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12 Independent Films to Make Their Digital Debut via Sundance Institute

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 15, 2014 at 5:28PM

Sundance Institute's Artist Services program, which provides resident artists with exclusive creative opportunities, will digitally debut 12 independent films this Spring. Titles began premiering today, and will roll out through June 3.
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'Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats'
'Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats'

Sundance Institute's Artist Services program, which provides resident artists with exclusive creative opportunities, will digitally debut 12 independent films this Spring. Beginning today, titles will roll out through June 3 across a variety of VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox, SundanceNOW, VUDU, Sony Entertainment Network and YouTube.

The selection, as follows, includes both narrative features and documentaries from the Sundance Film Festival and Institute archives:

Available April 15:

'The Revolutionary Optimists'
'The Revolutionary Optimists'

"DeNADIE" (Dir. Tin Dirdamal) tells the story of Maria, a Central American immigrant who is forced to leave her family in search for a better life. On her way to the United States, she has to cross the border in to Mexico, where she experiences her worst nightmare. (2006 Sundance Film Festival) 

"The Revolutionary Optimists" (Dirs. Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen) Children are saving lives in the slums of Calcutta. Amlan Ganguly doesn't rescue slum children; he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their neighborhoods with dramatic results. The film follows Amlan and four of the children he works with on an intimate journey through adolescence, as they fight for the better future he encourages them to imagine is deservedly theirs. (2011 Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab)  

"Rivers of Men" (Dir. Tin Dirdamal) The legend, the details and the lie surrounding the Bolivian city that went to war over water. (2007 Sundance Institute Documentary Film Grant) 

Available May 5:

"A Healthy Baby Girl" (Dir. Judith Helfand) An intimate, humorous, yet searing exploration of what happens when science, marketing, and corporate power enter our deepest family relationships. The film is an inter-generational story of one family's response to an ethical and technological crisis, experienced from their home in Merrick, Long Island. (1997 Sundance Film Festival) 

Available May 13:

"A River Changes Course" (Dir. Kalyanee Mam) Three families living in contemporary Cambodia face hard choices as forces of radical change transform the country’s landscape and the dreams of its people. (2013 Sundance Film Festival) 

Available May 20:

'The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack'
'The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack'

"The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" (Dir. Aiyana Elliott) This fascinating portrait of Ramblin' Jack Elliott, directed by his daughter, Aiyana Elliott, weaves together live performances, archival footage, and contemporary interviews to create a film that takes us beyond the legend and into the psyche of the man. (2000 Sundance Film Festival) 

"Beyond the Ocean" (Dir. Tony Pemberton) A young pregnant woman arrives in New York City only to have her mind drift back to her past to a time when she was coming of age in a coal-mining town in Russia. (2000 Sundance Film Festival) 

"The Corndog Man" (Dir. Andrew Shea) A boat salesman in small-town South Carolina gets a pivotal sales call, the first of many from what he hopes is a buyer ready to spend tons of money on a vessel. But he soon realizes that the caller's motivations are personal rather than business-related -- and they're vengeful motivations at that. Fearful for his life, the normally cocky merchant begins to fall apart at the seams, worried for his life. Who wants him dead? (1999 Sundance Film Festival)

"Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats" (Dir. John Antonelli) Jack Kerouac's life is examined through fascinating and rare documentary footage and revealing interviews with many of Kerouac's most famous contemporaries, such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. (1985 Sundance Film Festival)

"Sleep Dealer" (Dir. Alex Rivera) Mexico, the near future. Memo Cruz always dreamed of leaving his village and heading north. But when he does, Memo finds a bizarre new world full of drones, aqua-terrorists, and a woman with a secret. (2008 Sundance Film Festival)

"The Woman Chaser" (Dir. Robinson Devor) Richard is a shrewd salesman and used-car dealer. Fancying himself an artist, he completes his cherished film project, but forces beyond his control destroy it. A monstrous revenge is exacted on all who have crossed him. (2000 Sundance Film Festival)

Available June 3:

"The Cold Lands" (Dir. Tom Gilroy) 

After his mother's sudden death, a young boy runs away into the deep woods of upstate New York and meets an unpredictable and mysterious drifter. (Released through Artist Services collaboration with Cinereach)

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute , VOD, VOD/Streaming, New On VOD, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.