Add News     Print  
Article List
Directors back for premieres program Sundance announces 2014 premiere lineup

LOS ANGELES, Dec 10, (Agencies): Comedies, dramas, thrillers and documentaries exploring notable individuals will lead the 2014 Sundance Film Festival non-competitive premieres program, the annual independent film festival said on Monday. The coveted premieres slot, usually reserved for more seasoned directors, will showcase 17 feature films, several of which are by directors who have gained prior success at Sundance. Filmmaker Mike Cahill, who garnered critical praise in 2011 at Sundance as the writer-director of “Another Earth,” returns in 2014 with “I Origins,” a film about scientists who make a life-changing discovery starring Brit Marling and Michael Pitt. Writer-director Ira Sachs, who won the annual festival’s grand jury drama prize in 2005 with “Forty Shades of Blue,” will premiere his latest film, “Love Is Strange,” starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.

“Discovering the talent ... is a big part of what the festival does and is about, and to help them with their careers as they make their features,” said Trevor Groth, the director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival. “It’s great to have them back.” The Sundance Film Festival, backed by actor and director Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, is the top US festival for independent cinema, and often selects films that go on to become strong contenders in Hollywood’s annual awards race. Previous selections include 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine,” which won two Oscars, and 2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which was nominated for four Oscars.

Eleven documentaries also will be shown in the premieres category, many of which focus on the journey of notable individuals. Highlights include “Mitt” by Greg Whiteley, which followed Governor Mitt Romney on his failed 2012 US presidential campaign.
Oscar-winning documentary director Alex Gibney returns with “Finding Fela,” based on the life of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, while “To Be Takei” by Jennifer Kroot documents the life of “Star Trek” actor George Takei.
The festival, now in its 30th year, is held in snow-covered ski resort town of Park City, Utah, from Jan. 16-26.
The premieres category spotlights feature films and documentaries that often draw bigger names among the acting and directing talent. British actress Keira Knightley stars as a young woman with arrested development in Lynn Shelton’s “Laggies” alongside Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Dutch director Anton Corbijn will bring his adaptation of John le Carre’s best-selling thriller novel “A Most Wanted Man,” with an all-star cast featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams and Willem Dafoe.
“It’s refreshing and exciting to think of (these actors) all in this realm and lending their talent, because talent makes for good films,” said John Cooper, director of Sundance.

The theme of genre-bending films, which dominated the previously announced slate of competition features for the 2014 festival, continues within the premieres category, as directors blur the lines between conventional genres.
Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy makes his directorial debut with “Rudderless,” a story of a grieving father who forms a rock and roll band to perform his late son’s songs, starring Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin that will close out Sundance.
“Arrested Development” star David Cross also makes his directorial debut with dark comedy “Hits,” described as exploring the nature of fame in today’s society and the YouTube generation.
On the lighter-hearted side of the festival premieres, British director Michael Winterbottom, who premiered “The Look of Love” at the 2013 festival, will return to Sundance with his latest, “The Trip to Italy,” a follow-up to 2010’s “The Trip” which saw actors Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan travel around Britain in search for the best restaurants.

Comedian Nick Offerman will debut his one-man show “American Ham,” which will see the mustachioed actor dole out anecdotes and advice from woodworking to sex techniques.
The Sundance Film Festival will premiere 117 independent feature films and 11 documentaries at its 30th anniversary next month — a lineup representing the 2014 fest’s most prestigious films.
The premiere list, announced Monday by the festival, features a wide range of genres, from comedies to mysteries, and is populated by such A-listers as Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sam Rockwell.

Here are some of the more anticipated films of Sundance 2014. Watch for many of them at your local multiplex in the months ahead:
* “Calvary,” directed by John Michael McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd and Kelly Reilly. A black comedic drama about a priest whose life is threatened following a confession.

* “Frank,” directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal. A bizarre comedy about a wannabe musician who joins an avant garde rock band guided by a musical genius named Frank.

* “Hits,” directed by David Cross and starring Matt Walsh and Wyatt Cenac. In a small town in upstate New York, recklessness disturbs the lives of the people who dwell there as they wallow in unrealistic expectations.

* “I Origins,” directed by Mike Cahill and starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling. A molecular biologist and his lab partner discover evidence that could alter society as we know it.

* “Laggies,” directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz and Mark Webber. A coming-of-age story, which follows a 28-year-old woman who can’t seem to grow up.

* “Little Accidents,” directed by Sara Colangelo and starring Elizabeth Banks, Chloe Sevigny and Josh Lucas. In the shadow of a mining accident, three people in a quaint American coal town are drawn together.

* “Love is Strange,” directed by Ira Sachs and starring John Lithgow and Marisa Tomei. Finally marrying after 39 years together, Ben and George must rely on family and friends for money after George is fired from his job as a result of their nuptials.

* “A Most Wanted Man,” directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright. A modern-day thriller based on a John le Carre bestseller.

* “Nick Offerman: American Ham,” directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starring Nick Offerman. Offerman in a one-man show at New York’s historic Town Hall theaters features music and anecdotes.

* “The One I Love,” directed by Charlie McDowell and starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss and Ted Danson. As a couple fights to keep their marriage intact, they go away for the weekend to reconnect, but discover an unusual dilemma.

* “The Raid 2,” directed by Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais. The Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans returns in 2014 with martial arts sequel “The Raid 2,” which focuses on an undercover police officer who the Jakarta crime scene.

* “Rudderless,” directed by William H. Macy and starring Macy, Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez and Laurence Fishburne. A grieving father finds a box of his dead son’s original music and forms a rock band.

* “They Came Together,” directed by David Wain and starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms and Max Greenfield. Set in New York, this spoof on the romantic comedy follows a man and a clumsy leading lady as they fall head over heels.

* “The Trip to Italy,” directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Reuniting after their six-episode BBC miniseries, in which they traveled the English countryside visiting restaurants and tormenting each other, the two funnymen continue their cheeky road trip rivalry.

* “The Voices,” directed by Marjane Satrapi and starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick. A factory worker vies for the attention from a woman in accounting, but when their relationship takes a murderous turn, an evil cat and dog lead him down a fantastical path.

* “White Bird in a Blizzard,” directed by Gregg Araki and starring Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni and Gabourey Sidibe. Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, the film follows a young women’s struggle after her mother disappears.

* “Young Ones,” directed by Jake Paltrow and starring Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning. Set in the future, a series of events is set in motion in a young boy’s life, forcing him to make difficult decisions.

* “Finding Fela,” directed by documentarian Alex Gibney, who recently thrilled with his electrifying film “The Armstrong Lie,” leads the documentary pack with “Finding Fela,” about Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

Read By: 531
Comments: 0

You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us