Which films will generate heat in Utah’s mountain cool? Jeremy Kay picks a selection of titles from across the festival

Holy Rollers

Blue Valentine

US Dramatic Competition

Director Derek Cianfrance

Producers Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, Jamie Patricof

The lowdown Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in what promises to be a moving account of a relationship gone bad. Backed by the prestigious Incentive Fund, Blue Valentine employs dual timelines, juxtaposing the pair’s blissful first encounter with the troubled relationship of later years.

Sales contact Graham Taylor, WME Global (North America), (1) 310 246 3126; Mimi Steinbauer, Hyde Park International (international)


US Dramatic Competition

Director Spencer Susser

Producers Lucy Cooper, Matthew Weaver, Scott Prisand, Spencer Susser, Natalie Portman, Johnny Lin, Win Sheridan

The lowdown One of the most talked about entries coming in to Sundance, Susser’s darkly comic tale stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a destructive loner who helps a grieving teenage boy and his father to deal with their loss. A terrific supporting cast is headed by Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson.

Sales contact Michael Merlob, CAA, and Mark Ankner, WME Global (North America), (1) 424 288 2000, (1) 310 246 3161; Nick Meyer, Sierra Pictures (international), (1) 310 777 4572

Holy Rollers

US Dramatic Competition

Director Kevin Asch

Producers Danny A Abeckaser, Tory Tunnell, Per Melita, Jen Gatien

The lowdown Rising star Jesse Eisenberg delighted audiences last year in Adventureland and Zombieland and is set to make a splash with his latest role. He plays a young Hasidic Jew who questions everything he has believed in after he is seduced by the secular rewards of smuggling drugs from Amsterdam to New York.

Sales contact Cinetic (worldwide), (1) 212 204 7979

Sympathy For Delicious

US Dramatic Competition

Director Mark Ruffalo

Producers Andrea Sperling, Matthew Weaver, Scott Prisand

The lowdown Ruffalo’s feature directorial debut mingles tragedy and compassion in a heady emotional brew. Christopher Thornton stars and wrote the screenplay about a paralysed man who turns to faith healing as he struggles to reclaim his life and career in Los Angeles’ music scene. Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney and Noah Emmerich co-star.

Sales contact Mark Ankner, WME Global (North America), (1) 310 246 3161; Nick Meyer, Sierra Pictures (international),  (1) 310 777 4572

Welcome To The Rileys

US Dramatic Competition

Director Jake Scott

Producers Michael Costigan, Giovanni Agnelli, Scott Bloom

The lowdownTwilight superstar Kristen Stewart features in the tale of an upstanding Indiana couple who respond in polarised ways to the death of their daughter. The husband befriends an underage prostitute, while his wife isolates herself in their suburban home. James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo also star.

Sales contact Rena Ronson, David Flynn, UTA (worldwide), (1) 310 776 8138, (1) 310 228 3863



Director Diego Luna

Producer Pablo Cruz

The lowdown Luna’s feature directorial debut is billed as an endearing family drama with a delicious sense of humour. Produced by Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal’s Canana, the Spanish-language story follows a troubled young boy who decides to become the head of the household in the absence of his father. Everything goes well until a man claiming to be his father turns up. Jose Maria Yazpik and Karina Gidi star.

Sales contact Cinetic (worldwide), (1) 212 204 7979

The Company Men


Director John Wells

Producers Claire Rudnick Polstein, Paula Weinstein, John Wells

The lowdown A powerhouse cast of Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones populate this timely tale about corporate downsizing. A whizz-kid salesman is laid off, sparking the fury of his father, who happens to have founded the company. Maria Bello and Rosemarie DeWitt co-star.

Sales contact Michael Merlob, CAA (North America), (1) 424 288 2000; Stuart Ford, IM Global (international), (1) 310 777 3595



Directors Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass

Producer Michael Costigan

The lowdown The Duplass brothers are a Sundance staple (Baghead, The Puffy Chair) and their latest collaboration should keep their stock high. In Cyrus, Marisa Tomei plays Jonah Hill’s mother, which alone should be worth the ticket price. Add John C Reilly as a suitor and factor in Hill as apossessive overgrown child, and Cyrus could go on to be one of the hits of the festival. Catherine Keener co-stars.

US distributor Fox Searchlight

Int’l sales contact Fox International

Jack Goes Boating


Director Philip Seymour Hoffman

Producers Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Beth O’Neil, Emily Ziff

The lowdown Hoffman is the kind of indie darling festivals scramble to attract, so the fact the Oscar winner directs and stars in Jack Goes Boating seems almost too good to be true. Styled as an unconventional rom-com, the New York-set story centres on a limo driver’s blind date which sparks a tale of love, betrayal and friendship. Amy Ryan heads the supporting cast.

US distributor Overture Films

Int’l sales contact Celluloid Dreams, (33) 49 70 03 70

The Killer Inside Me


Director Michael Winterbottom

Producers Chris Hanley, Bradford L Schlei, Andrew Eaton

The lowdown A Winterbottom film is always insightful and provocative and the prolific UK director arrives with a shocking tale about a Texan deputy sheriff and pillar of the community who starts killing people. Casey Affleck, in his first lead role since Gone Baby Gone, leads an appealing cast which includes Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.

Sales contact Graham Taylor, WME (North America), (1) 310 246 3126; Carole Baraton, Wild Bunch (international), (33) 6 20 36 77 72

Please Give


Director Nicole Holofcener

Producer Anthony Bregman

The lowdown A delicious female line-up of indie stalwarts Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet and the widely admired Rebecca Hall grace the latest ensemble piece from Holofcener, whose Friends With Money screened at Sundance four years ago. A New York husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives next door. The couple want to build out their home into the neighbouring apartment but cannot do anything until the old lady dies.

US distributor Sony Pictures Classics

Int’l sales contact SPRI



Director Joel Schumacher

Producers Ted Field, Charlie Corwin, Bob Salerno, Jordan Melamed, Christophe Riandee, Sidonie Dumas

The lowdown As the enduring appeal of St Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys proves, Schumacher is a master at portraying the excesses of youngsters gone wild. The veteran director returns to familiar territory with a brash chronicle of the ups and downs of privileged kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, starring Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, Kiefer Sutherland and Ellen Barkin.

Sales contact Michael Merlob, CAA (North America), (1) 424 288 2000; Loic Trocmé and Cécile Gaget, Gaumont (international), (33) 1 46 43 21 90 and (33) 1 46 43 20 24


Park City at Midnight

Director Rodrigo Cortes

Producers Adrian Guerra, Peter Safran

The lowdown Chris Sparling’s screenplay has been making waves in Hollywood for a while and Buried could be one of  the most talked about films of the festival. Ryan Reynolds stars as a US contractor in Iraq who wakes up to find himself buried alive. With only a mobile phone and a cigarette lighter to hand, he must somehow escape.

Sales contact Rich Klubeck, David Flynn, UTA (North America), (1) 310 228 3842, (1) 310 228 3863


Park City at Midnight

Director Adam Green

Producers Peter Block, Cory Neal

The lowdown Pitched as Open Water on a chairlift, this shocker from Saw franchise executive producer Peter Block has earned rave reviews from fanboys. The story is simple enough: three guests at a ski resort are stranded on a chairlift when the place closes down for the week. Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers star.

North America distributor Anchor Bay

Int’l sales Glen Basner, FilmNation, (1) 917 484 8905