Screen brings you the 2009 Sundance line-up

MIDNIGHT

Black Dynamite (US)

Dir: Scott Sanders Scrs: Michael Jai White, Scott Sanders, Byron Minns Prods: Ars Nova Cast: Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

1970s action legend Black Dynamite fights The Man in this spoof.

Sales contact: Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126

The Carter (US)

Dir: Adam Bhala Lough Prod: Adam Bhala Lough, Josh Krause

An intimate portrait of rapper Dwayne ‘Lil’ Wayne’ Carter Jr.

Sales contact: Cinetic, (1) 212 204 7979

Grace (US)

Dir/scr: Paul Solet Prods: Ingo Vollkammer, Cory Neal, Adam Green, Kevin DeWalt Cast: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose

A stillborn baby comes to life with a thirst for human blood.

Sales contact, int’l: Lightning, (1) 310 255 7999, (1) 310 770 7472; Canada: Leomaxe, (1) 323 785 3000.

The Killing Room (US)

Dir: Jonathan Liebesman Scrs: Gus Krieger, Ann Peacock Prods: Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Ross M Dinerstein, Bobby Schwartz Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Peter Stormare, Clea DuVall, Timothy Hutton

Four people sign up for a psychological research study that turns out to be part of a classified government programme.

Sales contact, US: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000; int’l: ContentFilm, (1) 310 576 1059

Mystery Team (US)

Dir: Dan Eckman Scrs: Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, DC Pierson Prod: Meggie McFadden Cast: Dominic Dierkes, DC Pierson, Donald Glover

High school kids The Mystery Team try to solve a double murder.

Sales contact: Submarine, (1) 917 957 1400

 

Spring Breakdown (US)

Dir: Ryan Shiraki Scr: Ryan Shiraki, Rachel Dratch Prods: Rick Berg, Larry Kennar Cast: Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Parker Posey

Three thirtysomething women vacation at a popular spring break destination for college students.

Sales contact: Warner Bros, (1) 818 954 6000

White Lightnin’ (UK)

Dir: Dominic Murphy Scrs: Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti Prods: Mike Downey, Sam Taylor Cast: Edward Hogg, Carrie Fisher, Muse Watson

A stylized portrait of the ‘dancing outlaw’, Jesco White.

Sales contact: Salt, (44) 7710 394080

 

PREMIERES

500 Days Of Summer (US)

Dir: Marc Webb Scrs: Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber Prods: Jessica Tuchinsky, Mary Waters, Steven Wolfe, Mason Novick Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

A greeting-card copywriter looks back on a failed relationship, trying to work out where things went wrong.

Sales contact: Fox Searchlight, (1) 310 369 4432

Adventureland (US)

Dir/scr: Greg Mottola Prods: Anne Carey, Ted Hope, Sidney Kimmel Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart

In 1987, a college graduate takes a job at a local amusement park.

Sales contact: Miramax (excl Australia), (1) 212 941 3800

Brooklyn’s Finest (US)

Dir: Antoine Fuqua Scrs: Michael C Martin, Brad Caleb Kane Prods: Basil Iwanyk, John Langley, Elie Cohn, John Thompson Cast: Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Don Cheadle

Three different cops on the same Brooklyn housing project take the law into their own hands.

Sales contact, US: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000, WMI, (1) 310 859 4310; int’l: Nu Image, (1) 310 388 6900

 

Earth Days (US) Closing night film

Dir/prod: Robert Stone

The environmental crisis as seen through nine diverse people who launched the modern environmental movement.

Sales contact: Wgbh, (1) 617 300 5400

 

Endgame (UK)

Dir: Pete Travis Scr: Paula Milne Prods: David Aukin, Hal Vogel Cast: William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor

A businessman tries to find a peaceful solution to the Apartheid regime by initiating secret discussion between the African National Congress and white intellectuals.

Sales contact, US: Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126, Penny Wolf, (1) 561 676 4171; int’l: Penny Wolf, (1) 561 676 4171

 

I Love You Phillip Morris (US)

Dirs/scrs: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa Prods: Andrew Lazar, Far Shariat Cast: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor

A small-town Texas cop becomes a conman. Caught and jailed, he falls in love with a fellow inmate.

Sales contact, US: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000, Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126, EuropaCorp, (33) 1 53 83 03 03; int’l: EuropaCorp, (33) 1 53 83 03 03

The Informers (US)

Dir: Gregor Jordan Scrs: Bret Easton Ellis, Nicholas Jarecki Prod: Marco Weber Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke

Adapted from Bret Easton Ellis’ novel about decadent 1980s Los Angelenos.

Sales contact: Essential Entertainment, (1) 310 550 9100

In the Loop (UK)

Dir: Armando Iannucci Scrs: Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong Prods: Kevin Loader, Adam Tandy Cast: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini

A political comedy about the UK and US governments working together in the lead-up to a fictional war.

Sales contact: Protagonist, (44) 20 7306 5155

 

Manure (US)

Dir: Michael Polish Scrs: Mark Polish, Michael Polish Prods: Jonathan Sheldon, Michael Polish, Mark Polish Cast: Tea Leoni, Billy Bob Thornton

Comedy about 1960s manure salesmen.

Sales contact: Prohibition Pictures, (1) 323 893 6292

 

Mary And Max (Australia) Opening night film

Dir/scr: Adam Elliot Prod: Melanie Coombs Voice cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Barry Humphries

A lonely eight-year-old girl in Australia finds an unlikely pen pal in an obese 40-year-old New Yorker, in this claymation project.

Sales contact, US: Icon, (1) 310 434 7300; int’l: Icon Entertainment International, (44) 20 8492 6300

The Messenger (US)

Dir: Oren Moverman Scrs: Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman Prods: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller Cast: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone

Two soldiers from different generations form a bond in the Army’s casualty notification department.

Sales contact, US: UTA, (1) 310 228 3842; int’l: ContentFilm, (1) 310 576 1059

Moon (UK)

Dir: Duncan Jones Scr: Nathan Parker Prods: Stuart Fenegan, Trudie Styler Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey

Things go very wrong for an astronaut who has spent the past three years in space.

Sales contact: Independent, (44) 20 7257 8734

Motherhood (US)

Dir/scr: Katherine Dieckmann Prods: Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon Cast: Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver

A mother of two from Manhattan has a very bad day.

Sales contact, US: Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126; int’l: Kimmel International, (1) 212 431 5550

Rudo Y Cursi (Mex)

Dir/scr: Carlos Cuaron

Prods: Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro, Frida Torresblanco, Tita Lombardo Cast: Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal Two rival footballing brothers battle their personal demons.

Sales contact: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000, WMI, (1) 310 859 4310

 

Shrink (US)

Dir: Jonas Pate Scrs: Thomas Moffett Prods: Michael Burns, Braxton Pope, Dana Brunetti Cast: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer

A personal tragedy sees a celebrity psychiatrist question his ability to help his patients.

Sales contact, US: WMI, (1) 310 859 4310; int’l: Mandate, (1) 310 360 1441

Spread (US)

Dir: David Mackenzie Scr: Jason Dean Hall Prods: Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg, Peter Morgan Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche

A young man seduces wealthy older women in Los Angeles.

Sales contact, US: Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126, CAA, (1) 424 288 2000; int’l: Voltage, (1) 323 464 8351

The Winning Season (US)

Dir/scr: James Strouse Prods: Kara Baker, Gia Walsh, Galt Niederhoffer, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg Cast: Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts

A misfit signs up to coach a high school’s female basketball team.

Sales contact: ContentFilm, (1) 310 576 1059

The Greatest (US)

Dir/scr: Shana Feste Prods: Lynette Howell, Beau St Clair Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan

A family struggles with added pressures as they mourn their teenage son.

Sales contact, US: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000, Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126; int’l: Kimmel International, (1) 212 431 5550

 

SPECTRUM

Against The Current (US)

Dir/scr: Peter Callahan Prods: Joshua Zeman, Mary Jane Skalski Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, Mary Tyler Moore

A man copes with the death of his wife by enlisting friends to help him swim the Hudson River.

Sales contact, international: Fortissimo, (31) 20 627 32 15

Barking Water (US)

Dir/scr: Sterlin Harjo Prod: Chad Burris Cast: Richard Ray Whitman, Casey Camp-Horinek

An elderly couple have had a tumultuous 40-year relationship but Irene agrees to take Frankie home from the hospital one last time.

Sales contact: Chad Burris, chad@indionfilm.com

Children Of Invention (US)

Dir/scr: Tze Chun Prods: Mynette Louie, Trevor Sagan Cast: Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu

After their mother is arrested, two young immigrant children live illegally in a model apartment outside Boston.

Sales contact: Circus Road Films, (1) 310 386 5196

Everything Strange And New (US)

Dir/scr: Frazer Bradshaw Prods: Laura Techera Francia, AD Liano Cast: Jerry McDaniel, Beth Lisick, Rigo Chacon Jr, Luis Saguar

A man has to navigate his complicated life of family, sexuality and drug addiction.

Sales contact: George Rush, (1) 415 867 3965

Helen (Can-Ger)

Dir/scr: Sandra Nettelbeck Prods: Judy Tossell, Christine Haebler Cast: Ashley Judd, Goran Visnjic

A successful music professor fights clinical depression.

Sales contact: The Little Film Company, (1) 818 762 6999

The Immaculate Conception Of Little Dizzle (US)

Dir/scr: David Russo Prods: Peggy Case, Michael Seiwerath Cast: Marshall Allman, Natasha Lyonne

An executive takes a job as a night janitor, where he finds he is the subject of a strange experiment.

Sales contact: Visit Films, (1) 718 312 8210

La Mission (US)

Dir/scr: Peter Bratt Prods: Alpita Patel, Benjamin Bratt, Peter Bratt Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez

A traditional Latino father in San Francisco’s Mission District comes to terms with his teenage son’s homosexuality.

Sales contact: Alpita Patel, alpita@apm-la.com

Once More With Feeling (US)

Dir: Jeff Lipsky Scr: Gina O’Brien Prods: Paul Jarrett, Nick Huston Cast: Chazz Palminteri, Drea De Matteo, Linda Fiorentino

A psychiatrist in the midst of a midlife crisis pursues his singing ambitions through karaoke.

Sales contact: The Film Sales Company, (1) 212 481 5020

The Only Good Indian (US)

Dir: Kevin Willmott Scr: Thomas Carmody Prods: Thomas Carmody, Rick Cowan, Matt Cullen, Greg Hurd, Scott Richardson, Kevin Willmott Cast: Wes Studi, Winter Fox Frank, J Kenneth Campbell

In early 1900s Kansas, a teenage Native American boy is taken from his family and forced to assimilate into white society.

Sales contact: Matt Cullen, (1) 785 550 9377

The Vicious Kind (US)

Dir/scr: Lee Toland Krieger Prods: Tim Harms, Lindsay Lanzillotta, Lee Toland Krieger Cast: Brittany Snow, Adam Scott, JK Simmons, Alex Frost

An insomniac brings his brother and his college girlfriend home to their estranged father’s house for Thanksgiving.

Sales contact: ICM, (1) 310 550 4440

World’s Greatest Dad (US)

Dir/scr: Bobcat Goldthwait Prods: Tim Perell, Howard Gertler, Sean McKittrick, Richard Kelly Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore

A comedy about a high school poetry teacher who writes a successful journal which he passes off as being written by his dead son.

Sales contact: CAA, (1) 424 288 2000, Cinetic, (1) 212 204 7979

 

SPECTRUM DOC

No Impact Man (US)

Dirs: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein Prods: Laura Gabbert, Eden Wurmfeld

A wealthy family tries to spend one year abandoning their high-consumption lifestyle and become environmentally friendly.

Sales contact: Cinetic, (1) 212 204 7979

Passing Strange (US)

Dir: Spike Lee Prods: Spike Lee, Steve Klein Cast: De’Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Stew

A documentary, based on the musical by Stew, about a young black man trying to find ‘the real’ by leaving Los Angeles.

Sales contact: Endeavor, (1) 310 246 3126

Why We Laugh: Black Comedians On Black Comedy (US)

Dir: Robert Townsend Scr: Quincy Newell, John Long

A mix of archival clips and provocative new interviews with the likes of Chris Rock and Bill Cosby, exploring the cultural influence of black comedy.

Sales contact, US: WMI, (1) 310 859 4310

Wounded Knee (US)

Dir: Stanley Nelson Scr: Marcia Smith Prod: Stanley Nelson

Depicts the 1973 siege when Native American groups took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, to draw attention to the 1890 massacre.

Sales contact: Wgbh, (1) 617 300 5400

The Yes Men Fix The World (Fr-US)

Dirs/scrs: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno Prod: Doro Bachrach, Ruth Charny

The prankster activists expose scandals such as profiteering after Hurricane Katrina and the environmental disaster in Bhopal.

Sales contact: Cinetic, (1) 212 204 7979