Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 25th Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the four Competition categories, the Festival presents films in five out-of-competition sections to be announced tomorrow. The 2009 Sundance Film Festival runs January 15-25 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.
"This year's films are not narrowly defined. Instead we have a blurring of genres, a crossing of boundaries: geographic, generational, socio-economic and the like," said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival. "The result is both an exhilarating and emotive Festival in which traditional mythologies are suspended, discoveries are made, and creative storytelling is embraced."
"Audiences may be surprised by how much emotion this year's films evoke," said John Cooper, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival. "We are seeing the next evolution of the independent film movement where films focus on storytelling with a sense of connection and purpose."
For the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected including 87 world premieres, 19 North American premieres, and 4 U.S. premieres representing 21 countries with 42 first-time filmmakers, including 28 in competition. These films were selected from 3,661 feature- length film submissions composed of 1,905 U.S. and 1,756 international feature-length films.
This year's 16 films were selected from 879 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
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 Onis, 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 Vogue September issue, widely accepted as the "fashion bible" for the year's trends. World Premiere
Sergio (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
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
This year's 16 films were selected from 1,026 submissions.
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, Bobby Cannavale. 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. 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 teenaged 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