Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow sequel, Adam Wingard’s The Guest and XYZ Films’ Killers from The Mo Brothers are among the Park City At Midnight line-up as festival heads also unveiled Spotlight selections and the inaugural Sundance Kids section on December 5.
The Sundance Kids strand is programmed in cooperation with Utah children and youth festival Tumbleweeds, and will premiere Ernest And Celestine starring Forest Whitaker and Lauren Bacall and Zip & Zap And The Marble Gang with Javier Gutiérrez.
“The films in the sections announced today round out our 2014 Sundance Film Festival programme and further reflect the depth and diversity of modern independent film-making that will satisfy everyone from festival fledglings to fanatics,” said director of programming Trevor Groth.
The Sundance Film Festival is set to run from January 16-26 2014 in Utah. Organisers will showcase 117 feature selections, of which 96 are world premieres, representing 37 countries and 53 first-time film-makers, including 34 in competition.
The selections were culled from 12,218 submissions (72 more than festival programmers received in 2013), including 4,057 features and 8,161 shorts. Of the feature submissions, 2,014 were from the US and 2,043 were international.
A selection of films from the 2014 festival will be among those presented at other Sundance Institute programmes throughout the year, including the Sundance London film and music festival set for April 25-27 at The O2, and the NEXT WEEKEND summer film festival in Los Angeles.
Premieres and Documentary Premieres will be announced on December 9 and the Sundance shorts will be unveiled on December 10.
All synopses provided by Sundance.
A tribute to the programming team’s favourite cinema that screened around the world in 2013.
Blue Ruin (US)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.
The Double (UK)
Director: Richard Ayoade
Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid and isolated man who is overlooked at work. When James, a new coworker arrives, he upsets the balance because he is both Simon’s physical double and his opposite: confident and good with women. Then James slowly starts taking over Simon’s life.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy Moriarty, James Fox.
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.
Cast: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik.
Director: Steven Knight
Locke is a feat of dynamic storytelling from Academy Award–nominated writer/director Steven Knight, anchored by Tom Hardy’s fantastic performance. Unfolding in real time, the film is a gripping story of choices, consequences, and a man who risks everything he holds dear to do the right thing.
Cast: Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Tom Holland, Bill Milner.
The Lunchbox (India-France-Germany)
Director: Ritesh Batra
A mistake made by the dabbawallahs, Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, connects a young housewife to a stranger in the dusk of his life. Through notes in the lunchbox, the two build a fantasy world that gradually threatens to overwhelm their reality.
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Denzil Smith, Bharati Achrekar, Nakul Vaid Nakul Vaid.
Only Lovers Left Alive (US)
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Set against the desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, depressed by the direction the world is taking, reunites with his lover. Their love story has endured for centuries, but the woman’s uncontrollable sister disrupts their idyll. Can these wise outsiders continue to survive as the world collapses around them?
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright.
Director and screenwriter: Hitoshi Matsumoto
A mild-mannered family man with a secret taste for S&M finds himself pursued by a gang of ruthless dominatrices — each with a unique talent — in this hilarious and bizarre take on the sex comedy from Japanese comic mastermind Hitoshi Matsumoto.
Cast: Nao Ohmori, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Hairi Katagiri.
Stranger By The Lake (France)
Director: Alain Guiraudie
Frank spends his summer searching for companionship at a lake in France. He meets Michel, an attractive, mysterious man and falls blindly in love. When a death occurs, Frank and Michel become the primary suspects. Stranger by the Lake is an erotic thriller testing the limits of sexual desire.
Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d’Assumçao.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
From horror films to comedies, each entry is a world premiere.
The Babadook (Australia)
Director: Jennifer Kent
A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear.
Directors: Jonathan Millott, Cary Murnion
A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school and transforms the students into a feral swarm of mass savages; then an unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad.
Dead Snow; Red vs. Dead (Norway)
Director: Tommy Wirkola
The gruesome Nazi Zombies are back to finish their mission, but our hero is not willing to die. He is gathering his own army to give them a final fight.
Cast: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Martin Starr, Ørjan Gamst, Monica Haas, Jocelyn DeBoer.
The Guest (US)
Director: Adam Wingard
A soldier on leave befriends the family of a fallen comrade. He soon becomes a threat to everyone around him when it’s revealed he’s not who he says he is.
Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Chase Williamson, Brendan Meyer.
Directors: The Mo Brothers
Two serial killers post their violent crimes online in a psychotic battle for notoriety. It soon becomes clear that they will square off with one another face to face.
Cast: Kazuki Kitamura, Oka Antara, Rin Takanashi, Luna Maya, Ray Sahetapy.
The Signal (US)
Director: William Eubank
Three college students disappear under mysterious circumstances while tracking a computer hacker through the Southwest.
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp.
Under the Electric Sky (EDC 2013) (US)
Directors: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz
This 3-D film chronicles the love, community, and life of festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music festival in the US. Behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella reveal the magic that makes this three-night, 345,000-person event a global phenomenon.
What We Do In The Shadows (New Zealand-US)
Directors: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement
This mockumentary follows the struggles of a group of New Zealand–based vampires to understand modern society and adapt to the ever-changing world around them.
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stu Rutherford.
Sundance programmers have created a new section for young viewers, programmed in cooperation with Tumbleweeds, the Utah film festival for children and youth.
Ernest And Celestine (France-Belgium-Luxembourg)
Directors: Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer. When she nearly ends up as breakfast for a bear named Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond that is quickly challenged by their respective communities.
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H Macy, Megan Mullally.
Zip & Zap And The Marble Gang (Spain)
Director: Oskar Santos
Zip and Zap are punished by being sent to a re-education center. Guided by intelligence, they uncover a mysterious secret hidden deep within the school and end up having the most exciting adventure of their lives.
Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Daniel Cerezo, Raúl Rivas, Claudia Vega, Marcos Ruiz, Fran García.