James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling: Sundance Film Festival 2010 U.S. Dramatic Competition
Sundance Film Festival 2010 will be showcasing 16 entries in the U.S. Dramatic Competition movie line-up; these were selected from 1,058 submissions. Each film is a world premiere. Among the Sundance 2010 U.S.-made titles are Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl, starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, and Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, a romantic-psychological drama starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. See full line-up below.
Blue Valentine (Dir.: Derek Cianfrance; Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis) – Blue Valentine is the story of love lost and love found told in two parallel moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman, Faith Wladyka. World Premiere.
Douchebag (Dir.: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz and Andrew Dickler) – On the verge of getting married, Sam Nussbaum insists he escort his younger brother, Tom, on a wild goose chase of a journey to find Tom's fifth grade girlfriend. Cast: Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius, Amy Ferguson, Wendi McClendon-Covey. World Premiere.
The Dry Land (Director and Screenwriter: Ryan Piers Williams) – A U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas. Cast: Ryan O'Nan, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ethan Suplee, June Diane Raphael, Melissa Leo. World Premiere.
happythankyoumoreplease (Director and Screenwriter: Josh Radnor) – Six New Yorkers negotiate love, friendship, and gratitude at a time when they're too old to be precocious and not ready to be adults. Cast: Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber, Michael Algieri. World Premiere.
Hesher (Dir.: Spencer Susser; Screenwriters: Spencer Susser and David Michod; Story by Brian Charles Frank) – A mysterious, anarchical trickster descends on the lives of a family struggling to deal with a painful loss. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie, John Carroll Lynch. World Premiere.
Holy Rollers (Dir.: Kevin Tyler Asch; Screenwriter: Antonio Macia) – A young Hasidic man, seduced by money, power and opportunity, becomes an international Ecstasy smuggler. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser, Ari Graynor, Jason Fuchs. World Premiere.
Howl (Directors and screenwriters: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman) – A nonfiction drama about the young Allen Ginsberg finding his voice, the creation of his groundbreaking poem HOWL, and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. World Premiere.
The Imperialists are still Alive! (Director and Screenwriter: Zeina Durra) – Juggling the sudden abduction of her childhood sweetheart as well as a blooming love affair, a French Manhattanite makes her way as an artist in an indifferent, sometimes hostile world. Cast: Élodie Bouchez, José María de Tavira, Karim Saleh Karolina Muller, Marianna Kulukundis, Rita Ackerman. World Premiere.
Lovers of Hate (Director and Screenwriter: Bryan Poyser) – The shaky reunion of estranged brothers takes a turn for the worse when the woman they both love chooses one over the other. Cast: Chris Doubek, Heather Kafka, Alex Karpovsky, Zach Green. World Premiere.
Night Catches Us (Director and Screenwriter: Tanya Hamilton) – In 1978, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector, Wendell Pierce, Jamara Griffin. World Premiere.
Obselidia (Director and Screenwriter: Diane Bell) – A lonely librarian believes love is obsolete until a road trip to Death Valley with a beguiling cinema projectionist teaches him otherwise. Cast: Gaynor Howe, Michael Piccirilli, Frank Hoyt Taylor. World Premiere.
Skateland (Dir.: Anthony Burns; Screenwriters: Anthony Burns, Brandon Freeman, Heath Freeman) – In the early 1980s, in small-town Texas, dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager to look at his life in a very new way. Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, A.J. Buckley, Ashley Greene, Brett Cullen, Ellen Hollman, Heath Freeman. World Premiere.
Sympathy for Delicious (Dir.: Mark Ruffalo; Screenwriter: Christopher Thornton) – A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing. Cast: Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, John Carroll Lynch. World Premiere.
3 Backyards (Director and Screenwriter: Eric Mendelsohn) – A quiet suburban town becomes an intense emotional terrain for three residents over the course of one curious autumn day. Cast: Embeth Davidtz, Edie Falco, Elias Koteas, Rachel Resheff, Kathryn Erbe, Danai Gurira. World Premiere.
Welcome to the Rileys (Dir.: Jake Scott; Screenwriter: Ken Hixon) – On a business trip to New Orleans, a damaged man seeks salvation by caring for a wayward young woman. Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo. World Premiere.
Winter's Bone (Dir.: Debra Granik; Screenwriters: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini) – An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan. World Premiere.
Sundance 2010: World Cinema Narrative Competition movie line-up
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival's 14 movies in the World Cinema Narrative Competition were selected from 1,022 international narrative feature submissions. Among them are Javier Fuentes-Leon's Peruvian-set Undertow / Contracorriente, a ghost story revolving around a conflicted married fisherman and his male lover, and Chris Morri's political comedy Four Lions, starring Riz Ahmed. See full line-up below.
All that I Love / Poland (Director and Screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch) – In 1981, during the growing Polish Solidarity movement, four small-town teenagers form a punk rock band with the hope of playing at a local festival. Cast: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Jakub Gierszal, Mateusz Banasiuk, Olga Frycz, Igor Obloza. North American Premiere.
Animal Kingdom / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: David Michôd) – After the death of his mother, a seventeen year-old boy is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him. Cast: Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, James Frecheville. World Premiere.
Boy / New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Taika Waititi) – When his father returns home after many years away, 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination. Cast: Taika Waititi, James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone. World Premiere.
Contracorriente (Undertow) / Colombia, France, Germany, Peru (Director and Screenwriter: Javier Fuentes-Leon) – An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside, a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions. Cast: Cristian Mercado, Manolo Cardona, Tatiana Astengo. North American Premiere.
Four Lions / UK (Dir.: Chris Morris; Screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain) – A comedy tour de force about a bunch of self styled British jihadis. Cast: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak. World Premiere.
Grown Up Movie Star / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Adriana Maggs) – After her mother runs away, a teenage girl, determined to grow up fast, is left to care for her hopelessly rural father. Cast: Shawn Doyle, Tatiana Maslany, Jonny Harris, Mark O'Brien, Andy Jones, Julia Kennedy. U.S. Premiere.
The Man Next Door (El Hombre de al Lado) / Argentina (Directors and screenwriters: Mariano Cohn and Gastón; Screenwriter: Andres Duprat) – A small incident over two neighbors common wall sparks a conflict which affects the intimacy of the view over the chimney; the protagonist sparks a conflict and with paranoiac obsession destroys everyday life. Cast: Rafael Spregelburd, Daniel Aráoz, Eugenia Alonso, Inés Budassi, Lorenza Acuña. International Premiere.
Me Too (Yo, También) / Spain (Directors and screenwriters: Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro) – A 34-year-old college-educated man with Down syndrome and his free-spirited co-worker forge an unconventional relationship. Cast: Pablo Pineda, Lola Dueñas, Antonio Naharro, Isabel Garcia Lorca, Pedro Alvarez Ossorio. International Premiere.
Nuummioq / Greenland (Dir.: Otto Rosing and Torben Bech; Screenwriter: Torben Bech) – A young man's journey through the exquisite natural landscape of Greenland allows him to piece together elements of his past and move on with his life. Cast: Lars Rosing, Angunnguaq Larsen, Julie Berthelsen, Morten Rose, Makka Kleist, Mariu Olsen. World Premiere.
Peepli Live / India (Director and Screenwriter: Anusha Rizvi) – A satirical look at the predicament of a poor farmer who creates a media frenzy when, beset with debt, he announces that he will commits suicide so his family can receive government compensation. Cast: Omkar Das, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Farukh Jaffer. World Premiere.
Son of Babylon / Iraq (Dir.: Mohamed Al Daradji; Screenwriters: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge, Mithal Ghazi) –In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find their missing father/son. Cast: Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid. International Premiere.
Southern District (Zona Sur) / Bolivia (Director and Screenwriter: Juan Carlos Valdivia) – In La Paz, Bolivia, in a villa surrounded by beautiful gardens, an upper-class family experiences final halcyon days of luxury as social change penetrates their bubble. Cast: Ninón del Castillo, Pascual Loayza, Nicolás Fernández, Juan Pablo Koria, Mariana Vargas. North American Premiere.
The Temptation of St. Tony / Estonia (Director and Screenwriter: Veiko Õunpuu) – A mid-level manager who develops an aversion to being “good” finds himself confronting the mysteries of middle-age and morality as he loses grasp of what was once his quiet life. Cast: Taavi Eelmaa, Rain Tolk, Tiina Tauraite, Katariina Lauk, Raivo E. Tamm. World Premiere.
Vegetarian (Chaesikjueuija) / South Korea (Director and Screenwriter: Lim Woo-seong) – A young housewife, finds herself having strange dreams that make her disgusted by meat, leading to trouble with her meat-loving husband and attention from her artist brother in law. Cast: CHEA Min-Seo, KIM Hyun-Sung, KIM Yeo-Jin, KIM Young-Jae. International Premiere.
Sundance 2010: Spotlight - Narrative
Bran Nue Dae / Australia (Dir.: Rachel Perkins; Screenwriters: Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, and Jimmy Chi) – In the summer of 1965, a young man is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome – fishing, hanging out with his mates and his girl. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo. U.S. Premiere.
Daddy Longlegs / USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie) – A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it's like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult. Cast: Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo. North American Premiere.
Enter the Void / France (Director and Screenwriter: Gaspar Noé) – A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. Cast: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn. U.S. Premiere.
I Am Love (Io Sono L'amore) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Luca Guadagnino) – A tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. Cast: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher, Marisa Berenson. U.S. Premiere.
Louis C.K.: Hilarious / USA (Dir.: Louis C.K.) – Sharp-tongued comedian Louis C.K. pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience. World Premiere.
Lourdes / Austria, France, Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jessica Hausner) – A woman in a wheelchair travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner. U.S. Premiere.
Mother & Child / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rodrigo García) – The lives of three women – a physical therapist, the daughter she gave up at birth three decades ago, and an African American woman seeking to adopt a child of her own – intersect in surprising ways. Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson. U.S. Premiere.
New African Cinema / A collection of short films from multiple countries
Pumzi / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Wanuri Kahiu) – A Sci-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, “The Water War.” Cast: Kudzani Moswela. North American Premiere.
Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun) / France, Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Dyana Gaye) – Along the journey from Dakar to Saint Louis, seven passengers of a taxi meet each other and tell their lives through songs. Cast: Umban Gomez de Kset, Bigué Ndoye, Adja Fall, Yakhoub Ba, Abdoulaye Diakhaté. U.S. Premiere.
The Tunnel / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Jenna Bass) – When her father vanishes in 1980s Zimbabwe, young Elizabeth believes he has dug a tunnel to the city. Only by facing reality will she discover the truth behind his disappearance. Cast: Sibulele Mlumbi, Finch Moyo, Patricia Matongo, Anthony Watterson, Pakamisa Zwedala, Vuyisile Pandle. World Premiere.
A Prophet (Un Prophète) / France (Dir.: Jacques Audiard; Screenwriters: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard) – An engaging examination of a seedy, gangster-driven underworld set in a French prison. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb.
Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan) / Germany, Austria, France (Directors and Screenwriters: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari) – A dissection of Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power. Cast: Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth. U.S. Premiere.
Sundance 2010 U.S. and World Dramatic, and Spotlight - Narrative movie line-up information via the festival's website.
Image of James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl via the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.