Sundance Film Festival 2015

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival has announced the line-up for 2015 . The annual event is scheduled to run January 22 to February 1 at theaters in Sundance, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Park City, Utah. A collection of 60 films in different categories, culled from over 12,000 submissions from around the globe will be aired.

The Sundance Film Festival is the flagship gala of the Institute, which runs 24 residency programs and disburses over $2.5 million to independent filmmakers each year. The Institute also holds one-day short-film making workshops. Their productions are screened in theaters all over the U.S.

The New Frontier initiative of the Institute exhibits groundbreaking media works. Among their artists and technicians are Nonny de la Pena, Doug Aitken and Palmer Luckey.

Founded in 1981 by iconic Hollywood star Robert Redford, the Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization with a mission to facilitate and nurture independent artists in film, theater, and new media. Their labs, grants, and mentorship programs are dedicated to the development of creativity and artistry at home and abroad. The Sundance Film Festival brings audiences and artists together to celebrate creative ideas, new voices, and indie storytelling. The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the State of Utah support the Sundance Institute.

Sundance Film Festival
Robert Redford

For 2015 the Sundance Film Festival executives had the onerous task of making final selections from thousands of entries. A total of 118 feature-length films from 29 countries debuting 45 filmmakers made the final cut. World premieres of 103 feature films will be held at the Festival.

In Grandma Lily Tomlin explores the drama of a woman blossoming late in life. Blythe Danner portrays a similar role in I’ll See You in My Dreams. Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis are paired as friends without benefits in Sleeping With Other People. Ethan Hawke is dramatic in his role in Ten Thousand Saints. Other films in the genre are The Bronze, about a medalling gymnast who is unable to move, Diary of a Teenage Girl, an adaptation of a graphic novel and Z for Zachariah.

Kirby Dick’s documentary Campus Assaults, exposes the increasing incidences of rape on college campuses, and Alex Gibney once again displays his Oscar-worthy chops in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Louie Psihoyos’s Racing Extinction focuses on diminishing life forms. The Wolfpack chronicles the lives of six brothers. While Western and Cartel Land are documentary films about border problems.

Comedians come into their own this year, according to Trevor Groth, programming director. Traditional comedians are pushing boundaries, stretching themselves into unexpected roles. The Bobcat Goldthwait documentary Call Me Lucky, explores the multi-layered life of Barry Crimmins whose life turned him from bar comic to satirist to activist. Sarah Silverman plays Laney in I Smile Back – a woman bent on self-destruction who seeks absolution.

During the Sundance Film Festival there will be concurrent screenings of feature-length films in the Premieres and Documentaries, New Frontier, Sundance Kids, Park City at Midnight and Spotlight sections. Those are yet to be announced, as are selections for the Short Film and new Special Events sections as well as off-screen programs.

On the first day, Jan. 22, 2015, the Sundance Film Festival will feature one film from each category: U.S. documentary, U.S. dramatic, international documentary, international dramatic, and shorts programs. The competitive entries will be judged under “U.S. Dramatic,” “U.S. Documentary,” “World Cinema Drama,” and “World Cinema Documentary” categories.

Robert Redford believes that independent artists mirror the state of our culture and times. Their stories have unique perspectives and insights, challenge authority and accepted norms. Their unpredictability and force are powerful in inspiring their viewers and resonate with humans. Keri Putnam, executive director remarks on the different formats used by indie filmmakers and how the institute makes it their mission to support their courage and creativity.

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, promises the selections for the 2015 Festival will take audiences on an emotional rollercoaster. With approaches ranging from comedic to dramatic, and genres from documentary and experimental to shorts, independent filmmakers are bravely opening up the frontiers.

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival, like its predecessors will stir and delight global audiences with groundbreaking films. Senior Programmer Mike Plante states the new crop of filmmakers have stretched the potential of their chosen genres with artistry in content and technique that will resonate with audiences long beyond the festival.

By Bina Joseph

Sources:

Sundance Institute

The Salt Lake Tribune

The Denver Post

Photo by Terence Faircloth – Flickr License

Photo by qbac07 – Flickr License

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