The following Sundance 2009 short films are available for viewing/downloading – free of charge – via itunes stores in the US, UK, and Canada. They'll remain available until Jan. 25. Go to www.iTunes.com/sundance.
The available films are (synopses from the Sundance Festival's press release):
Acting for the Camera (Dir.: Justin Nowell; Screenwriter: Thomas Nowell) – An acting class. Today's scene: the orgasm from When Harry Met Sally.
Countertransference (Dir.: Madeleine Olnek) – A comedy about an awkward woman with assertiveness problems who seeks the questionable help of a therapist.
HUG (Dir.: Khary Jones) – Drew is a musician with a contract ready to sign. When Asa, his friend and manager, realizes Drew is off his meds the across-town drive to sign the contract becomes significantly more complicated.
Field Notes From Dimension X: Oasis (Dir.: Carson Mell) – Captain Fred T. Rogard muses in isolation on planet Oasis.
From Burger It Came (Dir.: Dominic Bisignano) – An animated film that recounts early 1980s-era Cold War fears of a young boy in middle America. Using a variety of techniques, the visual narrative is colorfully assembled over semi-documentary audio conversations between a grown adult recounting his fears and his mother's memory of the time and her own concerns.
I Live In The Woods (Dir.: Max Winston) – A Woodsman's fast-paced journey, fueled by happiness, slaughter, and a confrontation with America's God.
Instead of Abracadabra, Sweden (Director and Screenwriter: Patrik Eklund) – Tomas is a little bit too old to still be living with his parents, but his dream of becoming a magician leaves him with no other option.
James , Northern Ireland (Dir.: Connor Clements) – A young man grapples with the impulses and thoughts about being gay.
Magnetic Movie, UK (Dir.: Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt) – Natural magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries, as scientists from NASA's space sciences laboratory excitedly describe their discoveries.
This Way Up, UK (Dir.: Adam Foulkes, Alan Smith; Screenwriters: Foulkes, Smith, Christopher O'Reilly) – Laying the dead to rest has never been so much trouble.
Artist Spotlight: The Works of Maria Marshall / U.S. (Director: Maria Marshall)
Maria Marshall's disturbing and gorgeously composed video projections provoke the psychological dimensions of cinema. Often violent and always visually charming, Marshall often uses her two sons in the main roles of her films. Her work tackles fundamental subjects of motherhood, socialization and life experience and takes us back to the world of childhood as a pretext in order to evoke the anxiety of adults.
Lunch Break/Exit / U.S. (Director: Sharon Lockhart)
"Lunch Break" and "Exit" yield from Sharon Lockhart's timely new film and photographic series about the bleak state of U.S. labor. "Lunch Break," a single tracking shot through a long corridor where workers take their lunch hour at the massive shipyard Bath Iron Works in Maine, reveals how 42 workers spend their lunch break. In "Exit," the frame constantly fills with teeming workers each day as they head for home after a long day's work.
O'er the Land / U.S. (Director: Deborah Stratman)
A meditation on our national psyche and the milieu of elevated threat, the film addresses gun culture, national identity, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence.
Stay the Same Never Change / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Laurel Nakadate)
A mix of visual fact and narrative fiction starring a group of amateur actors in Kansas City, Mo. Whether it's a family man looking for beauty or a young woman obsessed with polar bears and Oprah, the characters in this humorous film reveal quiet lives full of sadness and desire. Cast: Dirk Cowan, Julie Potratz, Emily Boullear, Cyan Meeks, Tate Buck. World premiere
Where Is Where? (Director: Eija-Liisa Ahtila)
An experimental, four-channel film based on an incident that happened during the struggle for independence in Algeria. As a reaction to the acts of violence committed by the French, two young Algerian boys murder their friend, a French boy of the same age. The film starts from the present, when the Death enters the house of a poet who is attempting to write about the incident. World premiere
You Won't Miss Me / U.S. (Director: Ry Russo-Young)
A portrait of a modern rebel, Shelly Brown, a 23-year-old alienated urban misfit recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Cast: Stella Schnabel, Rene Ricard. World premiere
Park City at Midnight
Black Dynamite / U.S. (Director: Scott Sanders; screenwriters: Michael Jai White, Scott Sanders, Byron Minns)
When "The Man" murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to take him on. Cast: Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Byron Minns, James McManus. World premiere
The Carter / U.S. (Director: Adam Bhala Lough)
An in-depth, intimate look at Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter Jr., proclaimed by many as the "greatest rapper alive." Cast: Lil Wayne, Brian Williams, Cortez Bryant. World premiere
Død Snø (Dead Snow) / Norway (Director: Tommy Wirkola; screenwriters: Tommy Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen)
A group of teenagers had all they needed for a successful ski vacation: a cabin, skis, snowmobile, toboggan, copious amounts of beer and a fertile mix of the sexes. Certainly, none of them anticipated not returning home alive! But the Nazi-zombie battalion haunting the mountains had other plans. Cast: Vegard Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Jenny Skavlan, Jeppe Beck Laursen. North American premiere
Grace / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Paul Solet)
After losing her unborn child, Madeline Matheson insists on carrying the baby to term. Following the delivery, the child miraculously returns to life, but when the baby develops a desperate appetite for human blood, Madeline is faced with a mother's ultimate decision. Cast: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose, Malcom Stewart, Stephen Park, Serge Houde. World premiere
The Killing Room / U.S. (Director: Jonathan Liebesman; screenwriters: Gus Krieger, Ann Peacock)
Four individuals sign up for a psychological research study only to discover that they are now subjects of a brutal, classified government program. Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Peter Stormare, Clea DuVall, Timothy Hutton, Nick Cannon. World premiere
Mystery Team / U.S. (Director: Dan Eckman; screenwriters: Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson)
A group of kid detectives called the Mystery Team struggles to solve a double murder to prove they can be real detectives before they graduate from high school. Cast: Dominic Dierkes, D.C. Pierson, Donald Glover, Aubrey Plaza, Glenn Kalison. World premiere
Spring Breakdown / U.S. (Director: Ryan Shiraki; screenwriters: Ryan Shiraki, Rachel Dratch)
Three thirtysomething friends attempt to break the monotony of their uninspired lives by vacationing at a popular spring-break getaway for college students. Cast: Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, Will Arnett, Rachel Hamilton. World premiere
White Lightnin' / U.K. (Director: Dominic Murphy; screenwriters: Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti)
The outrageous cult story of Jesco White, the dancing outlaw. Cast: Ed Hogg, Carrie Fisher, Muse Watson, Wallace Merck, Clay Steakley. World premiere
Against the Current / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Peter Callahan)
Facing the anniversary of his pregnant wife's tragic death, 35-year-old Paul Thompson enlists the help of two friends to help him swim the length of the Hudson River. Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, Mary Tyler Moore, Michelle Trachtenberg. World premiere
The Anarchist's Wife (La Mujer del Anarquista) / Germany and Spain (Directors: Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr; screenwriters: Marie Noelle and Ray Loriga)
During the Spanish Civil War, an idealistic young lawyer combating Franco's Fascist troops is separated from his wife and children. Cast: Maria Valverde, Juan Diego Botto, Nina Hoss, Ivana Baquero, Jean-Marc Barr. North American premiere
Barking Water / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Sterlin Harjo)
Irene and Frankie have had a tumultuous relationship for 40 years. As Frankie lies on his deathbed, Irene comes back to him one last time to break him from the hospital and take him home. Cast: Richard Ray Whitman, Casey Camp-Horenik. World premiere
Children of Invention / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Tze Chun)
Two young children are left to fend for themselves when their mother is arrested for unwittingly taking part in an illegal pyramid scheme. Cast: Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu. World premiere
Everything Strange and New / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Frazer Bradshaw)
Trapped by a life he never intended, a man struggles to navigate family, sexuality and drug addiction. Cast: Jerry McDaniel, Beth Lisick, Rigo Chacon Jr., Luis Saguar. World premiere
Helen / Canada and Germany (Director-screenwriter: Sandra Nettelbeck)
A successful music professor fights her own clinical depression. Cast: Ashley Judd, Goran Visnijic. World premiere
The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: David Russo)
After losing his high-paying job, Dory takes a gig as a night janitor in order to pay rent. Alone late at night inside a market-research firm, he discovers something worse than his new job cleaning toilets: A conniving corporate executive has made him the subject of a bizarre experiment. Cast: Marshall Allman, Vince Vieluf, Natasha Lyonne, Tania Raymonde, Tygh Runyan. World premiere
Johnny Mad Dog / France (Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire; screenwriters: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, Jacques Fieschi)
A 15-year-old kid-soldier fighting in Africa is armed to the hilt and inhabited by the mad dog he dreams of becoming. Cast: Christophe Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy. North American premiere
La Mission / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Peter Bratt)
A traditional Latino father in San Francisco's Mission District struggles to come to terms with his teenage son's homosexuality. Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Talisa Soto Bratt, Jesse Borrego. World premiere
Lymelife / U.S. (Director: Derick Martini; screenwriters: Derick Martini, Steven Martini)
Set in the 1970s, a unique take on the dangers of the American dream seen through the innocent eyes of a 15-year-old boy. Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Roberts. U.S. premiere
The Missing Person / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Noah Buschel)
Private detective John Rosow is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. En route, Rosow uncovers that the man's identity is one of the thousands presumed dead after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Cast: Michael Shannon, Amy Ryan, Frank Wood. World premiere
Once More With Feeling / U.S. (Director: Jeff Lipsky; screenwriter: Gina O'Brien)
A comedy about a psychiatrist who undergoes a midlife crisis and pursues his long-lost ambition of becoming a singer through karaoke. Cast: Drea de Matteo, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri, Susan Miser, Lauren Bittner. World premiere
The Only Good Indian / U.S. (Director: Kevin Willmott; screenwriter: Tom Carmody)
Set in early-1900s Kansas, a teenage Native American boy is taken from his family and forced to attend an Indian "training" school to assimilate into white society. Cast: Wes Studi, Winter Fox Frank, J. Kenneth Campbell. World premiere
Pomegranates and Myrrh (Al Mor wa al Rumman) / Palestinian Territories (Director-screenwriter: Najwa Najjar)
The wife of a Palestinian prisoner searches for freedom. Cast: Ali Suliman, Yasmine Al Massri, Ashraf Farah, Hiam Abbass. North American premiere
The Vicious Kind / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Lee Toland Krieger)
Suffering insomnia and testy by nature, Caleb Sinclaire reluctantly picks up his brother Peter at college and brings him and his new girlfriend Emma home to his estranged father's house for Thanksgiving. Cast: Brittany Snow, Adam Scott, J.K. Simmons, Alex Frost. World premiere
World's Greatest Dad / U.S. (Director-screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait)
A comedy about a high school poetry teacher who learns that the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy. Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Kenny, Geoffrey Pierson. World premiere
It Might Get Loud / U.S. (Director: Davis Guggenheim)
The history of the electric guitar from the point of view of three legendary rock musicians. Cast: The Edge, Jimmy Page, Jack White. U.S. premiere
No Impact Man / U.S. (Directors: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein)
The film follows the Beavan family as they abandon their high-consumption Fifth Avenue lifestyle in an attempt to make a no-net environmental impact for the course of one year. Cast: Michelle Conlin, Colin Beavan. World premiere
Passing Strange / U.S. (Director: Spike Lee; lyrics: Stew; music: Stew, Heidi Rodewald)
A musical documentary about the international exploits of a young man from Los Angeles who leaves home to find himself and "the real." A theatrical stage production of the Tony-Award winning book by Stew. Cast: De'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Stew. World premiere
Tyson / U.S. (Director: James Toback)
An intimate look at the complex life of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Cast: Mike Tyson. North American premiere
Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy / U.S. (Director: Robert Townsend)
Using rare archival clips along with provocative interviews with many of today's leading comedians and social critics, the film celebrates the incredible cultural influence and social impact black comedy has wielded during the past 400 years. Cast: Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Steve Harvey, Dick Gregory. World premiere
Wounded Knee / U.S. (Director: Stanley Nelson; screenwriter: Marcia Smith)
In 1973, American Indian groups took over the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., to draw attention the 1890 massacre. Although the federal government failed to keep many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing to the world's attention the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life. World premiere
The Yes Men Fix the World / France and U.S. (Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno, Kurt Engfehr)
A pair of notorious troublemakers sneak into corporate events disguised as captains of industry, then use their momentary authority to expose the biggest criminals on the planet. Cast: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno. World premiere
U.S. Dramatic Competition
Adam (Director-screenwriter: Max Mayer)
A strange and lyrical love story between a somewhat socially dysfunctional young man and the woman of his dreams. Cast: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Frankie Faison.
Amreeka (Director-screenwriter: Cherien Dabis)
When a divorced Palestinian woman and her teenage son move to rural Illinois at the outset of the Iraq war, they find their new lives replete with challenges. Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Alia Shawkat.
Big Fan (Director-screenwriter: Robert Siegel)
The world of a parking garage attendant who happens to be the New York Giants' biggest fan is turned upside down after an altercation with his favorite player. Cast: Patton Oswalt, Michael Rapaport, Kevin Corrigan, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Matt Servitto.
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men (Director-screenwriter: John Krasinski)
When her boyfriend leaves with little explanation, a doctoral candidate in anthropology tries to remedy her heartache by interviewing men about their behavior. Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Dominic Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Rashida Jones.
Cold Souls (Director-screenwriter: Sophie Barthes)
In the midst of an existential crisis, a famous American actor explores soul extraction as a relief from the burdens of daily life. Cast: Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, David Strathairn, Emily Watson, Lauren Ambrose, Oksana Lada.
Dare (Director: Adam Salky; screenwriter: David Brind)
Three very different teenagers discover that, even in the safe world of a suburban prep school, no one is who she or he appears. Cast: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer, Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, Rooney Mara.
Don't Let Me Drown (Director: Cruz Angeles; screenwriters: Cruz Angeles, Maria Topete)
Two Latino teens whose lives are affected by the attack on the World Trade Center discover that love is the only thing that keeps them from drowning. Cast: E.J. Bonilla, Gleendilys Inoa, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Chavira, Gina Torres.
The Dream of the Romans (Director-screenwriter: John Hindman)
A reclusive author of a groundbreaking spiritual book awakens to new truths when two strangers enter his life. Cast: Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Pucci, Olivia Thirlby.
The Greatest (Director-screenwriter: Shana Feste)
After the tragic loss of their teenage son, a family is again thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a young woman. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons, Aaron Johnson, Zoe Kravitz.
Humpday (Director-screenwriter: Lynn Shelton)
A farcical comedy about straight male bonding gone a little too far. Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard.
Paper Heart (Director: Nicolas Jasenovec)
Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true nature — a journey that takes on surprising urgency when she meets an unlikely fellow traveler, actor Michael Cera. Cast: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Nicolas Jasenovec, Jake Johnson.
Peter and Vandy (Director-screenwriter: Jay DiPietro)
Juxtaposing a couple's romantic beginnings with the twisted-manipulative-regular couple they have become, the film is a contemporary Manhattan love story with no beginning and no end. Cast: Jess Weixler, Jason Ritter, Jesse L. Martin, Tracie Thoms.
Push (Director-screenwriter: Lee Daniels)
Based on the acclaimed best-selling novel by Sapphire, the film is the redemptive story of Precious Jones, a girl in Harlem struggling to overcome tremendous obstacles and discover her own voice. Cast: Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mo'Nique Imes, Lenny Kravitz.
Sin Nombre/U.S.A. (Director-screenwriter: Cary Fukunaga)
A teenage Mexican gang member maneuvers to outrun his violent past and elude unforgiving former associates in this thriller set among Central American migrants seeking to cross over to the United States. Cast: Paulina Gaitan, Diana Garcia, Damayanti Quintanar, Karl Braun.
Taking Chance (Director: Ross Katz; screenwriters: Ross Katz, Michael Strobl)
Based on real events, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyo. Cast: Tom Aldredge, Sherman Alpert, Nicholas Art, Kevin Bacon, Blanche Baker.
Toe to Toe (Director-screenwriter: Emily Abt)
The story of an interracial friendship put to the test by the intense pressures of a competitive Washington prep school. Cast: Sonequa Martin, Louisa Krause, Silvestre Rasuk, Anwan Glover, Gaius Charles.
World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Before Tomorrow (Le Jour Avant Lendemain) / Canada (Directors: Madeline Piujuq, Marie-Helene Cousineau)
A wise old woman fights to survive impossible circumstances with her young grandson in the Canadian Arctic. Cast: Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Paul-Dylan Ivalu, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, Mary Qulitalik, Tumasie Sivuarapik. U.S. premiere
Bronson / U.K. (Director: Nicolas Winding Refn; screenwriter: Brock Norman Brock)
Traces the transformation of Mickey Peterson into Britain's most notorious, dangerous and charismatic prisoner, Charles Bronson. Cast: Tom Hardy. North American premiere
Carmo, Hit the Road / Spain (Director-screenwriter: Murilo Pasta)
A lonely, handicapped smuggler and a beautiful girl embark on a reckless ride through a South American border landscape. Cast: Mariana Loureiro, Fele Martinez, Seu Jorge. World premiere
The Clone Returns (Kuron Wa Kokyo-Wo Mezasu) / Japan (Director-screenwriter: Kanji Nakajima)
A Japanese astronaut who dies during a mission is subsequently resurrected as a clone and returns to his childhood home. Cast: Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Eri Ishida, Hiromi Nagasaku. North American premiere
Dada's Dance / China (Director: Zhang Yuan; screenwriter: Li Xiaofeng)
Dada is a flirtatious young woman who lives with her mother in a small town. Having to fend off the constant advances of her mother's boyfriend, who tells her she is adopted, she undertakes a journey in search of her birth mother. Cast: Li Xinyun, Li Xiaofeng, Gai Ge, Chen Jun. World premiere
An Education / U.K. (Director: Lone Scherfig; screenwriter: Nick Hornby)
In the early 1960s, a sharp 16-year-old with sights set on Oxford meets a handsome older man whose sophistication enraptures and sidetracks her and her parents. Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson. World premiere
Five Minutes of Heaven / U.K. (Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel; screenwriter: Guy Hibbert)
Two men from the same town but from different sides of the Irish political divide discover that the past is never dead — in fact, it isn't even past. Cast: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca. World premiere
A French Gigolo (Cliente) / France (Director-screenwriter: Josiane Balasko)
An attractive, successful fiftysomething woman regularly treats herself to the sexual services of young men selected on Internet sites. When one particular escort becomes a habit, the relationship gets a bit more complicated. Cast: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carre, Josiane Balasko. World premiere
Heart of Time (Corazon del Tiempo) / Mexico (Director-screenwriter: Alberto Cortes)
In La Esperanza de San Pedro, Chiapas, in the midst of the Zapatista struggle, a young woman makes serious waves when she falls in love with a revolutionary fighter from the mountains. Cast: Rocio Barrios. North American premiere
Louise-Michel / France (Directors: Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern)
When a French factory is abruptly closed by its corrupt management, a group of disgruntled female workers pool their paltry compensation money and hire a hit man to knock off the corrupt executive behind the closure. Cast: Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners. North American premiere
Lulu and Jim (Lulu und Jimi) / Germany (Director: Oskar Roehler)
Bright, garish colors, rock 'n' roll and wild dance numbers mark this road movie about lovers fleeing from the evil powers of a 1950s deeply bigoted German society. Cast: Jennifer Decker, Ray Fearon, Katrin Sass, Rolf Zacher, Udo Kier. World premiere
The Maid (La Nana) / Chile (Director-screenwriter: Sebastian Silva)
When her mistress brings on another servant to help with the chores, a bitter and introverted maid wreaks havoc on the household. Cast: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedon, Mariana Loyola, Alejandro Goic, Andrea Garcia-Huidobro. North American premiere
One Day in a Life (Un Altro Pianeta) / Italy (Director-screenwriter: Stefano Tummolini)
One languid summer day, a man heads to the beach in search of sunshine and bit of peace, but finds himself tangled up in the dramas of an eclectic group of nearby sunbathers. Cast: Antonio Merone, Lucia Mascino. World premiere
Unmade Beds / U.K. (Director-screenwriter: Alexis Dos Santos)
Two young foreigners find romance in the vibrant, artistic underground of London's East End. Cast: Deborah Francois, Fernando Tielve. World premiere
Victoria Day / Canada (Director-screenwriter: David Bezmozgis)
Over the course of one week in 1988, the search for a missing teammate, parental expectations, a burgeoning sexual awakening and the rock concert of the century all threaten to jolt a 16-year-old into adulthood. Cast: Mark Rendall, Sergiy Kotelenets, Nataliya Alyexeyenko, Holly Deveaux, John Mavrogiannis. World premiere
Zion and His Brother (Zion Ve-Achiv) / France and Israel (Director-screenwriter: Eran Merav)
In this gritty story of a working-class Tel Aviv single-parent family, the disappearance of a young boy drives a wedge between two teenage brothers whose loyalty had been unshakable. Cast: Reuven Badalov, Ronit Elkabetz, Tzahi Grad. World premiere