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Ascent to Hell Brings You into a Fiery Grave: First Poster

The indie horror title Ascent to Hell has been completed. Recently, the film was at Cannes, France. Here, Ascent to Hell was shown before sales agent Apl Films. As well, the film was shown to distributors, for a future release. This title looks at a real life tragedy, the New York Triangle Factory Fire, in which hundreds of workers were killed or injured, while working in a rundown sweatshop. The film, from director Dena Hysell, stars Azura Skye (One Missed Call), Bill Sage (We Are What We Are), John Randall Hennigan (aka WWE’s Johnny Nitro) and Cayleb Long. The film's first ominous graphic is hosted here. The story begins with Kate (Skye). She is set to close a lucrative real estate deal, with a wealthy investment manager (Sage). However, the plans are put to the side as the duo experience strange going-ons, in an old building. Now, they must
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Supernatural horror ‘Ascent to Hell’ lights up Cannes

Apl Film have announced they have acquired the international sales rights to Rumpus Room Productions and Elpis Film’s thriller/horror, Ascent to Hell. Sales are currently underway at Cannes Film Market, and we have your first look at the international sales key art/poster.

Kate (Skye), an ambitious commercial real estate agent has her sights set on a big contract, with a wealthy investment manager (Sage). The deal is lucrative, but it is suddenly on the rocks as Kate and Mr. Browning, and the rest of the people involved in the deal must survive a mysterious supernatural trap. In order to escape with their lives, Kate must find the clues to the building’s past.

Inspired by the New York Triangle Factory Fire, which left hundreds of female workers dead, Ascent to Hell is a classic ghost story about this former sweatshop and the ghosts that are trying to escape.
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First Poster and Details for Ascent To Hell

Inspired by the New York Triangle Factory fire, which left hundreds of female workers dead, Ascent to Hell is described as a classic ghost story about this former sweatshop and the ghosts that are trying to escape.

Apl Film acquired the international sales rights to Rumpus Room Productions' and Elpis Film’s horror film at Cannes. The deal was concluded by Andrew van den Houten of 79th & Broadway on behalf of the producers, with Warren Nimchuk negotiating for Apl Film. Sales are currently underway at Cannes Film Market.

Starring Azura Skye (One Missed Call), Bill Sage (We Are What We Are), John Randall Hennigan (aka WWE’s Johnny Nitro) and Cayleb Long, the film was directed by Dena Hysel [Continued ...]
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Dread Builds in Trailer For Sundance Drama ‘Take Me to the River’

To give you a sense of the usually extended process it takes from some independent features to make their way to screens, we just wrapped up 2016’s Sundance Film Festival, but today brings news of one from last year finally set to arrive. Take Me to The River marks the first feature from Matt Sobel, depicting a strange family reunion with twists and turns. Starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Ursula Parker, Richard Schiff, and Azura Skye, we also have the first trailer ahead of a release next month.

We said in our review, “A strong, quiet and confident debut feature, Take Me to the River announces the arrival of its writer-director Matt Sobel, whose first feature shows quite a command of his storytelling. Aided by the editing of Jacob Secher Schulsinger (Force Majeure), each scene builds a unique rhythm and tension and we’re not quite sure where
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Watch: Tension Rises In New Trailer For 'Take Me To The River'

At last year's Sundance Film Festival, writer/director Matt Sobel debuted "Take Me To The River," a picture that has gotten under the skin of anyone who saw it —the drama centers around a family reunion where something has undeniably gone wrong. Read More: Sundance Review: 'Take Me To The River' Features Solid Performances In A Genuinely Peculiar Film Starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff, Ursula Parker and Azura Skye, the film follows Ryder, who is not yet out of the closet due to his buttoned down extended family. However, when an incident happens with nine year-old Molly, accusations and assumptions regarding Ryder soon start flying. Here's the synopsis: Sobel's assured directorial debut is the story of Ryder, an artsy, confident California teen who is heading to Nebraska for a family reunion. After planning to come out to his conservative relatives, he holds off at his mother's.
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Film Review: Take Me To The River: The Family Reunion From Hell [Sff 2015]

Take Me To The River (2015) Film Review from the 37th Annual Sundance Film Festival, a movie directed by Matt Sobel, starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff, Ursula Parker, and Azura Skye. In the world created by director and screenwriter, Matt Sobel, what’s most important is what’s [...]

Continue reading: Film Review: Take Me To The River: The Family Reunion From Hell [Sff 2015]
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Interview with John Nein on International Films at Sundance Film Festival 2015

John Nein was not always a Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival — it’s only been eight years. When he began at Sundance in 2002 he was always watching movies of course. More than that, like John Cooper said, he just didn’t shut up when he was in the room; he was opinionated and spoke his opinions. He also always liked international cinema as he was born in Ireland and grew up in The Netherlands, Belgium and London where his father worked for international companies. When he was 12 he came to the U.S.

The programmers at Sundance do not have a strict formal assignment of areas they program; they see all the films of all the sections, but like his father, international was always of great interest. The same is true for myself, although out of the 118 feature films selected out of 4,105 feature length submissions, many of the U.S. films look great to me as well. For instance, I am so happy that Matt Sobel’s “ Take Me To The River ” which won the prize at Us in Progress this past November in Wroclaw, Poland at The American Film Festival is in the Next section.

John: This year on Day One, January 22, 2015, the Festival will feature one of each type of film shown at the Festival: one shorts program, a U.S. documentary, a U.S. dramatic, an international documentary and an international dramatic which will be the first ever Lithuanian film in Competition, a lesbian love story that is stylish and smartly directed by Alanté Kavaïté with two fantastic actors, Julija Steponaitytė and Aistė Diržiūtė. Actually " The Summer of Sangaile” is a coproduction of Lithuania, France, and Holland . I think Alanté lives in France.

There ares 29 countries represented and 45 first-time filmmakers.

Sydney: I know the Chileans love Sundance. Last year Alejandro Fernández Almendras said in our interview about “To Kill a Man” that Sundance is very important for Chile. I am also a longtime fan of Sebastian Silva since “The Maid”. Two years ago he had two films, “Crystal Fairy” and “Magic, Magic” in Sundance, so why is this Chilean film not in World Competition but in Next?

John: I’m glad Alejandro said that. Yes we like Chile too. They make many good films. But “Nasty Baby” by Sebastian Silva is a U.S. film, about people living in Brooklyn.

He lives in U.S. and has spent a lot of time here. He knows Brooklyn and yet his curiosity and his view of it is that of an outsider. He knows these people because he watches and listens so well. “

Sydney: “Bridesmaids” star and co-writer Kristen Wiig stars. A short promo of “Nasty Baby” was shown to buyers while it was in post-production in Cannes and Toronto. The Chilean production company of Juan de Dios Larrain and Pablo Larrain, Fabula, produced “No” as well as Sebastian’s later films. Papi Boye and Violaine Pichon’s production and international sales agent Versatile out of France along with the film’s international sales agent Funny Balloons — also based in France – helped finance this U.S. Production.

John: World Cinema is now 10 years old. Overall, the Competition sections have evolved over the years. We have a sense of emerging directors here. We have come of age.

All our films are of emerging filmmakers. Either first time directors or highly anticipated second or third features. Of all the festivals worldwide, Sundance has the strongest program of emerging talent. Watch these filmmakers over the next years. Like “Homesick” by Anna Sewitsky. Her previous film “Happy, Happy” showed at Sundance in 2011 and took the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema. “Happy, Happy” also became the Norwegian Official entry for the Academy Awards® .

Sydney: TrustNordisk sold “Happy, Happy” to more than 50 countries, so they must be poised to sell this one as well.

John: But not all the second and third films are from filmmakers whose first films were at Sundance, although Canada’s “ Chorus” director Francois Delisle showed “The Meteor” at Sundance two years ago.

And “Glassland”, was a very anticipated second film. The first film by director and screenwriter, Gerard Barrett, "Pilgrim Hill” won the Galway Film Festival and was very sought after and was signed with a U.S. agent then. “Sangaile" is also a second feature.

Look at the international films in the Premieres section and you will see some international filmmakers there, like “ Brooklyn” which is an immigrant story directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby whose film “Wild” is now playing .

Sydney: I see from IMDbPro that Hanway has already sold Middle Eastern rights to Front Row Entertainment who must have pre-bought “Brooklyn” in Cannes or Toronto.

John: Of the 12 films in World Cinema the less expected films come from Turkey, “Ivy” by the talented director Tolga Karacelik. This is his second film. His first was “Toll Booth” which Global Initiative distributed in the U.S. The Dp on this was Nuri Bilge Ceylan (“Winter’s Sleep”)’s Dp on “Winter’s Sleep”, Gökhan Tiryaki. It is about guys stuck on a freighter whose company goes bankrupt. Power dynamics play out.

Sydney: Have there been Oscar nominated films in Sundance (Aside from “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”)?

John: Yes, “Man on Wire” was not last year but it was foreign. “Ida” was in Spotlight last year and maybe Sundance increased its visibility. Three others were in Sundance last year:

“To Kill a Man” is Chile’s submission, “Difret” which won the Audience Award is Ethiopia’s submission this year and “Liar’s Dice” from India was in World Competition last year. It is a very artful film. We knew it would do well with the critics, but it did extremely well with the audience too. A couple of films in Spotlight will probably be nominated next year. Watch for them.

Sydney : We haven’t even discussed the World documentaries.

John : Are there any that stand out for you?

Sydney: Yes, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism”, from U.K., Romania and Germany. Chuck Norris?

John: How interesting it is that something like Chuck Norris means something very different to others. It is a sign of cultural differences between us. Chuck Norris shows how independent films built a community of counter culture against an authoritarian government.

Sydney: I also notice that there are six docs from the U.K. Out of 12 films.

John: Yes we noticed and discussed that. U.K. really supports documentary filmmaking. Great work is coming out of the U.K. And many of the films are about different countries, so it doesn’t fit so simply into a U.K. pigeon hole.

Sydney : Yes I see “Chuck Norris” is about Romania, “Dreamcatcher” is about teenage prostitution, “How to Change the World” is about Greenpeace, “Listen to Me Marlon” is about a famous U.S. actor, “The Russian Woodpecker” is about a Ukrainian survivor of Chernobyl.

Thank you John for your insights. I think we have a lot to look at here. Thank you for taking this time to talk with me. See you at Sundance!

For a full list thus far of Sundance films, see below.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Advantageous / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Phang, Screenwriters: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang) — In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic hardship, Gwen and her daughter, Jules, do all they can to hold on to their joy, despite the instability surfacing in their world. Cast: Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim.

The Bronze / U.S.A. (Director: Bryan Buckley, Screenwriters: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch) — In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women's gymnastics team. Today, she's still living in her small hometown, washed-up and embittered. Stuck in the past, Hope must reassess her life when a promising young gymnast threatens her local celebrity status.Cast: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Cecily Strong. Day One Film

The D Train / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel) — With his 20th reunion looming, Dan can’t shake his high school insecurities. In a misguided mission to prove he's changed, Dan rekindles a friendship with the popular guy from his class and is left scrambling to protect more than just his reputation when a wild night takes an unexpected turn. Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, Kyle Bornheimer.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marielle Heller) — Minnie Goetze is a 15-year-old aspiring comic-book artist, coming of age in the haze of the 1970s in San Francisco. Insatiably curious about the world around her, Minnie is a pretty typical teenage girl. Oh, except that she's sleeping with her mother's boyfriend. Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig.

Dope / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Rick Famuyiwa) — Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the Sat. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself. Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky.

I Smile Back / U.S.A. (Director: Adam Salky, Screenwriters: Amy Koppelman, Paige Dylan) — All is not right in suburbia. Laney Brooks, a wife and mother on the edge, has stopped taking her meds, substituting recreational drugs and the wrong men. With the destruction of her family looming, Laney makes a last, desperate attempt at redemption. Cast: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski, Mia Barron, Terry Kinney, Chris Sarandon.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / U.S.A. (Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Screenwriter: Jesse Andrews) — Greg is coasting through senior year of high school as anonymously as possible, avoiding social interactions like the plague while secretly making spirited, bizarre films with Earl, his only friend. But both his anonymity and friendship threaten to unravel when his mother forces him to befriend a classmate with leukemia. Cast: Thomas Mann, Rj Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon.

The Overnight / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Patrick Brice) — Alex, Emily, and their son, Rj, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family "playdate" becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on. Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godrèche.

People, Places, Things / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: James C. Strouse) — Will Henry is a newly single graphic novelist balancing being a parent to his young twin daughters and teaching a classroom full of college students, all the while trying to navigate the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left him. Cast: Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Gia Gadsby, Aundrea Gadsby.

Results / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) — Two mismatched personal trainers' lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client. Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooklyn Decker.

Songs My Brothers Taught Me / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chloé Zhao) — This complex portrait of modern-day life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation explores the bond between a brother and his younger sister, who find themselves on separate paths to rediscovering the meaning of home. Cast: John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Irene Bedard, Taysha Fuller, Travis Lone Hill, Eléonore Hendricks.

The Stanford Prison Experiment / U.S.A. (Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Screenwriter: Tim Talbott) — This film is based on the actual events that took place in 1971 when Stanford professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo created what became one of the most shocking and famous social experiments of all time. Cast: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby.

Stockholm, Pennsylvania / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nikole Beckwith) — A young woman is returned home to her biological parents after living with her abductor for 17 years. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cynthia Nixon, Jason Isaacs, David Warshofsky.

Unexpected / U.S.A. (Director: Kris Swanberg, Screenwriters: Kris Swanberg, Megan Mercier) — When Samantha Abbott begins her final semester teaching science at a Chicago high school, she faces some unexpected news: she's pregnant. Soon after, Samantha learns that one of her favorite students, Jasmine, has landed in a similar situation. Unexpected follows the two women as they embark on an unlikely friendship. Cast: Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean, Elizabeth McGovern.

The Witch / U.S.A., Canada (Director and screenwriter: Robert Eggers) — New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood. Cast: Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger.

Z for Zachariah / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Zobel, Screenwriter: Nissar Modi) — In a post-apocalyptic world, 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 survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman's affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.

U.S. Documentary Competition

Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.

3½ Minutes / U.S.A. (Director: Marc Silver) — On November 23, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael David Dunn. 3½ Minutes explores the aftermath of Jordan's tragic death, the latent and often unseen effects of racism, and the contradictions of the American criminal justice system.

Being Evel / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Junge) — An unprecedented, candid portrait of American icon Robert "Evel" Knievel and his legacy.

Best of Enemies / U.S.A. (Directors: Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon) — Best of Enemies is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive 1968 televised debates between the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and their rancorous disagreements about politics, God, and sex.

Call Me Lucky / U.S.A. (Director: Bobcat Goldthwait) — Barry Crimmins was a volatile but brilliant bar comic who became an honored peace activist and influential political satirist. Famous comedians and others build a picture of a man who underwent an incredible transformation.

Cartel Land / U.S.A., Mexico (Director: Matthew Heineman) — In this classic Western set in the 21st century, vigilantes on both sides of the border fight the vicious Mexican drug cartels. With unprecedented access, this character-driven film provokes deep questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether citizens should fight violence with violence.

City of Gold / U.S.A. (Director: Laura Gabbert) — Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold casts his light upon a vibrant and growing cultural movement in which he plays the dual roles of high-low priest and culinary geographer of his beloved Los Angeles.

Finders Keepers / U.S.A. (Directors: Bryan Carberry, Clay Tweel) — Recovering addict and amputee John Wood finds himself in a stranger-than-fiction battle to reclaim his mummified leg from Southern entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill he bought at an auction and believes it to therefore be his rightful property.

Hot Girls Wanted / U.S.A. (Directors: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus) — Hot Girls Wanted is a first-ever look at the realities inside the world of the amateur porn industry and the steady stream of 18- and 19-year-old girls entering into it.

How to Dance in Ohio / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandra Shiva) — In Columbus, Ohio, a group of teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum prepare for an iconic American rite of passage — a spring formal. They spend 12 weeks practicing their social skills at a local nightclub in preparation for the dance.

Larry Kramer in Love and Anger / U.S.A. (Director: Jean Carlomusto) — Author, activist, and playwright Larry Kramer is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America, a political firebrand who gave voice to the outrage and grief that inspired gay men and lesbians to fight for their lives. At 78, this complicated man still commands our attention.

Meru / U.S.A. (Directors: Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi) — Three elite mountain climbers sacrifice everything but their friendship as they struggle through heartbreaking loss and nature’s harshest elements to attempt the never-before-completed Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most coveted first ascent in the dangerous game of Himalayan big wall climbing.

Racing Extinction / U.S.A. (Director: Louie Psihoyos) — Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a unique team to show the world never-before-seen images that expose issues surrounding endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets or exploring humans' effect on the environment, Racing Extinction will change the way you see the world.

(T)Error / U.S.A. (Directors: Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe) — (T)Error is the first film to document on camera a covert counterterrorism sting as it unfolds. Through the perspective of *******, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned FBI informant, viewers are given an unprecedented glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics, and the murky justifications behind them.

Welcome to Leith / U.S.A. (Directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker) — A white supremacist attempts to take over a small town in North Dakota.

Western / U.S.A., Mexico (Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross) — For generations, all that distinguished Eagle Pass, Texas, from Piedras Negras, Mexico, was the Rio Grande. But when darkness descends upon these harmonious border towns, a cowboy and lawman face a new reality that threatens their way of life. Western portrays timeless American figures in the grip of unforgiving change.

The Wolfpack / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Moselle) — Six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a Manhattan housing project. All they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously). Yet as adolescence looms, they dream of escape, ever more urgently, into the beckoning world.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

Chlorine / Italy (Director: Lamberto Sanfelice, Screenwriters: Lamberto Sanfelice, Elisa Amoruso) — Jenny, 17, dreams of becoming a synchronized swimmer. Family events turn her life upside down and she is forced move to a remote area to look after her ill father and younger brother. It won't be long before Jenny starts pursuing her dreams again. Cast: Sara Serraiocco, Ivan Franek, Giorgio Colangeli, Anatol Sassi, Piera Degli Esposti, Andrea Vergoni. World Premiere

Chorus / Canada (Director and screenwriter: François Delisle) — A separated couple meet again after 10 years when the body of their missing son is found. Amid the guilt of losing a loved one, they hesitantly move toward affirmation of life, acceptance of death, and even the possibility of reconciliation. Cast: Sébastien Ricard, Fanny Mallette, Pierre Curzi, Genevieve Bujold. World Premiere

Glassland / Ireland (Director and screenwriter: Gerard Barrett) — In a desperate attempt to reunite his broken family, a young taxi driver becomes entangled in the criminal underworld. Cast: Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, Michael Smiley. International Premiere

Homesick / Norway (Director: Anne Sewitsky, Screenwriters: Ragnhild Tronvoll, Anne Sewitsky) — When Charlotte, 27, meets her brother Henrik, 35, for the first time, two people who don't know what a normal family is begin an encounter without boundaries. How does sibling love manifest itself if you have never experienced it before?Cast: Ine Marie Wilmann, Simon J. Berger, Anneke von der Lippe, Silje Storstein, Oddgeir Thune, Kari Onstad. World Premiere. Isa: TrustNordisk

Ivy / Turkey (Director and screenwriter: Tolga Karaçelik) — Sarmasik is sailing to Egypt when the ship's owner goes bankrupt. The crew learns there is a lien on the ship, and key crew members must stay on board. Ivy is the story of these six men trapped on the ship for days. Cast: Nadir Sarıbacak, Özgür Emre Yıldırım, Hakan Karsak, Kadir Çermik, Osman Alkaş, Seyithan Özdemiroğlu. World Premiere

Partisan / Australia (Director: Ariel Kleiman, Screenwriters: Ariel Kleiman, Sarah Cyngler) — Alexander is like any other kid: playful, curious and naive. He is also a trained assassin. Raised in a hidden paradise, Alexander has grown up seeing the world filtered through his father, Gregori. As Alexander begins to think for himself, creeping fears take shape, and Gregori's idyllic world unravels. Cast: Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara. World Premiere

Princess / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Tali Shalom Ezer) — While her mother is away from home, 12-year-old Adar’s role-playing games with her stepfather move into dangerous territory. Seeking an escape, Adar finds Alan, an ethereal boy that accompanies her on a dark journey between reality and fantasy. Cast: Keren Mor, Shira Haas, Ori Pfeffer, Adar Zohar Hanetz. International Premiere

The Second Mother / Brazil (Director and screenwriter: Anna Muylaert) — Having left her daughter, Jessica, to be raised by relatives in the north of Brazil, Val works as a loving nanny in São Paulo. When Jessica arrives for a visit 13 years later, she confronts her mother's slave-like attitude and everyone in the house is affected by her unexpected behavior. Cast: Regina Casé, Michel Joelsas, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles, Lourenço Mutarelli. World Premiere

Slow West / New Zealand (Director: John Maclean, Screenwriters: John Maclean, Michael Lesslie) — Set at the end of the nineteenth century, 16-year-old Jay Cavendish journeys across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. He is joined by Silas, a mysterious traveler, and hotly pursued by an outlaw along the way. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rory McCann, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooke Williams, Caren Pistorius. World Premiere

Strangerland / Australia, Ireland (Director: Kim Farrant, Screenwriters: Fiona Seres, Michael Kinirons) — When Catherine and Matthew Parker's two teenage kids disappear into the remote Australian desert, the couple's relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children's fate. Cast: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown. World Premiere

The Summer of Sangaile / Lithuania, France, Holland (Director and screenwriter: Alanté Kavaïté) — Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her age at the summer aeronautical show, nearby her parents’ lakeside villa. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process finds in her teenage love, the only person that truly encourages her to fly. Cast: Julija Steponaitytė, Aistė Diržiūtė. World Premiere. Isa: Films Distribution.

Umrika / India (Director and screenwriter: Prashant Nair) — When a young village boy discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing, he begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him. Cast: Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang, Prateik Babbar. World Premiere

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary international filmmakers working today.

The Amina Profile / Canada (Director: Sophie Deraspe) — During the Arab revolution, a love story between two women — a Canadian and a Syrian American — turns into an international sociopolitical thriller spotlighting media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet. World Premiere

Censored Voices / Israel, Germany (Director: Mor Loushy) — One week after the 1967 Six-Day War, renowned author Amos Oz and editor Avraham Shapira recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing only a fragment of the conversations to be published. Censored Voices reveals these recordings for the first time. World Premiere

The Chinese Mayor / China (Director: Hao Zhou) — Mayor Geng Yanbo is determined to transform the coal-mining center of Datong, in China’s Shanxi province, into a tourism haven showcasing clean energy. In order to achieve that, however, he has to relocate 500,000 residences to make way for the restoration of the ancient city. World Premiere

Chuck Norris vs Communism / United Kingdom, Romania, Germany (Director: Ilinca Calugareanu) — In 1980s Romania, thousands of Western films smashed through the Iron Curtain, opening a window to the free world for those who dared to look. A black market VHS racketeer and courageous female translator brought the magic of film to the masses and sowed the seeds of a revolution. World Premiere. Producers Rep: UTA

Dark Horse / United Kingdom (Director: Louise Osmond) — Dark Horse is the inspirational true story of a group of friends from a workingman's club who decide to take on the elite "sport of kings" and breed themselves a racehorse. World Premiere

Dreamcatcher / United Kingdom (Director: Kim Longinotto) — Dreamcatcher takes us into a hidden world seen through the eyes of one of its survivors, Brenda Myers-Powell. A former teenage prostitute, Brenda defied the odds to become a powerful advocate for change in her community. With warmth and humor, Brenda gives hope to those who have none. World Premiere

How to Change the World / United Kingdom, Canada (Director: Jerry Rothwell) — In 1971, a group of friends sails into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world’s imagination. Using rare, archival footage that brings their extraordinary world to life, How to Change the World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. World Premiere. Day One Film

Listen to Me Marlon / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stevan Riley, Co-writer: Peter Ettedgui) — With exclusive access to previously unheard audio archives, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career and extraordinary life away from the stage and screen, the film fully explores the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely in Marlon’s own voice. World Premiere

Pervert Park / Sweden, Denmark (Directors: Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors) — Pervert Park follows the everyday lives of sex offenders in a Florida trailer park as they struggle to reintegrate into society, and try to understand who they are and how to break the cycle of sex crimes being committed. International Premiere

The Russian Woodpecker / United Kingdom (Director: Chad Gracia) — A Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life by revealing it, amid growing clouds of revolution and war. World Premiere

Sembene! / U.S.A., Senegal (Directors: Samba Gadjigo, Jason Silverman) — In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. This true story celebrates how the “father of African cinema,” against enormous odds, fought a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give Africans a voice. World Premiere

The Visit / Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Norway (Director: Michael Madsen) — “This film documents an event that has never taken place…” With unprecedented access to the United Nations' Office for Outer Space Affairs, leading space scientists and space agencies, The Visit explores humans' first encounter with alien intelligent life and thereby humanity itself. "Our scenario begins with the arrival. Your arrival." World Premiere

Next <=>

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. Presented by Adobe.

Bob and the Trees / U.S.A., France (Director: Diego Ongaro, Screenwriters: Diego Ongaro, Courtney Maum, Sasha Statman-Weil) — Bob, a 50-year-old logger in rural Massachusetts with a soft spot for golf and gangsta rap, is struggling to make ends meet in a changed economy. When his beloved cow is wounded and a job goes awry, Bob begins to heed the instincts of his ever-darkening self. Cast: Bob Tarasuk, Matt Gallagher, Polly MacIntyre, Winthrop Barrett, Nathaniel Gregory. World Premiere

Christmas, Again / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charles Poekel) — A heartbroken Christmas tree salesman returns to New York, hoping to put the past year behind him. He spends the season living in a trailer and working the night shift, until a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from self-destruction. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Hannah Gross, Jason Shelton, Oona Roche. North American Premiere

Cronies / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Larnell) — Twenty-two-year-old Louis doesn’t know whether his childhood friendship with Jack will last beyond today. Cast: George Sample III, Zurich Buckner, Brian Kowalski. World Premiere

Entertainment / U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker) — En route to meeting with his estranged daughter, in an attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave Desert. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek. World Premiere

H. / U.S.A., Argentina (Directors and screenwriters: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia) — Two women, each named Helen, find their lives spinning out of control after a meteor allegedly explodes over their city of Troy, New York. Cast: Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble, Roger Robinson. World Premiere

James White / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Josh Mond) — A young New Yorker struggles to take control of his reckless, self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges. Cast: Chris Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh, David Call. World Premiere

Nasty Baby / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sebastian Silva) — A gay couple try to have a baby with the help of their best friend, Polly. The trio navigates the idea of creating life while confronted by unexpected harassment from a neighborhood man called The Bishop. As their clashes grow increasingly aggressive, odds are someone is getting hurt. Cast: Sebastian Silva, Tunde Adebimpe, Kristin Wiig, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Denis O'Hare. World Premiere

The Strongest Man / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kenny Riches) — An anxiety-ridden Cuban man who fancies himself the strongest man in the world attempts to recover his most prized possession, a stolen bicycle. On his quest, he finds and loses much more. Cast: Robert Lorie, Paul Chamberlain, Ashly Burch, Patrick Fugit, Lisa Banes. World Premiere

" Take Me To The River " / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matt Sobel) — A naive California teen plans to remain above the fray at his Nebraskan family reunion, but a strange encounter places him at the center of a long-buried family secret.Cast: Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff, Ursula Parker, Azura Skye. World Premiere. Producer rep: Cinetic Media

Tangerine / U.S.A. (Director: Sean Baker, Screenwriters: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch) — A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart. Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O'Hagan, Alla Tumanyan, James Ransone. World Premiere

Spotlight

Regardless of where these films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.

6 Desires: Dh Lawrence and Sardinia / United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, Dh Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a letter to Lawrence — or “Bert” — a detail that’s typical of the film’s inviting sense of conversational intimacy.International Premiere

'71 / United Kingdom (Director: Yann Demange, Screenwriter: Gregory Burke) — ‘71 takes place over a single night in the life of a young British soldier accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety. Cast: Jack O'Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, Martin McCann.

99 Homes / U.S.A. (Director: Ramin Bahrani, Screenwriters: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi) — A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real-estate broker who's the source of his frustration. Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Cullen Moss, J.D. Evermore.

Aloft / Spain, France, Canada (Director and screenwriter: Claudia Llosa) — Aloft tells the story of a struggling mother, Nana, and her evolution to becoming a renowned healer. When a young artist tracks down Nana's son 20 years after she abandoned him, she sets in motion an encounter between the two that will bring the meaning of their lives into question. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, Mélanie Laurent, William Shimell. North American Premiere

Eden / France (Director: Mia Hansen-løve, Screenwriters: Mia Hansen-løve, Sven Hansen-løve) — Mia Hansen-løve's electronic-dance-music epic follows the rise and fall of a DJ (based on her brother, Sven, a contemporary of Daft Punk) who gets into the rave scene in 1994 and spends the next 20 years navigating the French club scene. Cast: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Greta Gerwig, Brady Corbet, Arsinee Khanjian, Vincent Macaigne.

Girlhood / France (Director and screenwriter: Céline Sciamma) — Oppressed by her family, dead-end school prospects, and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of free-spirited girls. She changes her name and dress, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping to find a way to freedom. Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré, Idrissa Diabaté, Simina Soumaré.

The Tribe / Ukraine (Director and screenwriter: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) — Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without the need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level. Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander Dsiadevich.

White God / Hungary (Director: Kornél Mundruczó, Screenwriters: Kata Wéber, Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi) — When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog, Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back toward each other. Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sandor Zsótér, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, László Gálffi, Lili Horváth. U.S. Premiere

Wild Tales / Argentina, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Damián Szifrón) — Inequality, injustice, and the demands of the world cause stress and depression for many people. Some of them, however, explode. This is a movie about those people. Vulnerable in the face of an unpredictable reality, the characters of Wild Tales cross the thin line dividing civilization and barbarism. Cast: Ricardo Darín, Julieta Zyberberg, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Darío Grandinetti, Erica Rivas, Oscar Martínez.

Park City At Midnight

From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake.

Cop Car / U.S.A. (Director: Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) — Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car. Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim. World Premiere

The Hallow / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) — When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley. World Premiere

Hellions / Canada (Director: Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) — Teenage Dora Vogel must survive a Halloween night from hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door. Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk. World Premiere

It Follows / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) — After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.

Knock Knock / U.S.A. (Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo) — Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man's life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp. World Premiere

The Nightmare / U.S.A. (Director: Rodney Ascher) — A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds. World Premiere

Reversal / U.S.A. (Director: J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) — A gritty psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a basement of a sexual predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor. Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere

Turbo Kid / Canada, New Zealand (Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell, Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell) — In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl. They become friends until Zeus, the sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl. Cast: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Edwin Wright. World Premiere

New Frontier Films

The Forbidden Room / Canada (Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk) — A submarine crew, a feared pack of forest bandits, a famous surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for as they wend their way toward progressive ideas on life and love. Cast: Geraldine Chaplin, Caroline Dhavernas, Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Karine Vanasse. World Premiere

Liveforever / Colombia, Mexico (Director: Carlos Moreno, Screenwriters: Alberto Ferreras, Alonso Torres, Carlos Moreno) — Driven by the music and dancing she finds along the way, a teenager leaves home willing to try anything her provocative and tolerant city has to offer, even if she burns out in the process. Inspired by the best-selling novel "Que viva la música" by Andres Caicedo. Cast: Paulina Davila, Alejandra Avila, Luis Arrieta, Juan Pablo Barragan, Nelson Camayo, Christian Tappan. World Premiere

The Royal Road / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson) — This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock'sVertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes. Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. World Premiere

Sam Klemke's Time Machine / Australia (Director: Matthew Bate) — Sam Klemke has filmed and narrated 50 years of his life, creating a strange and intimate portrait of what it means to be human. World Premiere

Station to Station / U.S.A. (Director: Doug Aitken) — Station to Station is composed of 60 individual one-minute films featuring different artists, musicians, places, and perspectives. This revolutionary feature-length film reveals a larger narrative about modern creativity. World Premiere

Things of the Aimless Wanderer / Rwanda, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Kivu Ruhorahoza) — A white man meets a black girl, then she disappears. The white man tries to understand what happened to her while also trying to finish a travelogue. Things of the Aimless Wanderer is a film about the sensitive topic of relations between “locals” and Westerners, about paranoia, mistrust, and misunderstandings. Cast: Justin Mullikin, Grace Nikuze, Ramadhan Bizimana, Eliane Umuhire, Wesley Ruzibiza, Matt Ray Brown. World Premiere

New Frontier Installations

1979 Revolution Game

Artists: Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari

1979 Revolution Game presents an innovative approach to non-fiction storytelling. Designed to engage players with an immersive "on the ground" experience of the Iranian Revolution, the game integrates an emotionally impactful narrative with interactive moral choices and intuitive touchscreen gameplay while remaining true to history.

Assent

Artist: Oscar Raby

This immersive documentary uses virtual reality technology to put the user in the footsteps of Director Oscar Raby's father, who in 1973 was a 22-year-old army officer stationed in the north of Chile, on the day when the Caravan of Death came to his regiment.

Birdly

Artist: Max Rheiner

Flying is one of the oldest dreams of humankind. Birdly is an experiment to capture this dream, to simulate the experience of being a bird from a first-person perspective. This embodiment is conducted through a full-body virtual reality setup.

Dérive

Artist: François Quévillon

This interactive installation uses the audience’s body motions and positions to explore 3-D reconstructions of urban and natural spaces that are transformed according to live environmental data, including meteorological and astronomical phenomena.

Evolution of Verse

Artist: Chris Milk

Chris Milk, working with visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain and virtual reality production company Vrse.works, has created this photo-realistic CGI-rendered 3-D virtual reality film that takes the viewer on a journey from beginning to new beginning.

Kaiju Fury!

Artist: Ian Hunter

A dark energy experiment leads to a devastating attack by monstrous Kaiju, and you are standing at ground zero — all in 360-degree, stereoscopic 3-D cinematic virtual reality. You will "be there" as the beasts lay waste to a crumbling city and humanity makes its last stand. Cast: Susie Abromeit, Bill Lippincott, Daniel Martin, Brian Dodge, Vincient Chiantelli.

Paradise

Artist: Pleix

Paradise is certainly not paradisiacal if you look at it through our eyes. But neither is it totally devoid of humor, melancholy and absurdity. Perhaps it is first and foremost life as it is, and then a touch exaggerated in the digital overdrive.

Perspective; Chapter I: The Party

Artists: Rose Troche, Morris May

A young college woman attends a party with the intention of shedding her "shy girl" persona. At the same party, a young man is after a similar reinvention. They meet, drink, and misinterpreted signals turn into things that cannot be undone. Virtual reality simulators let viewers experience both characters. Cast: Tabitha Morella, Caleb Thomas, Zachary Zagoria, Anna Grace Barlow.

Possibilia

Artists: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

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See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Sundance 2015: First Images From Nasty Baby, Entertainment, James White, and Take Me To The River

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival just announced the films that will be screening in the Next Category. The fest declares that their Next programming consists of pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. And now we've got the first images and synopses from the following movies that will be playing in that category. Entertainment - Directed by Rick Alverson; written by Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington and Tim Heidecker; starring Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek. James White - Written and directed by Josh Mond; starring Chris Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh and David Call. Nasty Baby - Written and directed by Sebastian Silva; starring Sebastian Silva, Tunde Adebimpe, Kristin Wiig, Reg E. Cathey,
See full article at Collider.com »

2015 Sundance Film Festival Line-Up Announced: Pictures and Previews

Today the first wave of titles playing at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival were announced and while the majority of the titles are new to me the names in front of the camera most certainly are not as you'll see the likes of Michael Fassbender, Nicole Kidman, Saoirse Ronan, Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Jack Black, James Marsden, Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Jemaine Clement, Sarah Silverman, Toni Collette, Vincent Cassell and many, many more among the titles featured. I have collected several photos from many of the films playing the festival, which will take place from January 22 - February 1 in Utah next year. Today's selection includes the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition and Next program. I'll be adding a few more pictures soon enough, but for now, have a look and see what stands out.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Sundance 2015 Lineup Revealed

America’s hottest and most eagerly anticipated film festival is nearly upon us! Running January 22 to February 1, 2015 in Park City, Utah, the annual Sundance Film Festival has launched its initial lineup of in-competition films in the Dramatic, World Cinema, Documentary and Next slates. In all, 66 films were announced in this initial lineup, with the Premieres and Documentary Premieres arriving December 8 and the Short Film slate arriving December 9.

Among the lineup, as always, are some intriguing prospects. The Us Dramatic Competition features films starring stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine (Z for Zachariah), Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor (The D Train), Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman (The Overnight), and Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back), among many others, and new films from recently hot directors including Alfonso-Gomez Rejon, Andrew Bujalski, and Craig Zobel.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Sundance ’15: Josh Mond, Rick Alverson, Sean Baker & Matt Sobel Populate Next Section

Last year’s Next section introduced us to new breed of filmmakers in Desiree Akhavan, Sydney Freeland, Madeleine Olnek, Ana Lily Amirpour, Malik Vitthal and Gillian Robespierre while re-introducing us to the likes of Alex Ross Perry, Tim Sutton, Michael Tully, Mark Jackson, Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz. With the likes of Josh Mond (see James White pic above), Rick Alverson, Sean Baker and Matt Sobel, the section comprised of ten films (with two non-world premieres in the Locarno preemed Christmas, Again and Venice Film Festival shown H.) distinctly feels avantgarde. Here are the batch of ten films.

Bob and the Trees / U.S.A., France (Director: Diego Ongaro, Screenwriters: Diego Ongaro, Courtney Maum, Sasha Statman-Weil) — Bob, a 50-year-old logger in rural Massachusetts with a soft spot for golf and gangsta rap, is struggling to make ends meet in a changed economy. When his beloved cow is wounded and a job goes awry,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2015 Competition, Next Lineups

Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2015 Competition, Next Lineups
A funny thing happened on the way to Park City: The general upsurge of comedians in the independent film world wound up playing a major role in shaping the 2015 Sundance Film Festival program, per fest director John Cooper and director of programming Trevor Groth.

The effect can be felt across all aspects of the feature lineup, which boasts a total of 118 films (103 of them world premieres), but especially among the 16 titles set to screen in the always buzzy U.S. dramatic competition. That’s one of the four juried slates (including U.S. documentary, World Cinema dramatic and World Cinema documentary) unveiled today along with the festival’s noncompetitive Next section.

“There are probably more comedies in the dramatic competition than ever before,” Groth said, citing such titles as “Results,” a romantic laffer from mumblecore auteur Andrew Bujalski, with Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders as a pair of personal trainers; Patrick Brice’s “The Overnight,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance unveils Us, World and Next line-ups

  • ScreenDaily
Sundance unveils Us, World and Next line-ups
New films from Nicole Kidman, Michael Fassbender, Louie Psihoyos and Sebastian Silva are featured in the festival’s line-up of Us and world competition strands and the Next programme.

Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper and head of programming Trevor Groth have unleashed their first volley of films in what will be a 118-strong line-up overall culled from 12,166 submissions. Of these, 103 features are world premieres. The festival will run January 22 to February 1.

Us Dramatic Competition includes Craig Zobel’s post-apocalytpic tale Z For Zachariah starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine; Jack Black in comedy The D Train; and Kristen Wiig in the 1970s San Francisco-set coming-of-age story The Diary Of A Teenage Girl.

Other likely highlights are Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment starring Billy Crudup and Ezra Miller; and Saoirse Ronan in Stockholm, Pennsylvania, about a young woman who returns to live with her parents after she is freed from her abductor of 17 years
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance 2015's Next slate features Kristen Wiig, John C. Reilly, Chris Abbott

  • Hitfix
Sundance 2015's Next slate features Kristen Wiig, John C. Reilly, Chris Abbott
How important is the Sundance Film Festival's Next program? The yearly slate of edgier fare has led to critically acclaimed art house hits such as "Obvious Child," "Listen Up Phillip" and "Sound of My Voice." It also has inspired the Los Angeles-based Sundance Next Festival, which just wrapped up its second edition this past August. So while it may not have the prestige of the U.S. dramatic competition, Next films are something any movie lover should pay attention to. Along with the top competition categories, the Sundance Institute announced the Next slate for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and it features some indie star power. Kristen Wiig stars in Sundance alum Sebastian Silva's "Nasty Baby" (which makes it back-to-back festivals for the "Skeleton Twins" star), John C. Reilly and Michael Cera appear in the comedy "Entertainment" and former "Girls" star Chris Abbott and Cynthia Nixon star in Josh Mond's "James White.
See full article at Hitfix »

Working the Engels

Network: NBC

Episodes: 12 (half-hour)

Seasons: One

TV show dates: July 10, 2014 -- August 7, 2014

Series status: Cancelled

Performers include: Andrea Martin, Kacey Rohl, Azura Skye, and Benjamin Arthur.

TV show description:

A comedy, this TV show revolves around a family of ne'er-do-wells who must band together to keep their heads above water when their father and breadwinner passes away which leaves them with a mountain of debt.

The Engels must all go to work running Dad's storefront law firm, with one minor problem -- daughter Jenna Engel (Kacey Rohl) is the only one of them who's qualified to practice law. The youngest sibling and "the good one," becomes the unlikely family patriarch, running the law firm and keeping her crazy family together. Unfortunately for Jenna, this also means taking on her eccentric relatives as co-workers.
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Working the Engels: Season One Ratings

NBC has been having a tough time finding new successful comedies. Will Working the Engels be a surprise ratings hit? Will it be renewed for a second season or will it be cancelled instead? Stay tuned.

On Working the Engels, a family of ne'er-do-wells must band together to keep their heads above water when their lawyer patriarch dies and leaves them with a mountain of debt. The cast includes Andrea Martin, Kacey Rohl, Azura Skye, and Benjamin Arthur.

The ratings are typically the best indication of a show's likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available -- usually the next day, around 11:30am Est/8:30am Pst. Refresh to see the latest.

How are your shows doing? Check the season rankings:
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Working the Engels: Cancelled? NBC Pulls New Thursday Sitcom

It looks like the Engels are out of work. NBC has pulled their new Working the Engels sitcom from the schedule. Has it been cancelled?

On Working the Engels, a family of ne'er-do-wells must band together to keep their heads above water when their lawyer patriarch dies and leaves them with a mountain of debt. The cast includes Andrea Martin, Kacey Rohl, Azura Skye, and Benjamin Arthur.

The peacock network has pulled the series from the schedule effective immediately. They're replacing it with additional airings of Welcome to Sweden -- another new Thursday sitcom that's better rated and has already been renewed for a second season.

There's no word on if NBC will ever put Working the Engels back on the air but things don't look good. The summer is nearly over and NBC has already announced their plans for fall. What's
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Working the Engels: Cancel or Keep the New NBC Sitcom?

This summer, NBC introduced two new comedies. Welcome to Sweden has already been renewed but what about Working the Engels? Will it also be back for a second season or, will it be cancelled instead?

On Working the Engels, a family of ne'er-do-wells must band together to keep their heads above water when their lawyer patriarch dies and leaves them with a mountain of debt. The cast includes Andrea Martin, Kacey Rohl, Azura Skye, and Benjamin Arthur.

Airing on July 10th, the first episode attracted a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.73 million viewers. It was a disappointing launch to be sure and subsequent episodes have performed even worse. Last week's episode hit a new low and drew a 0.5 rating with 1.87 million.

Working the Engels is NBC's second-worst performing series of the summer in the demo (behind
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

TV Review: ‘Working the Engels’

TV Review: ‘Working the Engels’
A Canadian import roughly as inspired as the pun in its title, “Working the Engels” is a beyond-flat NBC comedy about a family of ne’er-do-wells who improbably take over their deceased father’s cut-rate law practice. With the show heavily narrated by a central character who’s ostensibly the normal one in the brood — the daughter who became an attorney, but leaves the big firm where she’s been languishing — think of this as a very, very poor woman’s “Arrested Development,” and as thematically tired as a half-hour comedy can get.

The family matriarch (Sctv alum Andrea Martin) is informed that her late husband has left the family $200,000 in debt — bad news, indeed, since her son (Benjamin Arthur) is a law-breaking thug and one of her daughters (Azura Skye) has substance- and anger-management issues.

Fortunately, there’s daughter Jenna (Kacey Rohl), who seizes the opportunity and winds up essentially bailing out the family,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

'Undateable,' 'Crossbones' and 'Night Shift' get NBC summer premieres

  • Hitfix
'Undateable,' 'Crossbones' and 'Night Shift' get NBC summer premieres
For 10 months, they've been pictures on the side of milk cartons, but...  "Crossbones" lives! "Undateable" lives! "The Night Shift" lives! NBC announced six scripted additions to its already busy summer slate on Wednesday (March 26) and if you were looking for premiere dates for all of the mysteriously vanished shows the network unveiled last May, we've found them! In all, NBC will be airing six original scripted shows this summer, the most for any broadcast network in more than 20 years, so NBC says. [By my count, ABC's summer schedule will include five original scripted shows.] Once again: Never say that there's nothing to watch on TV in the summer. On to those premieres... [Note that NBC previously announced premiere dates for "Last Comic Standing" (Thursday, May 22), "American Ninja Warrior" (Monday, May 26) and "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday, May 27).] Up first on the scripted front is "The Night Shift," airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. starting on May 27, when it'll likely get a solid bump from the "Agt" premiere. Eoin Macken stars as a renegade doctor working the late
See full article at Hitfix »
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