Star-studded lineup has been revealed by The Sundance Institute for its upcoming annual Film Festival has. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the prestigious event will begin on Thursday, January 16, 2014 and end on Saturday, January 26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
U.S. Dramatic Competition will present the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films and offer festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film. "Whiplash" starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons will be screened on the first day.
The lineup includes Kristen Stewart's "Camp X-Ray", Anne Hathaway's "Song One", Michael C. Hall's "Cold in July", Anna Kendrick & Lena Dunham's "Happy Christmas", Mark Ruffalo & Zoe Saldana's "Infinitely Polar Bear", and Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig's "The Skeleton Twins".
U.S. Documentary Competition kicks off with "Dinosaur 13". It presents fifteen more American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people and events that shape the present day, including a pic that gives a behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage.
Ben Whishaw starrer "Lilting" will open World Cinema Dramatic Competition, while "The Green Prince" about the story of one of Israel's prized intelligence sources who was recruited to spy on his own people for more than a decade will be presented on the first day for World Cinema Documentary Competition.
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, says, "The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape."
U.S. Dramatic Competition:
"Camp X-Ray" (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) - A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi.
"Cold in July" (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) - After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man's life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson.
"Dear White People" (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) - Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an "African American" themed party thrown by white students. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson.
"Fishing Without Nets" (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) - A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad.
"God's Pocket" (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) - When Mickey's stepson Leon is killed in a construction "accident," Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks.
"Happy Christmas" (Director and screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) - After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast: Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham.
"Hellion" (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) - When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob's delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis.
"Infinitely Polar Bear" (Director and screenwriter: Maya Forbes) - A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don't make the overwhelming task any easier. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana.
"Jamie Marks Is Dead" (Director and screenwriter: Carter Smith) - No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie's ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick. Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver.
"Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) - A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. She embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.
"Life After Beth" (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) - Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan.
"Low Down" (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) - Based on Amy Jo Albany's memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning.
"The Skeleton Twins" (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) - Estranged twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig.
"The Sleepwalker" (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady Corbet) - A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia's secluded family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests arrive. Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott.
"Song One" (Director and screenwriter: Kate Barker-Froyland) - Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn.
"Whiplash" (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) - Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons. (Day 1 film)
U.S. Documentary Competition:
"Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory" (Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett) - Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia - many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.
"All the Beautiful Things" (Director: John Harkrider) - John and Barron are lifelong friends whose friendship is tested when Barron's girlfriend says Barron put a knife to her throat and raped her. Not knowing she has lied, John tells her to go to the police. Years later, John and Barron meet in a bar to resolve the betrayal.
"Captivated The Trials of Pamela Smart" (Director: Jeremiah Zagar) - In an extraordinary and tragic American story, a small town murder becomes one of the highest-profile cases of all time. From its historic role as the first televised trial to the many books and movies made about it, the film looks at the media's enduring impact on the case.
"The Case Against 8" (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) - A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Cesar's Last Fast" (Directors: Richard Ray Perez, Lorena Parlee) - Inspired by Catholic social teaching, Cesar Chavez risked his life fighting for America's poorest workers. The film illuminates the intensity of one man's devotion and personal sacrifice, the birth of an economic justice movement, and tells an untold chapter in the story of civil rights in America.
"Dinosaur 13" (Director: Todd Miller) - The true tale behind one of the greatest discoveries in history. (Day 1 film)
"E-TEAM" (Directors: Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman) - E-TEAM is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic work in the field.
"Fed Up" (Director: Stephanie Soechtig) - Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history.
"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz" (Director: Brian Knappenberger) - Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.
"Ivory Tower" (Director: Andrew Rossi) - As tuition spirals upward and student debt passes a trillion dollars, students and parents ask, "Is college worth it?" From the halls of Harvard to public and private colleges in financial crisis to education startups in Silicon Valley, an urgent portrait emerges of a great American institution at the breaking point.
"Marmato" (Director: Mark Grieco) - Colombia is the center of a new global gold rush, and Marmato, a historic mining town, is the new frontier. Filmed over the course of nearly six years, Marmato chronicles how townspeople confront a Canadian mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their homes.
"No No: A Dockumentary" (Director: Jeffrey Radice) - Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling drug abusers. Dock's soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates, friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of the spotlight.
"The Overnighters" (Director: Jesse Moss) - Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local pastor's decision to help them has extraordinary and unexpected consequences.
"Private Violence" (Director: Cynthia Hill) - One in four women experience violence in their homes. Have you ever asked, "Why doesn't she just leave?" Private Violence shatters the brutality of our logic and intimately reveals the stories of two women: Deanna Walters, who transforms from victim to survivor, and Kit Gruelle, who advocates for justice.
"Rich Hill" (Directors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) - In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds and dream of a future of possibility.
"Watchers of theSky" (Director: Edet Belzberg) - Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.
World Cinema Dramatic Cometition:
"52 Tuesdays"/ Australia (Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenplay and story by: Matthew Cormack, Story by: Sophie Hyde) - Sixteen-year-old Billie's reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans for gender transition, and their time together becomes limited to Tuesdays. Cast: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane. International Premiere.
"Blind" / Norway, Netherlands (Director and screenwriter: Eskil Vogt) - Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home, a place she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. Cast: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen. World Premiere.
"Difret" / Ethiopia (Director and screenwriter: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari) - Meaza Ashenafi is a young lawyer who operates under the government's radar helping women and children until one young girl's legal case exposes everything, threatening not only her career but her survival. Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere. World Premiere.
"The Disobedient" / Serbia (Director and screenwriter: Mina Djukic) - Leni anxiously waits for her childhood friend Lazar, who is coming back to their hometown after years of studying abroad. After they reunite, they embark on a random bicycle trip around their childhood haunts, which will either exhaust or reinvent their relationship. Cast: Hana Selimovic, Mladen Sovilj. World Premiere.
"God Help the Girl" / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stuart Murdoch) - This musical from Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian is about some messed up boys and girls and the music they made. Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander. World Premiere.
"Liar's Dice" / India (Director and screenwriter: Geetu Mohandas) - Kamala, a young woman from the village of Chitkul, leaves her native land with her daughter to search for her missing husband. Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Geetanjali Thapa. International Premiere.
"Lilting" / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Hong Khaou) - The world of a Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger who doesn't speak her language. Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng. World Premiere. (Day 1 film).
"Lock Charmer" (El cerrajero) / Argentina (Director and screenwriter: Natalia Smirnoff) - Upon learning that his girlfriend is pregnant, 33-year-old locksmith Sebastian begins to have strange visions about his clients. Cast: Esteban Lamothe, Erica Rivas. World Premiere.
"To Kill a Man" / Chile, France (Director and screenwriter: Alejandro Fernandez Almendras) - When Jorge, a hardworking family man who's barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge's son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot. Cast: Daniel Candia, Daniel Antivilo. World Premiere.
"Viktoria" / Bulgaria, Romania (Director and screenwriter: Maya Vitkova) - Although determined not to have a child in Communist Bulgaria, Boryana gives birth to Viktoria, who despite being born with no umbilical cord, is proclaimed to be the baby of the decade. Cast: Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova. World Premiere.
"Wetlands" / Germany (Director: David Wnendt, Screenwriters: Claus Falkenberg, David Wnendt, based on the novel by Charlotte Roche) - Meet Helen Memel. She likes to experiment with vegetables while masturbating and thinks that bodily hygiene is greatly overrated. Cast: Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski. North American Premiere.
"White Shadow" / Italy, Germany, Tanzania (Director: Noaz Deshe, Screenwriters: Noaz Deshe, James Masson) - Alias is a young albino boy on the run. His mother has sent him away to find refuge in the city after witnessing his father's murder. Cast: Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo. International Premiere.
World Cinema Documentary Competition:
"20,000 Days On Earth" / United Kingdom (Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard) - Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international culture icon Nick Cave. World Premiere.
"Concerning Violence" / Sweden, U.S.A., Denmark, Finland (Director: Goran Hugo Olsson) - Concerning Violence is based on newly discovered, powerful archival material documenting the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, accompanied by classic text from The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon. World Premiere.
"The Green Prince" / Germany, Israel, United Kingdom (Director: Nadav Schirman ) - This real-life thriller tells the story of one of Israel's prized intelligence sources, recruited to spy on his own people for more than a decade. World Premiere. (Day 1 film)
"Happiness" / France, Finland (Director: Thomas Balmes) - Peyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. Soon the world will come to him: the village is about to be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Peyangki's eyes. North American Premiere.
"Love Child" / South Korea, U.S.A. (Director: Valerie Veatch) - In Seoul in the Republic of Korea, a young couple stands accused of neglect when "Internet addiction" in an online fantasy game costs the life of their infant daughter. World Premiere.
"Mr leos caraX" / France (Director: Tessa Louise-Salome) - Mr leos caraX plunges us into the poetic and visionary world of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker who was already a cult figure from his very first film. World Premiere.
"My Prairie Home" / Canada (Director: Chelsea McMullan) - A poetic journey through landscapes both real and emotional, Chelsea McMullan's documentary/musical offers an intimate portrait of transgender singer Rae Spoon, framed by stunning images of the Canadian prairies. International Premiere.
"The Notorious Mr. Bout" / U.S.A., Russia (Directors: Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin ) - Viktor Bout was a war profiteer, an entrepreneur, an aviation tycoon, an arms dealer, and - strangest of all - a documentary filmmaker. World Premiere.
"The Return to Homs" / Syria, Germany (Director: Talal Derki) - Basset Sarout, the 19-year-old national football team goalkeeper, becomes a demonstration leader and singer, and then a fighter. Ossama, a 24-year-old renowned citizen cameraman, is critical, a pacifist, and ironic until he is detained by the regime's security forces. North American Premiere.
"Sepideh - Reaching for the Stars" / Denmark (Director: Berit Madsen) - Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. As a young Iranian woman, she knows it's dangerous to challenge traditions and expectations. North American Premiere.
"We Come as Friends" / France, Austria (Director: Hubert Sauper) - "We Come as Friends" views colonization as a human phenomenon through both explicit and metaphoric lenses without oversimplified accusations or political theorizing. World Premiere.
"Web Junkie" / Israel (Directors: Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia) - China is the first country to label "Internet addiction" a clinical disorder. World Premiere.
"Pure", bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this section will shape a "greater" next wave in American cinema.
"Appropriate Behavior" / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Desiree Akhavan) - Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, a politically correct bisexual, and a hip, young Brooklynite, but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Cast: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson. World Premiere.
"Drunktown's Finest" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sydney Freeland) - Three young Native Americans - a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual - come of age on an Indian reservation. Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline. World Premiere.
"The Foxy Merkins" / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Olnek, Screenwriters: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan, Madeleine Olnek) - Two lesbian hookers work the streets of New York. One is a down-on-her-luck newbie; the other is a beautiful - and straight - grifter who's an expert on picking up women. Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan.
"A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ana Lily Amirpour) - In the Iranian ghost town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, depraved denizens are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi. World Premiere.
"Imperial Dreams" / U.S.A. (Director: Malik Vitthal, Screenwriters: Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic) - A 21-year-old, reformed gangster's devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles. Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho. World Premiere.
"Land Ho!" / U.S.A., Iceland (Directors and screenwriters: Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz) - A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Nelson. World Premiere.
"Listen Up Philip" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) - A story about changing seasons and changing attitudes, a newly accomplished writer faces mistakes and miseries affecting those around him, including his girlfriend, her sister, his idol, his idol's daughter, and all the ex-girlfriends and enemies that lie in wait on the open streets of New York. Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss. World Premiere.
"Memphis" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) - A strange singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids. Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas. World Premiere.
"Obvious Child" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre) - An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine's Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy. World Premiere.
"Ping Pong Summer" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Tully) - 1985. Ocean City, Maryland. Summer vacation. Rap music. Parachute pants. Ping pong. First crushes. Best friends. Mean bullies. Weird mentors. That awkward, momentous time in your life when you're treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know deep down you're as funky fresh as it gets. Cast: Susan Sarandon, John Hannah. World Premiere.
"War Story" / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Jackson, Screenwriters: Kristin Gore, Mark Jackson) - A war photographer retreats to a small town in Sicily after being held captive during the conflict in Libya. Cast: Catherine Keener, Ben Kingsley. World Premiere.