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Dancing In Park City

2005 Sundance Film Festival Announces Program

The Sundance Institute has announced the slate of films for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. New this year will be the inaugural World Cinema Competition, which brings more of an international focus on this once only US independent film Festival. The 2005 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 20–30, 2005, in Park City, Utah, USA. This Film Festival is the premier showcase for American independent film, is an important new platform for international independent film. In the past very few studios had screening here but this has changed and growing. The Institute does try and highlight films that push the envelope and create a more diverse outlook on the future of independent filmmaking.

For the Festival this year the submission grew by 10% with, 2,613 feature films submitted for consideration, including 1,385 U.S. feature films and 1,228 international feature films. Last year 2,485 feature films were submitted, with 1,285 coming from the United States and 1,200 from abroad. During the eleven day Festival, presented just in the Independent Feature Film Competition and the World Cinema Competition for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival are 42 world premieres, 9 North American premieres, and 9 U.S. premieres. The odds are staggering as the competition just to be considered to be part of the Sundance Film Festival a dream for many. New this year will be competition for world cinema, as the focus in the past has been directed towards US independent films. This will have more of an international outlook than ever before on this years Sundance.

"Every year a new generation of American independent filmmakers reinvents independent film," observes Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. "We're excited about discovering these films and filmmakers, and about presenting them to our audiences. This year the Festival is screening some of the most artistically innovative films and inspired storytelling we have ever seen. That the selection was even more difficult than any year in my memory is really a testament to the quality of the films currently being made. The Festival continues to evolve and we work to remain connected to the global community of independent filmmakers even as social, political, and economic realities around the world are constantly changing. In addition to scouring the U.S. for films, our programmers traveled around the world looking for films to bring to the Festival for our inaugural world cinema competition."

Last years Sundance was an amazing program as an incredible amount of films were acquired even during the first week of the festival. Many films went on to lucrative theater runs and now 2004 has become the most successful for acquisitions to date. Some of the films that were part of that success story are: DIG!, Primer, Maria Full of Grace, and Down to the Bone, Control Room, Napoleon Dynamite, The Motorcycle Diaries, Super Size Me, Tarnation, and Garden State.

For the American narrative feature films there are 16 in competition for various awards. Of theses films they present the new diversity of US cinema. The films selected to screen in Dramatic Competition are:

BETWEEN (Director: David Ocañas; Screenwriter: Robert Nelms)—A young American lawyer's structured world unravels when her search for her missing sister pulls her into a labyrinth of confusion and psychological deception in Tijuana, Mexico. World Premiere.

BRICK (Director: Rian Johnson; Screenwriter: Rian Johnson)—A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. World Premiere.

DYING GAUL (Director: Craig Lucas; Screenwriter: Craig Lucas)—A grief-stricken screenwriter unknowingly enters a three-way relationship with a woman and her film executive husband—to chilling results. World Premiere.

ELLIE PARKER (Director: Scott Coffey; Screenwriter: Scott Coffey)—A hilarious comic portrait of a young woman's struggle for integrity, happiness, and a Hollywood acting career. World Premiere.

FORTY SHADES OF BLUE (Director: Ira Sachs; Screenwriters: Michael Rohatyn and Ira Sachs)—A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock'n'roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit. World Premiere.

HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS SPENT THEIR SUMMER (Director: Georgina Garcia Riedel; Screenwriter: Georgina Garcia Riedel)—Three generations of women in a Mexican American family experience sexual awakenings over the course of a summer. World Premiere.

HUSTLE & FLOW (Director: Craig Brewer; Screenwriter: Craig Brewer)—With help from his friends, a Memphis pimp in a mid-life crisis attempts to become a successful rapper. World Premiere.

JUNEBUG (Director: Phil Morrison; Screenwriter: Angus MacLachlan)—A dealer in "outsider" art travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle-class Southern home. World Premiere.

LOGGERHEADS (Director: Tim Kirkman; Screenwriter: Tim Kirkman)—Three overlapping stories of estranged families in three regions of North Carolina. World Premiere.

LONESOME JIM (Director: Steve Buscemi; Screenwriter: James C. Strouse)—Failing to make it on his own, 27-year-old Jim moves back in with his parents and deals with crippling family obligations. World Premiere.

ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (Director: Miranda July; Screenwriter: Miranda July)—A lonely shoe salesman and an eccentric performance artist struggle to connect in this unique take on contemporary life. World Premiere.

POLICE BEAT (Director: Robinson Devor; Screenwriters: Robinson Devor and Charles Mudede)—An African-born bicycle cop encounters strange and mysterious situations on his police beat in urban Seattle. World Premiere.

PRETTY PERSUASION (Director: Marcos Siega; Screenwriter: Skander Halim)—A 15-year-old girl incites chaos among her friends and a media frenzy when she accuses her drama teacher of sexual harassment. World Premiere.

THE SQUID AND THE WHALE (Director: Noah Baumbach; Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach)—In 1980s Park Slope Brooklyn, the Berkman family goes through a divorce and painful truths about the marriage come to light. World Premiere.

THUMBSUCKER (Director: Mike Mills; Screenwriter: Mike Mills)—Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb. World Premiere.

WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN? (Director: Travis Wilkerson; Screenwriter: Travis Wilkerson)—In depressed Butte, Montana, young men struggle to forge modest lives and make sense of it all. World Premiere.

Sundance is known throughout he world and the new focus on world cinema has raised the bar and close to 900 submissions were presented to the Festival this year. The films screening in World Cinema Dramatic Competition are:

BROTHERS / Denmark (Director: Susanne Bier; Screenwriter: Anders Thomas Jensen)—Two brothers must negotiate changing roles and shifting family dynamics when one is sent to war in Afghanistan. U.S. Premiere.

CRONICAS / Ecuador/Mexico (Director: Sebastian Cordero; Screenwriter: Sebastian Cordero)—A suspense thriller about a reporter from Miami who travels to Ecuador in pursuit of a serial killer known as the "Monster of Babahoyo." U.S. Premiere.

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES / Germany (Director: Maren Ade; Screenwriter: Maren Ade)—As an awkward, idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined. U.S. Premiere.

GREEN CHAIR / South Korea (Director: Park Chul-su; Screenwriter: Park Chul-su)—When an ordinary housewife is convicted for seducing a minor, reckless love leads to obsession and creeping doubt. World Premiere.

THE HERO / Angola/Portugal/France (Director: Zeze Gamboa; Screenwriter: Carla Baptista)—A 20-year veteran of the Angolan civil war returns to the capital city of Luanda, where he faces the challenges of assimilation and survival. U.S. Premiere.

KEKEXILI: MOUNTAIN PATROL / China (Director: Lu Chuan; Screenwriter: Lu Chuan)—A moving true story about volunteers protecting antelope against poachers in the severe mountains of Tibet. North American Premiere.

LILA SAYS / France/Italy/U.K. (Director: Ziad Doueiri; Screenwriters: Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma)—Two inner-city teenagers engage in an obsessive, innocent flirtation fueled by Lila's sexually explicit overtures. U.S. Premiere.

LIVE-IN MAID / Spain/Argentina (Director: Jorge Gaggero; Screenwriter: Jorge Gaggero)—A wealthy woman and her live-in housekeeper must adjust their entrenched routine and relationship when Buenos Aires is plunged into economic crisis. North American Premiere.

MONSTERTHURSDAY / Norway (Director: Arild Østin Ommundsen; Screenwriters: Arild Østin Ommundsen and Gro Elin Hjelle)—A quirky romantic drama set in remote coastal Norway takes the viewer on a tumultuous ride through surfing aspirations, extreme weather, and love. North American Premiere.

ON A CLEAR DAY / U.K. (Director: Gaby Dellal; Screenwriter: Alex Rose)—Frank determines to salvage his self-esteem and tackle his demons by attempting the ultimate test of endurance—swimming the English Channel. World Premiere. Opening Night, Salt Lake City.

PALERMO HOLLYWOOD / Argentina (Director: Eduardo Pinto; Screenwriters: Brian Maya and Federico Finkielstain)—Two petty criminal party boys get in over their heads when a kidnapping goes awry. World Premiere.

STRANGER / Poland (Director: Malgosia Szumowska; Screenwriter: Malgosia Szumowska & Przemek Nowakowski)—A pregnant 22-year-old with a dreary job, a difficult home life, and an absent boyfriend learns to love her life and share this love with the child in her womb. World Premiere.

THIS CHARMING GIRL / South Korea (Director: Lee Yoon-Ki; Screenwriter: Lee Yoon-Ki)—This film is a restrained, yet thoroughly engaging, study of a female post office worker's emotional life. North American Version.

TONY TAKITANI / Japan (Director: Jun Ichikawa; Screenwriter: Jun Ichikawa)—When technical illustrator Tony Takitani asks his wife to resist her all-consuming obsession for designer clothes, the consequences are tragic. U.S. Premiere.

UNCONSCIOUS / Spain/Portugal/Italy/Germany (Director: Joaquín Oristrell; Screenwriters: Joaquín Oristrell, Teresa de Peligrí, and Dominic Harari)—A Freudian comedy set in Barcelona,1913, that playfully questions sexual taboos through a Sherlock Holmes–style investigation. U.S. Premiere.

WOLF CREEK / Australia (Director: Greg Mclean; Screenwriter: Greg Mclean)—A chilling, factually based story of three road-trippers in remote Australia who are plunged into danger when they accept help from a friendly local. World Premiere.

Documentary films are truly gathering note worthy attention as this past year a record breaking $220 million was earned for Michael Moore’s FARHEINHIT 11 documentary. Last year Sundance for the first time opened with a documentary RIDING GIANTS, Stacy Peralta’s tribute to Big Wave Riding. This year the films screening in US Documentary Competition are:

AFTER INNOCENCE (Director: Jessica Sanders)—A gripping emotionally charged film that follows wrongfully convicted men freed by DNA evidence after decades in prison as they struggle to transition back into society. World Premiere.

THE ARISTOCRATS (Director: Paul Provenza)—One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke—one shared privately by comics since vaudeville. World Premiere.

THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON (Director: Jeff Feuerzeig)—Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist, is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity, and love. World Premiere.

THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX (Directors: Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt)—A 15-year-old girl’s transformation from conservative Southern Baptist to liberal Christian and ardent feminist parallels her fight for sex education and gay rights in Lubbock, Texas. World Premiere.

ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (Director: Alex Gibney)—The suspenseful, darkly comic, and ultimately tragic inside story of one of history’s greatest business scandals. World Premiere.

THE FALL OF FUJIMORI (Director: Ellen Perry)—President Alberto Fujimori risked everything to win Peru's war on terror, but in doing so became an international fugitive wanted for corruption, kidnapping, and murder. World Premiere.

FROZEN ANGELS (Directors: Eric Black and Frauke Sandig)—A scientific and social exploration of the future of human reproductive technology. World Premiere.

MARDI GRAS: MADE IN CHINA (Director: David Redmon)—This examination of cultural and economic globalization follows the lifecycle of Mardi Gras beads from a small factory in Fuzhou, China, to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and to art galleries in New York City. World Premiere.

MURDERBALL (Directors: Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro)—A film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max–style wheelchairs, overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. World Premiere.

NEW YORK DOLL (Director: Greg Whiteley)—A recovering alcoholic and recently converted Mormon, Arthur “Killer” Kane, of the rock band The New York Dolls, is given a chance at reuniting with his band after 30 years. World Premiere.

RING OF FIRE: THE EMILE GRIFFITH STORY (Directors: Dan Klores and Ron Berger)—A story of violence, love, sex, politics, and media, centered around the life of Griffith, a six-time world welterweight champion. World Premiere.

ROMÁNTICO (Director: Mark Becker)—A troubadour returns home to scratch out a living in Mexico after years of trying to get ahead in San Francisco. World Premiere.

SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS (Director: Hank Rogerson)—Twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison form an unlikely Shakespearean acting troupe. World Premiere.

TRUDELL (Director: Heather Rae)—A chronicle of legendary Native American poet/activist John Trudell’s travels, spoken word performances, and politics. World Premiere.

TWIST OF FAITH (Director: Kirby Dick)—A man confronts the trauma of past sexual abuse as a boy by a Catholic priest only to find his decision shatters his relationships with his family, community, and faith. World Premiere.

WHY WE FIGHT (Director: Eugene Jarecki)—This film places the Iraqi war in a historical context and examines the forces—economic, political, and ideological—that drive American militarism. World Premiere.

Around the globe stories of events and personal strife’s are shared through world documentaries. The films screening in World Cinema Documentary Competition are:

THE 3 ROOMS OF MELANCHOLIA / Finland (Director: Pirjo Honkasalo)—A searing examination of the unrelenting Chechen conflict, observed through the prisms of a Russian military boys academy, a war-torn town, and a children's refugee camp. North American Premiere.

DHAKIYARR VS. THE KING / Australia (Directors: Tom Murray and Allan Collins)—Seventy years after his controversial murder trial and subsequent disappearance, an Australian Aboriginal's descendants seek to restore what was denied him: his honor. North American Premiere.

GRIZZLY MAN / U.S.A. (Director: Werner Herzog)— A devastating and heart-wrenching take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. World Premiere.

I AM CUBA, THE SIBERIAN MAMMOTH / Brazil (Director: Vicente Ferraz)—This film examines the creation and exhibition of the propaganda film I Am Cuba, a Soviet/Cuban collaboration unknown in the West until the 1990s. North American Premiere.

EL INMORTAL / Nicaragua/Spain/Mexico (Director: Mercedes Moncada-Rodriguez)—A family is torn apart by the conflict in Nicaragua, leaving brother fighting brother and illustrating religious manipulation, male chauvinism, and poverty as part of the destructive legacy of war. World Premiere.

THE LIBERACE OF BAGHDAD / U.K. (Director: Sean McAllister)—Held up in a heavily fortified Baghdad hotel, Iraq's most famous pianist, Samir Peter, tries to survive the "peace" of post-war Iraq as he waits for his visa that will grant him a new life in America. North American Premiere.

ODESSA ODESSA / Israel/France (Director: Michale Boganim)—A voyage from the Ukraine to New York to Israel, portraying the wanderings, hopes, and illusions of the vanishing Odessa Jewish community. World Premiere.

SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL: THE JOURNEY OF ROMÉO DALLAIRE / Canada (Director: Peter Raymont)—The story of Canadian Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire and his controversial United Nations mission to Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. U.S. Premiere.

SHAPE OF THE MOON / The Netherlands (Director: Leonard Retel Helmrich)—Three generations of one family weather the challenges of living in modern-day Indonesia, the largest Muslim community on the globe. North American Premiere.

UNKNOWN WHITE MALE / U.K. (Director: Rupert Murray)—This is the true story of Doug Bruce, who woke up on Coney Island with no memory of any day of his entire life. World Premiere.

WALL / France/Israel (Director: Simone Bitton)—A meditation on the separation fence in Israel/Palestine that imprisons one people while enclosing the other. U.S. Premiere.

YANG BAN XI – THE 8 MODELWORKS / The Netherlands (Director: Yan Ting Yuen)—The story of lives inextricably linked to the Yang Ban Xi, the propaganda spectacles which replaced traditional opera during the Cultural Revolution in China. World Premiere.

Sundance Film Festival
Long known as a celebration of the new and the unexpected, the Sundance Film Festival puts forward the best in independent film from the U.S. and from around the world. Each year, the Festival draws 30,000 people from 27 countries and presents a ten-day program of more than 200 films to an audience of directors, writers, producers, actors, film aficionados, and industry leaders.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for filmmakers and other artists. Sundance Institute conducts national and international labs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers, and theatre artists. The annual Sundance Film Festival, a major program of Sundance Institute, is held each January and is considered the premier showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports nonfiction filmmakers through the Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Documentary Fund and a series of programs that nurture their growth, encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling, and promote the exhibition of documentary films to a broader audience. Through its various programs, the Feature Film Program supports emerging screenwriters and filmmakers as they work on their next projects. Through the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Institute is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theatre artists. The Film Music Program is dedicated to supporting and nurturing emerging film composers, as well as having an impact on how independent filmmakers approach music. The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film.

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