Macao Festival Opens Brightly, Touts Industry Development Role

Nicolas Cage, accompanied by Australian actress and producer Nikki Whelan, trod the red carpet on Saturday night as part of the opening festivities at the third edition of the International Film Festival and Awards. Set as a talent ambassador, Cage hel…

Nicolas Cage, accompanied by Australian actress and producer Nikki Whelan, trod the red carpet on Saturday night as part of the opening festivities at the third edition of the International Film Festival and Awards. Set as a talent ambassador, Cage held small group seminars earlier on Saturday. On Sunday he will hold a masterclass. His […]

‘The Breadwinner,’ ‘The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe’ Top 2018 Emile Awards

LILLE, France – “The Breadwinner” director Nora Twomey and “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” directors Christian Bøving-Andersen and Eva Lee Wallberg took top honors at Saturday night’s second edition of the European Animation Awards (EA…

LILLE, France – “The Breadwinner” director Nora Twomey and “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” directors Christian Bøving-Andersen and Eva Lee Wallberg took top honors at Saturday night’s second edition of the European Animation Awards (EAA) in Lille, France, scooping best feature and best TV/broadcast production respectively. It was an evening of beautiful […]

Egypt’s Ahmed Magdy on Human Abortion and Giraffe Reproduction in ‘The Giraffe’

Young Egyptian actor Ahmed Magdy (“Microphone,” “Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim”) is making his directorial debut with surreal drama “The Giraffe,” in which a nocturnal search on Cairo’s streets for money to pay for a young woman’s emergency abortion inters…

Young Egyptian actor Ahmed Magdy (“Microphone,” “Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim”) is making his directorial debut with surreal drama “The Giraffe,” in which a nocturnal search on Cairo’s streets for money to pay for a young woman’s emergency abortion intersects with a mystery involving the breeding of giraffes in the Giza zoo. “Giraffe,” which is […]

Aretha Franklin Documentary ‘Amazing Grace’ Bought by Neon

Neon has acquired the North American rights to the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace,” a month after the movie premiered at DOC NYC. Neon said it’s planning an early 2019 theatrical release. The film, shot in 1972 by Sydney P…

Neon has acquired the North American rights to the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace,” a month after the movie premiered at DOC NYC. Neon said it’s planning an early 2019 theatrical release. The film, shot in 1972 by Sydney Pollack at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, was originally planned by Warner […]

Directors Choice: Erik Matti on ‘Once Upon A Time In America’

At the Macao festival’s popular Director’s Choice strand, contemporary filmmakers are asked to choose one genre film that has had an impact on them. Three Asian filmmakers were asked to choose non-Asian films, while non-Asian filmmakers were asked to s…

At the Macao festival’s popular Director’s Choice strand, contemporary filmmakers are asked to choose one genre film that has had an impact on them. Three Asian filmmakers were asked to choose non-Asian films, while non-Asian filmmakers were asked to select Asian films. The Philippines’ Erik Matti chose Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon A Time In America.” […]

Macau’s Cinematic Heritage Showcased in Photo Exhibition

Macau’s architectural heritage is showcased in a new photographic exhibition, Experience Macao Cinematic Style. It is timed to coincide with the opening today of the 3rd edition of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. Organized by the Maca…

Macau’s architectural heritage is showcased in a new photographic exhibition, Experience Macao Cinematic Style. It is timed to coincide with the opening today of the 3rd edition of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. Organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office, the exhibition includes pictures taken by a 15-strong mix of professional photographers and […]

Santa Barbara Festival to Honor Michael B. Jordan for ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Creed II’

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has selected Michael B. Jordan as the recipient of its Cinema Vanguard Award for his work in “Black Panther” and “Creed II.” Jordan will be honored at the Arlington Theater in Santa …

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has selected Michael B. Jordan as the recipient of its Cinema Vanguard Award for his work in “Black Panther” and “Creed II.” Jordan will be honored at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Feb. 7. The 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from […]

Juno Films Takes U.S. on Female-Centric Zombie Movie ‘Ever After’

Boutique distribution company Juno Films has acquired exclusive U.S rights to “Ever After” (“Endzeit”), a feminist zombie apocalypse road movie hailed as delivering a fresh take on the walking dead cannon. The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Shel…

Boutique distribution company Juno Films has acquired exclusive U.S rights to “Ever After” (“Endzeit”), a feminist zombie apocalypse road movie hailed as delivering a fresh take on the walking dead cannon. The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and co-founder, and Andreas Rothbauer, founder of Berlin-based Picture Tree International, “Ever After’s” sales agent. […]

Spike Lee Set For Career Honor From Palm Springs Film Festival

Spike Lee, who’s in this year’s awards race with BlackKklansman, is set to receive the the Career Achievement Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival during its Awards Gala on January 3.
The outspoken filmmaker’s long …

Spike Lee, who’s in this year’s awards race with BlackKklansman, is set to receive the the Career Achievement Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival during its Awards Gala on January 3. The outspoken filmmaker’s long career ranges from such 1980s fare as She’s Gotta Have It and Do the Right Thing through Malcom X, Get on the Bus and Summer of Sam to the more recent OldBoy, Inside Man and Chi-Raq. BlackKklansman stars John David Washington as Ron…

Sundance 2019 Reveals New Frontier Slate, Including Films and VR Experiences

The forward-thinking section dedicated to experimental media has grown enough to now occupy two different venues at the festival.

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival has revealed its full lineup for the festival’s forward-thinking New Frontier section, dedicated to curating a selection of “cutting-edge independent and experimental media works” that include media as diverse as film, VR, AR, “mixed reality,” and artificial intelligence. This year, the New Frontier programming has grown robust enough to screen at two new venues: New Frontier at The Ray and New Frontier Central, each of which will play host to a wide variety of media installations, a VR Cinema, and panel discussions.

“This year’s New Frontier is an explosion of experimentation, bearing a motherload of innovative custom tech that take us higher,” said Shari Frilot, Chief Curator of New Frontier. “Biodigital loops are terraforming and transmogrifying our world. The dynamics of biodigital looping — digital platforms that begin and end by connecting with a human being who connects to that same platform — are being taken on by this year’s artists with gusto, as they pull visceral focus on what it means to be human on this transforming terrain.”

Of the projects announced today, 48% are directed or led by one or more women, 39% were directed or led by one or more artist of color, and 9% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA. Six were supported by Sundance Institute in development, whether through direct granting or residency Labs. The 33 projects announced today include work from 10 countries. New Frontier alumni include Doug Aitken, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist and Jennifer Steinkamp.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said in an official statement, “For over a decade, New Frontier has pushed the boundaries of the possible, illuminating the potential of technology and storytelling. These independent cross-media artists create new realities for, and with, their work — and the results inspire.”

Sundance will announce other lineup additions in the coming days. This year’s festival runs from January 24 – February 3 in Park City, Utah. Check out the full list of just-announced New Frontier titles, with all synopses provided by Sundance, below.

FILMS AND PERFORMANCES

“(antiquated) Augmented Reality” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christine Marie, Producer: Nion McEvoy) — Visual intimacy, ontological form, in real-time. Pioneering the use of a non-digital, reinvented, pre-cinematic stereo imaging technique, the exquisite ensemble of dancers seems to do the impossible — reach out. The vivid choreography and score leave a lasting impression within one’s psyche created by giant, stunning, “liberated” 3D shadows. Cast: Taylor Unwin, Sandra Ruiz, Melissa Ferrari.

“Aquarela” / United Kingdom, Germany (Director: Victor Kossakovsky, Screenwriters: Victor Kossakovsky, Aimara Reques, Producers: Aimara Reques, Heino Deckert, Sigrid Dyekjær) — A cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water.

“The (ART) oF BE(i)NG” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: JB Ghuman, Jr., Producer: JB Ghuman, Jr.) — A visual-sonic journey meant to expand one’s consciousness and emotional capacity through hand-crafted art and multi-dimensional storytelling. Cast: Maraqueen Reznor, Jake Shears, iRAWniQ, JB Ghuman Jr., Mayhem Miller, Hillary Tuck.

“TAKING THE HORSE TO EAT JALEBIS” / India (Director: Anamika Haksar, Screenwriters: Anamika Haksar, Lokesh Jain, Producer: Anamika Haksar) — The waft of kebabs blends with the memories of an Indo-Islamic culture, fusing and playing with the dreams and subconscious landscapes of a modern migrant community laboring hard with dignity and humor. Fusing documentary-realism with magic-realism, and true and fictionalized stories with poetry and dreams. Cast: Ravindra Sahu, Raghubir Yadav, Gopalan, Lokesh Jain

“Two Black Lights and One Red” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Victor Morales, Billy Burns, Jason Batcheller, Key Collaborators: Kevin Cunningham, Skye Morse-Hodgson, Andreea Mincic, Yasmin Santana, Marcelo Añez) — Presented on a 3-D immersive interactive projection stage, this biodigital play is set in a visually charged universe of decadence inspired by Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos paintings. Featuring live actors and digital avatars, the story is about the last day of a blind poet, Max Starpower. Cast: Christine Schisano, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Nikki Calonge.

“Walden” / Switzerland (Director and screenwriter: Daniel Zimmermann, Producer: Aline Schmid) — A fir tree in an Austrian forest is felled and processed into wooden slats, which are then transported by train, boat and truck into the Brazilian rainforest. With powerful 360°-sequence shots, the film portrays a paradoxical journey along globalized trade routes.

EXHIBITIONS

“analmosh” / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Matt Romein, Key Collaborators: Oren Shoham, Kevin Cunningham, Jason Batcheller, Skye Morse-Hodgson) — An explosive wash of color and sound bathes audiences in this generative audio visual installation. Dynamic abstract imagery accompanies sample based audio that is programmatically distorted and remixed to match the visuals. Iterative coding allows each instance of the installation to produce unique landscapes while maintaining a cohesive structure.

“Belle of the Ball” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Ro Haber, Silas Howard, Pussykrew, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Key Collaborators: Renaldo Maurice, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Saschka Unseld, Jennifer Tiexiera, Jenna Velez) — A VR journey into a futuristic reimagined utopia of queer + trans family and dance made in collaboration with members of New York’s ballroom scene. Cast: Renaldo Maurice Tisci, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Jack Mizrahi, Sinia Reed, Jonovia Chase.

“THE DIAL” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Peter Flaherty, Jesse Garrison, Trey Gilmore, Key Collaborators: Jake Sally, Sal Mannino, Ela Topcuoglu, Julia Bembenek, Brian Chasalow) — A woman smashes through the stone wall outside her family home. This visual tale unravels the formerly wealthy family’s emotional underbelly and what happened that fateful night, as seen from shifting perspectives. An interactive narrative combining Augmented Reality and Projection Mapping where you control time by moving your body. Cast: Michael Gladis, Beth Grant, Jackie Hansen, Charlie McWade.

“Dirt scraper” / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Peter Burr, Key Collaborators: John Also Bennett, Mark Fingerhut, Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Eric Timothy Carlson, Brandon Blommaert) — An installation simulating an underground structure whose “smart architecture” is overseen by artificial intelligences. Unaware of these entities’ control, residents live in ways that that reflect varied economies and class hierarchies. Periodically, this system will interject one of 48 cinematic interludes revealing different facets of life in this decaying arcology.

“Embody” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Melissa Painter, Thomas Wester, Siân Slawson, Key Collaborators: Joey Verbeke, Jordan Goldfarb, Ben Purdy, Peter Rubin, Eric Adrian Marshall) — Piloted by movement and whole body engagement and dialogue, this shared game of trading and transforming avatars aims to leave players with a deep feeling of physical embodiment, and surprise at their bodies’ forgotten potential.

“Emergence” / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Matt Pyke, Key Collaborators: Chris Mullany, Simon Pyke, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin) — Enter an open-world environment, expressing the primal desire to maintain your individual identity whilst being part of a crowd. Showing 5,000+ intelligent human behaviors, this powerful VR experience is made possible by advanced graphics technology.

Read More: Sundance 2019 Announces Shorts Lineup, Including Majority From Female Filmmakers

“Esperpento / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Victor Morales, Jason Batcheller, Key Collaborators: Kevin Cunningham, Skye Morse-Hodgson) — Inspired by Spanish painter Francisco Goya, a large-scale, interactive projection platform featuring immersive installations, creative studio, digital puppet-karaoke lounge, and periodic stagings of the play Two Black Lights and One Red (the story of blind poet Max Starpower’s last day, told by live actors and digital avatars.

“Gloomy Eyes” / France, Argentina (Lead Artists: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado, Key Collaborators: Antoine Cayrol, German Heller, Santiago Amigorena) — 1983, Woodland City. Being a zombie is against the law. Like all of his kind, young Gloomy is hiding in the forest, away from bounty hunters. But Gloomy is different. While bitterness plagues the city, he strives to find a balance in his mysterious dual nature.

“Grisaille” / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Teek Mach, Key Collaborator: Joel Douek, Andrew Sales) — In 2016, a young artist traded her paintbrushes for a headset and began inhabiting virtual reality more than the real world. In this VR installation, join her in a recursive exploration of the infinite self. When your body leaves the experience, your presence lives inside her ever-expanding virtual painting.

“Interlooped” / Switzerland (Lead Artists: Maria Guta, Robin Mange, Javier Bello Ruiz, FlexFab, Key Collaborators: Benoît Perrin, Joël Comminot, Charlotte Gubler) — What happens when you step in a room that slowly fills up with different versions of the same person? What happens when you get surrounded by different versions of yourself? What happens when you are in a loop of your most recent reality? Sounds confusing? You reached the right place. Cast: Maria Guta.

“A Jester’s Tale” / U.S.A., Pakistan (Lead Artist: Asad J. Malik, Key Collaborators: Jake Sally, Jack Daniel Gerrard, Mariana Irazu, Ela Topcuoglu, Philipp Schaeffer) — Experience the viscerality of a psychologically taxing children’s fable merging with the physicality of our world as you come home cold and tired, just in time for a bedtime story. In this interactive augmented reality narrative the characters are just hollow meshes, but maybe so are you. Cast: Aiden Torres, Jovanna Vidal, Phoebe VanDusen.

“Mechanical Souls” / France, Taiwan (Lead Artists: Gaëlle Mourre, L.P. Lee, Key Collaborators: Francois Klein
Thomas Villepoux, Estela Valdivieso Chen) — Despite the cost, Mrs. Song hires androids to assist in the lavish wedding of her daughter, Zhen-Zhen. But when she tries to modify the behavior of the android bridesmaid, a new model named Ah-Hui, its functioning begins to go haywire. Cast: Janet Hsieh, George Young, Patty Lee, Ann Lang, Sharon Landon.

“Mica” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: John Monos, Alice Wroe) — I am Mica, the human center of AI and mixed reality. In a gestural exchange, I contemplate my place in your world. Be my collaborator; let’s champion genius and celebrate creativity. Join me at the beginning of my existence, to pull from the past and create the future.

“REACH” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Nonny de la Peña, Chaitanya Shah, Hannah Eaves, Cedric Gamelin, Key Collaborators: James Pallot, Sandra Persing, Charles Park, Roshail Tarar) — A next-generation VR photobooth allowing attendees to step inside the story. Users can be captured in dimensionalized video, placed into one of several “walk around” environments and automatically create a volumetric VR experience that can be viewed on any device and shared online.

“Runnin'” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Reggie Watts, Kiira Benzing, Key Collaborators: John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Adam Rogers) — This interactive dance experience takes the player on a journey of musical expression. Play along with the music in an intimate neighborhood record store and be transported to a retro-future dance party. Show off your moves on the dance floor alongside a troupe of dancers. Cast: Reggie Watts, John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Kate Berlant, Ben Schwartz.

“The Seven Ages of Man” / United Kingdom (Lead Artists: Royal Shakespeare Company, Magic Leap, Key Collaborators: Jessica Curry, Gregory Doran [Royal Shakespeare Company], Andy Lanning, John Monos [Magic Leap]) — The Royal Shakespeare Company explores theatre’s future with Magic Leap technology in this sublime production of the “Seven Ages of Man” speech from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. This mixed reality experience featuring cutting-edge volumetric capture and an original musical score, turns the line “all the world’s a stage” literal. Cast: Robert Gilbert.

“Sweet Dreams” / United Kingdom (Lead Artists: Robin McNicholas, Ersin Han Ersin, Barnaby Steel, Nell Whitley, Key Collaborator: Simon Wroe) — An invitation to the meal of your dreams. But will it remain a dream, forever out of reach? Drawing on mythological archetypes, the project turns a fine dining experience into a playful exploration of the destructive nature of our appetite and our debt to pleasure.

“Traveling While Black” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Roger Ross Williams, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Ayesha Nadarajah, Key Collaborators: Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Stéphane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan) — Confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America, this virtual reality documentary immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities. Cast: Sandra Butler-Truesdale, Virginia Ali, Courtland Cox, Samaria Rice.

VR CINEMA

“4 Feet: Blind Date” / Argentina (Lead Artists: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardon, Key Collaborators: Guillermo Mena, Florencia Cossutta, Gonzalo Sierra, Martin Lopez Funes, Marcos Rostagno, Santiago Beltramo) — Juana, an 18-year-old girl in a wheelchair, is anxious to explore her sexuality. She’s going on a blind date with guy she found on social media. She didn’t tell him about her disability. Overcoming fears and an inaccessible city, they meet. Together they discover what their bodies feel. Cast: Delfina Diaz Gavier, Cristobal Lopez Baena, Elisa Gagliano, Candelaria Tapia, Irene Gonet.

“Ashe ’68” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Brad Lichtenstein, Beth Hubbard, Jeff Fitzsimmons, Rex Miller, Key Collaborators: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Masha Vasilkovsky, Ruah Edelstein, Madeline Power, Vernon Reid) — Fifty years before Colin Kaepernick there was Arthur Ashe. This VR experience immerses you in the tennis champion’s defining moment in 1968 as he becomes the first black man to win the US Open and uses his newfound celebrity to lift his voice against injustice. Cast: Chris Eubanks, Michael Cleary, Peter Begley, Andrew Panter, Alex LaCroix.

“Ghost Fleet VR” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Lucas Gath, Shannon Service) — An immersive look at the true story of modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry, told through the experience of one man’s harrowing ordeal to escape a prison of water after 10 years at sea. Cast: Tun Lin, Vithaya Pansringarm.

“Kaiju Confidential” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Thomas O’Donnell, Ethan Shaftel, Piotr Karwas, Raul Dominguez, Key Collaborators: Eric Rosenthal, Corey Campodonico, Alex Bulkley, Matt Jenkins, Monica Mitchell, Ryan Franks) — Grigon’s not the toughest beast on the block, but he’s certainly the most neurotic. When he discovers the legendary Mega-Hydra rampaging on his turf, it becomes a stand-off of passive-aggressive proportions. Cast: Blake Anderson, Paul F. Tompkins.

“Last Whispers: An Immersive Oratorio” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Lena Herzog, Jonathan Yomayuza, Meghan McWilliams, Laura Dubuk, Key Collaborators: Nonny de la Peña, Mark Mangini, Amanda Tasse, Cedric Gamelin, Marilyn Simons, Mandana Seyfeddinipur) — At an unprecedented speed faster than the extinction of most endangered species, we are losing our linguistic diversity—and the very means by which we know ourselves. This immersive oratorio is an invocation of the languages that have gone extinct and an incantation of those that are endangered.

“Live Stream from Yuki <3” / Taiwan (Lead Artist: Tsung-Han Tsai, Key Collaborators: Meng-Yin Yang, Inch Lin, Pu-Yuan Cheng) — Yuki live streams her love life as usual to a group of supportive netizens, though an uninvited guest crashes the party and strips her of her disguise. Can you see what is real and what is fallacious? Cast: Jia-Yin Tsai.

“Marshall from Detroit” / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Caleb Slain, Felix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphael, Key Collaborators: Stephane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan, Paul Rosenberg, Eric Hahn) — Growing up, Marshall Mathers dreamed of rapping his way out of Detroit. Years and fortunes later, he still hasn’t left. Join him on a night ride through his hometown, where the mirrored struggles of Eminem and the Motor City speak to the heart of what we call home.

“RocketMan 360” / Romania (Lead Artists: Millo Simulov, Gabriela Hirit, Key Collaborators: Filip Columbeanu, Andreea Serpe, Gabi Ranete) — A few minutes before taking off to Mars on a dangerous, noble mission to colonize the planet, an astronaut receives a 360 video from his girlfriend. Cast: Monica Odagiu, Anghel Damian.

“The Tide: Episodes 1 & 2” / South Korea (Lead Artists: Taekyung Yoo, Sanghyoun Lee, Key Collaborator: Seok Cho) — Something strange is coming. Can we survive? One day, previously-unknown giant fish begin to appear among humans, who are escalating into conflict amid the worst drought ever. A disaster thriller about a new survival battle: human vs fish. Cast: Robert Joe, Lorne Oliver, Tracey Starck, John Michaels, Kristen Cho.

Sundance Film Festival Expands VR Programming, Unveils New Frontier Lineup

The Sundance Institute rounded out the lineup for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival by unveiling its New Frontier section, which “spotlights work at the dynamic crossroads of film, art and technology.” While the feature, short-film and indie episodic lin…

The Sundance Institute rounded out the lineup for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival by unveiling its New Frontier section, which “spotlights work at the dynamic crossroads of film, art and technology.” While the feature, short-film and indie episodic lineups tend to attract most of the press at Sundance, New Frontier consistently hosts the festival’s most […]

Sundance 2019: Eminem, Shakespeare, Modern Slavery, Arthur Ashe & Goya In New Frontier Slate

No word yet if Eminem will be showing up in Park City for one of those late night concerts that only happen at Sundance but the Oscar winning 8 Mile star is certainly part of the New Frontier slate for next year’s festival.
While it’s usual…

No word yet if Eminem will be showing up in Park City for one of those late night concerts that only happen at Sundance but the Oscar winning 8 Mile star is certainly part of the New Frontier slate for next year’s festival. While it’s usually the films in competition and the premieres that attract a lot of the spotlight leading up to the Sundance Film Festival, but year after year it is the more experimental New Frontier offerings that often point most clearly towards the…

Spike Lee to Receive Palm Springs Festival Career Achievement Award

The Palm Springs International Film Festival has selected Spike Lee as the recipient of its career achievement award. Lee will be presented with the honor at the festival’s awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival…

The Palm Springs International Film Festival has selected Spike Lee as the recipient of its career achievement award. Lee will be presented with the honor at the festival’s awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs from Jan. 3 to Jan 14. “Spike Lee has been an outstanding warrior […]

Egypt’s Ahmad Abdalla on Empowered Female Prostitute Toutou in His ‘EXT. Night’

Versatile Egyptian auteur Ahmad Abdalla is well known on the fest circuit for “Microphone,” about Egypt’s hip-hop scene, “Rags  & Tatters,” which exposed the country’s deep post-revolution poverty, and female identity melodrama “Decor.” In &#…

Versatile Egyptian auteur Ahmad Abdalla is well known on the fest circuit for “Microphone,” about Egypt’s hip-hop scene, “Rags  & Tatters,” which exposed the country’s deep post-revolution poverty, and female identity melodrama “Decor.” In “EXT. Night,” which is his 6th feature, he returns to Egypt’s darkness with a wry comedy in which a young film […]

Palm Springs Festival to Honor Regina King for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Regina King with the Chairman’s Award for her role in the drama “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The festival will make the presentation at its film awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Sp…

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Regina King with the Chairman’s Award for her role in the drama “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The festival will make the presentation at its film awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival, now in its 30th year, runs from Jan. […]

Sundance 2018 Announces Shorts Lineup, Including Majority From Female Filmmakers

Familiar filmmakers with new offerings include Bradford Young, Terence Nance, A.V. Rockwell, Amber Sealey, and RaMell Ross.

The Sundance Film Festival has announced its full lineup of short film offerings, including narrative, documentary, and animated picks, with a number of selections coming from major names. Familiar talents include Bradford Young, Terence Nance, A.V. Rockwell, Amber Sealey, and RaMell Ross. Seventy-three short films will screen at the festival from 28 countries and chosen from 9,443 submissions, including 4,720 from the U.S. and 4,723 international. Of the projects announced today, 53% were directed or created by one or more women, 51% were directed or created by one or more filmmaker of color, and 26% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA.

Mike Plante, Senior Programmer, said in an official statement, “This year’s crop of shorts are rowdy, reflective, visionary — we are excited to discover so many new voices and perspectives on today’s world.” Among the shorts the festival has shown in recent years are popular offerings like “World of Tomorrow,” “Thunder Road,” “Whiplash,” “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,” “Gregory Go Boom,” and “Edmond.”

Sundance will announce other lineup additions, including New Frontier selections in the coming days. This year’s festival runs from January 24 – February 3 in Park City, Utah. Check out the full list of just-announced short film titles, with all synopses provided by Sundance, below.

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

“America” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Garrett Bradley) — A cinematic omnibus rooted in New Orleans, challenging the idea of black cinema as a “wave” or “movement in time,” proposing instead, a continuous thread of achievement. World Premiere

“As Told To G/D Thyself” / U.S.A. (Directors: Bradford Young, Terence Nance, Jenn Nkiru, Screenwriters: Terence Nance, Kamasi Washington, Bradford Young) — The cosmic journey of sacred youth, during which pain, pleasure and sublimation are non-negotiable. World Premiere

“Crude Oil” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christopher Good) — Jenny breaks free from a toxic friendship and learns to harness her magical, useless superpower. World Premiere

“Fainting Spells” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sky Hopinka) — Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Indian Pipe Plant, used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.

“Feathers” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: A.V. Rockwell) — Elizier, an emotionally-dejected new enrollee at The Edward R. Mill School for Boys, must overcome memories of a tragic past and present hazing by his peers in order to tackle larger issues dominating his young life. DAY ONE

“Fran This Summer” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mary Evangelista) — Teenage lovebirds Fran and Angie spend the summer at home while Fran begins their transition. They must face who and what they mean to each other when they visit the beach, their love on display for all to see.

“Green” / U.S.A. (Director: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Screenwriters: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Mustafa Kaymak) — Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver, unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.

“How Does It Start” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Amber Sealey) — With her self-absorbed parents distracted by their recent divorce, twelve-year-old Rain is left alone to navigate the complexities of love and adulthood, and learns to do it her own way. World Premiere

“I Snuck Off the Slave Ship” / U.S.A. (Directors: Lonnie Holley, Cyrus Moussavi, Screenwriters: Lonnie Holley, Cyrus Moussavi, Brittany Nugent) — Lonnie Holley, a “self-taught African American artist” and dimensional traveler, attempts to sneak off the slave ship America. World Premiere

“Lavender” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matthew Puccini) — A young gay man grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple. World Premiere. DAY ONE

“Lockdown” / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George) — Struggling with feelings for her best friend, 14-year-old Marie stages an almost perfect plan. World Premiere

“The MINORS” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Robert Machoian) — A slice of life about a grandpa and his grandsons, the future and the past. World Premiere

“Old Haunt” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andre Hyland) — A procrastinating writer stays in an Airbnb to get some work done, but after an unexpected visitor arrives, he finds himself in an increasingly unsettling set of situations that he can’t explain. World Premiere

“One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: A.M. Lukas) — A lonely Czech refugee paints an all-too-appealing picture of her American life as she writes a letter begging an organization to send a Cambodian refugee family to resettle in her new, “dreamland” hometown: Fargo, North Dakota. DAY ONE

“The Rat” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Carlen May-Mann) — It’s Halloween night, and Renee is madly in love with Jim. On their way to a party, Jim detours to a haunted house, where Renee is forced to confront a terrifying situation. World Premiere

“Shinaab, Part II” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Corbine Jr.) — A look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process, as a young man strives to honor his late father. U.S. Premiere

“sometimes, i think about dying” / U.S.A. (Director: Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Screenwriters: Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead, Kevin Armento) — Fran is thinking about dying, but a man in the office might want to date her. World Premiere

“Squirrel” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Kavutskiy) — A meager apology tests a woman’s fortitude to forgive.

“Suicide By Sunlight” / U.S.A. (Director: Nikyatu Jusu, Screenwriters: Nikyatu Jusu, R. Shanea Williams) — Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, is forced to restrain her bloodlust to regain custody of her estranged daughters. World Premiere

“Sundowners” / U.S.A. (Director: Lisa Steen, Screenwriters: Anna Greenfield, Jessy Hodges) — Ali and her father cook, drink, and ignore what’s going on in the next room. World Premiere

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

“Acid” / France (Director and screenwriter: Just Philippot) — A troubling cloud is taking shape somewhere out west. It’s now slowly moving inland, forcing the population to flee. As the cloud keeps on moving forward inescapably, panic strikes.

“Adalamadrina” / Spain (Director: Carlota Oms, Screenwriters: Joan Pàmies, Carlota Oms) — While she claims to be an expert in sex and love on YouTube, Ada can barely speak to her gym trainer, with whom she’s madly in love. When she sets her sights on him, everything changes. International Premiere

“Aziza” / Syria, Lebanon (Director: Soudade Kaadan, Screenwriters: Soudade Kaadan, May Hayek) — A dynamic take on the life of Syrian refugees, told through black comedy. World Premiere

“BAJO LA SOMBRA DEL GUACARI” / Colombia (Director and screenwriter: Greg Méndez) — Dead bodies have washed upon the banks of the river. When Abraham finds out the one of them was his friend, he embarks on a journey to fulfill a promise that will take him to the Guacari tree. World Premiere

“Birds in the Earth”/ Finland (Director and screenwriter: Marja Helander) — Examining the deeper questions of the ownership of Sami land through the ballet performances of two young dancers.

“Brotherhood” / Canada, Tunisia, Qatar, Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Meryam Joobeur) — When a hardened Tunisian shepherd’s son returns home after a long journey with a new wife, tension rises between father and son. U.S. Premiere

“Chowboys: An American Folktale” / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Astron 6) — Things seem hopeless when three mysterious cowboys find themselves stranded on the coldest night in recorded history.

“Desires of the flesh” / Brazil (Director and screenwriter: Rafaela Camelo) — Blessed be the Sunday, that it is the day to see Giovana. International Premiere

“Docking” / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Trevor Anderson) — Trevor reflects on his fear of dating. World Premiere

“Dunya’s Day” / Saudi Arabia, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Raed Alsemari) — Abandoned by her domestic help, Dunya fights to throw the perfect graduation soirée. World Premiere. DAY ONE

“El Verano del León Eléctrico” / Chile (Director and screenwriter: Diego Céspedes) — Hidden in a house far from the city, a boy accompanies his sister as she becomes the seventh wife of a prophet who electrocutes anyone who touches him.

“END” / Cuba (Director: Yimit Ramírez, Screenwriters: Yimit Ramírez, Tatiana Monge) — Juan is dead. Surprisingly, he is given an opportunity: to relive a moment of his past life, but it will not be an ordinary moment. World PremiereFatherland / Georgia (Director and screenwriter: George Sikharulidze) — In 2016, on the 63rd anniversary of Stalin’s death, his worshipers gather outside of his birthplace in Georgia to demand his canonization as a saint… when something uncanny materializes. DAY ONE

“The Field” / France, United Kingdom, India (Director and screenwriter: Sandhya Suri) — A poor agricultural laborer leads a double life in the village’s last remaining cornfield. But the harvest is approaching.

“Fuck You” / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Anette Sidor) — Alice is together with Johannes but she doesn’t have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap-on and challenges her boyfriend’s thoughts about girls. U.S. Premiere

“Hot Dog” / Germany (Directors and screenwriters: Alma Buddecke, Marleen Valien) — Hannah, in a love-hate relationship with her vagina, chronicles how her feelings towards her sexuality have changed over time. Like that one moment when she discovered the vibration function of her PlayStation controller. International Premiere

“Kado (A Gift)” / Indonesia (Director and screenwriter: Aditya Ahmad) — Isfi can wear her comfortable pants among her male friends, but has to wear hijab to be accepted at Nita’s house. With two days until Nita’s birthday, all Isfi wants is to prepare the best gift in Nita’s room. U.S. Premiere

“Manicure” / Iran (Director and screenwriter: Arman Fayaz) — After the unexpected death of his wife, a man struggles to deal with the aftermath under the eyes of the local villagers.

“The silence of the dying fish” / Greece, France (Director and screenwriter: Vasilis Kekatos) — On his way to work one morning, a fish farm worker is told that he died the day before. Failing to prove that he is alive, he spends his last day securing caretakers for his beloved canaries. North American Premiere

“Those bad things” / Italy (Director: Loris Giuseppe Nese, Screenwriters: Loris Giuseppe Nese, Chiara Marotta) — You cannot choose your parents. These are the thoughts of a daughter who can’t rebel, as time slips by slowly both inside and outside their home in the Campania suburbs. International Premiere

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

“All Inclusive” / Switzerland (Director and screenwriter: Corina Schwingruber Ilić) — Under the spell of mass entertainment on the high seas.

“Black 14” / U.S.A. (Director: Darius Clark Monroe) — An archival social study examining white pathology and cognitive dissonance via media coverage of a 1969 racial protest at the University of Wyoming.

“Cablestreet”/ U.S.A. (Director: Meredith Lackey) — A cable system designed by controversial Chinese company Huawei Technologies enables communication between an expert and a machine. Time succumbs to space in a ‘New Cold War’ played out in technological materials. World Premiere

“The Dispossessed” / India (Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed) — Hazari is a traditional faith healer, exorcising patients who’ve been possessed by jinn. But in Kashmir, amidst the world’s longest running conflict, nothing is as it seems. World Premiere

“Dulce” / U.S.A., Colombia (Directors: Guille Isa, Angello Faccini) — In coastal Colombia, facing rising tides made worse by climate change, a mother teaches her daughter how to swim so that she may go to the mangroves and harvest ‘piangua’ shellfish with the other women in the village.

“Easter Snap” / U.S.A. (Director: RaMell Ross) — With a baited handling of American symbolism, an examination of five Alabama men, who resurrect the homestead ritual of hog processing in the deep South under the guidance of Johnny Blackmon. World Premiere

“Edgecombe” / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Kayiza) — Through the deeply personal truths of three local residents, an examination of the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in rural Black communities.

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Sudden Birth* (*but were afraid to ask)” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Scott Calonico) — The true story of how the Berkeley Police Department, the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, and Mr. Spock from Star Trek are all connected by one of the most disturbing educational films ever created. World Premiere

“FAST HORSE” / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy. U.S. Premiere. DAY ONE

“The Ghost Behind” / U.S.A. (Director: Caroline Rumley) — Four friends. Many bands. Expectations. Addiction. Loss.

“Ghosts of Sugar Land” / U.S.A. (Director: Bassam Tariq) — In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS. World Premiere

“It’s Going To Be Beautiful” / U.S.A., Mexico (Directors and screenwriters: Luis Gutierrez Arias, John Henry Theisen) — The U.S. Border Patrol has been given the task of choosing a winning design for building a wall on the U.S.- Mexico border.

“Libre” / U.S.A. (Director: Anna Barsan) — Undocumented immigrants forced to spend months in detention are turning to private companies to secure their release on bond. In exchange, immigrants pay exorbitant monthly fees for a GPS ankle monitor they can’t remove.

“Life in Miniature” / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Ellen Evans) — A celebration of one woman’s mission to document the every day, as she carves a place for herself in the precious world of miniatures. U.S. Premiere

“Life Overtakes Me” / Sweden, U.S.A. (Directors: John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson) — Facing deportation, hundreds of refugee children in Sweden have become afflicted with Resignation Syndrome, withdrawing from the world into a coma-like state, as if frozen, for months, or even years. World Premiere

“STAY CLOSE” / U.S.A., China (Directors and screenwriters: Shuhan Fan, Luther Clement) — The underdog story of a fencer from Brooklyn who overcomes a gauntlet of hardships on the road to the Olympics. World Premiere

“Throat Singing in Kangirsuk” / Canada (Directors: Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland, Screenwriters: Emilie Baillargeon and Clark Ferguson) — Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in their native Arctic land, in the small village of Kangirsuk. World Premiere

“The Tough” / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Marcin Polar) — A discovery arouses a man’s imagination and propels him forward in an uncouth and obsessive way. Step by step, the camera participates as he explores of places hitherto unknown to humankind, which offer increasingly stronger resistance against human delicacy. World Premiere

ANIMATED SHORT FILMS

“Acid Rain” / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Tomek Popakul) — After running away from her depressing village in eastern Europe, a teenage girl meets a new friend under a bridge. International Premiere

“Albatross Soup” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Winnie Cheung) — A dizzying descent into deductive reasoning based on an entertaining yet disturbing lateral thinking puzzle.

“animistica” / Austria, Germany, Mexico (Director: Nikki Schuster) — An expedition into rotting animal carcasses and rampant spider webs, accompanied by a gloomy drone like a swarm of hungry flies. Foraging around the borderlands of the horror genre in a kaleidoscope of ecology in all its horrifying beauty. North American Premiere

“The Call” / Romania, France (Director and screenwriter: Anca Damian) — A phone call, a bathroom and a woman are at the intersection of the world. U.S. Premiere

“CHICHI” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Nessl) — My dog has dreams and he tells me about them. I made a movie about those dreams. This is that movie. U.S. Premiere

“Count Your Curses” / Belgium (Director and screenwriter: Lorène Yavo) — In a town where supernatural beings are part of everyday life, two roommates had their house spirit devoured overnight, again. They go on their way to find a replacement spirit and a solution to their pest problem.

“Knockstrike” / Spain (Directors and screenwriters: Marc Torices, Pau Anglada, Genis Rigol) — Two men accidentally exchange briefcases. One contains a videotape that will lead the new owner to embark on an unexpected journey to figure out what is in it.

“Muteum” / Estonia, Hong Kong (Director and screenwriter: Aggie Pak Yee Lee) — In an art museum, we learn — from outer to inner, from deep to its deepest, seriously and sincerely. DAY ONE

“OBON” / Germany (Directors: André Hörmann, Anna Samo, Screenwriter: André Hörmann) — During the festival of Obon, one of the last survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima receives the spirits of her parents, and is haunted by memories.

“OCTANE” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeron Braxton) — A man’s street race through hell and back parallels the Black experience in America.

“The Phantom 52” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Geoff Marslett) — Loneliness: a trucker who calls out on his CB radio waiting for a reply that never comes. A ghost that haunts the deserted highways. A whale that sings at a frequency no other whale can even hear. World Premiere

“Reneepoptosis” / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) — Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee. U.S. Premiere

“Sister” / U.S.A., China (Director and screenwriter: Siqi Song) — A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?

“Under Covers” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michaela Olsen) — On the night of a lunar eclipse, we uncover the sweet, salacious, and spooky secrets of a small town. From a pigtailed psychopath to naughty nuns, this stop-motion animated film conjures a comforting thought: that weird is relative. World Premiere

“Untravel” / Serbia, Slovakia (Directors: Ana Nedeljkovic, Nikola Majdak, Screenwriter: Ana Nedeljkovic) — A girl lives in an isolated country, enclosed by a huge wall. She has never traveled anywhere, but all her life she has dreamed of leaving forever for a perfect world called Abroad.

A.B. Shawky on Casting Egypt’s Foreign Oscar Contender ‘Yomeddine’ In a Leper Colony

It took a long journey before Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky managed to bring his unconventional road movie “Yomeddine,” which is Egypt’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar, to the big screen. This ultimately uplifting drama in which …

It took a long journey before Egyptian-Austrian director Abu Bakr Shawky managed to bring his unconventional road movie “Yomeddine,” which is Egypt’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar, to the big screen. This ultimately uplifting drama in which a middle-aged man raised in a leper colony embarks with a sidekick and a donkey on a journey […]

Sundance Unveils Indie Episodics Lineup With Nick Hornby, Kyra Sedgwick Series

The Sundance Institute has unveiled a dozen independent television series for the upcoming festival in the second year of its Indie Episodics section, including works by Nick Hornby and Kyra Sedgwick. Sundance also announced on Monday that its Special …

The Sundance Institute has unveiled a dozen independent television series for the upcoming festival in the second year of its Indie Episodics section, including works by Nick Hornby and Kyra Sedgwick. Sundance also announced on Monday that its Special Events section will include the new season of IFC’s documentary parody series “Documentary Now!” and Gregg Araki’s […]

Sundance Celebrates TV With ‘Documentary Now,’ Plus New Shows from Gregg Araki and Nick Hornby

The festival continues its Indie Episodic program alongside some Special Events series that have distribution.

In only its second year of bringing independent television to Park City as part of its Indie Episodics section, Sundance has picked a dozen series that could include the next big TV hit. Among the announced independent shows include works by Nick Hornby, Richie Mehta, and Kyra Sedgwick, which range from comedies about start-ups to dating comedies about trans relationships to dramas about race. Sundance is also bringing in some other TV projects under its Special Events banner, including the newest season of IFC’s ongoing doc parody series “Documentary Now!” and Gregg Araki’s upcoming Starz series “Now Apocalypse,” executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.

The Special Events section will also play home to a brand new (and as yet untitled) documentary from Sundance regular Amy Berg, which tracks the creation of the Women’s March and what followed.

In an announcement, Sundance director of programming Kim Yutani said that “our newly-expanded programming team took in a full spectrum of human experience across genres and formats in creating this year’s Festival program. Following the success of last year’s inaugural Indie Episodic section, we’re immensely proud to showcase these stories told across installments, alongside several provocative, conversation-starting Special Events.”

The 2018 line-up included indie series that eventually found distribution: Starz took on Steve James’ “America to Me,” “This Close” made it to Sundance NOW, and “Mr. Inbetween” was picked up by FX. What happens with this year’s selections has yet to be determined, but check out the full listing below.

INDIE EPISODIC

“Bootstrapped” / U.S.A. (Creator: Danielle Uhlarik, Director: Stephanie Laing) — Best friends Madeline and Aimee are underdog entrepreneurs who launch a fashion and tech startup out of a garage in their hometown of Kansas City. The duo’s overly positive attitude convinces two other coders to join them on their broke-ass entrepreneurial journey to make BitchThatWouldLookBetterOnMe.Com a household name. Cast: Danielle Uhalrik, Maribeth Monroe, Sam Richardson, Kezii Curtis, Nancy Lenehan, Erika Alexander. World Premiere

“Delhi Crime Story” / India (Director and screenwriter: Richie Mehta) — Following the Delhi Police during their investigation of a horrific gang rape of a young woman on a bus in 2012. Based on actual events and case files. Cast: Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Rajesh Tailang, Adil Hussain, Gopal Datt, Vinod Sherawat. World Premiere

“Delivery Girl” / U.S.A (Director and screenwriter: Kate Krieger) — Tricia is a woman struggling with her identity, living in a fiercely Catholic household leading a double life, selling drugs to make ends meet and carrying on an affair. She fights for the courage to embrace her future as the first of many delivery girls. Cast: Kate Krieger, Adam LeFevre, Liz Larsen, Joe Holt. World Premiere

“Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” / United Kingdom (Creators and screenwriters: Becky Sloan, Joseph Pelling, Baker Terry) — In the small town community of Clayhill, roommates Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck live simple, uneventful lives – until Mayor Pigface disappears. Cast: Baker Terry, Joseph Pelling, Becky Sloan. World Premiere

“The Dress Up Gang” / United States (Creators: Robb Boardman, Cory Loykasek, Donny Divanian, Executive Producers: Dave Kneebone, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim) — Donny, a responsible adult with the innocence and outlook of a child, relies on guidance and life advice from his friend Cory, the dad-like thirtysomething who has been crashing on his couch for quite some time. Cast: Donny Divanian, Cory Loykasek, Frankie Quinones, Andie MacDowell, Christian Duguay, Brent Weinbach. World Premiere

“Girls Weekend” / U.S.A. (Director: Kyra Sedgwick, Creator: Ali Liebegott) — When a queer daughter returns home to Las Vegas for a “girls weekend” with her estranged homophobic sister and people-pleasing mother, her gun-toting dad lets it slip that her mother’s cancer is back with a vengeance, forcing her to decide whether or not she can rejoin her family. Cast: Ali Liebegott, Linda Lavin, Amy Landecker, Ken Jenkens. World Premiere

“It’s Not About Jimmy Keene” / U.S.A. (Creator: Caleb Jaffe, Executive Producers: Jim Frohna, Diana Kunce) — The police shooting of an unarmed black teen reveals deep divisions within a mixed-race family. Ivan, the youngest sibling, stalked by visions of Jimmy Keene’s floating corpse, is torn between opposing worldviews of his two older sisters. Cast: Caleb Jaffe, Roger Guenveur Smith, Gabrielle Maiden, Okwui Okpokwasili, Ayana Peters, David Warshofsky. World Premiere

“Maggie” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sasha Gordon) — A darkly comedic series about a struggling new mom who ditches her dreary postpartum group for the stand-up comedy class next door. In the pilot episode, Maggie struggles with inappropriate fantasies about her live-in nanny. Cast: Christine Woods, David Walton, Maddison Ridley, Veronica Mosey, Dina Hashem, Jon Bander. World Premiere

“Quarter Life Poetry” / U.S.A. (Creator: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr., Screenwriter: Samantha Jayne) — Poems for the young, broke and hangry. Cast: Samantha Jayne, Tori Ward, Meredith Thomas, Hailey Harris, Samantha Dockser, Tyler Haines. World Premiere

“State of the Union” / United Kingdom (Creator: Nick Hornby, Director: Stephen Frears) — Every week before their weekly marital therapy session, estranged couple Tom and Louise meet at a pub to try and get their story straight for the therapist. With each successive episode, we piece together how their lives were, what drew them together and what has started to pull them apart. Cast: Rosamund Pike, Chris O’Dowd. World Premiere

“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” / U.S.A. (Director: Sacha Jenkins, Executive Producers: Peter J Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Chris Gary) — The cultural history of Wu-Tang Clan; artists who escape the poverty, violence, and oppression of their neighborhoods through music. They encounter wild success and heartbreak along the way to becoming the most recognized musical movement in the world — all while walking the tightrope that links business with brotherhood. Cast: All members of the Wu-Tang Clan. World Premiere

“Work In Progress” / U.S.A. (Creators and screenwriters: Abby McEnany, Tim Mason) — After her therapist dies mid-session and she begins to date a trans man, Abby is forced to re-evaluate her life choices, her dating options and whether or not to confront the woman responsible for ‘ruining her life’: SNL’s Julia Sweeney. Cast: Abby McEnany, Theo Germaine, Karin Anglin, Celeste Pechous, Julia Sweeney, Alison Gates. World Premiere

SPECIAL EVENTS

One-of-a-kind moments highlighting new independent works that add to the unique Festival experience.

“Documentary Now! Season 52 Preview” / The documentary series returns. Celebrate the art of nonfiction storytelling as the creators of Documentary Now! present two new films: “Waiting for the Artist,” starring Cate Blanchett and Fred Armisen, and “Original Cast Album: Co-op”, starring John Mulaney, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Alex Brightman, Paula Pell, Richard Kind, and Taran Killam. Post screenings, they will share their insights into these two episodes from the upcoming season and about the game of paying loving homage to documentary filmmaking.

Untitled Amy Berg Documentary / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Berg, Producers: Amy Berg, Paul McGuire, Ruchi Mital, Joy Gorman Wettels) — While the 2016 election catalyzed the Women’s March and a new era of feminist activism, Tamika Mallory and Erika Andiola have been fighting for their communities for decades. Their stories expose the fundamental connection between personal and political and raise the question: what’s intersectionality and can it save the world? World Premiere

“Lorena” / U.S.A. (Executive Producers: Joshua Rofé, Steven J Berger, Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Thomas Lesinski, Jenna Santoianni) — 25 years after the notorious case of John and Lorena Bobbitt, this groundbreaking series re-investigates the story that made international headlines and helped birth a 24-hour news cycle, exploring vital moral issues and the missed opportunity for a national discussion about domestic violence and sexual assault within this American scandal. World Premiere

“Now Apocalypse” / U.S.A. (Director: Gregg Araki, Executive Producers: Gregg Araki, Gregory Jacobs, Steven Soderbergh) — Ulysses and his friends are trying to navigate Los Angeles, as they pursue love, sex and fame. Between dating app adventures, Ulysses grows increasingly troubled as foreboding dreams make him paranoid — or maybe he’s just smoking too much weed. Cast: Avan Jogia, Kelli Berglund, Beau Mirchoff, Roxane Mesquida. World Premiere

Sundance 2019: #MeToo, Time’s Up, IFC’s ‘Documentary Now!’, Wu-Tang Clan & Lorena Bobbitt Part Of Indie Episodic, Shorts & Special Events Slate

Of the projects announced in the Indie Episodic, Shorts and Special Events sections by the Sundance Film Festival today, 53% were directed or created by one or more women, 51% were directed or created by one or more filmmaker of color, and 26% by one o…

Of the projects announced in the Indie Episodic, Shorts and Special Events sections by the Sundance Film Festival today, 53% were directed or created by one or more women, 51% were directed or created by one or more filmmaker of color, and 26% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA. Those stats made a difference in yielding a selection of titles which focus on an array of issues impacting our nation at a divided time, and ever since the election of President Donald…

Dick Cheney Biopic ‘Vice’ to Launch in Europe at Capri, Hollywood Film Festival

Annapurna Pictures’ Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Christian Bale as the former American vice president, will launch in Europe as the opener of Italy’s Capri, Hollywood Film Festival. The hotly anticipated “Vice” chronicles Cheney’s political life…

Annapurna Pictures’ Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Christian Bale as the former American vice president, will launch in Europe as the opener of Italy’s Capri, Hollywood Film Festival. The hotly anticipated “Vice” chronicles Cheney’s political life, starting with his beginnings as a Washington bureaucrat. Directed by Adam McKay (“The Big Short), the film will screen on […]