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Actress Vera Farmiga Returns To Sundance As Debut Director


Actress Vera Farmiga, who was nominated last year for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as George Clooney's love interest in the zeitgeist comedy UP IN THE AIR, has returned to the Sundance Film Festival with her feature directorial debut HIGHER GROUND, which is competing in the American Independents Narrative section. The film, in which she stars as a woman coping with a crisis of faith. had its initial screenings this weekend and is already one of the standout titles of the Festival. Rumors are rife that a bidding war is taking place amongst several high profile distributors anxious to secure distribution rights.

The return to Sundance has specific significance for the actress. Her acting career was launched here when she received an acting prize seven years ago for her powerful performance as a drug addict in the dramatic feature film DOWN TO THE BONE. That performance led to high profile parts in both independent and Hollywood productions, making Farmiga one of the busiest actresses in the business. She has just been cast as the neglected wife in the big screen adaptation of the classic Arthur Miller play A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, to also star Anthony LaPaglia and Mia Washkowski.

Her new film was shot in upstate New York. She had been attached to the film as an actress for several years, but as various directors demurred about taking on the project, the producers suggested that Farmiga take a stab at it herself. She was not sure about it, especially in a film where she has the starring role, and also because she found out that she was pregnant once the film got  a "green light". 

However, showing the same fortitude that she has brought to roles in films such as THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, JOSHUA, THE DEPARTED, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS and ORPHAN, she decided to take on the challenge, despite the concerns of family members and her doctors of the possible implications of her pregnancy on her stamina. The exhiliration of molding the story and the fine performances of her ensemble cast gave her added motivation and now she is seeing the fruits of her labor as her "film baby" makes its first steps on the world stage.   

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor


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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.

New York

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