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Cinema: Sundance Film Competition


The Sundance Film Festival begins January 19 and it is one of the world’s premiere showcases of cutting edge films. IF you can’t make it or haven’t mad arrangement to attend yet, here are some of the films that will be showing or for the complete list of films is available at www.sundance.org/festival.

For the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, 112 feature-length films were selected, representing 29 countries
and 44 first-time filmmakers, including 24 in competition. These films were selected from 4,042 featurelength film submissions composed of 2,059 U.S. and 1,983 international feature-length films. 89 films at
the Festival will be world premieres.
In addition to the four Competition categories, the Festival presents feature-length films in six out-ofcompetition sections. Films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT and New Frontier sections
will be announced on December 1. Films in the Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections will be
announced on December 5.
On Day One, the Festival will screen one narrative film and one documentary from both the U.S. and
World Cinema competitions, as well as one shorts program.
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, ―The enthusiasm and optimism of John
Cooper and his programming team this year is infectious; we are all excited to unveil and experience their
selections for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. On behalf of my colleagues at the Sundance Institute we
are pleased to introduce new storytellers to our audience, welcome new and returning filmmakers to the
Festival and kick off a lively cultural dialogue for 2012.‖PAGE 2
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
The world premieres of 16 American narrative feature films.
Beasts of the Southern Wild / U.S.A. (Director: Benh Zeitlin, Screenwriters: Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar) —
Waters gonna rise up, wild animals gonna rerun from the grave, and everything south of the levee is goin‘
under, in this tale of a six year old named Hushpuppy, who lives with her daddy at the edge of the world.
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry.
The Comedy / U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Robert Donne, Colm
O’Leary) — Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father’s estate, Swanson, a desensitized,
aging Brooklyn hipster, strays into a series of reckless situations that may offer the promise of redemption
or the threat of retribution. Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rassmusen,
Gregg Turkington.
The End of Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mark Webber) — A young father unravels following
the loss of the mother of his child. Cast: Mark Webber, Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera, Jason Ritter,
Amanda Seyfried, Frankie Shaw.
Filly Brown / U.S.A. (Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, Screenwriter: Youssef Delara) — A
Hip Hop-driven drama about a Mexican girl who rises to fame and consciousness as she copes with the
incarceration of her mother through music. Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera,
Edward James Olmos.
The First Time / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jonathan Kasdan) — Two high schoolers meet at a
party. Over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated and funny, as they
discover what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. Cast: Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts,
James Frecheville, Victoria Justice.
For Ellen / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: So Yong Kim) — A struggling musician takes an overnight
long-distance drive in order to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter. Cast: Paul
Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Shay Mandigo.
Hello I Must Be Going / U.S.A. (Director: Todd Louiso, Screenwriter: Sarah Koskoff) — Divorced,
childless, demoralized and condemned to move back in with her parents at the age of 35, Amy Minsky’s
prospects look bleak – until the unexpected attention of a teenage boy changes everything. Cast: Melanie
Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott, John Rubinstein, Julie White. DAY ONE FILM
Keep the Lights On / U.S.A. (Director: Ira Sachs, Screenwriters: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias) — An
autobiographically inspired story of a passionate long-term relationship between two men driven by
addiction and secrets but bound by love and hopefulness. Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth,
Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane, Paprika Steen.
LUV / U.S.A. (Director: Sheldon Candis, Screenwriters: Sheldon Candis, Justin Wilson) — An orphaned
11-year-old boy is forced to face the unpleasant truth about his beloved uncle during one harrowing day
in the streets of Baltimore. Cast: Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Charles
S. Dutton.
Middle Of Nowhere / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ava DuVernay) — When her husband is
incarcerated, an African-American woman struggles to maintain her marriage and her identity. Cast:
Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Touissaint, Edwina Findley.
Nobody Walks / U.S.A. (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriters: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young) —
Martine, a young artist from New York, is invited into the home of a hip, liberal LA family for a week. Her
presence unravels the family‘s carefully maintained status quo, and a mess of sexual and emotional
entanglements ensues. Cast: John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, India Ennenga, Justin
Kirk. PAGE 3
Safety Not Guaranteed / U.S.A. (Director: Colin Trevorrow, Screenwriter: Derek Connolly) — A trio of
magazine employees investigate a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. One employee
develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and seeks to discover what he‘s really up to. Cast:
Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni.
Save the Date / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Mohan, Screenwriters: Jeffrey Brown, Egan Reich, Michael
Mohan) — As her sister Beth prepares to get married, Sarah finds herself caught up in an intense postbreakup rebound. The two fumble through the redefined emotional landscape of modern day
relationships, forced to relearn how to love and be loved. Cast: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr,
Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber.
Simon Killer / France, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Antonio Campos) — After a bad breakup,
Simon escapes to Paris where he falls in love with a young prostitute, and their fateful journey begins.
Cast: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Constance Rousseau, Michael Abiteboul, Solo.
Smashed / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt) — Kate and
Charlie are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and…
drinking. When Kate decides to get sober, her new lifestyle brings troubling issues to the surface and
calls into question her relationship with Charlie. Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia
Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally.
The Surrogate / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ben Lewin) — Mark O’Brien, a 36-year-old poet and
journalist in an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and the
guidance of his priest, he contacts a professional sex surrogate to take him on a journey to manhood.
Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
The world premieres of 16 American documentary films.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry / U.S.A., China (Director: Alison Klayman) — Renowned Chinese artist and
activist Ai Weiwei has garnered international attention as much for his ambitious artwork as his political
provocations and increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government.
The Atomic States of America / U.S.A. (Directors: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce) — In 2010, the United
States announced construction of the first new nuclear power plant in more than 32 years. A year later, a
9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan sparking a fierce debate in the
U.S. over the safety and viability of nuclear power.
Chasing Ice / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Science, spectacle and human passion mix in this
stunningly cinematic portrait as National Geographic photographer James Balog captures time-lapse
photography of glaciers over several years providing tangible visual evidence of climate change.
DETROPIA / U.S.A. (Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady) — The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the
collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. This is the dramatic story of a city and its people who refuse to
leave the building, even as the flames are rising.
ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare / U.S.A. (Directors: Matthew Heineman,
Susan Froemke) — What can be done to save our broken medical system? Powerful forces are trying to
maintain the status quo in a profit-driven medical industry, but a movement to bring innovative methods of
prevention and healing is finally gaining ground – potentially saving the health of a nation.
Finding North / U.S.A. (Directors: Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush) — A crisis of hunger looms in
America and is not limited to the poverty stricken and uneducated. Can a return to policies of the 1970s
save our future? PAGE 4
The House I Live In / U.S.A. (Director: Eugene Jarecki) — For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has
accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and damaged poor communities
at home and abroad. Yet, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. Where did we go
wrong and what is the path toward healing?
How to Survive a Plague / U.S.A. (Director: David France) — The untold story of the intensive efforts
that turned AIDS into a manageable condition – and the improbable group of (mostly HIV-positive) young
men and women whose amazing resilience broke through a time of rampant death and political
indifference.
The Invisible War / U.S.A. (Director: Kirby Dick) — An investigative and powerfully emotional
examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its
existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.
Love Free or Die / U.S.A. (Director: Macky Alston) — One man whose two defining passions are in
conflict: An openly gay bishop refuses to leave the Church or the man he loves.
Marina Abramović The Artist is Present / U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Akers) — Marina Abramović
prepares for a major retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York hoping to finally
silence four decades of skeptics who proclaim: ‘But why is this art?’
ME @ THE ZOO _ / U.S.A. (Directors: Chris Moukarbel, Valerie Veatch) — With 270 million hits to date,
Chris Crocker, an uncanny young video blogger from small town Tennessee, is considered the Internet’s
first rebel folk hero and at the same time one of its most controversial personalities.
The Other Dream Team / Lithuania, U.S.A. (Director: Marius Markevicius) — The 1992 Lithuanian
National Basketball Team went from the clutches of Communism to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona –
a testament to the powerful role of sports as a catalyst for cultural identity.
The Queen of Versailles / U.S.A. (Director: Lauren Greenfield) — Jackie and David were triumphantly
constructing the biggest house in America – a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot palace inspired by Versailles
– when their timeshare empire falters due to the economic crisis. Their rags-to-riches-to-rags story
reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. DAY ONE FILM
Slavery By Another Name / U.S.A. (Director: Sam Pollard) — As slavery came to an end with Abraham
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a new system of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking
force, brutalizing, terrorizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African
Americans well into the 20th century.
We’re Not Broke / U.S.A. (Directors: Karin Hayes, Victoria Bruce) — As American lawmakers slash
budgets and lay off employees, leaving many people scrambling to survive, multibillion-dollar corporations
are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax. Fed-up Americans are taking
their frustration to the streets.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Fourteen films from emerging filmmaking talents offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.
About the Pink Sky / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Keiichi Kobayashi) — A high school girl finds a
wallet full of money and tracks down its owner, leading to unexpected consequences for the girl and her
friends. Cast: Ai Ikeda, Ena Koshino, Reiko Fujiwara, Tsubasa Takayama, Hakusyu Togetsuan.
International PremierePAGE 5
Can / Turkey (Director and screenwriter: Rasit Celikezer) — A young married couple live happily in
Istanbul, but their decision to illegally procure a child threatens their future together. Cast: Selen Uçer,
Serdar Orçin, Berkan Demirbag, Erkan Avci. International Premiere
Father’s Chair (A Cadeira do Pai) / Brazil (Director: Luciano Moura, Screenwriters: Elena Soarez,
Luciano Moura) — Following the trail of his runaway teen son, Theo confronts his own identity as a son, a
father and a man along the way. Cast: Wagner Moura, Mariana Lima, Lima Duarte, Brás Antunes. World
Premiere
Four Suns / Czech Republic (Director and screenwriter: Bohdan Sláma) — Immature Fogi attempts to
straighten up and accept his responsibilities as a new husband and father, as well as role model to his
troubled son from a previous relationship, but finds himself unable to change his nature, leaving him to
watch haplessly as his family begins to crumble. Cast: Jaroslav Plesl, Aňa Geislerová, Karel Roden, Jiří
Mádl, Klára Melíšková. World Premiere
L / Greece (Director: Babis Makridis, Screenwriters: Efthimis Filippou, Babis Makridis) — A man lives in
his car. His job is to locate and bring the finest honey to a 50-year-old man who is narcoleptic and cannot
drive. A new driver shows up and the driver gets fired. The man‘s life changes. He finds it absurd that no
one trusts him anymore. Cast: Aris Servetalis, Makis Papadimitriou, Lefteris Mathaios, Nota Tserniafski,
Stavros Raptis. World Premiere
The Last Elvis (El Ultimo Elvis) / Argentina (Director: Armando Bo, Screenwriters: Nicolás Giacobone
and Armando Bo) — A Buenos Aires Elvis impersonator who believes that he is the reincarnation of the
King struggles to shake free from reality and live his musical dream. Cast: John McInerny, Griselda
Siciliani, Margarita Lopez. World Premiere
Madrid, 1987 / Spain (Director and screenwriter: David Trueba) — The balance of power and desire
constantly shifts during the meeting of an older journalist and a young student, of two generations
completely foreign to one another. Cast: José Sacristán, María Valverde, Ramon Fontserè. International
Premiere
My Brother the Devil / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Sally El Hosaini) — A pair of British
Arab brothers trying to get by in gangland London learn the extraordinary courage it takes to be yourself.
Cast: James Floyd, Saïd Taghmaoui, Fady Elsayed. World Premiere
Teddy Bear / Denmark (Director: Mads Matthiesen, Screenwriters: Mads Matthiesen, Martin Pieter
Zandvliet) — Dennis, a painfully shy 38-year-old bodybuilder who lives with his mother, sets off to
Thailand in search of love. Cast: Kim Kold, Elsebeth Steentoft, Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard, David
Winters, Allan Mogensen. World Premiere
Valley of Saints / India, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed) — Gulzar plans to run away
from the war and poverty surrounding his village in Kashmir with his best friend, but a beautiful young
woman researching the dying lake leads him to contemplate a different future Cast: Gulzar Ahmad Bhat,
Mohammed Afzal Sofi, Neelofar Hamid. World Premiere
Violeta Went to Heaven (Violeta se Fue a Los Cielos) / Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Spain (Director:
Andrés Wood, Screenwriters: Eliseo Altunaga, Rodrigo Bazaes, Guillermo Calderón, Andrés Wood) — A
portrait of famed Chilean singer and folklorist Violeta Parra filled with her musical work, her memories, her
loves and her hopes. Cast: Francisca Gavilán, Thomas Durand, Luis Machín, Gabriela Aguilera, Roberto
Farías. International Premiere
Wish You Were Here / Australia (Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith, Screenwriters: Kieran Darcy-Smith,
Felicity Price) — Four friends embark on a carefree holiday, but only three return home. Who knows what
happened on that fateful night? Cast: Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price, Antony Starr. World
Premiere. DAY ONE FILMPAGE 6
WRONG / France, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Quentin Dupieux) — Dolph searches for his lost
dog, but through encounters with a nympho pizza-delivery girl, a jogging neighbor seeking the absolute,
and a mysterious righter of wrongs, he may eventually lose his mind… and his identity. Cast: Jack
Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Steve Little, William Fichtner. World Premiere
Young & Wild / Chile (Director: Marialy Rivas, Screenwriters: Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutiérrez, Pedro
Peirano) — 17-year-old Daniela, raised in the bosom of a strict Evangelical family and recently unmasked
as a fornicator by her shocked parents, struggles to find her own path to spiritual harmony. Cast: Alicia
Rodríguez, Aline Kuppenheim, María Gracia Omegna, Felipe Pinto. World Premiere
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary filmmakers working today.
½ REVOLUTION / Denmark, Egypt (Directors: Omar Shargawi, Karim El Hakim) — In January 2011, two
filmmakers captured the reality of the Egyptian revolution as it occurred out of view from the world’s
media in the alleyways and streets away from the square – and in the process were arrested by the
secret police. North American Premiere
5 Broken Cameras / Palestine, Israel, France (Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi) — A Palestinian
journalist chronicles his village‘s resistance to a separation barrier being erected on their land and in the
process captures his young son‘s lens on the world. International Premiere
THE AMBASSADOR / Denmark (Director: Mads Brügger) — What happens when a very white European
man buys his way into being a diplomat in one of Central Africa’s most failed nations? Welcome to the
bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and
corrupt politicians run free. North American Premiere
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* / Sweden (Director: Fredrik Gertten) — The behind-the-scenes story of a
full-scale attack on freedom of speech. When Dole set its sights on the WG Film production Bananas!* in
May 2009, confusion was the method, aggression was the tactic and media control was the story. North
American Premiere
China Heavyweight / Canada, China (Director: Yung Chang) — In central China, where a coach recruits
poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions, the top students face dramatic
choices as they graduate – should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the
choices everyone in the New China faces now. World Premiere
GYPSY DAVY / Israel, U.S.A., Spain (Director: Rachel Leah Jones) — How does a white boy with
Alabama roots become a Flamenco guitarist in Andalusian boots? A tale of self-invention and the pursuit
of happiness, regardless of the cost to others. International Premiere
The Imposter / United Kingdom (Director: Bart Layton) — In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears from his
home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in
Spain with a shocking story of kidnap and torture. But all is not what it seems in this tale that is truly
stranger than fiction. World Premiere
Indie Game: The Movie / Canada (Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky) — Follow the dramatic
journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to
the world. World Premiere
The Law in These Parts / Israel (Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz) — Israel’s 43-year military legal
system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories unfolds through provocative interviews with the system‘s
architects and historical footage showing the enactment of these laws upon the Palestinian population.
International PremierePAGE 7
Payback / Canada (Director: Jennifer Baichwal) — Based on Margaret Atwood‘s best-selling book,
Payback explores how debt is a central organizing principle in our lives – influencing relationships,
societies, governing structures and the very fate of this planet. World Premiere
Putin’s Kiss / Denmark (Director: Lise Birk Pedersen) — 19-year-old Marsha is a model spokesperson in
a strongly nationalistic Russian youth movement that aims to protect the country from its enemies. When
she starts recognizing the organization‘s flaws, she must take a stand for or against it. North American
Premiere
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN / Sweden, United Kingdom (Director: Malik Bendjelloul) — Rodriguez
was the greatest ‗70s US rock icon who never was. Hailed as the greatest recording artist of his
generation he disappeared into oblivion – rising again from the ashes in a completely different context
many miles away. World Premiere. DAY ONE FIL