The final tranche of Sundance programming unveiled by John Cooper and Trevor Groth today [December 2] features genre fare such as the Rutger Hauer vigilante film Hobo With A Shotgun and acclaimed world cinema titles from 2010 such as Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies and Richard Ayoade’s Submarine.
Alongside the Park City At Midnight and Spotlight sections is the returning low budget strand NEXT, experimental category New Frontier and Native Showcase.
“The Sundance Film Festival is uniquely a festival of discovery and certainly this year we are privileged to showcase the work of talented new artists,” director of programming Groth said. “But what is also exciting is having the chance to present work from short film directors returning to the festival with their first feature, other long-form directors returning with their second or third films. This speaks both to the vibrancy of independent film and for the continuum of support we provide.”
Eight American films selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget film-making. Every one is a world premiere.
Director and screenwriter: Evan Glodell
A ballad for every person who has ever loved and lost – with enough violence, weapons, action and sex to tell a love story with apocalyptic stakes.
Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes.
Director: Joshua Leonard. Screenwriters: Jeff Feuerzeig, Joshua Leonard, Mark Webber and Jess Weixler, based on the short story by T Coraghessan Boyle
A man overwhelmed and disappointed with life tells a lie to avoid going to work… what could possibly go wrong?
Cast: Joshua Leonard, Jess Weixler, Mark Webber, Alia Shawkat, Jane Adams and Kelli Garner.
Director: Zack Godshall. Screenwriters: Zack Godshall and Ross Brupbacher
When he’s not pursuing women, Byron is smoking weed and loafing around. But he’s grown restless in his middle-age and feels the need to escape – he just doesn’t know where to go.
Cast: Paul Batiste, Gwendolyn Spradling, Kayla Lemaire.
The Off Hours
Director and screenwriter: Megan Griffiths
A passing truck driver brings an unfamiliar sense of optimism to a woman working the night shift at a quiet diner, reminding her it’s never too late to become the person you always wanted to be.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Ross Partridge, Scoot McNairy, Lynn Shelton, Bret Roberts, Tony Doupe.
Director and screenwriter: Dusty Bias
When a mysterious vagrant living out of his car among the snowy plains discovers a nearly-frozen local with a pen-pal girlfriend, he sees an opportunity to change his lonely existence.
Cast: Jeremy Clark, Holly Lynn Ellis, Garth Blomberg.
Director: Andrew Dosunmu. Screenwriter: Eugene M Gussenhoven
An African immigrant survives on the fringes of New York City. Music is his passion, life is a hustle and falling in love is his greatest risk.
Cast: Danai Gurira, Anthony Okungbowa, Babs Olusanmokun.
sound of my voice
Director: Zal Batmanglij. Screenwriters: Batmanglij and Brit Marling
A young couple infiltrates a cult that meets in a basement in the San Fernando Valley.
Cast: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling.
Director and screenwriter: Erica Dunton
Five girls come together for one fateful night where anything goes. They all had secrets, but their friendship was the only thing they knew to be true.
Cast: Jazzy De Lisser, Chelsea Logan, Adwoa Aboah, Jami Eaton, Audrey Speicher.
Showcasing work that contributes to a global understanding of and appreciation for these artists. The seven short films that will be presented together as part of the Indigenous Showcase will be announced on December 6.
Director: Billy Luther
Documentary narrated by Parker Posey about three families in the Laguna Pueblo tribe prepare for Grab Day, when they throw groceries from a rooftop to the community waiting below – an annual community-wide prayer of abundance, thanks and renewal.
In the words of the Sundance programmers: “Cinema we love.”
Director and screenwriter: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Marina, a young woman living with her father in a decaying, seaside factory town, acquires a new perspective on the mysteries of human nature after she meets a stranger.
Cast: Ariane Labed, Yorgos Lanthimos, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou.
Elite Squad 2 (Tropa De Elite 2) (Brazil)
Director: Jose Padilha; Screenwriters: Braulio Mantovani, Padilha and Rodrigo Pimentel
Captain Nascimento of Rio de Janeiro’s special operations police unit has a new enemy: widespread corruption within the city.
Cast: Wagner Moura, Seu Jorge, Taina Muller, Andre Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz.
I Saw The Devil(Akmareul Boattda) (South Korea)
Director and screenwriter: Kim Jee-woon
A young secret agent tracks a brutal serial killer who murdered his fiancee.
Cast: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi.
In A Better World (Hævnen) (Denmark)
Director: Susanne Bier. Screenwriters: Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen
The lives of two Danish families become intertwined as an extraordinary but risky friendship develops.
Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen.
Director: Denis Villeneuve. Screenwriters: Villeneuve, Valerie Beaugrand-Champagn and Wajdi Mouawad
A mother’s last wish sends Jeanne and Simon, twins living in Canada, on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots.
Cast: Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette.
Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki
A science fiction story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students.
Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple.
Letters From The Big Man
Director and screenwriter: Christopher Munch
An artist and government hydrologist surveying a remote part of southwestern Oregon befriends a sasquatch man and must take bold steps to protect his privacy, as well as her own.
Cast: Lily Rabe, Jason Butler Harner, Isaac C Singleton Jr., Jim Cody Williams, Fiona Dourif.
Director: Kelly Reichardt. Screenwriter: Jon Raymond
In 1845, three families who have hired mountaineer Stephen Meek to guide their wagons over the Cascade Mountains get lost and face hunger, thirst and a lack of faith in their instincts for survival.
Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Zoe Kaza, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson.
Old Cats (Gatos Viejos) (Chile)
Directors and screenwriters: Pedro Peirano and Sebastian Silva
An old woman who realises that her mind is quickly deteriorating desperately tries to hide this condition from her daughter, who waits keenly for any sign of senility in order to take her apartment.
Cast: Belgica Castro, Claudia Celedon, Catalina Saavedra, Alejandro Sieveking.
Director: Richard Ayoade. Screenwriter: Richard Ayoade from the novel by Joe Dunthorne
Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents’ marriage and to lose his virginity before his next birthday.
Cast: Craig Roberts, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige.
Director: Joe Swanberg. Screenwriters: Swanberg and Kent Osborne
A pothead cartoonist in Los Angeles spends a weekend trying to sleep with his visiting house guest – a woman from New York he met on Chatroulette.
Cast: Kent Osborne.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
Home to horror films and extreme comedies
The Catechism Cataclysm
Director and screenwriter: Todd Rohal
After becoming disinterested with the church, a priest tracks down his old classmate, a former metalhead whom he idolized in high school. When the two embark on a canoeing trip together, all hell breaks loose.
Cast:Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Walter Dalton, Miki Ann Maddox, Koko Lanham.
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Director and screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek
A shy greeting card store employee unknowingly falls for a lesbian space alien while two government agents closely track their romance.
Cast: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan, Dennis Davis, Alex Karpovsky, Rae C Wright.
Hobo With A Shotgun (Canada)
Director: Jason Eisener. Screenwriter: Johnathan Davies
A hobo hops from a train with dreams of a fresh life in a new city, but instead finds himself trapped in an urban hell. When he witnesses a brutal robbery, he realises the only way to deliver justice is with a shotgun in his hands and two shells in the chamber.
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith, Brian Downey.
Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder
After surviving a brutal car accident, a simple farm woman limps down the road into the nightmarish unknown.
Cast: Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, Matt Olsen, Lynne Compton, Barlow Jacobs, Chadwick Brown, Jed Maheu, Roger M Mayer.
Director: Michael Tully
A reclusive sports hustler returns home to his family farm after years of absence to reunite with his two eccentric, unhinged and emotionally damaged brothers.
Cast: Robert Longstreet, Onur Tukel, Michael Tully, Rachel Korine, Mark Robinson, John Maringouin.
Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) (Norway)
Director: Andre Ovredal
A group of student film-makers get more than they bargained for when tangling with a man tasked with protecting Norway from giant trolls.
Cast: Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Morch, Tomas Alf Larsen.
Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel
Director: Alex Stapleton
Tracks the triumphant rise of Hollywood’s most prolific writer-director-producer, the true godfather of independent film-making. Featuring Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, James Cameron and Corman himself.
Director: Lucky McKee. Screenwriters: Jack Ketchum and McKee
When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to “civilize” the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Lauren Ashley Carter, Zach Rand.
In the words of the programmers: “Works that push the limits of traditional cinema aesthetics and the narrative structures of film-making.”
Jess + Moss
Director: Clay Jeter. Screenwriters: Jeter and Debra Jeter
Jess (18) and Moss (12) are second cousins who have spent their summers together since either of them can remember. Without immediate families that they can relate to, and lacking friends their own age, all they have is each other. Through a series of memories and vignettes, ‘Jess + Moss’ recounts the events of the last summer they shared together. Shot entirely on location with a variety of expired and often degraded film stocks, ‘Jess + Moss’ captures the evocative and haunting character of the dark fire tobacco fields of rural Western Kentucky.
Cast: Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers.
The Mill & The Cross (Poland-Sweden)
Director: Lech Majewski. Screenwriters: Michael Francis Gibson and Majewski
A visually vibrant and masterful work that seamlessly fortifies rich painterly compositions with digital effects, bringing Peter Brugel’s 1564 painting, The Way To Calvary, to real life.
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling, Joanna Litwin.
The Nine Muses (US-UK)
Director and screenwriter: John Akomfrah
An allegorical fable divided into overlapping musical chapters, this film retells the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.
North American premiere
!Women Art Revolution
Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson
One part of a transmedia project that includes the interactive video installation RAW WAR presented at New Frontier, this seminal documentary depicts the history of women artists who have used art as an activist practice to fight oppression and protest gender and racial exclusion – creating what many historians feel is the most significant art movement of the late-20th century.
Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Lessner
When promised change that did not come, eight young Americans move deep into to the woods to start their own society.
Cast:Justin Phillips, Toby David, Adam Mortemore, Nicola Persky, Chris Edley.
FROM THE COLLECTION
A selection from The Sundance Collection at UCLA to preserve and restore independent film.
Director and screenwriter: Richard Linklater
Praising the film in the Chicago Sun-Times in 1991, Roger Ebert wrote, Slacker is “a movie with an appeal almost impossible to describe, although the method of the director, Richard Linklater, is as clear as day.”
Cast: Linklater, Marc James, Stella Weir, John Slater, Louis Mackey.