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The Sundance Film Festival has announced the competition's entries, which include a diverse sampling of styles and stories. The festival, which will be held in Park City, Utah, from January 18 to 28, is said to have abandoned its coming-of-age, gritty New York City films of the past for more quirkiness and deeper stories.
"I feel like we're on the cusp of a new era," Sundance festival director Geoffrey Gilmore told indieWire.com, "where the old ideas of independent film--that insularity, that narrowness of subject matter--are no longer the case. We're beginning to witness work that is really expanding the horizons of what American film is and can be, work that is both enormously innovative and strikingly different than what we've seen in the past."
Below is the complete listing courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival.
The films screening in Documentary Competition are:
Director: Marco Williams
This story of three U.S. towns that in the early 20th century forced their entire African-American population to leave explores what--if anything--can be done to make up for past racial injustice. World premiere.
Director: Lincoln Ruchti
Twin Galaxies Arcade, Iowa, 1982: the birthplace of mankind's obsession with video games. The fate of this world lies in the hands (literally) of a few unlikely heroes: They are the Original Video Game World Champions and the arcade is their battleground. World premiere.
Director: Dan Klores
An unsettling true story about an obsessive relationship between a married man and a beautiful, single 20-year-old woman, which began in 1957 and continues today. World premiere.
Directors: Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold
A group of self-appointed global warming messengers are on a high-stakes quest to find the iconic image, proper language, and points of leverage to help the public go from embracing the urgency of the problem to creating the political will necessary to move to an alternative energy economy. World premiere.
For the Bible Tells Me So
Director: Daniel Karslake
Grounded by the stories of five conservative Christian families, the film explores how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to support its agenda of stigmatizing gays and eroding the separation between church and state. World premiere.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
Director: Rory Kennedy
This inside look at the abuses that occurred at the infamous Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003 uses direct, personal narratives of perpetrators, witnesses, and victims to probe the effects on all involved. World premiere.
Director: David Stenn
When underage dancer Patricia Douglas is raped at a wild MGM stag party in 1937, she makes headlines and legal history, and then disappears. Girl 27 follows author-screenwriter David Stenn as he investigates one of Hollywood's most notorious scandals. World premiere.
Hear and Now
Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky
Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky tells a deeply personal story about her deaf parents and their radical decision--after 65 years of silence--to undergo cochlear implant surgery, a complex procedure that could give them the ability to hear. World premiere.
Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)
Director: Jason Kohn
Set in Brazil, known as one of the world's most corrupt and violent countries, Manda Bala follows a politician who uses a frog farm to steal billions of dollars, a wealthy businessman who spends a small fortune bulletproofing his cars, and a plastic surgeon who reconstructs the ears of mutilated kidnapping victims. World premiere.
My Kid Could Paint That
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
A 4-year-old girl whose paintings are compared to those of Kandinsky, Pollock, and even Picasso has sold $300,000 worth of paintings. Is she a genius of abstract expressionism, a tiny charlatan, or an exploited child whose parents have sold her out for the glare of the media and the lure of the almighty dollar? World premiere.
Directors: Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman
A powerful and haunting depiction of the atrocities suffered by the Chinese at the hands of the invading Japanese army during the Rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic events of the years leading up to World War II. While more than 200,000 Chinese were murdered and ten of thousands raped, a handful of Westerners performed extraordinary acts of heroism, saving over 250,000 lives in the midst of the horror. World premiere.
No End in Sight
Director: Charles Ferguson
A comprehensive examination of the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war and occupation. Featuring first-time interviews with key participants, the film creates a startlingly clear reconstruction of key decisions that led to the current state of affairs in this war-torn country. World premiere.
Director: Jessica Yu
Protagonist explores the organic relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men--a German terrorist, a bank robber, an "ex-gay" evangelist, and a martial arts student. World premiere.
Directors: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Devastated by the long civil war in Uganda, three young girls and their school in the Patongo refugee camp find hope as they make a historic journey to compete in their country's national music and dance festival. World premiere.
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Director: Steven Okazaki
White Light/Black Rain offers a visceral, topical, and moving portrait of the human cost of atomic warfare. World premiere.
Director: Robinson Devor
A humanizing look at the life and bizarre death of a seemingly normal Seattle family man who met his untimely end after an unusual encounter with a horse. World premiere.
The films screening in Dramatic Competition are:
Adrift in Manhattan
Director: Alfredo de Villa; Screenwriters: Nat Moss, Alfredo de Villa
In New York City a grieving eye doctor is forced to take a closer look at her life, an aging artist confronts the loss of his eyesight, and a young photographer battles his innermost demons. World premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Zoe Cassavetes
A woman in her 30s finds herself surrounded by friends who are married, are in relationships, or have children. She unexpectedly meets a quirky Frenchman who opens her eyes to a lot more than love. World premiere.
Four Sheets to the Wind
Director and screenwriter: Sterlin Harjo
Cufe Smallhill finds his father dead. Fulfilling a dying wish, he disposes of the body in the family pond and sets off to begin a new life in the big city of Tulsa, Okla. World premiere.
The Good Life
Director and screenwriter: Steve Berra
A story about a "mostly normal" young man whose small-town existence running a faded movie palace is shaken when he comes into contact with a mysterious young woman. World premiere.
Grace Is Gone
Director and screenwriter: James C. Strouse
A young father learns that his wife has been killed in Iraq and must find the courage to tell his two young daughters the news. World premiere.
Director: George Ratliff; Screenwriters: David Gilbert, George Ratliff
A successful young Manhattan family is torn apart by the machinations of Joshua, their 8-year-old prodigy, when his newborn sister comes home from the hospital. World premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Gina Kim
When an American woman and her Asian-American husband discover they are unable to conceive, she begins a clandestine relationship with an attractive stranger in a desperate attempt to save her marriage. World premiere.
On the Road With Judas
Director and Screenwriter: JJ Lask
Reality, fiction, and the notions of storytelling intertwine in this narrative about a young thief and the woman he loves. World premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Christopher Zalla
Fleeing a criminal past, Juan hops a truck transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico to New York City, where he meets Pedro, who is seeking his rich father. World premiere.
Director: Chris Smith; Screenwriters: Chris Smith, Randy Russell
A boy working in a hotel becomes obsessed with a swimming pool in the opulent hills of Panjim in India's Goa region. His life is turned upside down when he attempts to meet the mysterious family that arrives at the house. World premiere.
Director and Screenwriter: Jeffrey Blitz
A 15-year-old boy from New Jersey with a stuttering problem falls in love with the star of the debate team and finds himself suddenly immersed in the ultracompetitive world of debating. World premiere.
Director: David Gordon Green; Screenwriter: Stewart O'Nan
A drama that interweaves the life of a teenager with his former baby-sitter, her estranged husband, and their daughter. World premiere.
Starting Out in the Evening
Director: Andrew Wagner; Screenwriters: Andrew Wagner, Fred Parnes
The solitary life of a writer is shaken when a smart, ambitious graduate student convinces him that her thesis will bring him back into the literary spotlight. World premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a "physical advantage" when she becomes the object of male violence. World premiere.
The Untitled Dakota Fanning Project, a.k.a. Hounddog
Director and screenwriter: Deborah Kampmeier
In late 1950s Alabama a precocious, troubled girl finds her angel in the blues. World premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Adam Bhala Lough
Weapons presents a series of brutal, seemingly random youth-related killings over the course of a weekend in a typical small town in America and tragically reveals how they are all related. World premiere.
The films screening in World Cinema Documentary Competition are:
Brazil; Directors: Cao Guimaraes and Pablo Lobato
Experimental in form, this lush cinematic poem weaves together stories and images from 20 different cities in Brazil's state of Menas Gerais to reveal the fundamental role the accidental and the unpredictable play in everyday human life. North American premiere.
Bajo Juarez: The City Devouring Its Daughters
Mexico; Director: Alejandra Sanchez
In an industrial town in Mexico near the U.S. border, hundreds of women have been sexually abused and murdered. As the body count continues to rise, a web of corruption that reaches the highest levels of Mexican society is revealed. U.S. premiere.
Bolivia; Director: Alejandro Landes
Against the backdrop of the Bolivian government's attempted eradication of the coca crop and oppression of the indigenous groups that cultivate it and the U.S. war on drugs, an Aymara Indian named Evo Morales travels through the Andes and the Amazon in jeans and sneakers, leading a historic campaign to become the first indigenous president of Bolivia. World premiere.
Comrades in Dreams
Germany; Director: Uli Gaulke
From the far ends of the globe, four lives that could not be more different are united by a single passion--their unconditional love of cinema and their quest to bring the magic of the silver screen to the everyday lives of those who need it most. North American premiere.
Crossing the Line
United Kingdom; Director: Daniel Gordon
Crossing the Line reveals the clandestine life of Joseph Dresnok, who at the height of the Cold War was one of the few Americans who defected to North Korea, one of the least understood countries in the world. North American premiere.
Enemies of Happiness (Vores Lykkes Fjender)
Denmark; Directors: Eva Mulvad and Anja Al Erhayem
Malalai Joya, a 28-year-old Afghani woman, redefines the role of women and elected officials in her country with her historic victory in 2005 in Afghanistan's first democratic parliamentary election in over 30 years. North American premiere.
The Future Is Unwritten
Ireland, United Kingdom; Director: Julien Temple
An invitation from the punk rock warlord himself to journey beyond the myth to the heart and voice of a generation. His life, our times, his music. World premiere.
Israel; Director: Shimon Dotan
At once chilling and humanizing, Hot House provides an unprecedented look at how Israeli prisons have become the breeding ground for the next generation of Palestinian leaders as well as the birthplace of future terrorist threats. North American premiere.
In the Shadow of the Moon
United Kingdom; Director: David Sington
One of the defining passages of American history, the Apollo space program brought the aspirations of a nation to another world. Awe-inspiring footage and candid interviews with the astronauts who visited the moon provide unparalleled perspective on the precious state of our planet. World premiere.
Canada; Director: Jennifer Baichwal
This visually stunning work provides the unique perspective of photographer Edward Burtynsky, who chronicles the transformation of the world's landscape due to industrial work and manufacturing. U.S. premiere.
The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun
Denmark; Director: Pernille Rose Gronkjaer
Worlds collide, tempers flare, and dreams are realized when Mr. Vig, an 82-year-old virgin from Denmark, and Sister Ambrosija, a headstrong Russian nun, join forces to transform Mr. Vig's run-down castle into an Orthodox Russian monastery. North American premiere.
On a Tightrope
Norway, Canada; Director: Petr Lom
The daily routine of four children living in an orphanage who are learning the ancient art of tightrope walking becomes a metaphor for the struggle of the Uighurs, China's largest Muslim minority, who are torn between religion and the teachings of communism. North American premiere.
Three Comrades (Drie Kameraden)
Netherlands; Director: Masha Novikova
In this intimate film we witness the lives of three lifelong friends whose worlds are torn apart by war in Chechnya's bloody struggle for independence. North American premiere.
A Very British Gangster
United Kingdom; Director: Donal MacIntyre
Given his many contradictions, Dominic Noonan, head of one of Britain's biggest crime families, is a man who defies stereotypes. This close-up look at his life, from trials to the murder of his brother on the streets of Manchester, reveals a community struggling with poverty, violence, and drugs. World premiere.
Tunisia; Director: Nejib Belkadhi
In a poor district of Tunisia, self-made auteur Moncef Kahloucha, a guerrilla filmmaker in the purest sense, demonstrates that it takes a village to make some fun movies as he brings the power of cinema to the people. North American premiere.
France; Director: Bruno Ulmer
Young Kurdish, Moroccan, and Romanian men migrate to Europe for a better life only to face the harsh realities and the laws of survival on the streets of a foreign land. North American premiere.
The films screening in World Cinema Dramatic Competition are:
Blame It on Fidel (La Faute a Fidel)
France; Director and screenwriter: Julie Gavras
A 9-year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris. North American premiere.
Drained (O Cheiro Do Ralo)
Brazil; Director: Heitor Dhalia; Screenwriters: Marcal Aquino, Heitor Dhalia
A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals--as much to play perverse power games as for his livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control. North American premiere.
Dreams of Dust (Reves De Poussiere)
Burkina Faso, Canada, France; Director and screenwriter: Laurent Salgues
A Nigerian peasant comes looking for work in Essakane, a dusty gold mine in northeast Burkina Faso, where he hopes to forget the past that haunts him. North American premiere.
Driving With My Wife's Lover (Ane-Eui Aein-Eul Mannada)
South Korea; Director: Kim Tai-sik; Screenwriters: Kim Jeon-han, Kim Tai-sik
When a mild-mannered South Korean man decides to track down the cab driver having an affair with his wife, a strange bond develops between the pair during a long-distance drive. North American premiere.
Eagle vs. Shark
New Zealand; Director and screenwriter: Taika Waititi
The tale of two socially awkward misfits and the strange ways they try to find love. World premiere.
France; Director: Newton I. Aduaka; Screenwriters: Newton I. Aduaka, Alain-Michel Blanc
A youth who served as a child soldier in Sierra Leone attempts to return to a normal life after the civil war that devastated his country. World premiere.
United Kingdom; Director: Nick Broomfield; Screenwriters: Nick Broomfield, Jez Lewis
Based on a true story, Ghosts is the tragic account of an illegal Chinese immigrant woman as she struggles relentlessly for a better life in the United Kingdom. North American premiere.
How Is Your Fish Today? (Jin Tian De Yu Zen Me Yang?)
United Kingdom; Director: Xiaolu Guo; Screenwriter: Rao Hui and Xiaolu Guo
Blurring boundaries between reality and fiction, How Is Your Fish Today? traces a Chinese writer's inner journey through his fictional characters. North American premiere.
How She Move
Canada; Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid; Screenwriter: Annmarie Morais
Following her sister's death from drug addiction, a high school student is forced to leave her private school to return to her old, crime-filled neighborhood, where she rekindles an unlikely passion for the competitive world of step-dancing. World premiere.
The Island (Ostrov)
Russia; Director: Pavel Lounguine; Screenwriter: Dmitri Sobolev
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons. and foretell the future. U.S. premiere.
Belgium, Germany; Directors and screenwriters: Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth
Set in the frozen steppes of Mongolia, Khadak tells the epic story of Bagi, a young nomad confronted with his destiny after animals fall victim to a plague that threatens to eradicate nomadism. U.S. premiere.
Georgia, France; Directors and screenwriters: Gela Babluani, Temur Babluani
Three French hipsters and their translator travel through rural Georgia to claim a remote, ruined castle that one of them has inherited. En route they encounter an old man and his grandchild who are on a journey to carry out a mysterious, morbid ritual designed to end a conflict between warring clans. North American premiere.
The Night of Buffalo (El Bufalo de la Noche)
Mexico; Director: Jorge Hernandez Aldana; Screenwriters: Jorge Hernandez Aldana, Guillermo Arriaga
A 22-year-old schizophrenic commits suicide after his girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend. Before killing himself, he lays out a plan that will drive the lovers into the abyss of madness. World premiere.
Australia; Director and screenwriter: Matthew Saville
A young cop, beset with doubt and afflicted with tinnitus (ear-ringing), is pitched into the chaos that follows a mass murder on a suburban train. He struggles to clear the screaming in his head while the surrounding community deals with the after-effects of the terrible crime. World premiere.
Ireland; Director and screenwriter: John Carney
Once is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his band the Frames, Once tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse, and record songs that reveal their unique love story. North American premiere.
Sweet Mud (Adama Meshugaat)
Israel; Director and screenwriter: Dror Shaul
On a kibbutz in southern Israel in the 1970s, Dvir Avni realizes that his mother is mentally ill. In this closed community, bound by rigid rules, Dvir must navigate between the kibbutz ideal of equality and the stinging reality that his mother has in effect been abandoned by the community. U.S. premiere.