Sundance Film Festival 2015

1:00 AM

I can't believe it but in less than two weeks, I'll be willfully (and happily) neglecting my final courses of my undergrad, and heading to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. I'll be doing a lot of waitlining while I'm down there, which is absolutely as cold as it sounds, but I'm also fortunate enough to have a film-loving Aunt who has managed to share with me some confirmed tickets as well, which I've listed below. It's certainly looks like a more mainstream-leaning lineup than previous years. It'll be very interesting no doubt. 

I'll be updating during my time at Sundance, both here on the blog, and on my Twitter, and Tumblr

Also check out some reviews I did while at the festival in 2013. All film descriptions and photos come directly from the Sundance Institute website. 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl // Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig

YEAR 2014
SECTION U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 102 min 
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl recounts the coming-of-age adventures of Minnie Goetze, a San Francisco teenager growing up in the counterculture haze of the 1970s. Lonely and artistic, Minnie chronicles her trials through expressive drawings and painfully honest missives confided to a tape recorder. One fateful evening alone with her mother's boyfriend, Minnie is confronted with her burgeoning sexuality for the first time, and suddenly this precocious teen is in way over her head. In an astonishing feature debut, writer/director Marielle Heller renders a hybrid of live-action and animation, offering a subtle, detailed window into the psyche of a bright, young woman. Brimming with wit and intelligence, and spurred by exquisite performances from Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig, and a star-making turn by Bel Powley as Minnie, The Diary of a Teenage Girl captures the anxiety, passion, and wonder of adolescence. [x]

Partisan // Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara
YEAR 2014

SECTION World Cinema Dramatic Competition
COUNTRY Australia
RUN TIME 98 min 
The charismatic Gregori (Vincent Cassel) saunters into a hospital maternity ward and charms new mother Susanna. Eleven years later, she and her son Alexander live in Gregori’s closed community, sheltering vulnerable women and their brood in a haven isolated from the outside world. Alexander is Gregori’s prize pupil, eldest son, and star employee in the cottage industry—in which the kids are trained to run dangerous errands to provide for the group—but Gregori feels threatened by the boy’s inquisitive nature, struck by the fear that his child might not love him anymore. Meanwhile, Alexander begins to think for himself. In his feature debut, Ariel Kleiman (a 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner for his short film Deeper Than Yesterday) crisply constructs a fascinating hidden world, then casts innocuous moments, such as a karaoke party or a child playing with a paintball gun, in increasingly sinister light. This juxtaposition cleverly deepens and undermines our understanding of this seemingly idyllic makeshift family. [x]

Me And Earl and the Dying Girl // Thomas Mann, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler

YEAR 2014

SECTION U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 104 min 

Greg Gaines is an awkward, self-deprecating high school student determined to coast through his senior year as anonymously as possible. Avoiding social interactions like the plague, Greg spends most of his time remaking wacky versions of classic movies with his only friend, Earl. Greg’s well-meaning mother intervenes, forcing him to befriend Rachel, a classmate who's been diagnosed with leukemia. Against his better judgment, Greg concedes. Both Greg and Rachel are surprised—even shocked—to find out that they actually like each other. Tentative at first, this unlikely duo becomes inseparable. But when Rachel gets sicker, Greg’s well-fortified world is changed forever. [x]

Z for Zachariah // Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine

YEAR 2014

SECTION U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 95 min 
In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another male survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman's affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. [x]

3 1/2 Minutes 

YEAR 2015

SECTION U.S. Documentary Competition
RUN TIME 93 min 
On Black Friday 2012, four middle-class African-American law-abiding teenagers stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. One of them, Jordan Davis, argued with Michael Dunn, a white man parked beside them, over the volume of music playing in their car. The altercation turned to tragedy when Dunn fired 10 bullets at the unarmed boys, killing Davis almost instantly. The seamlessly constructed, riveting documentary film 3½ MINUTES explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense laws by weaving Dunn's trial with a chorus of citizen and pundit opinions, and with Jordan Davis's parents' wrenching experiences in and out of the courtroom. [x]

Don Verdean // Sam Rockwell, Jemaine Clement, Will Forte 

YEAR 2014

SECTION Premieres
RUN TIME 90 min 
Don Verdean is a man of faith who has devoted his life to biblical archaeology, scouring the globe in search of artifacts that back up the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now, traveling from town to town, he and his devoted assistant, Carol, spread the gospel by peddling books and DVDs out of his shabby RV, while his Holy Land contacts, Boaz and Shem, do the digging from afar. When evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus offers to bankroll Don’s modest roadside operation, the escalating pressure to find increasingly significant relics leads Don and his team down a less-than-righteous path. With more than just the word of God on the line, Don finds himself in the midst of a spiteful feud between two opposing congregations, leaving him to question what is truly important in life. [x]

Check out the full lineup right here!

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