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We asked Sundance directors five questions about their films
THE SURROGATE DIRECTOR BEN LEWIN By Dan Schoenbrun

Strictly speaking figures, The Surrogate has been the big Sundance winner thus far. Scooped up by Fox Searchlight for a massive $6 million, the film is already reportedly being groomed for next year's Oscar race. The first narrative feature from filmmaker Ben Lewin since 1994′s Paperback Romance, The Surrogate tells the true story of journalist Mark O'Brien, a polio stricken man who, after living most of his life in an iron lung, decides to try to lose his virginity. Starring John Hawkes as O'Brien, The Surrogate received a standing ovation at it's premiere, and it's already being praised by critics as a light-hearted, accessible crowd-pleaser. Read the Interview

GOATS DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER NEIL By Dan Schoenbrun

Goats might be Chrisopher Neil's first feature as director, but he's worked for years as an acting coach and rehearsal adviser on projects as wide ranging as Adaptation, The Virgin Suicides, and Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith. And it's clear that Neil has accrued quite a stellar reputation among actors, as evidenced by Goats' impressive ensemble (which includes David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, and relative newcomer Graham Phillips.) Based on the quirky debut novel by Mark Jude Proirier (who also wrote the film's screenplay), Goats is an odd but bittersweet coming of age story.Read the Interview

We posed the question, "Why are you a filmmaker?"
SEARCHING FOR THE SUGAR MAN DIRECTOR MALIK BENDJELLOUL I'm a filmmaker because it's one of very few activities I know of that can completely absorb me. Both when shooting and editing, it's a pure creative state of mind where I can forget everything else--sometimes even that I'm hungry--because I'm so absorbed. That's why I do this--it's a job that you can never grew tired of. Every day there are new creative challenges to overcome and new ideas to come up with in order to do that. You're constantly moving. I like that. Read More

THE PERCEPTION OF MOVING TARGETS DIRECTOR WESTON CURRIE As a boy, as a little dreamer imagining what fantastic job he might one day have as a grown man, I always saw myself filling the roles of the hero/villain archetypes we see in the movies. A cowboy, a detective, an archeologist adventurer, a robber even, sometimes Robin Hood and other times James Cagney. Older, increasingly more in touch with reality, and with my dawning awareness of film as a created world imagined and rendered by artists and crews, I arrived at a new aspiration (still just as fanciful as those of the boy) that I might one day make it my career to live in all of the genres and worlds my heroes and villains inhabited.Read More

MY BROTHER THE DEVIL DIRECTOR SALLY EL HOSAINI I believe that going to the cinema and watching a film, on the big screen, will always hold a special place in peoples hearts. Despite technological advances in terms of how films are consumed, the physical experience of the lights dimming as you are transported into another world will always be magical. This is why it will never die. My first memory of going to the cinema was when I was six years old. I grew up in Cairo, Egypt and every summer our local sports club would set up an outdoor screen. Read more

IN THIS NEWSLETTER
The Surrogate
Goats
Searching for the Sugar Man
The Perception of Moving Targets
My Brother the Devil
Watch: Frank Langella Talks Robot & Frank
Slamdance: Critic's Diary
Musicians and Friends in the Snow: Sundance Snaps
My Best Day's Erin Greenwell on Meeting Robert Redford
SUNDANCE BLOG & FEATURES
News, columns, and opinions straight from Park City
WATCH: FRANK LANGELLA TALKS ROBOT AND FRANK One of the hits of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival has been Robot and Frank, Jake Schreier's tale of a retired jewel thief and the caretaker robot his kids purchase to assist him in his final days. In addition to Frank Langella, the film costars James Marsden, Susan Sarandon and Liv Tyler, and it was jointly acquired at the festival by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn in a deal reported at over $2 million. In addition to being a great actor, Langella is a great sport. Here he is being interviewed by the National Film Society.Watch

SLAMDANCE 2012: CRITICS NOTEBOOK #1 By Brandon Harris

Every year The Slamdance Film Festival is responsible for premiering at least a half dozen films that go on to lengthy fest circuit runs (The Guatamalan Handshake, Without, The New Years Parade, Stranger Things), cult viability (Murder Party, Snow on tha Bluff) and in the case of the 2008 selection Paranormal Activity, massive box office success. This year will likely be no exception. But after surveying a third of the ten narratives and eight documentaries in the always eclectically programmed festival's 2012 slate, no true standout has emerged, although a number of solid efforts are on display. Read More

MUSICIANS AND FRIENDS IN THE SNOW: SUNDANCE SNAPS By Scott Macaulay

Here outside Zoom following BMI's annual seat-switching dinner are elusive rock icon Rodriguez and Malik Bendjelloul, the director of his doc, Searching for Sugar Man. At the dinner, I asked Bendjellaul whether he was a fan of Rodrgiuez's before the film. No, he said. He was looking for a story and heard about the Rodriguez saga from a private detective. The film was acquired at Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics.Read More
First-hand accounts by filmmakers

MEETING ROBERT REDFORD: THE BEFORE SUNDANCE BLOG By Erin Greenwell (Dir. My Best Day

I've been considering many cold opening quotes to this "During Sundance" blog ranging from, "Bagels again?" to, "Marina Abramovic is in the next bathroom stall!" I'll let Robert Redford start it with, "There's Sundance here," as he points towards the floor at the Directors Brunch "And then there's Park City," he indicates down the mountain. "Park City is not Sundance." We directors nod. Bob understands. We won't buy into the machine of the market place. Our film is already the gold and Bob is warning us to stay grounded. Read more


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