What It’s All About:
The Sundance Film Festival takes place annually in the state of Utah, in the United States (US) and is the largest independent cinema festival in the US. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City and the Ogden, as well as the Sundance Resort, the festival is the premier showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films, and a group of non-competitive showcase sections.
Sundance began in Salt Lake City in 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen, John Earle and Cirina Hampton Catania.
Watch Out For!
With as many as 221 films incorporated in 16 categories, the line-up comprises the latest independent flicks by debutant or known directors from across the world.Fourteen films are featured in the section Premieres. Director Miguel Arteta returns to the festival with his comedy Cedar Rapids. It is about a group of insurance salesmen who use the opportunity to attend an annual convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a way to escape their doleful existence... like Vegas but with corn.
Set in the high stakes world of the financial industry, Margin Call by J C Chandor is a thriller entangling the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense toplining Ewan McGregor and Eva Green will be screened along with Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One. Montiel, who won the directing award for The Guide To Recognizing Your Saints in 2006, will close the festival with yet another gripping New York story.
In the World Cinema Documentary Competition section, the single entrant from India will be showcased. The Bengali Detective by Philip Cox is a documentary on the private detective business which has become increasingly common in India in response to police corruption. It follows the life of detective Rajesh, who, along with his ragtag team of assistants, investigates cases ranging from counterfeit hair products to a brutal triple murder. Challenging it will be Asif Kapadia’s Senna – The story of Ayrton Senna, perhaps the greatest race-car driver who ever lived, is an epic tale that literally twists at every turn.
After claiming awards at the festival, award-winning films will be screened on January 29 and 30 for the audience.
From the collection is Richard Linklater’s 1990 movie, Slacker, while the section New Frontier Films will screen five films including John Akomfrah’s The Nine Muses. An epic poem: Twenty-five years after the Trojan War, Odysseus has not returned home. His son, Telemachus, sets off on an arduous journey to search for his lost father.Filmmaker Zal Batmanglij’s feature debut, Sound Of My Voice, is a psychological maelstrom of uncertainty and danger and will be featured in the category, Next. The Off Hours by Megan Griffiths will also be part of the section.Meek’s Cutoff, directed by Kelly Reichardt will be part of the category, Spotlight. Set in 1845 along the unforgiving Oregon Trail, Meek’s Cutoff follows three pioneer families who have entrusted a scout, Stephen Meek, with guiding their wagons across a supposed shortcut.Other sections that will host a range of films are Park City at Midnight, Shorts, US Documentary Competition and US Dramatic Competition. An awards ceremony felicitating the best works will also be held.