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Biz Break || ||

The Dark Knight Rises Most Watched YouTube Movie Trailer: Biz Break

The Dark Knight Rises Most Watched YouTube Movie Trailer: Biz Break

The Batman finale was the most watched movie trailer on YouTube, though it actually placed only third overall. Also in Thursday's round-up of news, the Palm Springs International Film Festival sets its lineup including opening and closing titles; Sundance unveiled its competition juries; and release dates are set for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Ten and Paramount's Anchorman sequel.
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Sundance || ||

Sundance '13: A First Look At 'A Teacher' On The Edge

Sundance '13: A First Look At 'A Teacher' On The Edge

Early word among some insiders is that this year's Sundance NEXT section may be the best yet, though hype has a tendency to take on momentum of its own. Still when it's all said and done, some buzz titles may emerge from the section which is a spotlight on emerging talent. A first glimpse at one film that will premiere at next month's festival, A Teacher bows today with the debut of its poster.

[Related: Sundance Film Festival Reveals 2013 U.S. & World Competition And NEXT Slate]

The simple image on the poster for A Teacher only hints at the drama, which may stir some controversy among audiences given the nature of its plot, described below:

Diana (Lindsay Burdge), a young, attractive teacher at a suburban Texas high school, is well-liked by her students and colleagues. Her life seems to be following the status quo, but in reality she’s having a secret affair with her student Eric (Will Brittain). She confides in no one but him, reveling in the teenage terrain of sexting and backseat quickies. Even when the risk of discovery looms over their relationship, her investment in the fantasy remains stronger than reality. Unable to control herself, she heads down a reckless path of self-destruction.
 
The subject of a teacher-student affair may be tabloid fodder, but writer/director Hannah Fidell resists sensationalism or the temptation to pathologize her protagonist. With bold vision, Fidell uses highly controlled pacing, silky camera movements, and a tense percussive sound aesthetic to free its narrative from the confines of convention, while a fascinating performance by Lindsay Burdge transports us into Diana’s head space, where her unabated obsession lives.

Sundance || ||

Sundance Film Festival Adds To 2013 Lineup

Sundance Film Festival Adds To 2013 Lineup

The Sundance Film Festival added four more films to its 2013 slate, including titles in its genre-heavy Park City at Midnight, Documentary Premieres and New Frontier sections. It also will feature director Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi in its "From the Collection" sidebar.
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Sundance || ||

Sundance Names 10 2013 Pics & Cities For Traveling Festival

Sundance Names 10 2013 Pics & Cities For Traveling Festival

Can't make it out to Park City, UT for the Sundance Film Festival this year? Let Sundance come to you. The Sundance Institute announced today 10 independent cities that will screen selections from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival this year with the filmmaker present. Ten filmmakers will travel to one of the following cities: Ann Arbor, MI; Boston, MA; Brooklyn, NY; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Orlando, FL; San Francisco, CA; and Tucson, AZ.

"Sundance Film Festival USA celebrates the theaters and audiences that are an integral part of supporting and encouraging the work of independent filmmakers," said Sundance President and Founder Robert Redford. "By extending the Festival to these 10 cities, we will create a larger shared experience and dialogue around the issues of our time, as explored in these films."

[Related: Sundance Film Festival Reveals 2013 U.S. & World Competition Slate]

Titles and locations follow with descriptions and information provided by Sundance Institute:

The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations.  Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group's charismatic leader. Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson. Ann Arbor, MI – The Michigan Theatre.

The Lifeguard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Liz W. Garcia) — A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, David Lambert. Boston, MA – Coolidge Corner Theatre http://www.coolidge.org

Kill Your Darlings / U.S.A. (Director: John Krokidas, Screenwriters: Austin Bunn, John Krokidas) — An untold story of murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that led to the birth of an entire generation – their Beat revolution. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHann, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen. Brooklyn, NY – BAM

Touchy Feely / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton) — A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his “healing touch.” Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Josh Pais. Chicago, IL – Music Box Theatre

[Related: Sundance Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Premieres & Documentary Premieres Lineup]

Ain't Them Bodies Saints / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Lowery) — The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine. Houston, TX – Sundance Cinemas Houston.

Afternoon Delight / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jill Soloway) —  In this sexy, dark comedy, a lost L.A. housewife puts her idyllic hipster life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by taking her in as a live-in nanny. Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch. Los Angeles, CA – Sundance Sunset Cinemas .

Mother of George / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriter: Darci Picoult) — A story about a woman willing to do anything and risk everything for her marriage. Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Tony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi. Nashville, TN – Belcourt Theatre.

A.C.O.D. / U.S.A. (Director: Stuart Zicherman, Screenwriters: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman) — Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks.  When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face his chaotic past. Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke. Orlando, FL – Enzian Theater.

In a World... / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lake Bell) — An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation. Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed. San Francisco, CA – Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.

The Spectacular Now / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) — Sutter is a high school senior who lives for the moment; Aimee is the introvert he attempts to "save." As their relationship deepens, the lines between right and wrong, friendship and love, and "saving" and corrupting become inextricably blurred. Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler. Tucson, AZ – The Loft.

Sundance || ||

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Gets Personal With 'Sound City'

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Gets Personal With 'Sound City'

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is heading to the Sundance Film Festival next month with his directorial debut Sound City and he's wasting no time getting the pic out there. The film's website is now taking pre-orders for the documentary that will be released via HD digital download and stream February 1st. It will also be released theatrically February 1.

Sound City is the brainchild of Grohl who conceived the story after purchasing a custom-built 8028 recording console from Sound City Studios last year. The board was built in 1972 and considered to be a "crown jewel of analog recording equipment," having recorded such artists as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses, Fear, Grohl's former band, Nirvana as well as Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica and others.

Grohl's personal connection to Sound City began with the 1991 recording of Nirvana's breakthrough album, "Nevermind". Selling over 30 million copies worldwide.

Grohl is getting personal with the feature, sending customers who pre-buy Sound City for $10 a letter, which follows:

Hey there….
Thanks for scraping up your hard earned dough and buying the movie direct from our site! We’re stoked! Hope you love it as much as we do….

Ummm………Holy shit! I made a movie!

I started this project a little over a year ago with ONE of my good old friends (Jim Rota from the band Fireball Ministry). That’s right….just me, my drinking buddy, and a crazy idea that we should tell the story of a studio we had loved hanging around for years, and our heartbreak to see it close. It soon blossomed into something truly epic! I don’t think either of us ever imagined our little project would become what it is now. Like all the best things in life, it just…….happened.

From day one, it was the most incredible experience of my life. I swear. Sitting down with Neil Young talking about recording guitars, John Fogerty telling me about the day he decided to become a musician, Stevie Nicks telling me the story of how she joined Fleetwood Mac, Trent Reznor schooling me on the world of computers and digital technology, etc etc etc…..can you imagine? All I had to do was listen…I am the luckiest man on earth.

And, being a completely independent film, no one told us how or what to do! Me and my crew of under 20 people did it OUR way. It was like a keg party with a camera. WE got to tell the story of a place we all held so dear. WE wanted to do it justice. And I think we did.
But, SOUND CITY is only part of the story…..

What is it that happens when 4 people turn on, plug in, and really play that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up? What is it about those moments when you hear something and it immediately puts its hooks in you, and you feel…..understood? What is it that will inspire the next generation of kids wanna do what I did when I was a little punk growing up in Springfield, Virginia? That feeling like, “Wait……I can do this too…..

That’s what I’m talking about. That human connection. That human feel. That human sound…that isn’t perfect…but it’s sooooo good.

I really feel like SOUND CITY is my life’s most important work. I hope you do too.
Psyched that you get to see it! Show it to your friends! Get together, start a band, sound like shit, and change the world. GO!

Thank you, thank you, thank you………Dave

[Sources: Sound City, THR]

First Looks || ||

Scarlett Johansson Gives Good Stare In Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Directorial Debut

Scarlett Johansson Gives Good Stare In Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Directorial Debut

Most first-time filmmakers don't have a posse of A-listers filling roles in their films. But then again, most first-time directors aren't Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The charming actor is taking his turn behind the camera (though he's also in front) with Don Jon's Addiction, which will have its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in the event's Premieres section in January.

Sundance didn't readily have an image from Don Jon's Addiction available when they rolled out their 2013 lineup late last week and earlier this week, but this one turned up with a demure looking Scarlett Johansson appearing to size-up Josheph Gordon-Levitt (or maybe the other way around) in what appears to be a club? video bar? new age art installation?

Also starring Julianne Moore, Sundance did not give too much detail about the film but it will likely be a hot title to watch... One thing is for sure, Gordon-Levitt is having a good run after a year of The Dark Knight Rises (and all the ensuing Batman/Robin Hood rumors), Looper and Lincoln.

The minimal Sundance Film Festival description follows:

In Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s charming directorial debut, a selfish modern-day Don Juan attempts to change his ways. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown.

Sundance || ||

Sixty-Five Make Sundance Film Festival Cut For Shorts

Sixty-Five Make Sundance Film Festival Cut For Shorts

The Sundance Film Festival completed its 2013 roster with 65 short films announced Tuesday. Veteran filmmakers Albert Maysles and Morgan Spurlock are among the filmmakers that will screen their latest in shorts programs or before features at the celebrated event. The list includes titles that will screen in the U.S. and International Narrative, Documentary, Animated and New Frontier short films.

[Related: Sundance's U.S. and World Competition Films & NEXT Lineup]

Sundance received 8,104 shorts submissions, 427 more than 2012 vs 4,044 feature-length submissions.

"The Short Film section of our 2013 Festival is comprised of bold works by adventurous filmmakers who have mastered creative ways to embody their unique perspectives in the short form onscreen," said Sundance Director of Programming Trevor Groth in a statement. "The selections represent the immensely varied and dynamic approaches to storytelling that will inspire audiences with their huge accomplishments within a limited timeframe."

[Related: Sundance's 2013 Premieres and Documentary Premieres lineup]

Sundance Film Festival Shorts lineup follows with information provided by the event:

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

The Apocalypse / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Zuchero) — Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon.

Black Metal / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, one fan creates a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band.

Boneshaker / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frances Bodomo) — An African family lost in America travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.

Broken Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Guillermo Arriaga) — A young woman and her four-year-old daughter drive across desolated hills. Everything looks fine and they seem to enjoy the ride, until an accident sends them into the nightmare of darkness.

The Captain / Australia, U.S.A. (Directors: Nash Edgerton, Spencer Susser, Screenwriters: Nash Edgerton, Spencer Susser, Taika Waititi) — A man wakes up with a hangover, only to discover the consequences of his actions.

The Cub / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Riley Stearns) — Wolves make the best parents.

GUN / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Spencer Gillis) — Roy purchases a handgun to protect his wife and newborn baby after a terrifying home invasion. The newfound sense of power Roy feels carrying the weapon becomes an obsession, leading him down a reckless path that may have tragic consequences.

Karaoke! / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew F. Renzi) — On a night out in New York City, a young man tries to avoid his problems.

K.I.T. / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Morgan) — A guilt-ridden, but well-intentioned, yuppie goes to great lengths to prove she is a decent person.

Movies Made From Home # 6 / U.S.A. (Director: Robert Machoian) — Debbie is good at playing hide and seek – so good she is often hard to find.

Movies Made From Home # 15 / U.S.A. (Director: Robert Machoian) — Robert attempts to keep himself healthy and fit so he can live as long as possible, unaware of what that really means.

Palimpsest / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Tyburski, Screenwriters: Michael Tyburski, Ben Nabors) — A successful house tuner provides clients with a unique form of therapy that examines subtle details in their living spaces.

#PostModem / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva) — A comedic, satirical, sci-fi pop musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists, #PostModem is the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with technological singularity, as told through a series of cinematic tweets.

Record/Play / U.S.A. (Director: Jesse Atlas, Screenwriters: Aaron Wolfe, Jesse Atlas) — War, fate, and a broken Walkman transcend time and space in this sci-fi love story.

Skin / U.S.A. (Director: Jordana Spiro, Screenwriters: Jordana Spiro, David Pablos) — A young taxidermist and small town loner is entranced by a girl who finds his work beautiful. Just as their relationship begins to progress, he does something that drastically changes everything.

Social Butterfly / France, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lauren Wolkstein) — When a 30-year-old American woman attends a teenage party in the south of France, guests wonder who she is and what she is doing there.

What Do We Have in Our Pockets? / Israel, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Goran Dukic) — A most unusual love story unravels when the objects in a young man's pockets come to life. Based on a short story by Etgar Keret.

Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — An aspiring drummer enters an elite conservatory’s top jazz orchestra.

[Related: Sundance 2013's Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontiers lineups]

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

The Companion / Peru (Director and screenwriter: Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio) — On the outskirts of Lima, a young prostitute tends to his father, a fallen-from-grace artisan. However, the young man feels that his efforts are never enough. He tries to break free, but his father’s dependence is stronger than his son’s will.

The Curse / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Fyzal Boulifa) — Fatine has ventured far from the village to meet her older lover. When a small boy catches her, all she wants to do is go home.

The Date / Finland (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Toivoniemi) — Tino’s manhood is put to the test in front of two women when he has to host a date for Diablo, the family’s stud cat.

Le Futur Proche / Canada (Director: Sophie Goyette, Screenwriters: Sophie Goyette, Madeleine David) — A French immigrant pilot receives an unexpected phone call that changes his life forever. He must deal with the emotional consequences of the call while still completing his work duties in this impressionistic depiction of an all-but-ordinary day.

Jonah / Tanzania, United Kingdom (Director: Kibwe Tavares, Screenwriter: Jack Thorne) — When two young men photograph a gigantic fish leaping from the sea, their small town becomes a tourist attraction in this story about the old and the new.

Magnesium / Netherlands (Director: Sam de Jong, Screenwriter: Shady El-Hamus) — A talented gymnast makes a life-changing discovery as she prepares for an important tournament, which is her last chance to reach the top.

Night Shift / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Zia Mandviwalla) — Salote, an airport cleaner, starts another long night shift. She keeps her head down, does her job, and gleans the means for her survival from what others leave behind.

On Suffocation / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Jenifer Malmqvist) — This dialogue-free film about an execution describes what happens when the system becomes more important than human life.

Scrubber / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Romola Garai) — A mysterious and disturbing suburban narrative about a listless young mother who is torn between family duty and self-serving fantasies.

The Song of the Mechanical Fish / Russian Federation (Director and screenwriter: Philipp Yuryev) — A fisherman who lives in a deserted village in the far north receives an invitation to the wedding of a son he has never seen and decides to make a redemptive journey.

Summer Vacation / Israel (Directors: Sharon Maymon, Tal Granit, Screenwriters: Tal Granit, Sharon Maymon) — The family summer vacation: sea, sun and sand, and all Yuval wants is to get the heck out of there.

Today and Tomorrow / Netherlands (Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston, Screenwriter: Jesse van't Hull) — Iranian and Afghani political refugees make a life for themselves in Holland as they anxiously await word if they will be granted political asylum or sent back to their native countries.

Volume / United Kingdom (Director: Mahalia Belo, Screenwriter: Ingeborg Topsøe) — Sam’s perfectly polished world is upended when Georgina goes missing. As everyone acts like nothing has happened, Sam drifts back into his memories of Georgina and realizes he may know more than he wants to remember.

You Are More Than Beautiful / China, Hong Kong (Director: Tae-yong Kim) — A man arrives in beautiful Jeju Island and pays a woman to act as his partner while he visits his ill father in this tale of beauty among base human acts.

[Related Interview: Sundance Director John Cooper Says 'Fearlessness' Distinguishes The Festival's 2013 Slate]

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone) / United Kingdom, Sierra Leone (Director: Anna Cady) — Oil-painted animation brings to life the stories of three powerful women in postconflict Sierra Leone, revealing the violence and corruption women face as they fight for fairer representation in the governance of their country.

The Battle of amfAR / U.S.A. (Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Screenwriter: Sharon Wood) — When AIDS strikes, two very different women – Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor and research scientist Dr. Mathilde Krim – join forces to create America’s first AIDS research foundation.  The fight against HIV/AIDS has never been the same.

Catnip: Egress to Oblivion? / U.S.A.(Director: Jason Willis) — Catnip is all the rage with today's modern feline, but do we really understand it? This film frankly discusses the facts about this controversial substance.

Endless Day / Germany (Director: Anna Frances Ewert) — For most people, sleep comes naturally, but for others, the night turns into an ongoing struggle to drift off into oblivion. This film explores what it’s like to be awake involuntarily and the feelings that accompany the passing of sleepless time.

Fall to Grace / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandra Pelosi) — Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey famously resigned from office after declaring himself “a gay American.” Since then, he has continued to use his connections to help rehabilitate women and to make peace with his journey from married governor to gay suburban priest. 

Irish Folk Furniture / Ireland (Director: Tony Donoghue) — In Ireland, old hand-painted furniture is often associated with hard times, with poverty, and with a time many would rather forget. In this animated documentary, 16 pieces of traditional folk furniture are repaired and returned home.

Outlawed in Pakistan / Pakistan, U.S.A. (Directors: Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann) — Kainat Soomro, a Pakistani teenager, accuses four men from her village of gang-raping her. She takes her case to the Pakistani courts and faces a deeply flawed criminal-justice system.

Paraíso / U.S.A. (Director: Nadav Kurtz) — Three immigrant window cleaners risk their lives every day rappelling down some of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers. Paraíso reveals the danger of their job and what they see on the way down.

The Roper / U.S.A. (Director: Ewan McNicol) — A black man with hip-hop and zydeco roots hard grafts through the local, all-white rodeo circuits in the Deep South, as he dreams of competing in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

The Secret of Trees / U.S.A. (Director: Albert Maysles) — What do trees know that we don't? Thirteen-year-old inventor Aidan has discovered that trees use a mathematical formula to gather sunlight in crowded forests. Now he wonders why we don’t collect solar energy in the same way.

Skinningrove / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Almereyda) — Photographer Chris Killip shares unpublished images chronicling time spent among the fiercely independent residents of a remote English fishing village.

A Story for the Modlins / Spain (Director: Sergio Oksman, Screenwriter: Sergio Oksman) —The tale of Elmer Modlin, who, after appearing in Rosemary’s Baby, fled with his family to a far-off country and shut himself away in a dark apartment for 30 years. 

When the Zombies Come / U.S.A. (Director: Jon Hurst) — At a remote hardware store, fans of the walking dead have turned their love of zombies into an obsession, warping the way they see the store and its customers.

The Whistle / Poland (Director: Grzegorz Zariczny) — Marcin, a lowest-leagues football referee who lives in a small town near Krakow, dreams of better times. At his mother’s urging, he decides to change his life and find himself a girlfriend and a better job.

You Don't Know Jack / U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Spurlock) — Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore, has developed a revolutionary new test for pancreatic cancer, proving the future of science is in the hands of our youth.

ANIMATED SHORT FILMS

Benjamin's Flowers / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Malin Erixon) — Lovelorn and lonely Benjamin lives on the blurry borderline between fantasy and reality.

Bite of the Tail / South Korea, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Song E Kim) — Life is a constant struggle for a husband and wife. She is suffering from stomach pain, and the doctor has no clue about a cure. Meanwhile, her husband is on his own journey of hunting a snake.

The Event / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Julia Pott, Screenwriter: Tom Chivers) — Love and a severed foot at the end of the world.

Feral / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Daniel Sousa) — A solitary hunter finds a wild boy in the woods and brings him back to civilization. Alienated by his strange new environment, the boy tries to adapt by using the same strategies that kept him safe in the forest.

In Hanford / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chris Mars) — This heartbreaking true story of a town poisoned by Cold War–era nuclear-arms manufacture is told through firsthand accounts and fantasy scenes, which empathize with the victim’s plight.

Marcel, King of Tervuren / U.S.A. (Director: Tom Schroeder, Screenwriter: Ann Berckmoes) — In this Greek tragedy – as acted out by Belgian roosters – Marcel survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son, Max.

Oh Willy... / Belgium, France, Netherlands (Directors and screenwriters: Marc James Roels, Emma De Swaef) — Willy returns to his naturalist roots as he bungles his way into noble savagery.

Seraph / U.S.A. (Director: Dash Shaw, Screenwriters: John Cameron Mitchell, Dash Shaw) — A boy’s childhood scars his life.

Thank You / U.S.A. (Directors: Pendleton Ward, Tom Herpich, Screenwriters: Pendleton Ward, Tom Herpich) — A pack of fire wolves attack a snow golem in the forest and accidentally leave a cub behind after their retreat. The golem's life is thrown into chaos as he attempts to reunite the cub with its family.

Tram / France, Czech Republic (Director and screenwriter: Michaela Pavlátová) — The humdrum daily routine of a tram conductress is jolted when the vibrations and rhythm of the road turn her on and take her on an erotic and surrealistic fantasy journey.

NEW FRONTIER SHORT FILMS
An electrifying celebration of innovation in filmmaking, these New Frontier shorts energize the mind through bold aesthetics and thought-provoking content.

The Capsule / Greece (Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Screenwriters: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Aleksandra Waliszewska) — Seven young women. A mansion perched on a Cycladic rock. A series of lessons on discipline, desire, discovery, and disappearance. A melancholy, inescapable cycle on the brink of womanhood – infinitely.

Century / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Jerome Everson) — Filmed in Charlottesville, Virginia, and starring a General Motors automobile – the titular brown Buick Century – meeting its fate.

Datamosh / U.S.A. (Director: Yung Jake) — A contemporary rap video that explores the glitchy video art trend "datamoshing". All geeked up, Yung Jake glitches out your computer and celebrates nerdiness and getting money.

Iyeza / South Africa (Director and screenwriter: Kudzanai Chiurai) — An allegory of the Last Supper depicting the establishment of a new nation-state, Kudzanai Chiurai's Iyeza explores the African condition by juxtaposing the past and the present of a continent in the grip of violent civil wars.

Primate Cinema: Apes As Family / Scotland, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Rachel Mayeri) — Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, like to watch television. What would a film made expressly for chimps look like? Created with a primatologist and actors in chimp suits, a primate drama is presented to chimpanzees at the Edinburgh Zoo.

Reindeer / United Kingdom (Director: Eva Weber) — A lyrical and haunting portrait of reindeer herding in the twilight expanses of the Lapland wilderness.

Sirocco / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Hisham Bizri) — A detective is sent to the desert to investigate a murder only to find out he’s been investigating his own death.

Until the Quiet Comes / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kahlil Joseph) — Shot in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts, Los Angeles, this film deals with themes of violence, camaraderie and spirituality through the lens of magical realism.

The Player || ||

'Virtually Heroes' − Video Game Characters Search For Meaning At Sundance

'Virtually Heroes' − Video Game Characters Search For Meaning At Sundance

We've come to expect high-concept portrayals of the human condition from the Sundance Film Festival, but next year, virtual humans will get some art-house love, too. I'm talking about G.J. Echternkamp’s feature-film debut, Virtually Heroes, which will get a Park City at Midnight premiere at the festival in January.  more »

Sundance || ||

Sundance Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Premieres & Documentary Premieres Lineup

Sundance Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Premieres & Documentary Premieres Lineup

Films starring Guy Pearce, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Naomi Watts are some of the highlights from world premieres that make up the 2013 Sundance Film Festival's Premieres section. Organizers revealed its selections Monday, which includes Gordon-Levitt's feature directorial debut, Don Jon's Addiction. The eighteen titles include the latest from veteran filmmakers Richard Linklater, Michael Polish, Zal Batmanglij, Michael Winterbottom, Jane Campion, Park Chan-wook and David Gordon Green.

[Related: Check out Sundance's Midnight and Spotlight Premieres, Also U.S. and World Competition as well as Next lineups]

The event also announced 11 non-fiction features that will screen in its Documentary Premieres section, including new work from Oscar winners Alex Gibney and Barbara Kopple in addition to the directorial debut from Foo Fighters frontman, David Grohl (Sound City).

In all, Sundance will include 115 feature-length films, with 101 screening as World Premieres.

"We are pleased to see a number of returning filmmakers in our Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, indicating that there is sustainability, longevity and personal reward to careers in independent film," said Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper in a statement. "The films announced today build on each filmmaker’s personal artistic legacy and contribute to the ever-growing and inspiring achievements of the independent film community."

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival, January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

[Related Interview: Sundance Director John Cooper Says 'Fearlessness' Distinguishes The Festival's 2013 Slate]

Sundance Film Festival 2013 Premiere and Documentary Premiere with descriptions provided by the festival.

PREMIERES
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year. Presented by Entertainment Weekly.

A.C.O.D. / U.S.A. (Director: Stuart Zicherman, Screenwriters: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman) — Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks. When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face his chaotic past. Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke.

Before Midnight / U.S.A. (Director: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater— We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Ariane Labed, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick.

Big Sur / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Polish) — Unable to cope with a suddenly demanding public and battling advanced alcoholism, Jack Kerouac seeks respite in three brief sojourns to a cabin in Big Sur, which reveal his mental and physical deterioration. Cast: Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, Henry Thomas.

Breathe In / U.S.A. (Director: Drake Doremus, Screenwriters: Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones) — When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family's relationships and alters their lives forever. Cast: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis.

Don Jon's Addiction / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt) — In Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s charming directorial debut, a selfish modern-day Don Juan attempts to change his ways. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown.

The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations.  Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group's charismatic leader. Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson.

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete / U.S.A. (Director: George Tillman Jr., Screenwriter: Michael Starrbury) — Separated from their mothers and facing a summer in the Brooklyn projects alone, two boys hide from police and forage for food, with only each other to trust. A story of salvation through friendship and two boys against the world. Cast: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright.

jOBS / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Michael Stern, Screenwriter: Matt Whiteley) — The true story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history, jOBS chronicles the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs’ life. jOBS is a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently. Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Matthew Modine. CLOSING NIGHT FILM

The Look of Love / United Kingdom (Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriter: Matt Greenhalgh) — The true story of British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond. A modern day King Midas story, Raymond became one of the richest men in Britain at the cost of losing those closest to him. Cast: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton.

Lovelace / U.S.A. (Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Screenwriter: Andy Bellin) — Deep Throat, the first pornographic feature film to be a mainstream success, was an international sensation in 1972 and made its star, Linda Lovelace, a media darling. Years later the “poster girl for the sexual revolution” revealed a darker side to her story. Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, Sharon Stone.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman / U.S.A. (Director: Fredrik Bond, Screenwriter: Matt Drake) — Traveling abroad, Charlie Countryman falls for Gabi, a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in Nigel, her violent, charismatic ex. As the darkness of Gabi’s past increasingly envelops him, Charlie resolves to win her heart, or die trying. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, James Buckley, Til Schweiger.

Prince Avalanche / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Gordon Green) — Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch.

Stoker / U.S.A. (Director: Park Chan-Wook, Screenwriter: Wentworth Miller) — After India's father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie comes to live with her and her mother, Evelyn. Soon after his arrival, India suspects that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives but becomes increasingly infatuated with him. Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Nicole Kidman.

Sweetwater / U.S.A. (Directors: Logan Miller, Noah Miller, Screenwriter: Andrew McKenzie) — In the late 1800s, a fanatical religious leader, a renegade Sheriff, and a former prostitute collide in a blood triangle on the rugged plains of the New Mexico Territory. Cast: Ed Harris, January Jones, Jason Isaacs, Eduardo Noriega, Steven Rude, Amy Madigan.

Top of the Lake / Australia, New Zealand (Directors: Jane Campion, Garth Davis, Screenwriters: Jane Campion, Gerard Lee) — A 12-year-old girl stands chest deep in a frozen lake. She is five months pregnant, and won't say who the father is. Then she disappears. So begins a haunting mystery that consumes a community. Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan, David Wenham. This six-hour film will screen once during the Festival.

Two Mothers / Australia, France (Director: Anne Fontaine, Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton) — This gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendship charts the unconventional and passionate affairs of two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Cast: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frechevile.

Very Good Girls / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Naomi Foner) — In the long, half-naked days of a New York summer, two girls on the brink of becoming women fall for the same guy and find that life isn't as simple or safe as they had thought. Cast: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Barkin.

The Way, Way Back / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash) — Duncan, an introverted 14-year-old, comes into his own over the course of a comedic summer when he forms unlikely friendships with the gregarious manager of a rundown water park and the misfits who work there. Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Liam James.

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES
Renowned filmmakers and films about huge subjects comprise this section highlighting our ongoing commitment to documentaries. Each is a world premiere.

ANITA / U.S.A. (Director: Freida Mock) — Anita Hill, an African-American woman, charges Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment in explosive Senate hearings in 1991 – bringing sexual politics into the national consciousness and fueling 20 years of international debate on the issues.

The Crash Reel / U.S.A. (Director: Lucy Walker) — The jaw-dropping story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snow boarding; and one explosive issue, traumatic brain injury. An epic rivalry between Kevin and Shaun White culminates in a life-changing crash and a comeback story with a difference. SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM

History of the Eagles / U.S.A. (Director: Alison Ellwood) — Using never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and new interviews with all current and former members of the Eagles, this documentary provides an intimate look into the history of the band and the legacy of their music.

Linsanity / U.S.A. (Director: Evan Leong) — Jeremy Lin came from a humble background to make an unbelievable run in the NBA. State high school champion, all-Ivy League at Harvard, undrafted by the NBA and unwanted there: his story started long before he landed on Broadway.

Pandora's Promise / U.S.A. (Director: Robert Stone) — A growing number of environmentalists are renouncing decades of antinuclear orthodoxy and have come to believe that the most feared and controversial technology known to mankind is probably our greatest hope.

Running from Crazy / U.S.A. (Director: Barbara Kopple) — Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, strives for a greater understanding of her family history of suicide and mental illness. As tragedies are explored and deeply hidden secrets are revealed, Mariel searches for a way to overcome a similar fate.

Sound City / U.S.A. (Director: Dave Grohl) — Through interviews and performances with the legendary musicians and producers who worked at America's greatest unsung recording studio, Sound City, we explore the human element of music, and the lost art of analog recording in an increasingly digital world.

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks / U.S.A. (Director: Alex Gibney) — In 2010, WikiLeaks and its sources used the power of the Internet to usher in what was for some a new era of transparency and for others the beginnings of an information war. 

When I Walk / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Jason DaSilva) — At 25, filmmaker and artist Jason DaSilva finds out he has a severe form of multiple sclerosis. This film shares his personal and grueling journey over the next seven years. Along the way, an unlikely miracle changes everything.

Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington / U.S.A. (Director: Sebastian Junger) — Shortly after the release of his documentary Restrepo, photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Colleague Sebastian Junger traces Hetherington's work across the world's battlefields to reveal how he transcended the boundaries of image-making to become a luminary in his profession.

The World According to Dick Cheney / U.S.A. (Directors: R.J. Cutler, Greg Finton) — How did Dick Cheney become the single-most-powerful nonpresidential figure in American history? This multi-layered examination of Cheney's life, career, key relationships and controversial worldview features exclusive interviews with the former vice president and his closest allies.

Sundance || ||

Sundance 2013 Sets New Matthew McConaughey, James Franco Films & Midnight Pics

Sundance 2013 Sets New Matthew McConaughey, James Franco Films & Midnight Pics

The Sundance Film Festival continued its roll out of films playing its 2013 event in January, unveiling its out-of-competition Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier sections as well as installations and performances headed to the festival's New Frontier venue.
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Sundance || ||

INTERVIEW: Sundance Director John Cooper Says 'Fearlessness' Distinguishes The Festival's 2013 Slate

INTERVIEW: Sundance Director John Cooper Says 'Fearlessness' Distinguishes The Festival's 2013 Slate

The week following Thanksgiving is, traditionally, one in which the film industry looks back and forward. The Gotham Awards, which took place in New York on Monday night, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations, which were announced on Tuesday, pay homage to the film achievements of the past year, while the Sundance Film Festival, which announced the first of its lineups on Wednesday, begins the discussion for the coming year. Most titles in the festival's U.S. competition slots will find distribution — and as they reach moviegoing audiences, steer the ongoing cultural conversation that good film provokes.  more »

Sundance || ||

Sundance Film Festival Reveals 2013 U.S. & World Competition Slate

Sundance Film Festival Reveals 2013 U.S. & World Competition Slate

One of the biggest days in the indie film calendar arrived Wednesday with the unveiling of the Sundance Film Festival's U.S. Dramatic and Documentary Competition slate along with the premiere event's World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary lineups and titles screening in the fest's NEXT section. Hit the jump for the line-ups!
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Newswire || ||

Brad Pitt: The U.S. 'War On Drugs' Is A 'Charade'

Brad Pitt: The U.S. 'War On Drugs' Is A 'Charade'

Brad Pitt headed to WeHo in support of a documentary he produced and took a swipe at the decades-old war on drugs. Pitt apparently just said 'yes' back in the day, but said his days dabbling in illegal substances have long gone. Why We Fight director Eugene Jarecki bowed his latest The House I Live In and stopped in a West Hollywood theater for a Q&A with his super-star producer who flew in from Europe for a chat.
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Festivals || ||

North Korea Gets Ready For Its 13th Pyongyang International Film Festival

North Korea Gets Ready For Its 13th Pyongyang International Film Festival

Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, San Sebastian, Hong Kong, New York, Telluride - and Pyongyang? The end of Summer brought on the annual big tentpole festivals in Venice and Toronto as well as industry and celeb-heavy Telluride, ushering in the annual awards race and many of this year's fall releases. But don't expect North Korea's international film festival, which opens Thursday to factor too deeply into Oscar. In fact, Americans are apparently banned. Held every two years, the Pyongyang International Film Festival is a chance for residents of the so-called Hermit Kingdom to view foreign films on the big screen.
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The Movieline Interview || ||

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (And the World's Most Important Artist) Under the Lens

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (And the World's Most Important Artist) Under the Lens

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei lead ArtReview magazine's list of the 100 most powerful artists in the world last October. The Beijing-based artist, photographer, documentarian, architect, activist, dissident, avid-Tweeter and charismatic father made a splash on the international scene when he helped Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron create Beijing's National Stadium - more commonly known as the Bird's Nest due to its design - which gave a jubilant government both a cornerstone and bragging material for the Beijing Olympics. While immensely proud of the project, Mr. Ai denounced the regime and famously criticized officials for its treatment of dissidents and its human rights record in the lead-up to the event. Freelance journalist Alison Klayman met the artist through her roommate in 2008 by chance as he prepped an exhibition of photos he took while living in New York in the '80s and early '90s. Initially commissioned to do a short video on the fly, Klayman, who lived in China from 2006 - 2010 producing shows for PBS Frontline, National Public Radio and A.P. took on a larger doc about Ai Weiwei. In the film, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry which will be released this weekend via Sundance Selects, she captured him being assaulted by police, confronting police, promoting his view of human rights and traveling to acclaim overseas.
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