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Thursday, December 04, 2008

2009 Sundance Film Festival Lineup


Yesterday the fest that will run from January 15 to 25, 2009 announced the competition lineup and here it is for feature films.

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
This year's 16 films were selected from a record 1,012 submissions. 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.

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. North American 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

The 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

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

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. 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

To read the official press release that includes films in World Cinema Documentary Competition and USA Documentary Competition go here. If you want to browse the site go here.

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