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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ondaatje before reading
Faces in Greece: jury president Michael Ondaatje before a reading at the Chamber of Commerce.

David Zellner
David Zellner (Goliath) on the Provlita, or pier, after a Just Talking panel.

Debating the premise
Theo Angelopoulos debates a questioner's premise about his latest, Dust of Time.

At a Just Talking panel, programmer Mimi Brody and director (and priceless actor in Azazel Jacobs' GoodTimesKid) Gerardo Naranjo.

Aza came late
Latecomer Azazel Jacobs apologies to his panel.

Flashing Willem
Before a masterclass that included the central Bobby Peru scene from Wild At Heart, Willem Dafoe gets flashed.

Kusturica plays
Emir Kusturica's No Smoking Band is a local favorite; the warehouse on the pier was packed with a young, young crowd pleased not to be paying a 20 Euro cover.

Kusturica guitar


# posted by Ray Pride @ 12/31/2008 07:23:00 PM Comments (0)
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Doc/Fest ran from November 5-9 this year. [Here's their site.] From hundreds of moments, a few glimpses beyond the screen.
Michael Tucker
Michael Tucker, co-director of Bulletproof Salesman.
margaret brown, astra taylor
Margaret Brown, after receiving a John Grierson award for The Order of Myths, with Astra Taylor, director of Examined Life.
Nick Broomfield takes questions during his masterclass.
Naomi Wolf signs "the end of america"
Naomi Wolf signs copies of "The End of America" before the screening of The End of America.
Simon Kilmurry, Geoffrey Smith
Simon Kilmurry, executive director of P.O.V., with Geoffrey Smith, director of The English Surgeon.
Sean McAllister, Rebecca Frankel
Sean McAllister, director of Japan, A Story of Love and Hate, and Rebecca Frankel, FourDocs Editor at Magic Lantern and Channel 4.
Buyers guide
An interesting exercise: dozens of buyers briefly explain their programming needs to a packed house.
Lucky Yohji Yamamoto hat
Director Toshi Fujiwara (The Fence) and his lucky Yohji Yamamoto hat.


# posted by Ray Pride @ 12/25/2008 07:03:00 PM Comments (0)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A few flickers of the long Leap Day weekend that was True/False 2008: in its fifth edition, the Columbia, Missouri-set nonfiction festival began with the traditional grand march through town, led by "punk marching band" Mucca Paaza. Images of swamis and Diane Arbus pictures danced in the streets.

Son of a Gun
Gregory O'Toole and Rivkah Beth Medow show their jaw-dropping doc Sons of a Gun as a work-in-progress.

Tiger Gibney

Alex Gibney was fresh off his Oscar win for Taxi To The Dark Side.
Anna Broinowski
True/False is great at ferreting out films too good to be overlooked; one of them was the premise-violating whirlwind, Forbidden Lie$, by blunt Aussie director Anna Broinowski, seen at a panel.

Swami Broderick
The festival calls its advisors-to-filmmakers "swamis"; while donning the golden turban, in memory of Columbia's own true-false footnote to space-age lounge music Korla Pandit, is optional, Peter Broderick went full swami while taking questions about distribution models.

David Wilson
Ubiquitous festival co-founder David Wilson at the freshly christened Ragtag Cinema...

David Wilson, James Marsh

And Wilson with director James Marsh before closing night's Man on Wire.
Music man
Once more, with feeling, Mucca Pazza.


# posted by Ray Pride @ 12/23/2008 06:48:00 PM Comments (0)
Friday, December 12, 2008

Final deadline for the 2009 Aspen Shortsfest is on Monday (Dec. 15). Late deadline: Dec. 31.

Learn how to submit your film here.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/12/2008 03:49:00 PM Comments (0)

The 2009 Bahamas International Film Festival wrapped last night in Nassau with Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna closing the fest.


The New Vision Award: Cold Lunch, directed by Eva Sorhaug.

Jury Special Mention: Jay, directed by Xavier Pasion.

The Spirit of Freedom Narrative Award: Lion's Den, directed by Pablo Trapero.

The Spirit of Freedom Documentary Award: Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, directed by Chai Vasarhelyi.

Jury Special Mention: War Child, directed by C. Karim Chrobog.

The Award for Best Short Film: Gone Fishing, directed by Chris Jones.

BIFF Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: Rain, directed by Maria Govan.

BIFF Audience Award for Best Documentary: Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, directed by Chai Vasarhelyi.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/12/2008 11:25:00 AM Comments (0)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's my last day in the Bahamas and most people are leaving today. It's been a blast to hang with everyone and meet a lot of talented filmmakers, particularly the ones who are not based in the U.S. Here's a few people who were down here.





# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/09/2008 11:16:00 AM Comments (0)
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Or "Jingle Bells" or "Frosty the Snow Man"... basically the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas is in the holiday spirit. Blairing from every speaker (including the one above me where I'm typing this) holiday tunes. There's old diddies from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion is also belting our the cheer and it wouldn't be the Caribbean if you didn't hear steel drum renditions of your favorites. And everywhere you turn there's a Christmas tree or some type of wreath in your face.

For some reason these vacation destinations love to make you aware what time of year it is.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/06/2008 03:09:00 PM Comments (0)
Friday, December 5, 2008

The 5th annual Bahamas International Film Festival kicked off last night in Nassau with the Bahamian premiere of Maria Govan's Rain, a moving coming-of-age story of a young girl's journey to reconcile with her estranged mother while discovering her love for running (a sport Bahamians are passionate about) through the school's defiant track & field coach (played by the always great CCH Pounder). A film that was nurtured through the festival's residency program, Govan got choked up while introducing the film thinking back on the money she raised on the island to make it.

The film certainly struck a note to the locals who gave her an huge ovation at the end.

And the good feelings didn't end there as after the Q&A a Bahamian marching band (pictured above) came storming into the theater to wrap up the event.

The party continues tonight as Aaron Woodley's Tennessee screens and later in the week honors are handed out to Laurence Fishburne and Anna Faris.

Stay tuned for more dispatches from Paradise.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/05/2008 11:53:00 AM Comments (0)

Originally posted on the Filmmaker blog, here's Scott Macaulay's post on the Sundance Film Festival's Premieres, Spectrum, Frontier and Midnight selections.

Sundance has just released the remaining titles for this year's festival. There are a lot of movies I'm excited to see on the list. I'll write more about them in the next few days, but, for now, here's the official spam:

500 Days of Summer / USA. (Director: Marc Webb; Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)—When an unlucky greeting card copywriter is dumped by his girlfriend, the hopeless romantic shifts back and forth through various periods of their 500 days 'together' in hopes of figuring out where things went wrong. Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. World Premiere

Adventureland / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Greg Mottola)—In 1987, a recent college graduate takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park and discovers the job is perfect preparation for the real world. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader. World Premiere

Brooklyn's Finest / USA (Director: Antoine Fuqua; Screenwriter: Michael C. Martin)—After enduring vastly different career paths, three unconnected Brooklyn cops wind up at the same deadly location. Cast: Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Don Cheadle, Ellen Barkin. World Premiere

Earth Days / USA (Director: Robert Stone)—The history of our environmental undoing through the eyes of nine Americans whose work and actions launched the modern environmental movement. World Premiere. Closing Night Film

Endgame / UK (Director: Pete Travis; Screenwriter: Paula Milne)—A political thriller in which a businessman initiates covert discussions between the African National Congress and white intellectuals to try and find a peaceful solution to the Apartheid regime. Cast: William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong. World Premiere

I Love You Philip Morris / USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)—The true story about con artist and imposter Steven Jay Russell, a married father whose exploits land him in the Texas criminal justice system. Based on the novel by Houston Chronicle crime reporter Steve McVicker. Cast: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro. World Premiere

The Informers / USA (Director: Gregor Jordan; Screenwriters: Bret Easton Ellis and Nicholas Jarecki)—A drama based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel, set in the 1980s, focusing on wealthy Angelinos consumed by a decadent lifestyle. Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke. North American Premiere

In the Loop / UK (Director: Armando Iannucci; Screenwriters: Armando Iannucci and Jesse Armstrong)—A fast-paced film about Britain and America's special relationship in the lead-up to a war no one seems to be able to stop. Cast: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander. World Premiere

Manure / USA (Director: Michael Polish; Screenwriters: Mark Polish and Michael Polish)—A comic tale centered on manure salesmen in the early 1960s. Cast: Téa Leoni, Billy Bob Thornton, Kyle MacLachlan. World Premiere

Mary and Max / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Adam Elliot)—The tale of two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman (voice), Toni Collette (voice), Barry Humphries (voice). World Premiere, Opening Night Film

The Messenger / USA (Director: Oren Moverman; Screenwriters: Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman)—Two soldiers from different generations form a unique bond as they cope with their assignment with the Army Casualty Notification department. Cast: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone, Eamonn Walker. World Premiere

Moon / UK (Director: Duncan Jones; Screenwriter: Nathan Parker)—Before returning to Earth after three years on the moon, things go horribly wrong for astronaut Sam Bell. Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey. World Premiere

Motherhood / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Katherine Dieckmann)—A mother of two from Manhattan is having a day that would challenge even the toughest maternal multi-tasker. Cast: Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver, Anthony Edwards. World Premiere

Rudo and Cursi (Rudo y Cursi) / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: Carlos Cuarón)—Two siblings rival each other inside the world of professional soccer. Cast: Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Guillermo Francella. U.S. Premiere

Shrink / USA (Director: Jonas Pate; Screenwriter: Thomas Moffett)—Unable to come to grips with a recent personal tragedy, Los Angeles’ top celebrity psychiatrist loses faith in his ability to help his patients. Cast: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer, Mark Webber, Dallas Roberts, Saffron Burrows. World Premiere

Spread / USA (Director: David Mackenzie; Screenwriter: Jason Dean Hall)—A handsome young man survives in Los Angeles by seducing wealthy older women. Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche. World Premiere

A tribute to the abundance of compelling new voices and the creative spirit in independent filmmaking, the Spectrum program presents out-of-competition dramatic and documentary films
from some of the most promising filmmakers in the world today.

Dramatic films screening in Spectrum are:

Against the Current / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Peter Callahan)—Facing the anniversary of his pregnant wife's tragic death, thirty-five-year old Paul Thompson enlists the help of two friends to help him swim the length of the Hudson River. Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, Mary Tyler Moore, Michelle Trachtenberg. World Premiere

The Anarchist's Wife (La Mujer del Anarquista) / Germany/Spain (Directors: Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr; Screenwriters: Marie Noelle and Ray Loriga)—During the Spanish Civil War an idealistic young lawyer combating Franco's Fascist troops is separated from his wife and children. Cast: Maria Valverde, Juan Diego Botto, Nina Hoss, Ivana Baquero, Jean-Marc Barr. North American Premiere

Barking Water / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Sterlin Harjo)—Irene and Frankie have had a tumultuous relationship for forty years. As Frankie lies on his deathbed, Irene comes back to him one last time to break him from the hospital and take him home. Cast: Richard Ray Whitman, Casey Camp-Horenik. World Premiere

Children of Invention / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Tze Chun)—Two young children are left to fend for themselves when their mother is arrested for unwittingly taking part in an illegal pyramid scheme. Cast: Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu. World Premiere

Everything Strange and New / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Frazer Bradshaw)—Trapped by a life he never intended, a man struggles to navigate family, sexuality and drug addiction. Cast: Jerry McDaniel, Beth Lisick, Rigo Chacon Jr., Luis Saguar. World Premiere

Helen / Canada/Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Sandra Nettelbeck)—A successful psychiatrist fights her own clinical depression. Cast: Ashley Judd, Goran Visnijic. World Premiere

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle / USA(Director and Screenwriter: David Russo)—After losing his high-paying job, Dory takes a gig as a night janitor in order to pay rent. Alone late at night inside a market research firm, he discovers something worse than his new job cleaning toilets - a conniving corporate executive has made him the subject of a bizarre experiment. Cast: Marshall Allman, Vince Vieluf, Natasha Lyonne, Tania Raymonde, Tygh Runyan. World Premiere

Johnny Mad Dog / France (Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire; Screenwriters: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and Jacques Fieschi)—A fifteen-year-old kid-soldier fighting in Africa is armed to the hilt and inhabited by the mad dog he dreams of becoming. Cast: Christophe Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy. North American Premiere

La Mission / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Peter Bratt)—A traditional, Latino father in San Francisco's Mission District struggles to come to terms with his teenage son's homosexuality. Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Talisa Soto Bratt, Jesse Borrego. World Premiere

Lymelife / USA. (Director: Derick Martini; Screenwriters: Derick Martini and Steven Martini)—Set in the 1970s, a unique take on the dangers of the American dream seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen-year-old boy. Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Roberts. U.S. Premiere

The Missing Person / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Noah Buschel)—Private detective John Rosow is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. En route, Rosow uncovers that the man's identity is one of the thousands presumed dead after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Cast: Michael Shannon, Amy Ryan, Frank Wood. World Premiere

Once More with Feeling / USA (Director: Jeff Lipsky; Screenwriter: Gina O'Brien)—A comedy about a psychiatrist who undergoes a midlife crisis and pursues his long-lost ambition of becoming a singer through karaoke. Cast: Drea de Matteo, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri, Susan Miser, Lauren Bittner. World Premiere

The Only Good Indian / USA (Director: Kevin Willmott; Screenwriter: Tom Carmody)—Set in early 1900s Kansas, a teenage Native American boy is taken from his family and forced to attend an Indian 'training' school to assimilate into White society. Cast: Wes Studi, Winter Fox Frank, J. Kenneth Campbell. World Premiere

Pomegranates and Myrrh (Al Mor wa al Rumman) / Palestinian Territories (Director and Screenwriter: Najwa Najjar)—The wife of a Palestinian prisoner searches for freedom. Cast: Ali Suliman, Yasmine Al Massri, Ashraf Farah, Hiam Abbass. North American Premiere

The Vicious Kind / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Lee Toland Krieger)—Suffering insomnia and testy by nature, Caleb Sinclaire reluctantly picks up his brother Peter at college and brings him and his new girlfriend Emma home to his estranged father's house for Thanksgiving. Cast: Brittany Snow, Adam Scott, J.K. Simmons, Alex Frost. World Premiere

World's Greatest Dad / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait)—A comedy about a high school poetry teacher who learns that the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy. Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Kenny, Geoffrey Pierson. World Premiere

The films screening in Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight are:

It Might Get Loud / USA (Director: Davis Guggenheim)—The history of the electric guitar from the point of view of three legendary rock musicians. Cast: The Edge, Jimmy Page, Jack White. U.S. Premiere

No Impact Man / USA (Directors: Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein)—The documentary follows the Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption Fifth Avenue lifestyle in an attempt to make a no-net environmental impact for the course of one year. Cast: Michelle Conlin, Colin Beavan. World Premiere

Passing Strange / USA (Director: Spike Lee; Lyrics: Stew; Music: Stew and Heidi Rodewald)—A musical documentary about the international exploits of a young man from Los Angeles who leaves home to find himself and 'the real'. A theatrical stage production of the original Tony-Award winning book by Stew. Cast: De’Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Stew. World Premiere

Tyson / USA (Director: James Toback)—An intimate look at the complex life of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Cast: Mike Tyson. North American Premiere

Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy / USA (Director: Robert Townsend)—Using rare archival clips along with provocative interviews with many of today's leading comedians and social critics, Why We Laugh celebrates the incredible cultural influence and social impact black comedy has wielded over the past 400 years. Cast: Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Steve Harvey, Dick Gregory. World Premiere

Wounded Knee / USA (Director: Stanley Nelson; Screenwriter: Marcia Smith)—In 1973, American Indian groups took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota to draw attention the 1890 massacre. Though the federal government failed to keep many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing to the world's attention the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life. World Premiere

The Yes Men Fix the World / France/ USA (Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr)—A pair of notorious troublemakers sneak into corporate events disguised as captains of industry, then use their momentary authority to expose the biggest criminals on the planet. Cast: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno. World Premiere

Park City at Midnight offers eight films that are likely to amuse, surprise, or shock the bleary-eyed viewer and offer a lively last stop in the nightly film-going circuit.

The films screening in Park City at Midnight this year are:

Black Dynamite / USA (Director: Scott Sanders; Screenwriters: Michael Jai White, Scott Sanders, and Byron Minns)—When 'The Man' murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to take him on. Cast: Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Byron Minns, James McManus. World Premiere

The Carter / USA (Director: Adam Bhala Lough)—An in-depth, intimate look at the artist Dwayne "Lil' Wayne" Carter Jr, proclaimed by many as the "greatest rapper alive" Cast: Lil' Wayne, Brian Williams, Cortez Bryant. World Premiere

Død Snø (Dead Snow) / Norway (Director: Tommy Wirkola; Screenwriters: Tommy Wirkola and Stig Frode Henriksen)—A group of teenagers had all they needed for a successful ski vacation; cabin, skis, snowmobile, toboggan, copious amounts of beer and a fertile mix of the sexes. Certainly, none of them anticipated not returning home alive! However, the Nazi-zombie battalion haunting the mountains had other plans. Cast: Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Beck Laursen. North American Premiere

Grace / USA(Director and Screenwriter: Paul Solet)—After losing her unborn child, Madeline Matheson insists on carrying the baby to term. Following the delivery, the child miraculously returns to life, but when the baby develops a desperate appetite for human blood, Madeline is faced with a mother's ultimate decision. Cast: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose, Malcom Stewart, Stephen Park, Serge Houde. World Premiere

The Killing Room / USA (Director: Jonathan Liebesman; Screenwriters: Gus Krieger and Ann Peacock)—Four individuals sign up for a psychological research study only to discover that they are now subjects of a brutal, classified government program. Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Peter Stormare, Clea DuVall, Timothy Hutton, Nick Cannon. World Premiere

Mystery Team / USA (Director: Dan Eckman; Screenwriters: Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson)—A group of kid detectives called The Mystery Team struggle to solve a double murder to prove they can be real detectives before they graduate from high school. Cast: Dominic Dierkes, D.C. Pierson, Donald Glover, Aubrey Plaza, Glenn Kalison. World Premiere

Spring Breakdown / USA (Director: Ryan Shiraki; Screenwriters: Ryan Shiraki and Rachel Dratch)—Three thirtysomething friends attempt to break the monotony of their uninspired lives by vacationing at a popular spring break getaway for college students. Cast: Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, Will Arnett, Rachel Hamilton. World Premiere

White Lightnin' / UK (Director: Dominic Murphy; Screenwriters: Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti)—The outrageous cult story of Jesco White, the dancing outlaw. Cast: Ed Hogg, Carrie Fisher, Muse Watson, Wallace Merck, Clay Steakley. World Premiere

The Festival's Frontier section explores the experimental world of filmmaking. Utilizing new directions in filmmaking and innovative aesthetic approaches, work in the Frontier category challenges and provokes audiences.

Lunch Break/Exit / USA(Director: Sharon Lockhart)—Lunch Break and Exit yield from Lockhart’s timely new film and photographic series about the bleak state of U.S. labor. In Lunch Break, a single tracking shot through a long corridor where workers take their lunch hour at the massive shipyard, Bath Iron Works in Maine, reveals how 42 workers spend their lunch break. In Exit, the frame constantly fills with teaming workers each day as they head for home after a long day’s work.

O'er the Land / USA (Director: Deborah Stratman)—A meditation on our national psyche and the milieu of elevated threat, 'O'er the Land' addresses gun culture, national identity, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence.

Stay the Same Never Change / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Laurel Nakadate)—A mix of visual fact and narrative fiction starring a group of amateur actors in Kansas City. Whether it's a family man looking for beauty or a young woman obsessed with polar bears and Oprah, the characters in this humorous film reveal quiet lives full of sadness and desire. Cast: Dirk Cowan, Julie Potratz, Emily Boullear, Cyan Meeks, Tate Buck. World Premiere

Where is Where? / (Director: Eija Liisa-Ahtila)—Where is Where? is an experimental, four channel film based on an incident which happened during the struggle for independence in Algeria. As a reaction to the acts of violence committed by the French, two young Algerian boys murder their friend, a French boy of the same age. The film starts from the present day when the Death enters the house of a poet who is attempting to write about the incident. World Premiere

Artist Spotlight: The Works of Maria Marshall / USA(Director: Maria Marshall)—Maria Marshall's disturbing and gorgeously composed video projections provoke the psychological dimensions of cinema. Often violent and always visually charming, Marshall often uses her two sons in the main roles of her films. Her work tackles fundamental subjects of motherhood, socialization and life experience and takes us back to the world of childhood as a pretext in order to evoke the anxiety of adults.

You Won't Miss Me / USA (Director: Ry Russo-Young)—A portrait of a modern day rebel, Shelly Brown, a twenty-three year-old alienated urban misfit recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Cast: Stella Schnabel, Rene Ricard. World Premiere.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/05/2008 11:39:00 AM Comments (0)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Originally posted on the Filmmaker blog.

Moments ago the Sundance Institute announced the lineup of films screening in the competition categories for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, which will take place Jan. 15-25 in Park City, Utah and neighboring regions. Some of the titles that jump out for us are Joe Berlinger's Crude, R.J. Cutler's The September Issue, Ondi Timoner's We Live in Public and Tom DiCillo's When You're Strange on the doc side and Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre, Lee Daniels's Push and Ross Katz's Taking Chance on the dramatic side. Descriptions of these titles and all the others selected are below.

The films screening in Documentary Competition are:

Art & Copy (Director: Doug Pray; Screenwriter: Timothy J. Sexton)—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 (Director: Dana Perry)—An intimate look at the life, mental illness and death of a young man told from the point of view of the filmmaker: his mother. World Premiere

The Cove (Director: Louie Psihoyos; Screenwriter: Mark Monroe)—Dolphins are dying, whales are disappearing, and the oceans are growing sick. The horrors of a secret cove nestled off a small, coastal village in Japan are revealed by a group of activists led by Ric O’Barry, the man behind Flipper. World Premiere

Crude (Director: 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 (Directors: Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow)—The story of the relationship between humans and dirt, Dirt! The Movie humorously details how humans are rapidly destroying the last natural resource on earth. World Premiere

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

Good Hair (Director: Jeff Stilson)—Comedian Chris Rock turns documentary filmmaker when he sets out to examine the culture of African-American hair and hairstyles. World Premiere

Over the Hills and Far Away (Director: Michel Orion 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 (Director: Pamela Yates; Screenwriters: Peter Kinoy, Paco de Onís, Pamela Yates)—A battle of monumental proportions unfolds as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal dictators and world superpowers in bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice. World Premiere

Reporter (Director: Eric Daniel Metzgar)—Set in Africa, this documentary chronicles, in verité fashion, the haunting, physically grueling and shocking voyage of Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Nicholas D. Kristof. World Premiere

The September Issue (Director: R.J. Cutler)—With unprecedented access, director R.J. Cutler and his crew shot for nine months as they captured Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her team preparing the 2007 VogueSeptember issue, widely accepted as the "fashion bible" for the year's trends. World Premiere

(Director: Greg Barker)—Sergio examines the role of the United Nations and the international community through the life and experiences of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, including interviews with those who knew and worked with him over the course of his extraordinary career. World Premiere

Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech (Director: Liz Garbus)—An exploration of the history and current state of free speech in America narrated by the filmmaker's father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus. World Premiere

We Live in Public (Director and Screenwriter: 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 transgressive art project that shocked New York. World Premiere

When You're Strange (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Directors: 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. Filmmakers Emily and Sarah Kunstler explore their father’s life from movement hero to “the most hated lawyer in America.” World Premiere

The films screening in Dramatic Competition are:

Adam (Director and Screenwriter: 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, Mark Linn-Baker. World Premiere

Amreeka (Director and Screenwriter: Cherien Dabis)—When a divorced Palestinian woman and her teenage son move to rural Illinois at the outset of the Iraq war, they find their new lives replete with challenges. Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Alia Shawkat, Joseph Ziegler. World Premiere

Arlen Faber (Director and Screenwriter: John Hindman)—A reclusive author of a groundbreaking spiritual book awakens to new truths when two strangers enter his life. Cast: Kat Dennings, Lauren Graham, Olivia Thirlby, Jeff Daniels, Tony Hale. World Premiere

Big Fan (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Director and Screenwriter: 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. Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Dominic Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Rashida Jones. World Premiere

Cold Souls (Director and Screenwrtier: 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, David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Lauren Ambrose, Katheryn Winnick. World Premiere

Dare (Director: Adam Salky; Screenwriter: David Brind)—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 (Director: Cruz Angeles; Screenwriters: Maria Topete and 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, Damián Alcázar, Ricardo Chavira, Gina Torres. World Premiere

The Greatest (Director and Screenwriter: Shana Feste)— After the tragic loss of their teenage son, a family is again thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a young woman. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons, Aaron Johnson, Mike Shannon. World Premiere.

Humpday (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Director: Nicholas Jasenovec; Screenwriters: Nicholas Jasenovec and Charlyne Yi)—Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true nature--a journey that takes on surprising urgency when she meets unlikely fellow traveler, actor Michael Cera. Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Jake Johnson. World Premiere.

Peter and Vandy (Director and Screenwriter: Jay DiPietro)—Juxtaposing a couple's romantic beginnings with the twisted-manipulative-regular 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.

Push (Director and Screenwriter: 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, Mariah Carey. World Premiere.

Sin Nombre (Director and Screenwriter: Cary Joji Fukunaga)—A teenage Mexican gang member maneuvers to outrun his violent past and elude unforgiving former associates in this thriller set among Central American migrants seeking to cross over to the United States. Cast: Edgar Flores, Paulina Gaitan, Kristyan Ferrer, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Luis Fernando Peña, Diana García. World Premiere

Taking Chance (Director: Ross Katz; Screenwriters: LtCol Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.) and 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: Kevin Bacon, Blanche Baker. World Premiere

Toe to Toe (Director and Screenwriter: Emily Abt)—The story of an inter-racial friendship put to the test by the intense pressures of a competitive Washington, D.C. prep school. Cast: Sonequa Martin, Louisa Krause, Silvestre Rasuk, Leslie Uggams, Gaius Charles, Ally Walker. World Premiere.

Films screening in World Cinema Documentary Competition are:

211:Anna / Italy (Directors:Paolo Serbandini & 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 (Director: 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 (Director: John Maringouin)—An overweight, wine-swilling Slovenian world-record-holding endurance swimmer resolves to brave the mighty Amazon--in nothing but a Speedo®. World Premiere

Burma VJ / Denmark (Director: Anders Ostergaard)—In September 2007, Burmese journalists risking life imprisonment to report 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. U.S. Premiere

The End of the Line / UK (Director: 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 (Director: 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 (Director: N.C. Heikin)—Defectors from North Korea finally speak out about the terrifying reality of their lives--and escapes. World Premiere

Let's Make Money /Austria/China/South Africa/Spain/Switzerland/U.S.A. (Director: 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 (Directors: Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal)—Welcome to the wacky world of Nollywood, Nigeria's bustling home-grown movie industry. U.S. Premiere

Old Partner / South Korea (Director: Chung-ryoul Lee)—A humble octogenarian farmer lives out his final days with his spitfire wife and his loyal old ox in the Korean countryside. North American Premiere

Prom Night in Mississippi / Canada (Director: 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 (Director: Nahid Persson Sarvestani)— Swedish filmmaker 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 (Director: Mary Ann Bruni)—A former teacher and tireless activist works with local lawmen, Kurdish government agencies and her colleagues to investigate and eradicate honor killings in the tribal regions of Kurdistan. World Premiere

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

Thriller in Manila / UK (Director: 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 (Director: 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

Films screening in World Cinema Dramatic Competition are:

Before Tomorrow (Le Jour Avant Lendemain) / Canada (Directors: Madeline Piujuq & 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. U.S. Premiere

Bronson / UK (Director: Nicolas Winding Refn; Screenwriter: Brock Norman Brock)—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 (Director and Screenwriter: 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 Martínez, Seu Jorge. World Premiere

The Clone Returns (Kuron Wa Kokyo-Wo Mezasu)/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Director: Zhang Yuan; Screenwriter: Li Xiaofeng)—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 (Director: Lone Scherfig; Screenwriter: Nick Hornby)—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. Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson. World Premiere

Five Minutes of Heaven / UK / (Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel; Screenwriter: Guy Hibbert)—Two men from the same town but from different sides of the Irish political divide discover that the past is never dead--in fact it isn't even past. Cast: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca. World Premiere.

A French Gigolo (Cliente) / France (Director and Screenwriter: 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 Carré, Josiane Balasko. North American Premiere.

Heart of Time (Corazon Del Tiempo) / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: 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: Rocío Barrios. North American Premiere

Louise-Michel / France (Directors: 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 hit man to knock off the corrupt executive behind the closure. Cast: Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners. North American Premiere.

Lulu and Jim (Lulu und Jimi) / Germany (Director: 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.
Maid (La Nana) / Chile (Director and Screenwriter: 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 Celedón, Mariana Loyola, Alejandro Goic, Andrea García-Huidobro. North American Premiere.

One Day in a Life (Un Altro Pianeta) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Director and Screenwriter: 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 (Director and Screenwriter: 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 sixteen 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 (Director and Screenwriter: 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 single-parent family. Cast: Reuven Badalov, Ronit Elkabetz, Tzahi Grad. World Premiere.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/03/2008 04:43:00 PM Comments (0)
Monday, December 1, 2008

Early submission deadline for the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival is this week (Dec. 5). Final deadline: Jan. 16.

Learn how to submit your film here.


# posted by Jason Guerrasio @ 12/01/2008 03:37:00 PM Comments (0)

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