After a period of sombre meditation on the myriad iterations of post-9/11 angst, the upcoming 25th anniversary edition of the Sundance Film Festival from January 15-25 appears to have trained its sights on romance and stories with high emotional resonance.

'This is a festival that's going to make people cry,' festival director Geoff Gilmore said, announcing the 64 competition entries that takes their place among a slightly streamlined roster of 118 features representing 21 countries and 39 first-time film-makers culled from 3,661 submissions. The non-competition entries will be announced tomorrow.

There is new work from Oliver Hirschbiegel, Lone Scherfig and Nicolas Winding Refn, feature directorial debuts from The Wrestler screenwriter Robert Siegel and comedy actor John Krasinski and anticipated star turns from Jeff Daniels, Liam Neeson, Michael Cera and Paul Giamatti, among others.

World premiere dramatic entries include: John Hindman's Arlen Faber starring Daniels as a reclusive author; Cary Fukunaga's immigration drama Sin Nombre; Lee Daniel's Harlem coming-of-age tale Push; Ross Katz's Taking Chance, about a military officer who escorts the body of a 19-year-old soldier back to Wyoming; and German road movie Lulu And Jim.

Documentary offerings include: a profile of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in The September Issue; Italy's 211: Anna, about slain Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya; a look at Nigeria's film industry in Nollywood Babylon; Chris Rock investigating African-American hairstyles in Good Hair; and an exploration of Japanese whaling activities in The Cove.

'You find yourself looking at what indie film-making does and does well and that's finding film-makers with freshness and originality,' Gilmore said. Those elements were in evidence in films from all over the world and in particular a strong UK contingent, he said: 'You no longer see the insularity of films from ten years ago when there was a period of navel gazing under President Clinton. Now there's a globalisation that has impacted on story telling and subject matter, so that a story once might have taken you from New York to Boston is now just as likely to take you from New York to St Petersberg.'

'We have a mandate for discovery and that's what we try to reflect in the selection,' Cooper said. 'We think long and hard about what we're going to put into the festival but these are hard decisions and we're passionate about what we like and inevitably good films get left out. We're excited about this selection: there's a lot of emotional pay-off. The movies aren't particularly dark, either. The world is dark enough and it's as If people are shying away from that.'

This year's 16 films were selected from 879 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.

Art & Copy
Dir: Doug Pray
Rare interviews with the most influential advertising creative minds of our age illustrate the wide-reaching effect advertising and creativity have on modern culture.
World Premiere

Boy Interrupted
Dir: Dana Perry
An intimate look at the life, mental illness and death of a young man told from the point of view of the film-maker: his mother.
World Premiere

The Cove
Dir: Louie Psihoyos
Dolphins are dying, whales are disappearing and the oceans are growing sick. The horrors of a secret cove nestled off a coastal village in Japan are revealed by a group of activists led by Ric O'Barry, the man who trained the dolphins in the 1960s TV series Flipper.
World Premiere

Dir: Joe Berlinger
The inside story of the 'Amazon Chernobyl' case in the rainforest of Ecuador, the largest oil-related environmental lawsuit in the world.
World Premiere

Dirt The Movie
Dirs: Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow
The story of the relationship between humans and dirt shows with humour how humans are rapidly destroying the last natural resource on earth.
World Premiere

The General (El General)
Dir: Natalia Almada
As the great-granddaughter of Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles, one of Mexico's most controversial revolutionary figures, Almada paints an intimate portrait of Mexico.
World Premiere

Good Hair
Dir: Jeff Stilson
Comedian Chris Rock turns documentary film-maker and sets out to examine the culture of African-American hair and hairstyles.
World Premiere

Over The Hills And Far Away
Dir: Michel Scott
Over The Hills And Far Away chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia in search of a mysterious shaman they believe can heal their autistic son.
World Premiere

The Reckoning: The Battle For The International Criminal Court
Dir: Pamela Yates
A battle of monumental proportions unfolds as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal dictators and global superpowers to bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice.
World Premiere

Dir: Eric Daniel Metzgar
Set in Africa, this documentary chronicles, in verite fashion, the haunting, physically grueling and shocking voyage of Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Nicholas Kristof.
World Premiere

The September Issue
Dir: R J Cutler
Cutler and his crew gained unprecedented access to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour as she prepares the 2007 Vogue September issue, widely accepted as the 'fashion bible' for the year's trends.
World Premiere

Dir: Greg Barker
Chasing The Flameexamines the role of the United Nations and the international communitythrough the life and experiences of Sergio Vieira De Mello, the HighCommissioner For Human Rights.
World Premiere

Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech
Dir: Liz Garbus
An exploration of the history and current state of free speech in America narrated by the film-maker's father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus.
World Premiere

We Live In Public
Dir: Ondi Timoner
We Live In Public is the story of the internet's revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes of maverick web pioneer Josh Harris and his art project that shocked New York.
World Premiere

When You're Strange
Dir: Tom DiCillo
The first feature documentary about The Doors, When You're Strange enters the dark and dangerous world of one of America's most influential bands using only footage shot between 1966 and 1971.
World Premiere

William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe
Dirs: Sarah Kunstler and Emily Kunstler
With clients including Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and the Chicago 10, the late civil rights attorney William Kunstler was one of the most famous lawyers of the 20th century. The Kunstler sisters explore their father's life from movement hero to 'the most hated lawyer in America.'
World Premiere


This year's 16 films were selected from 1,026 submissions.

Dir: Max Mayer
A strange and lyrical love story between a somewhat socially dysfunctional young man and the woman of his dreams.
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Frankie Faison.
World Premiere

Dir: Cherien Dabis
A divorced Palestinian woman and her teenage son face new challenges when they move to rural Illinois.
Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Alia Shawkat.
World Premiere

Big Fan
Dir: Robert Siegel
The world of a parking garage attendant who happens to be the New York Giants' biggest fan is turned upside down after an altercation with his favorite player.
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Michael Rapaport, Kevin Corrigan, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Matt Servitto.
World Premiere

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Dir: John Krasinski
When her boyfriend leaves with little explanation, a doctoral candidate in anthropology tries to remedy her heartache by interviewing men about their behavior. Adapted from the short story collection by the late David Foster Wallace.
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Dominic Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Rashida Jones.
World Premiere

Cold Souls
Dir: Sophie Barthes
In the midst of an existential crisis, a famous American actor explores soul extraction as a relief from the burdens of daily life.
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, David Strathairn, Emily Watson, Lauren Ambrose, Oksana Lada.
World Premiere

Dir: Adam Salky
Three very different teenagers discover that, even in the safe world of a suburban prep school, no one is who she or he appears to be.
Cast: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer, Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, Rooney Mara.
World Premiere

Don't Let Me Drown
Dir: Cruz Angeles
Two Latino teens whose lives are affected by the attack on the World Trade Center discover that love is the only thing that keeps them from drowning.
Cast: E J Bonilla, Gleendilys Inoa, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Chavira, Gina Torres.
World Premiere

Arlen Faber
Dir: John Hindman
The reclusive author of a groundbreaking spiritual book awakens to new truths when two strangers enter his life.
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Pucci, Olivia Thirlby.
World Premiere

The Greatest
Dir: Shana Feste
After the loss of their teenage son, a family is thrown into new turmoil by the arrival of a young woman.
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons, Aaron Johnson, Zoe Kravitz.
World Premiere

Dir: Lynn Shelton
A farcical comedy about straight male bonding gone a little too far.
Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard.
World Premiere

Paper Heart
Dir: Nicolas Jasenovec
Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she embarks on a quest to discover its true nature and encounters an unlikely fellow traveller, the actor Michael Cera.
Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Nicolas Jasenovec, Jake Johnson.
World Premiere

Peter And Vandy
Dir: Jay DiPietro
Juxtaposing a couple's romantic beginnings with the manipulative couple they have become, Peter and Vandy is a contemporary Manhattan love story with no beginning and no end.
Cast: Jess Weixler, Jason Ritter, Jesse L. Martin, Tracie Thoms.
World Premiere

Dir: Lee Daniels
Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Sapphire, Push is the redemptive story of Precious Jones, a young girl in Harlem struggling to overcome tremendous obstacles and discover her own voice.
Cast: Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mo'Nique Imes, Lenny Kravitz.
World Premiere

Sin Nombre USA
Dir: Cary Fukunaga
A teenage Mexican gang member tries to outrun his violent past and former associates in this thriller set among Central American migrants seeking to cross over to the United States.
Cast: Paulina Gaitan, Diana Garcia, Damayanti Quintanar, Karl Braun.
World Premiere

Taking Chance
Dir: Ross Katz
Based on real-life events, Lt Col Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming.
Cast: Tom Aldredge, Sherman Alpert, Nicholas Art, Kevin Bacon, Blanche Baker.
World Premiere

Toe To Toe
Dir: Emily Abt
The story of an interracial friendship put to the test by the intense pressures of a competitive Washington DC prep school.
Cast: Sonequa Martin, Louisa Krause, Silvestre Rasuk, Anwan Glover, Gaius Charles.
World Premiere


This year's 16 films were selected from 744 submissions.

211: Anna Italy
Dirs: Paolo Serbandini and Giovanna Massimetti
The story of Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist and human rights activist who risked her life to report the truth about the Chechen conflict and President Vladimir Putin.
World Premiere

Afghan Star Afghanistan/UK
Dir: Havana Marking
After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to television in Afghanistan: millions are watching and voting for their favorite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing.
North American Premiere

Big River Man USA
Dir: John Maringouin
An overweight, wine-swilling Slovenian world-record-holding endurance swimmer resolves to brave the mighty Amazon wearing only his Speedos.
World Premiere

Burma VJ Denmark
Dir: Anders Oestergaard
In September 2007, Burmese journalists who risk life imprisonment by reporting from inside their sealed-off country are suddenly thrown onto the global stage as their pocket camera images of the Saffron Revolution make headlines everywhere.
World Premiere

The End Of The Line UK
Dir: Rupert Murray
Based on the book by journalist Charles Clover, The End Of the Line reveals the devastating effect that global overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans.
World Premiere

The Glass House USA
Dir: Hamid Rahmanian
The Glass House follows four teenage girls striving to overcome drug addiction, abandonment and abuse by attending a rehabilitation center in Tehran.
North American Premiere

Kimjongilia France/USA
Dir: NC Heikin
Defectors from North Korea finally speak out about the terrifying reality of their lives and daring escapes.
World Premiere

Let's Make Money Austria/China/South Africa/Spain/Switzerland/USA
Dir: Erwin Wagenhofer
From the factories of India to financial markets in Singapore to massive housing developments in Spain and offshore banks in Jersey, Let's Make Money reveals complex and shocking workings of global money flow.
World Premiere

Nollywood Babylon Canada
Dirs: Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal
Welcome to the wacky world of Nollywood, Nigeria's bustling home-grown movie industry.
US Premiere

Old Partner South Korea
Dir: Chung-ryoul Lee
A humble octogenarian farmer lives out his final days with his feisty wife and loyal ox in the Korean countryside.
North American Premiere

Prom Night In Mississippi Canada
Dir: Paul Saltzman
When a small-town Mississippi high school resolves to hold its first integrated senior prom, strong emotions fly and traditions are challenged to their core.
World Premiere

The Queen And I (Drottningen Och Jag) Sweden
Dir: Nahid Persson Sarvestani
Swedish film-maker Sarvestani, an Iranian exile who helped overthrow the Shah's regime in 1979, confronts her own assumptions and complex truths about Iran when she enters the life of the Shah's widow.
World Premiere

Quest For Honor Kurdistan/USA
Dir: Mary Ann Bruni
A former teacher and tireless activist works with local lawmen, Kurdish government agencies and her colleagues to investigate and eradicate honour killings in the tribal regions of Kurdistan.
World Premiere

Rough Aunties UK
Dir: Kim Longinotto
Fearless, feisty and unwavering, the 'Rough Aunties' protect and care for the abused, neglected and forgotten children of Durban in South Africa.
North American Premiere

Thriller In Manila UK
Dir: John Dower
A tale of betrayal stoked by the racial politics of 1970s America, Thriller In Manila chronicles the most intense and bitter sporting rivalry ever: the 1975 final match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
North American Premiere

Tibet In Song USA
Dir: Ngawang Choephel
Through the story of Tibetan music, this film depicts the determined efforts of Tibetan people, both in Tibet and in exile, to preserve their unique cultural identity. Choephel served six years of an 18-year prison sentence for filming in Tibet.
World Premiere


This year's 16 films were selected from a record 1,012 submissions.

Before Tomorrow (Le Jour Avant Lendemain) Canada
Dirs: Madeline Piujuq and Marie-Helene Cousineau
A wise old woman fights to survive impossible circumstances with her young grandson in the Canadian arctic.
Cast: Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Paul-Dylan Ivalu, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu,
Mary Qulitalik, Tumasie Sivuarapik.
US Premiere

Bronson UK
Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn
Bronson traces the transformation of Mickey Peterson into Britain's most notorious, dangerous and charismatic prisoner, Charles Bronson.
Cast: Tom Hardy.
North American Premiere

Carmo, Hit The Road Spain
Dir: Murilo Pasta
A lonely, handicapped smuggler and a beautiful girl embark on a reckless ride through a South American border landscape.
Cast: Mariana Loureiro, Fele Martinez, Seu Jorge.
World Premiere

The Clone Returns (Kuron Wa Kokyo-Wo Mezasu) Japan
Dir: Kanji Nakajima)
A Japanese astronaut who dies during a mission is subsequently resurrected as a clone and returns to his childhood home.
Cast: Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Eri Ishida, Hiromi Nagasaku.
North American Premiere

Dada's Dance China
Dir: Zhang Yuan
Dada is a flirtatious young woman who lives with her mother in a small town. Having to fend off the constant advances of her mother's boyfriend who tells her she is adopted, she undertakes a journey in search of her birth mother.
Cast: Li Xinyun, Li Xiaofeng, Gai Ge, Chen Jun.
North American Premiere

An Education UK
Dir: Lone Scherfig
In the early 60s, a sharp 16-year-old with sights set on Oxford meets a handsome older man whose sophistication enraptures and sidetracks both her and her parents. Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay.
Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson.
World Premiere

Five Minutes Of Heaven UK
Dir: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Two men from the same town but from different sides of the Irish political divide discover that the past is never dead.
Cast: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca.
World Premiere

A French Gigolo (Cliente) France
Dir: Josiane Balasko
An attractive, successful 50-something woman regularly treats herself to the sexual services of young men selected on internet sites. When one particular escort becomes a habit, the relationship gets a bit more complicated.
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carre, Josiane Balasko.
North American Premiere

Heart Of Time (Corazon Del Tiempo) Mexico
Dir: Alberto Cortes
In La Esperanza De San Pedro, Chiapas, in the midst of the Zapatista struggle, a young woman makes serious waves when she falls in love with a revolutionary fighter from the mountains.
Cast: Rocio Barrios.
North American Premiere

Louise-Michel France
Dirs: Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern
When a French factory is abruptly closed by its corrupt management, a group of disgruntled female workers pool their paltry compensation money and hire a hitman to knock off the corrupt executive behind the closure.
Cast: Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners.
North American Premiere.

Lulu And Jim (Lulu Und Jimi) Germany
Dir: Oskar Roehler
Bright garish colors, rock and roll and wild dance numbers mark this road movie about lovers fleeing from the evil powers of a 1950s deeply bigoted German society.
Cast: Jennifer Decker, Ray Fearon, Katrin Sass, Rolf Zacher, Udo Kier.
World Premiere

The Maid (La Nana) Chile
Dir: Sebastian Silva
When her mistress brings on another servant to help with the chores, a bitter and introverted maid wreaks havoc on the household.
Cast: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedon, Mariana Loyola, Alejandro
Goic, Andrea Garcia-Huidobro.
North American Premiere.

One Day In A Life (Un Altro Pianeta) Italy
Dir: Stefano Tummolini
One languid summer day, a man heads to the beach in search of sunshine and bit of peace, but finds himself tangled up in the dramas of an eclectic group of nearby sunbathers.
Cast: Antonio Merone, Lucia Mascino.
World Premiere

Unmade Beds UK
Dir: Alexis Dos Santos
Two young foreigners find romance in the vibrant, artistic underground of London's East End.
Cast: Deborah Francois, Fernando Tielve.
World Premiere

Victoria Day Canada
Dir: David Bezmozgis
Over the course of one week in 1988, the search for a missing teammate, parental expectations, a burgeoning sexual awakening and the rock concert of the century all threaten to jolt a 16-year-old into adulthood.
Cast: Mark Rendall, Sergiy Kotelenets, Nataliya Alyexeyenko, Holly
Deveaux, John Mavrogiannis.
World Premiere.

Zion And His Brother (Zion Ve-Achiv) France/Israel
Dir: Eran Merav
The disappearance of a young boy sends a wedge between two teenage brothers whose loyalty had been unshakeable, in this gritty story of a working class Tel Aviv family.
Cast: Reuven Badalov, Ronit Elkabetz, Tzahi Grad.
World Premiere

For further details visit www.sundance .org.