Joe Zee hits the slopes (and the snow!) in Park City during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Check out some great images by Yvan Rodic of Facehunter here. Want to know more about his thoughts on the latest designers? Be sure to check out ALL ON THE LINE premiering in March on Sundance Channel. Joe…
Sundance Film Festival
This adorable video of Elmo (and Kevin Clash, the man behind the lovable puppet) greeting a delighted pregnant audience member at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEERS JOURNEY has been going viral. This is unsurprising because the Internet loves Elmo…and I strongly suspect Elmo loves it back. Gah, I can’t wait…
Article: Sundance documentaries get no love
An image from Andrew Rossi’s Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times
One thing that has been nagging us as we consider this year’s Sundance, now that we have time to gather a bit of perspective, is this: for all the talk of movie deals; and all the hooplah made over more commercial-minded films like My Idiot Brother, which, though a very good film, and a very fun film, is not by no measure a great film; why was there so little discussion about the documentary entries at the festival? A category, which in our humble estimation, was exceedingly superior to the feature film category.
Article: Sundance 2011 = Officially Over
(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
It’s been a long week—exhilarating, grueling, and never, ever dull—but Sundance 2011 is officially over. The stars, the studio executives, and the filmmakers have all packed up their North Face gear and headed home, wherever that may be.
Looking back on the last several days, there were some amazing, quintessentially Sundance-ian moments. We got to meet Robert Redford! We got to talk to young, idealistic, and extremely talented new artists (Brit Marling, Mike Cahill, for instance) whom we will certainly be hearing more from, and who are a reminder of Sundance’s real purpose (beyond an excuse to see a lot of great movies in the middle of a snowy paradise). As Marling told us, just following the premiere of ANOTHER EARTH, “I feel so lucky to be a part of this. Sundance is bringing together all these people and you know, brings them all into this little, this tiny town in the middle of the snow, and everyone can just talk and revel in ideas and make them into realities. It’s pretty awesome.”
On the final day of the Sundance Film Festival, the scorecard stands at 30. That’s how many films were picked up for domestic distribution during the festival.
“This is probably the best in the last three years for films that actually sell during the festival,” Arianna Bocco, head of acquisitions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films in New York, told Crain’s New York Business. “It’s clear that it went from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.”
For those who weren’t paying close attention, Anne Sewitsky’s HAPPY, HAPPY may have seemed to come out of nowhere when it collected the World Cinema Jury Prize for a dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. But, in fact, the Norwegian film about love and infidelity had been quietly gathering glowing reviews.
Director Drake Doremus accepts the Grand Jury Prize: U. S. Dramatic for ‘Like Crazy’ at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Awards Night Ceremony at Basin Recreation Field House on January 29, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images)
And the winner is… Drake Doremus’ LIKE CRAZY, which was just awarded the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s awards ceremony.
The film arrived at Sundance with tremendous buzz—Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan was particularly laudatory—and went on to be rapturously received. It was quickly picked up for distribution by Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush for $4 million, a sale that kicked off a week-long flurry of deals and acquisitions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in Park City since the 1990’s.
Along the way, there were other films that captured audiences’ hearts—MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE; HIGHER GROUND; THE GUARD—but LIKE CRAZY, which stars up-and-comers Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as college students in Los Angeles whose romance is interrupted by the INS (Jones plays a Brit who overstays her visa), was a persistent favorite throughout the week, thus its win is not much of a surprise.
The Sundance Film Festival jury obviously found much to admire about Peter D. Richardson’s HOW TO DIE IN OREGON, a documentary about physician-assisted suicide in a state where it is legal. After all, it presented the film with the festival’s Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary category on Saturday night. But audiences outside of Park City may not have heard a whole lot about the film.
Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam (L) and Director Doug Liman attend the Skoll Closing Dinner at the High West Distillery during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Filmmaker Doug Liman has tackled tough topics before: His recent film FAIR GAME, inspired by the experiences of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose cover was blown by a White House press leak, looks at the devastating consequences of unchecked political power.
In RECKONING WITH TORTURE: MEMOS AND TESTIMONIES FROM THE ‘WAR ON TERROR,’ the special performance he teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and PEN American Center, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, to present at this year’s festival, Liman again considers those consequences. In the hectic run-up to the event, he took a few minutes to answer SUNfiltered’s questions via email, sharing his thoughts on torture, secrecy and taking a stand.
If you missed the Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony last night, no matter. You can experience it, minute by minute, for the first time or all over again, on the Sundance Film Festival’s blog. Writer Eric Hynes fills you in not only on who won the awards, but who presented them, what award presenters and winners said, and even, in some cases, what they wore.
As the 2011 Sundance Film Festival heads into its awards ceremony tonight and then, tomorrow, its final day, the festival-film trends are still emerging. The Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik has spotted another one: economic hardship, which he calls “a veritable through-line” in many of this year’s selections.
Actress Isabelle Fuhrman attends ‘Salvation Boulevard’ Preimiere on January 24, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Colby D Crossland/Getty Images)
For a number of young ladies, this year’s Sundance was a kind of coming-out party, during which they were declared the latest “It” girls to prance through Park City. Among them: Elizabeth “Lizzie” Olsen, Brit Marling, and now, as the festival begins to wind down, Isabelle Fuhrman, the star of SALVATION BOULEVARD, George Ratliff’s adaptation of Larry Beinhart’s comic novel about a mega-church community. The film, which was just picked up for distribution by IFC Films and Sony Pictures, also stars Pierce Brosnan and Marisa Tomei.
Just 12-years-old, Fuhrman was until now best-known as the haunting face staring down from posters for the 2009 horror film ORPHAN. (You remember: the pale white face; the ribboned pig tails; the death stare.)
Over the past few days in Utah, she’s been understandably a much more happy camper. Sundance Channel caught up with Fuhrman getting ready for the SALVATION BOULEVARD premiere, and she’s been keeping fans up to date on what it’s like to be a tween star at Sundance via Facebook and Twitter.
Article: Sundance Film Festival Awards!
Park City, UT–The Jury, Audience, NEXT! and other award-winners were announced tonight at the award ceremony for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival which was hosted by Tim Blake Nelson
Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic:
Grand Jury Prize, Documentary:
How To Die In Oregon
The Sundance Film Festival is defined not only by the movies and parties and deals that so often grab headlines, but also by its social conscience. The festival provides an opportunity for the independent-film community to come together, to harness its power and creativity, to make a difference in the world, often in profound ways.
In that spirit, filmmaker Doug Liman (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, FAIR GAME) has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and PEN American Center, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, to present a special performance of RECKONING WITH TORTURE: MEMOS AND TESTIMONIES FROM THE ‘WAR ON TERROR.’
Many worthy non-fiction films are vying for attention at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, tackling subjects as wide-ranging as extreme environmentalism (Marshall Curry’s IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT), pre-Web viral culture (Matthew Bate’s SHUT UP LITTLE MAN!: AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE), terminally ill people who legally choose to end their…
While the majority of Sundance Film Festival observers have likely been focused on the emotional and artistic impact of this year’s festival films, as well as the larger the cultural implications, with brief pauses to note the deals being made, Bloomberg, understandably, is more interested in the money: the films that focus on it and the financing behind them.
Article: Sundance Film Festival Deals: PARIAH
Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to PARIAH, Dee Rees’ coming-of-age film about a lesbian teenager in Brooklyn struggling to find her identity and a sense of belonging, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. (The film was executive produced by Spike Lee.) The deal, reportedly under $1 million,…
Miranda July (Photo credit: Yvan Rodic/FaceHunter).
One of the latest films to land a distribution deal is Miranda July’s THE FUTURE, the filmmaker’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2005’s ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW. On Friday, it was announced that Roadside Attractions will be releasing THE FUTURE.
But despite Indiedom’s worship of all things July, and the mania stirred by ME AND YOU, THE FUTURE was one of those films that scratched, as opposed to scorched, the Earth in Park City. Reviews were mixed—”bleak but charming” was an oft-heard refrain—with much fuss made over the fact that the film is narrated by a cat; a device that people we spoke to, anyway, found either brilliantly imaginative or bizarre.
Mike Cahill’s ANOTHER EARTH, which he co-wrote with Brit Marling, who also stars in the film, has been awarded the 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Institute announced Friday. The prize is given to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character and has been awarded at the festival every year for the last nine years.
Article: LIFE IN A DAY: The Filmmakers
If you missed LIFE IN A DAY, the Kevin Macdonald-directed, Ridley Scott-coproduced, global-input film about life all over the world on a single day, when it was screened on YouTube Thursday night, it looks like, if you live in the United States, you won’t be able to see a rebroadcast on Friday night at 7…
The Sundance Film Festival and the American indie film scene it represents have endured ups and downs, flush times and lean, Hollywood love and industry belt-tightening. In recent years, as major studios shut or trimmed down their art house divisions and smaller companies went belly up, things were looking pretty bleak. But now, notes New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, the indie film world seems to have bounced back, and may be than ever.
“Crisis was the name of the game, and then suddenly it wasn’t,” Dargis writes, continuing:
Sometimes, love is all you need.
“Watching two movies in a row in which adolescent girls cut their bodies with a razor was a reminder of all the dark places the Sundance Film Festival takes you,” writes Ruthe Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle. “This time there were movies featuring drug addicts, abusive cults, a drunken driver who wipes out a family and Saddam Hussein’s sadistic son.”
Stein says she found “a welcome reprieve” from all that in three festival movies about love: Drake Doremus’ LIKE CRAZY, Braden King’s HERE and Miranda July’s THE FUTURE.
Article: The WINTER'S BONE Effect
Still from Debra Granik’s WINTER’S BONE. As the number of movie deals at Sundance continues to add up–there have been about 30 so far–and the indie film world rejoices that the hard times are over, there’s one film that’s been hovering in the ether in Park City. It’s crept up on blogs, and in conversation,…
Still from LITTLE BIRDS. If there’s one thing this year’s festival has seen lot of of, it’s teenage girls grappling with being teenage girls. There is Alike (Adepero Oduye), the coming-of-age lesbian in Dee Rees’ gritty, Bronx tale, PARIAH. There is Iranian teen Atafeh (Nikohl Boosheri), rebelling against her parents’ traditionalism and experimenting with her…
Article: LIFE IN A DAY Is Starting Soon!
Don’t forget to check out the LIFE IN A DAY screening and post-screening Q&A, which the Sundance Film Festival is live-streaming on YouTube starting at 8 p.m. EST Thursday night (tonight — in just a few minutes!). The 90-minute documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald and executive produced by Ridley Scott, is a product of more…