Sundance Festival director John Cooper and director of programming Trevor Groth unveiled an array of riches today [December 2] in the form of the Premieres and inaugural Documentary Premieres line-up for the 2011 event.
There is new work from Mark Pellington (I Melt With You), Kevin Smith (Red State) and Jacob Aaron Estes (The Details starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney and Ray Liotta), alongside JC Chandor’s financial crisis saga Margin Call with Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons and Lee Tamahori’s House Of Saddam thriller The Devil’s Double (pictured) starring Dominic Cooper.
David Mackenzie’s love story Perfect Sense starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green gets its world premiere, as do Mandalay Vision’s comedy thriller Salvation Boulevard led by Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, Big Beach and Likely Story’s Paul Rudd comedy My Idiot Brother and Kevin Macdonald’s YouTube experiment Life In The Day – a quilt of user-generated content that Cooper accepted sight unseen.
Dito Montiel’s crime thriller The Son Of No One starring Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche will close the festival.
An enticing Documentary Premieres strand launches with entries such as Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s sex change odyssey Becoming Chaz, Morgan Spurlock’s exploration of commercial forces in cinema in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Eugene Jarecki’s Ronald Reagan film Reagan and The Interrupters from Steve James, about former gang members who work to protect the community form gang violence.
The latest work from American and international directors as well as world premieres of highly anticipated films. Every one is a world premiere.
Director: Miguel Arteta. Screenwriter: Phil Johnston
A wholesome and naive small-town Wisconsin man travels to big city Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at a regional insurance conference.
Cast: Ed Helms, John C Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Alia Shawkat, Sigourney Weaver.
Director: Jill Sprecher. Screenwriters: Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher
An insurance salesman, caught in a caper involving a rare musical instrument, sets off a series of dramatic consequences.
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, David Harbour.
Director and screenwriter: Jacob Aaron Estes
When hungry raccoons discover worms living under the sod in a young couple’s backyard, the pest problem sets off a wild and absurd chain reaction of domestic tension, infidelity, organ donation and murder by way of bow and arrow.
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert.
The Devil’s Double (Belgium)
Director: Lee Tamahori. Screenwriter: Michael Thomas
An extraordinary chapter in recent history providing a chilling vision of the House of Saddam comes to life through the eyes of the man who knew too much.
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Mimoun Oaissa, Raad Rawi, Philip Quast.
I Melt With You (Canada-US)
Director: Mark Pellington. Screenwriter: Glenn Porter, based on the story by Glenn Porter and Mark Pellington
Four friends gather every year to celebrate their friendship. This year they are unexpectedly forced to confront a forgotten promise they made 25 years earlier. As they examine choices they’ve made, they realise that what they said they would do with their lives and what they have done are entirely different.
Cast: Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino.
Life In A Day
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film. On July 24, 2010, professional and amateur filmmakers captured a glimpse of their lives on camera and uploaded the footage to YouTube, serving as a time capsule for future generations. Ridley Scott produced.
Director and screenwriter: JC Chandor
Over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis, the key people at a investment bank struggle to decide how to handle an emergency business situation while examining the personal and moral implications of every action they take.
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci.
The Music Never Stopped
Director: Jim Kohlberg. Screenwriters: Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, based on the story The Last Hippie by Oliver Sacks.
Essential Entertainment co-founder Kohlberg’s film is about a father who struggles to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. He learns to embrace his son’s choices and to try to connect with him through the power of music.
Cast: JK Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Mia Maestro.
Salt Lake City Gala
My Idiot Brother
Director: Jesse Peretz. Screenwriters: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall
After serving time for selling pot, Ned successively moves in with each of his three sisters as he tries to get back on his feet. His best intentions quickly bring the family to the cusp of chaos and ultimately the brink of clarity.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer.
Perfect Sense (UK)
Director: David Mackenzie. Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson
A poetic and magnetic love story about two people who start to fall in love just as the world begins to fall apart.
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Dillane, Connie Nielsen.
Director and screenwriter: Kevin Smith
A group of misfits encounter extreme fundamentalism in Middle America.
Cast: Michael Parks, Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo.
Director: George Ratliff. Screenwriters: Doug Max Stone and George Ratliff, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart
An evangelical preacher who has captivated a city with his charm frames an ex-hippie for a crime he did not commit.
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei.
The Son Of No One
Director and screenwriter: Dito Montiel
Two men in post-9/11 New York are forced to relive two murders they committed as young boys. Their lives start to unravel by the threat of the revelation of these shocking and personal secrets.
Cast:Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche.
Closing night film
Director and screenwriter: Tom McCarthy, based on the story by Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni
When a disheartened attorney moonlighting as a high school wrestling coach stumbles across a star athlete, things seem to be looking up. That is, until the boy’s mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything.
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor.
A new section. Every one is a world premiere.
Directors: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato
Born biologically female, Chastity Bono invites the viewer into a deeply personal journey as he transitions from female to male, embracing his true self, which is Chaz.
Bobby Fischer Against The World
Director: Liz Garbus
The drama of late chess-master Bobby Fischer’s career was undeniable, as he careened from troubled childhood, to World Champion and Cold War icon, to a fugitive on the run.
Director: Pamela Yates
A documentary film intertwines with Guatemala’s turbulent history and emerges as an active player in a nation’s struggle to heal itself and serve up justice.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Director: Morgan Spurlock
A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement is financed and made possible by branding, advertising and product placement.
Director: Steve James
From the Academy Award-winning director of Hoop Dreams comes a story of ex-gang members who are now protecting their communities from the violence they themselves once employed.
Director: Eugene Jarecki
Reagan examines the enigmatic career of one of the revered architects of the modern world – icon, screen star, and two-term president Ronald Reagan.
Director: Jim Whitaker
Weaving together five stories of individuals whose lives were profoundly altered by the 9/11 attack with unprecedented time-lapse footage of Ground Zero composed over ten years, what emerges is a chronicle of grief’s evolution and a nation healing.
These Amazing Shadows
Directors: Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton
The history and importance of the National Film Registry unfolds in a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.