ROCK OF AGES Producers Lead Sundance Film Noms
Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Matt Weaver & Scott Prisand, two of ROCK OF AGES' lead producers and co-owners of the LA-based Corner Store Entertainment, have two films in the top dramatic category at Sundance Film Festival. The films, which star a host of stage stars, are SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS (Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney, Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis) and HESHER (Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon Levitt).
In addition to the four Competition Categories, the Festival presents films in five out-of-competition sections to be announced on December 3. The 2010 Sundance Film Festival runs January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
As previously announced, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival features several changes including a new section devoted to low- and no-budget filmmaking and Sundance Film Festival U.S.A.- a one-night only event when eight filmmakers from the Festival will visit eight cities nationwide. In addition, the Festival will break tradition by foregoing the conventions of one opening night film and instead focus on launching the total program: one narrative film, one documentary and one shorts program will play the first Thursday (January 21), beginning the roll out of the competitions.
"Being a seasoned programming team and having the support of a healthy organization afforded us the ability to take risks and re-think all programs this year so we chose to do some things a little bit differently," said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. "We believe this makes for an exciting festival that responds to both artist and audience, one that will invigorate the independent film community."
"One of the founding values of Sundance Institute is that artistic excellence should never be gauged in terms of marketability," said Robert Redford, Sundance Institute President and Founder. "Our mandate is to support the independent artist and celebrate originality, creativity and compelling storytelling. It is not our place to decide what will be shown a year from now in theatres. Our place is to shine a light on the art of film. This year's program shows integrity and a willingness to move beyond preconceived ideas about what our Festival should be."
For the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, 112 feature-length films were selected representing 39 countries by 43 first-time filmmakers, including 24 in competition. These films were selected from 3,724 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,920 U.S. and 1,804 international feature-length films. 79 films at the Festival will be world premieres.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
This year's 16 films were selected from 862 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
Bhutto (Directors: Jessica Hernandez and Johnny O'Hara; Screenwriter: Johnny O'Hara)-A riveting journey through the life and work of recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister and a polarizing figure in the Muslim world. World Premiere
Casino Jack & The United States of Money (Director: Alex Gibney)-A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies. World Premiere
Family Affair (Director: Chico Colvard)-An uncompromising documentary that examines resilience, survival and the capacity to accommodate a parent's past crimes in order to satisfy the longing for family. World Premiere
Freedom Riders (Director: Stanley Nelson)-The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South. World Premiere
Gas Land (Director: Josh Fox)-A cross-country odyssey uncovers toxic streams, dying livestock, flammable sinks and weakening health among rural citizens on the front lines of the natural gas drilling craze. World Premiere
I'm Pat _______ Tillman (Director: Amir Bar-Lev)-The story of professional football star and decorated U.S. soldier Pat Tillman, whose family takes on the U.S. government when their beloved son dies in a "Friendly Fire" incident in Afghanistan in 2004. World Premiere
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (Director: Tamra Davis)-The story of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose work defined, electrified and challenged an era, and whose untimely death at age 27 has made him a cultural icon. World Premiere
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Directors: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg)-A rare, brutally honest glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. World Premiere
Lucky (Director: Jeffrey Blitz)-The story of what happens when ordinary people hit the lottery jackpot. World Premiere
My Perestroika (Director: Robin Hessman)-My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times - from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain. World Premiere
The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras)- Filmed in Yemen, The Oath tells the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court. World Premiere
Restrepo (Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington)-Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban. World Premiere
A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold)-A young Kenyan's life changes dramatically when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger. Years later, he founds his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received. World Premiere
Smash His Camera (Director: Leon Gast)-Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, and Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The story of notorious, reviled paparazzo Ron Galella opens a Pandora's Box of issues from right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. World Premiere
12th & Delaware (Directors: Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing)-The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming corner in America. World Premiere
Waiting for Superman (Director: Davis Guggenheim)-Waiting for Superman examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories-from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system. World Premiere
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
This year's 16 films were selected from 1,058 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
Blue Valentine (Director: Derek Cianfrance; Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis) -Blue Valentine is the story of love lost and love found told in two parallel moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman, Faith Wladyka. World Premiere
Douchebag (Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz and Andrew Dickler) -On the verge of getting married, Sam Nussbaum insists he escort his younger brother, Tom, on a wild goose chase of a journey to find Tom's fifth grade girlfriend. Cast: Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius, Amy Ferguson, Wendi McClendon-Covey. World Premiere
The Dry Land (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Piers Williams)-A U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas. Cast: Ryan O'Nan, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ethan Suplee, June Diane Raphael, Melissa Leo. World Premiere
happythankyoumoreplease (Director and screenwriter: Josh Radnor)-Six New Yorkers negotiate love, friendship, and gratitude at a time when they're too old to be precocious and not ready to be adults. Cast: Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber, Michael Algieri. World Premiere
Hesher (Director: Spencer Susser; Screenwriters: Spencer Susser and David Michod; Story by Brian Charles Frank)-A mysterious, anarchical trickster descends on the lives of a family struggling to deal with a painful loss. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie, John Carroll Lynch. World Premiere
Holy Rollers (Director: Kevin Tyler Asch; Screenwriter: Antonio Macia)-A young Hasidic man, seduced by money, power and opportunity, becomes an international Ecstasy smuggler. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser, Ari Graynor, Jason Fuchs. World Premiere
Howl (Directors and screenwriters: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman)-A nonfiction drama about the young Allen Ginsberg finding his voice, the creation of his groundbreaking poem HOWL, and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. World Premiere
The Imperialists are still Alive! (Director and screenwriter: Zeina Durra)-Juggling the sudden abduction of her childhood sweetheart as well as a blooming love affair, a French Manhattanite makes her way as an artist in an indifferent, sometimes hostile world. Cast: Élodie Bouchez, José María de Tavira, Karim Saleh Karolina Muller, Marianna Kulukundis, Rita Ackerman. World Premiere
Lovers of Hate (Director and screenwriter: Bryan Poyser)-The shaky reunion of estranged brothers takes a turn for the worse when the woman they both love chooses one over the other. Cast: Chris Doubek, Heather Kafka, Alex Karpovsky, Zach Green. World Premiere
Night Catches Us (Director and screenwriter: Tanya Hamilton)-In 1978, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector, Wendell Pierce, Jamara Griffin. World Premiere
Obselidia (Director and screenwriter: Diane Bell)-A lonely librarian believes love is obsolete until a road trip to Death Valley with a beguiling cinema projectionist teaches him otherwise. Cast: Gaynor Howe, Michael Piccirilli, Frank Hoyt Taylor. World Premiere