By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 11, 2013 at 1:08PM
FEATURE FILM PROGRAMME — The international and UK premieres of American independent narrative and documentary films that premiered in January at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A.
Blackfish (Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite) — Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity. (Documentary) International Premiere
Blood Brother (Director: Steve Hoover) — Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face, or the love he would find. Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary and the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary presented by Acura at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (Documentary) UK Premiere
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes (Director and screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini) — Emanuel, a troubled girl, becomes preoccupied with her mysterious, new neighbor, who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to babysit her newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper. Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Aneurin Barnard. (Narrative) International Premiere
God Loves Uganda (Director: Roger Ross Williams) — A powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law. (Documentary) European Premiere
In a World... (Director and screenwriter: Lake Bell) — An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation. Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (Narrative) International Premiere
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (Director: George Tillman Jr., Screenwriter: Michael Starrbury) — Separated from their mothers and facing a summer in the Brooklyn projects alone, two boys hide from police and forage for food, with only each other to trust. A story of salvation through friendship and two boys against the world. Cast: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright. (Narrative) UK Premiere
The Kings of Summer (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Screenwriter: Chris Galletta) — A unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenagers who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a makeshift house in the woods. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship. Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie. (Narrative) International Premiere
Muscle Shoals (Director: Greg 'Freddy' Camalier) — Down in Alabama Rick Hall founded FAME Studios and gave birth to the Muscle Shoals sound. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Gregg Allman, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Bono and others bear witness to the greatest untold American music story. (Documentary) UK Premiere
Running from Crazy (Director: Barbara Kopple) — Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, strives for a greater understanding of her family history of suicide and mental illness. As tragedies are explored and deeply hidden secrets are revealed, Mariel searches for a way to overcome a similar fate. From two-time Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple. (Documentary) International Premiere
Touchy Feely (Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton) — A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his “healing touch.” Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Josh Pais. (Narrative) International Premiere
Upstream Color (Director and screenwriter: Shane Carruth) — A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins. Winner of a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and from the director of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic-winning film Primer. (Narrative) UK Premiere
SPECIAL EVENT PROGRAMME — On-screen stories complemented by extraordinary off-screen experiences.
History of the Eagles Part One (Director: Alison Ellwood) — Iconic American rock band the Eagles have earned countless awards and sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, including the best-selling album of all time. Using never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and new interviews with all current and former members of the Eagles, this documentary provides an intimate look into the history of the band and the legacy of their music. Includes an extended Q&A with the Eagles. (Documentary) International Premiere
Peaches Does Herself (Director and screenwriter: Peaches) — On the advice of an old stripper, Peaches makes sexually forthright music. This electro rock opera follows Peaches' rise in popularity and her love affair with a beautiful she-male that ultimately leads her to realize who she really is. Cast: Peaches, Danni Daniels, Sandy Kane, Mignon, Sweet Machine Band, Jolly Goods. Sundance London will also host a performance by Peaches. (Narrative) UK Premiere
Sleepwalk With Me (Director: Mike Birbiglia, Screenwriters: Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish) — Reluctant to confront his fears of love, honesty, and growing up, a budding standup comedian has both a hilarious and intense struggle with sleepwalking. Cast: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, Cristin Milioti. Winner of the Best of NEXT <=> Audience Award, Presented by Adobe Systems Incorporated, at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Includes an extended Q&A with director and screenwriter Mike Birbiglia, moderated by comedian Jimmy Carr. (Narrative) European Premiere
UK SPOTLIGHT — Drawing on the Sundance Film Festival’s rich legacy of premiering outstanding films produced in the UK – including An Education, Four Weddings and a Funeral, In Bruges, In the Loop, Kinky Boots, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels – this new showcase presents a selection of UK films that premiered in Park City, Utah.
In Fear (Directed and story by: Jeremy Lovering) — Trapped in a maze of country roads with only their vehicle for protection, Tom and Lucy are terrorized by an unseen tormentor exploiting their worst fears. Eventually they realize they've let the evil in – it’s sitting in their car. Cast: Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech. (Narrative) UK Premiere
The Look of Love (Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriter: Matt Greenhalgh) — The true story of British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond. A modern day King Midas story, Raymond became one of the richest men in Britain at the cost of losing those closest to him. Cast: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton. (Narrative) UK Premiere
The Moo Man (Directors: Andy Heathcote, Co-director: Heike Bachelier) — A year in the life of heroic farmer Steve, scene stealing Ida (queen of the herd), and a supporting cast of 55 cows. When Ida falls ill, Steve’s optimism is challenged and their whole way of life is at stake. (Documentary) UK Premiere
The Summit (Director: Nick Ryan) — Twenty-four climbers converged at the last stop before summiting the most dangerous mountain on Earth. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished. Had one, Ger McDonnell, stuck to the climbers' code, he might still be alive. Winner of the Editing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (Documentary)
SHORT FILM PROGRAMME — A wide-ranging collection of short films that screened in January at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. All will screen together in one Short Film Programme. The winner of the Sundance London Short Film Competition will be the tenth short film featured.
The Apocalypse (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Zuchero) — Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon. International Premiere
Black Metal (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, one fan creates a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band. European Premiere
The Date (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Toivoniemi) — Tino’s manhood is put to the test in front of two women when he has to host a date for Diablo, the family’s stud cat. Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Irish Folk Furniture (Director: Tony Donoghue) — In Ireland, old hand-painted furniture is often associated with hard times, with poverty, and with a time many would rather forget. In this animated documentary, 16 pieces of traditional folk furniture are repaired and returned home. Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: Animation at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Jonah (Director: Kibwe Tavares, Screenwriter: Jack Thorne) — When two young men photograph a gigantic fish leaping from the sea, their small town becomes a tourist attraction in this story about the old and the new. From the director of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Grand Jury Prize-winning film FISHING WITHOUT NETS. UK Premiere
Reindeer (Director: Eva Weber) — A lyrical and haunting portrait of reindeer herding in the twilight expanses of the Lapland wilderness. Winner of a Short Film Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Until the Quiet Comes (Director and screenwriter: Kahlil Joseph) — Shot in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts, Los Angeles, this film deals with themes of violence, camaraderie and spirituality through the lens of magical realism. Winner of a Short Film Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. European Premiere
Whiplash (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — An aspiring drummer enters an elite conservatory’s top jazz orchestra. Winner of the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. International Premiere
The Whistle (Director: Grzegorz Zariczny) — Marcin, a lowest-leagues football referee who lives in a small town near Krakow, dreams of better times. At his mother’s urging, he decides to change his life and find himself a girlfriend and a better job. Winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. UK Premiere
PANEL PROGRAMME — Discussions with renowned guest speakers providing incredible insights into the filmmaking process.
The Art of the Score: An Afternoon with David Arnold — In a career that has produced over 60 scores to date, David Arnold has written and arranged some of the most exciting music in film and television today – and has done so across myriad genres and styles. Best known for his five James Bond scores, including Casino Royale and Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla, Hot Fuzz, The Stepford Wives, and the television series Sherlock and Little Britain, his work has garnered numerous Grammy, Emmy, BAFTA, UK Royal Television Society and BMI awards and nominations. He was also Musical Director for 2012 Olympic Games and 2012 Paralympic Games in London. In a lively afternoon celebrating creativity and collaboration, Arnold and guests offer a first-hand look at the composing process – through conversation, clips and various demonstrations of his approach to film and the musical choices that have led to some of his most notable work.
Screenwriting Flash Lab — It takes years of screenwriting to have an overnight success. It also takes talent, willpower, determination, grit and more than anything – it requires failure. And yet the fear of failure can stymy creativity. What is a writer to do? Join UK and American screenwriters for a lively, honest and irreverent discussion on the creative lessons learned from their biggest “cock-ups”. A not-to-be-missed opportunity to meet fellow writers, as well as Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program Founding Director, Michelle Satter, and International Director, Paul Federbush. Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland, In This World, Death Defying Acts), Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Debt, Men Who Stare at Goats), Lynn Shelton (Touchy Feely, Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday), moderator Mia Bays, Oscar-winning producer (Six Shooter, 30 Century Man) and marketing consultant / creative executive at Microwave, and other panelist to be announced. Co-presented with BAFTA.
Senses of Humor and Humour: US – UK Comedy — As the wisest among us have often observed, humor is a serious thing. A strangely elusive form (E.B. White once likened it to dissecting a frog; you can do it, but the thing dies in the process) comedy may be dispensed with sugarcoated smoothness, but it’s a uniquely powerful, sophisticated way of looking at the foibles of human nature and the contradictions of our lives and societies. From family dysfunction to global politics, comedians might argue that laughing at the world is simply the most sensible way of making sense of it. In a battle to establish who is funnier and why, our group of UK and US actors, comedians and filmmakers unpeel the layers and explore what’s behind the American and British “brands” of humor. With comedian, author and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me), writer, director and actress Lake Bell (In A World…) and other panelists to be announced. Co-presented with BFI.