile goes awry. Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy. World Premiere, Opening Night Film
INCENDIARY / United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: Sharon Maguire)— A spirited young mother juggles grief and love in the aftermath of a dramatic terrorist attack in London. Cast: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew MacFadyen. World Premiere
THE MERRY GENTLEMAN / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Keaton; Screenwriter: Ron Lazzeretti)— After fleeing an abusive marriage, a young woman sets off to start a new life. When she finds herself an unwitting witness to a murder she stumbles into a curious friendship with a depressed hit man. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Michael Keaton. World Premiere
A RAISIN IN THE SUN / U.S.A. (Director: Kenny Leon; Screenwriter: Paris Qualles)— After moving to Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s, a black family struggles to deal with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better life. Adapted for the screen from Lorraine Hansberry’s play, this is a moving portrait of dreams deferred. Cast: Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sean Patrick Thomas. World Premiere
SAVAGE GRACE / U.S.A. (Director: Tom Kalin, Screenwriter: Howard A. Rodman)— The true story of the beautiful and charismatic Barbara Daly, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only child is a failure in his father’s eyes, and as he matures and becomes increasingly close to his lonely mother, the seeds for tragedy are sown. Cast: Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne. U.S. Premiere
SLEEPWALKING / Canada/U.S.A. (Director: Bill Maher; Screenwriter: Zac Stanford )— A young man ill equipped to raise his abandoned niece is forced to take responsibility when faced with the prospect of losing her to a foster home. Cast: Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Deborrah-Lee Furness. World Premiere
SMART PEOPLE / U.S.A. (Director: Noam Murro; Screenwriter: Mark Jude Poirier)— An acerbic and self-absorbed literature professor has alienated his son and turned his daughter into an overachieving, friendless teen. When his brother unexpectedly shows up at his door, the man is forced is to confront his own life. Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Page, Ashton Holmes. World Premiere
TOWELHEAD (F.K.A. NOTHING IS PRIVATE) / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alan Ball)— The life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl is illuminated as she navigates her way through the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and sexual awakening. Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, Summer Bishil. U.S. Premiere
TRANSSIBERIAN / Spain (Director: Brad Anderson; Screenwriters: Brad Anderson and Will Conroy)— A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Thomas Kretschmann, Eduardo Noriega and Ben Kingsley. World Premiere
U2 3D / U.S.A. (Directors: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington)— A 3-D presentation of U2’s global “Vertigo” tour. Shot at seven different shows, this production employs the greatest number of 3-D cameras ever used for a single project. World Premiere
THE VISITOR / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Tom McCarthy)— A college professor becomes embroiled in the lives of a young immigrant couple he discovers squatting in his Manhattan apartment. Confronted with adversity, these strangers become inextricably bound together. Cast: Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira. U.S. Premiere
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? / U.S.A. (Director: Barry Levinson; Screenwriter: Art Linson)— A comedy about a desperate movie producer who is trying to survive a crazed director, a shameless actor, a clueless executive, a battered agent, and above all a broken second marriage while struggling to maintain a shred of dignity. Cast: Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro. World Premiere
THE YEAR OF GETTING TO KNOW US / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Patrick Sisam)— A commitment-phobic man reunites with his estranged, ailing father and comes to terms with his own childhood. Cast: Jimmy Fallon, Chase Ellison, Lucy Liu, Sharon Stone, Tom Arnold. World Premiere
THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF / U.S.A. (Director: Udayan Prasad; Screenwriter: Erin Dignam)— A recently released convict and a pair of disillusioned young people, three strangers of two generations, bound by loneliness, reach out to one another, embarking on a road trip through Louisiana. Cast: Maria Bello, William Hurt, Eddie Redmayne, Veronica Russell. World Premiere
A tribute to the abundance of compelling new voices and the creative spirit in independent filmmaking, the Spectrum program presents out-of-competition dramatic and documentary films from some of the most promising filmmakers in the world today. For 2008, Sundance Film Festival features a new sidebar, Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight. Unfulfilled dreams, storybook heroes, joyful octogenarians, and gangsters with a heart are revealed in these new films.
The films screening in Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight are:
ANVIL! THE TRUE STORY OF ANVIL / U.S.A. (Director: Sacha Gervasi)— At 14, best friends Robb Reiner and Lips made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, hailed as the “demi-gods of Canadian metal,” influenced a musical generation that includes Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, despite never hitting the big time. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now in their fifties, set off to record their 13th album in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dreams. World Premiere
THE BLACK LIST / U.S.A. (Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; Screenwriter: Elvis Mitchell)— Journalist Elvis Mitchell interviews twenty African American leaders, ranging from athletes and academics to politicians, social activists, and artists, providing a series of living portraits—a unique glimpse into the zeitgeist of black America—and redefining traditional notions of a “blacklist.” World Premiere
KICKING IT / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Susan Koch)—The lives of homeless people are changed forever through an international soccer competition. This film follows six players as they set off for Cape Town, South Africa to play in the Homeless World Cup. World Premiere
THE LINGUISTS / U.S.A. (Directors: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger; Screenwriter: Daniel A. Miller)— David and Greg are “The Linguists,” who document languages on the verge of extinction. In the rugged landscapes of Siberia, India, and Bolivia, their resolve is tested by institutionalized racism and violent economic unrest. World Premiere
MADE IN AMERICA / U.S.A. (Director: Stacy Peralta; Screenwriters: Stacy Peralta, Sam George)— With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this film examines the conditions that have led to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles. World Premiere
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? / France (Director: Morgan Spurlock; Screenwriters: Jeremy Chilnick and Morgan Spurlock)—Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores every nook and cranny of the Middle East on a quest to find the world’s most wanted man. World Premiere
YOUNG@ HEART / United Kingdom (Director: Stephen Walker)— A choir of Massachusetts senior citizens delights audiences worldwide with their covers of songs by everyone from The Clash and Coldplay to Jimi Hendrix and Sonic Youth.
Dramatic films screening in Spectrum are:
AUGUST / U.S.A. (Director: Austin Chick; Screenwriter: Howard A. Rodman)— An aggressive young dot-com entrepreneur struggles to keep his head above water as the bottom falls out of the market in August of 2001. Cast: Josh Hartnett, Adam Scott, Naomie Harris. World Premiere
BAGHEAD / U.S.A. (Directors and Screenwriters: Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass)— As previously done in their last film THE PUFFY CHAIR, the Duplass Brothers explore the minutiae of relationship dynamics in this in-depth study of a group of desperate actor friends. And a bag. And a head. Cast: Steve Zissis, Ross Partridge, Greta Gerwig. World Premiere
BIRDS OF AMERICA / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Lucas; Screenwriter: Elyse Friedman)— Three siblings couldn’t be more different, or more neurotic. But when they find themselves converging at the family manse, they become surprisingly indispensable to one another. Cast: Matthew Perry, Ginnifer Goodwin, Ben Foster. World Premiere
BLIND DATE / U.S.A. (Director: Stanley Tucci; Screenwriters: Stanley Tucci, David Schechter)— A married couple has suffered a tragedy, and now the only way they can relate to one another is by meeting as different characters through a series of personal ads. A remake of the original work by the late Dutch director Theo van Gogh. Cast: Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thijs Romer. World Premiere
BOTTLE SHOCK / U.S.A. (Director: Randall Miller; Screenwriters: Jody Savin, Randall Miller)— The story of the early days of California wine making featuring the now infamous, blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has come to be known as “Judgment of Paris.” Cast: Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Rachael Taylor, Freddy Rodríguez , Eliza Dushku. World Premiere
CHRONIC TOWN / U.S.A. (Director: Tom Hines; Screenwriter: Michael Kamsky)— A bittersweet slice-of-life comedy about a cab driver with substance abuse problems who weathers a cold Alaskanwinter with his cadre of friends and lovers. Cast: JR Bourne, Emily Wagner, Dan Butler. World Premiere
GOLIATH / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: David Zellner)— Faced with a demotion, a pending divorce, and less-than-friendly neighbors, a man pins his hopes for salvation on finding his missing cat, Goliath. Cast: David Zellner, Caroline O’Connor, Nathan Zellner. World Premiere
A GOOD DAY TO BE BLACK & SEXY / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dennis Dortch)— Six progressive vignettes explore sexuality and relationships in the black community of Los Angeles. Cast: Kathryn Taylor, Valley Jones, Chonte’ Harris. World Premiere
LOVE COMES LATELY / Germany / Austria (Director and Screenwriter: Jan Schütte)— An 80-yearold man continues to pursue his love life with youthful vigor, risking his relationship with the woman he loves. Based on the short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Cast: Otto Tausig, Rhea Perlman, Tovah Feldshuh. U.S. Premiere
MOMMA’S MAN / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Azazel Jacobs)— A man who has avoided his wife and child at home has a change of heart after an imposed stay in his own parents’ loft. Cast: Flo Jacobs, Ken Jacobs, Dana Varon. World Premiere
QUID PRO QUO / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Carlos Brooks)— A paraplegic New York public radio reporter becomes involved with a mysterious woman while researching a story about able-bodied people who secretly yearn to be paralyzed. Cast: Nick Stahl, Vera Farmiga, Kate Burton. World Premiere
RED / U.S.A. (Director: Trygve Diesen; Co-Director: Lucky McKee; Screenwriter: Stephen Susco)— An older, reclusive man’s best friend and inspiration for living is his 14-year-old dog named “Red.” When three troublesome teens kill the dog for no good reason, the grieving man sets out for justice and redemption by whatever means available to him. Cast: Brian Cox, Tom Sizemore, Kim Dickens. World Premiere
New Frontier represents film at the crossroads of art, environment, culture and new media. This year’s line-up includes a program of six feature-length films from France, Haiti, and the United States.
In addition to the films screening in New Frontier, the program draws focus to new work that is at the forefront of the intersection between art, new technology, and the moving image. It also includes performances and conversation at New Frontier on Main, a specially designed art space across from the Egyptian Theatre in Park City. The complete lineup for New Frontier on Main will be announced December 6.
The films screening in New Frontier are:
cASTING a gLANCE / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: James Benning)— An experiential look at Robert Smithson’s monumental sculpture, the Spiral Jetty, as it has evolved over 30 years in concert with the ebb and flow of the Great Salt Lake.
EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (MANGE, CECI ES EST MON CORPS) / France/ Haiti (Director and Screenwriter: Michelange Quay)— A dreamlike meditation on the evolution of racial conquest and liberation in Haiti. Cast: Sylvie Testud. U.S. Premiere
FEAR(S) OF THE DARK (PEUR(S) DU NOIR) / France (Directors: Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Callou, Richard McGuire, Pierre Di Sciullio, Lorenzo Mattotti Screenwriters: Jerry Kramsky, Pirus, Romaine Slocombe, Artistic Director: Etienne Robial)— Ten leading graphic artists and cartoonists have breathed life into their phobias and nightmares in this animated feature. North American Premiere
HALF-LIFE / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jennifer Phang)— As troubling signs of global cataclysms accelerate, a brother and sister react to their father’s desertion and the powerful presence of their mother’s new boyfriend. World Premiere
REVERSION / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Mia Trachinger)— In a world in which the past, present and future simultaneously unfold, a woman whose genetic mutation leaves her devoid of morality struggles to preserve her romance with the man she loves. World Premiere
SEVEN INTELLECTUALS IN BAMBOO FOREST, PARTS 4 AND 5 / U.S.A . (Artist: Yang Fudong)— A rare screening of the artist’s most recently completed films in his celebrated series, based on the history of seven intellectuals in the ancient Chinese Wei and Jin Dynasties.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
Park City at Midnight offers eight films that are likely to amuse, surprise, or shock the bleary-eyed viewer and offer a lively last stop in the nightly film-going circuit. Films presented in Park City at Midnight at previous Sundance Film Festivals include: THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, SUPERTROOPERS, SAW, OLD BOY, and AMERICAN HARDCORE.
The films screening in Park City at Midnight this year are:
ADVENTURES OF POWER / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ari Gold)— In his quest to become the world’s greatest air-drummer, a small-town dreamer must overcome obstacles and ridicule to save the day. Cast: Adrian Grenier, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Jean-Louis. World Premiere
THE BRØKEN / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Sean Ellis)—On a busy London street a woman sees herself driving by in her own car. Stunned, she trails the mystery woman as events take an eerie turn into a living nightmare. Cast: Lena Heady, Richard Jenkins, Asier Newman. World Premiere
GEORGE A. ROMERO’S DIARY OF THE DEAD / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: George A. Romero)— When a group of film students making an indie horror film find themselves trapped in a world being consumed by flesh-eating zombies, they cleverly switch gears and use the camera to document the world crumbling around them. Cast: Nick Alachiotis, Matt Birman, George Buza, Wes Craven, Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro. U.S. Premiere
DONKEY PUNCH / United Kingdom (Director: Olly Blackburn; Screenwriters: Olly Blackburn, David Bloom)— After meeting at a nightclub in a Mediterranean resort, seven young adults decide to continue partying aboard a luxury yacht in the middle of the ocean. But when one of them dies in a freak accident the others argue about what to do, leading to a ruthless fight for survival. Cast: Robert Boulter, Sian Breckin, Tom Burke. World Premiere
FUNNY GAMES / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Michael Haneke)—A family settles into its vacation home, which happens to be the next stop for a pair of young, articulate, white-gloved serial killers on an excursion through the neighborhood. Cast: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart.
HELL RIDE / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Larry Bishop)— Quentin Tarantino presents this bloody, sexy tale of motorcycle revenge. It’s a modern-day take on 1960s motorcycle flicks, with bikers who hit the road to avenge the death of one of their “old ladies” at the hands of a rival motorcycle gang. Cast: Larry Bishop, Dennis Hopper , Michael Madsen. World Premiere
OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE / Germany / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Bruce LaBruce)— A lonely gay zombie searches for love and meaning in contemporary Berlin. Cast: Jey Crisfar, Katharina Klewinghaus, Susanne Sachsse, Marcel Schlutt. World Premiere
TIMECRIMES (LOS CRONOCRÍMENES) / Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Nacho Vigalondo)— A man accidentally travels back to the past, only to meet himself there. He also encounters a series of mysteries—pieces of an unpredictable jigsaw puzzle of terror, drama, and suspense—that all lead to an unthinkable crime. Cast: Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernández, Bárbara Goenaga.
For the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, 121 feature-length films were selected including 87 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and 12 U.S. premieres representing 25 countries with 55 first-time filmmakers, including 23 in the non-competition categories. These films were selected from 3,624 feature film submissions composed of 2,021 U.S. and 1,603 international feature-length films. These numbers represent an increase from last year when 1,852 U.S. and 1,435 international feature-length films were considered.