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13 items from 2012


The 2013 Sundance Film Festival Films in U.S. and World Competitions, Next

27 December 2012 6:30 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year. We look forward to hearing from these artists not just through their words and images onscreen but also through the larger dialogue they create with audiences at our Festival and beyond.”

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films, both documentary and narrative, selected for our 2013 Festival have a particular immediacy and fearlessness to them showing us that independent film is as vibrant, creative and relevant as ever. Filmmakers are telling raw, powerful stories that are sure to create new energy in audiences and communities across the globe in the months to come.”

For the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, 113 feature-length films were selected, representing 32 countries and 51 first-time filmmakers, including 27 in competition. These films were selected from 12,146 submissions (429 more than for 2012), including 4,044 feature-length films and 8,102 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,070 were from the U.S. and 1,974 were international. 98 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

In addition, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section, are forthcoming.

On Day One, January 17, 2013, the Festival will screen one narrative film and one documentary from both the U.S. and World Cinema competitions, as well as one shorts program.

A selection of films from the 2013 Festival will also be presented at the second Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-28 at The O2.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Each year at this time we look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the discovery of new voices at the Sundance Film Festival. The Festival continues to reflect the spirit of innovation and creativity in independent cinema, not only in the stories themselves but also in how the films are produced and making their way to audiences.”

U.S. Dramatic Competition

The world premieres of 16 American narrative feature films.

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.

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.

Austenland/ U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jerusha Hess, Screenwriters: Jerusha Hess, Shannon Hale) — Thirtysomething, single Jane is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. On a trip to an English resort, her fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman become more real than she ever imagined.Cast: Keri Russell, Jj Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, James Callis.

C.O.G./ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kyle Patrick Alvarez) — In the first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris' work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path. Cast: Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, Troian Bellisario.

Concussion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Stacie Passon) — After a blow to the head, Abby decides she can't do it anymore. Her life just can't be only about the house, the kids and the wife. She needs more: she needs to be Eleanor.Cast: Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney, Laila Robins.

Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini) — Emanuel, a troubled girl, becomes preoccupied with her mysterious, new neighbor, who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to babysit her newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper. Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Aneurin Barnard.

Fruitvale/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler) — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008. Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray.

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.

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.

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.

May in the Summer/ U.S.A., Qatar, Jordan (Director and screenwriter: Cherien Dabis) — A bride-to-be is forced to reevaluate her life when she reunites with her family in Jordan and finds herself confronted with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce. Cast: Cherien Dabis, Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, Alexander Siddig. Day One Film

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, Anthony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi.

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.

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.

Toy's House/ U.S.A. (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Screenwriter: Chris Galletta) — Three unhappy teenage boys flee to the wilderness where they build a makeshift house and live off the land as masters of their own destiny. Or at least that’s the plan. Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie.

Upstream Color/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shane Carruth) — A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins.

U.S. Documentary Competition

The world premieres of 16 American documentary films.

99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film/ U.S.A. (Directors: Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites, Lucian Read, Nina Kristic) — The Occupy movement erupted in September 2011, propelling economic inequality into the spotlight. In an unprecedented collaboration, filmmakers across America tell its story, digging into big picture issues as organizers, analysts, participants and critics reveal how it happened and why.

After Tiller/ U.S.A. (Directors: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson) — Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in the country provide late-term abortions. With unprecedented access, After Tiller goes inside the lives of these physicians working at the center of the storm.

American Promise / U.S.A. (Directors: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson) — This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.

Blackfish/ U.S.A. (Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite) — Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer.Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

Blood Brother/ U.S.A. (Director: Steve Hoover) — Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face, or the love he would find.

Citizen Koch/ U.S.A. (Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin) — Wisconsin – birthplace of the Republican Party, government unions, “cheeseheads” and Paul Ryan – becomes a test market in the campaign to buy Democracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the Gop.

Cutie and the Boxer/ U.S.A. (Director: Zachary Heinzerling) — This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Dirty Wars/ U.S.A. (Director: Richard Rowley) — Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America’s covert wars.

Gideon's Army / U.S.A. (Director: Dawn Porter) — Gideon’s Army follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.

God Loves Uganda/ U.S.A. (Director: Roger Ross Williams) — A powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law.

The Good Life/ U.S.A. (Directors: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine) — Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns fight to save their only son from Progeria, a rare and fatal disease for which there is no treatment or cure. In less than a decade, their work has led to significant advances.

Inequality for All/ U.S.A. (Director: Jacob Kornbluth) — In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic-policy expert Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality, and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy.

Manhunt/ U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Greg Barker) — This espionage tale goes inside the CIA’s long conflict against Al Qaeda, as revealed by the remarkable women and men whose secret war against Osama bin Laden started nearly a decade before most of us even knew his name.

Narco Cultura / U.S.A. (Director: Shaul Schwarz) — An examination of Mexican drug cartels’ influence in pop culture on both sides of the border as experienced by an La narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War.

Twenty Feet From Stardom/ U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Neville) — Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight.  Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead – until now. Day One Film

Valentine Road / U.S.A. (Director: Marta Cunningham) — In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as its startling aftermath.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

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

Circles/ Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia (Director: Srdan Golubovic, Screenwriters: Srdjan Koljevic, Melina Pota Koljevic) — Five people are affected by a tragic heroic act. Twenty years later, all of them will confront the past through their own crises. Will they overcome guilt, frustration and their urge for revenge? Will they do the right thing, at all costs? Cast: Aleksandar Bercek, Leon Lucev, Nebojsa Glogovac, Hristina Popovic, Nikola Rakocevic, Vuk Kostic. World Premiere

Crystal Fairy / Chile (Director and screenwriter: Sebastián Silva) — Jamie invites a stranger to join a road trip to Chile. The woman’s free and esoteric nature clashes with Jamie’s acidic, self-absorbed personality as they head into the desert for a Mescaline-fueled psychedelic trip. Cast: Michael Cera, Gabby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva. World Premiere. Day One Film

The Future/ Chile, Germany, Italy, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Alicia Scherson) — When their parents die, Bianca starts to smoke and Tomas is still a virgin. The orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca finds Maciste, a retired Mr. Universe, and enters his dark mansion in search of a future. Cast: Manuela Martelli, Rutger Hauer, Luigi Ciardo, Nicolas Vaporidis, Alessandro Giallocosta. World Premiere

Houston/ Germany (Director and screenwriter: Bastian Günther) — Clemens Trunschka is a corporate headhunter and an alcoholic. Drinking increasingly isolates him from his life and leads him away from reality. While searching for a CEO candidate in Houston, his addiction submerges him into his own darkness. Cast: Ulrich Tukur, Garret Dillahunt, Wolfram Koch, Jenny Schily, Jason Douglas, Jens Münchow. World Premiere

Jiseul / South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Muel O) — In 1948, as the Korean government ordered the Communists’ eviction to Jeju Island, the military invaded a calm and peaceful village. Townsfolk took sanctuary in a cave and debated moving to a higher mountain. Cast: Min-chul Sung, Jung-won Yang, Young-soon Oh, Soon-dong Park, Suk-bum Moon, Kyung-sub Jang. International Premiere

Lasting / Poland, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch) — An emotional love story about two Polish students who fall in love with each other while working summer jobs in Spain. An unexpected nightmare interrupts their carefree time in the heavenly landscape and throws their lives into chaos. Cast: Jakub Gierszal, Magdalena Berus, Angela Molina. World Premiere

Metro Manila / United Kingdom, Philippines (Director: Sean Ellis, Screenwriters: Sean Ellis, Frank E. Flowers) — Seeking a better life, Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Cast: Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega. World Premiere

Shopping / New Zealand (Directors: Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland, Screenwriters: Louis Sutherland, Mark Albiston) — New Zealand, 1981: Seduced by a charismatic career criminal, teenager Willie must choose where his loyalty lies – with a family of shoplifters or his own blood. Cast: Kevin Paulo, Julian Dennison, Jacek Koman, Alistair Browning. World Premiere

Soldate Jeannette/ Austria (Director: Daniel Hoesl) — Fanni has had enough of money and leaves to buy a tent. Anna has had enough of pigs and leaves a needle in the hay. Cars crash and money burns to shape their mutual journey toward a rising liberty. Cast: Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, Christina Reichsthaler, Josef Kleindienst, Aurelia Burckhardt, Julia Schranz, Ines Rössl. World Premiere

There Will Come a Day/ Italy, France (Director: Giorgio Diritti, Screenwriters: Giorgio Diritti, Fredo Valla, Tania Pedroni) — Painful issues push Augusta, a young Italian woman, to doubt the certainties on which she has built her existence. On a small boat in the immensity of the Amazon rain forest, she faces the adventure of searching for herself. Cast: Jasmine Trinca, Anne Alvaro, Pia Engleberth. World Premiere

Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)/ Afghanistan (Director and screenwriter: Barmak Akram) — A young man in Kabul seduces a girl. When she tells him she’s pregnant, he questions having taken her virginity. Then her father arrives, and a timeless, archaic violence erupts – possibly leading to a crime, and even a sacrifice. Cast: Wajma Bahar, Mustafa Abdulsatar, Haji Gul, Breshna Bahar. World Premiere

What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love/ Indonesia (Director and screenwriter: Mouly Surya) — Mouly Surya’s film explores the odds of love and deception among the blind, the deaf and the unlucky sighted people at a high school for the visually impaired. Cast: Nicholas Saputra, Ayushita Nugraha, Karina Salim, Anggun Priambodo, Lupita Jennifer. World Premiere

World Cinema Documentary Competition

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

Fallen City / China (Director: Qi Zhao) — Fallen City spans four years to reveal how three families who survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to embark on a journey searching for hope, purpose, identity, and to rebuild their lives in a new China torn between tradition and modernity. North American Premiere

Fire in the Blood/ India (Director: Dylan Mohan Gray) — In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Western governments and pharmaceutical companies blocked low-cost antiretroviral drugs from reaching AIDS-stricken Africa, causing 10 million or more unnecessary deaths. An improbable group of people decided to fight back. North American Premiere

Google and the World Brain/ Spain, United Kingdom (Director: Ben Lewis) — In the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet, Google has been scanning the world's books for 10 years. They said the intention was to build a giant digital library, but that involved scanning millions of copyrighted works. World Premiere

The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear/ Georgia, Germany (Director: Tinatin Gurchiani) — A film director casting a 15-23-year-old protagonist visits villages and cities to meet people who answer her call. She follows those who prove to be interesting enough through various dramatic and funny situations. North American Premiere

The Moo Man/ United Kingdom (Directors: Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier) — A year in the life of heroic farmer Steve, scene stealing Ida (queen of the herd), and a supporting cast of 55 cows. When Ida falls ill, Steve’s optimism is challenged and their whole way of life is at stake. World Premiere

Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer / Russian Federation, United Kingdom (Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin) — Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial: the three young artists or the society they live in? World Premiere

A River Changes Course/ Cambodia, U.S.A. (Director: Kalyanee Mam) — Three young Cambodians struggle to overcome the crushing effects of deforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt in this devastatingly beautiful story of a country reeling from the tragedies of war and rushing to keep pace with a rapidly expanding world. World Premiere

Salma/ United Kingdom, India (Director: Kim Longinotto) — When Salma, a young girl in South India, reached puberty, her parents locked her away. Millions of girls all over the world share the same fate. Twenty-five years later, Salma has fought her way back to the outside world. World Premiere

The Square (El Midan) / Egypt, U.S.A. (Director: Jehane Noujaim) — What does it mean to risk your life for your ideals? How far will five revolutionaries go in defending their beliefs in the fight for their nation? World Premiere

The Stuart Hall Project/ United Kingdom (Director: John Akomfrah) — Antinuclear campaigner, New Left activist and founding father of Cultural Studies, this documentary interweaves 70 years of Stuart Hall’s film, radio and television appearances, and material from his private archive to document a memorable life and construct a portrait of Britain’s foremost radical intellectual. World Premiere

The Summit / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Nick Ryan) — Twenty-four climbers converged at the last stop before summiting the most dangerous mountain on Earth. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished. Had one, Ger McDonnell, stuck to the climbers' code, he might still be alive.International Premiere

Who is Dayani Cristal?/ United Kingdom (Director: Marc Silver) — An anonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama. The search for its identity leads us across a continent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo. World Premiere. Day One Film

Next <=>

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity proves the films selected in this section will inform a “greater” next wave in American cinema.

Blue Caprice/ U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriters: R.F.I Porto, Alexandre Moors) — An abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure in this film inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks. Cast: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, Cassandra Freeman, Leo Fitzpatrick.

Computer Chess /U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) — An existential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess – back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart. Cast: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins.

Escape from Tomorrow/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Randy Moore) — A postmodern, surreal voyage into the bowels of "family" entertainment; an epic battle begins when an unemployed, middle-aged father loses his sanity during a close encounter with two teenage girls on holiday. Cast: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Annet Mahendru, Danielle Safady, Alison Lees-Taylor.

I Used to Be Darker/ U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Porterfield, Screenwriters: Amy Belk, Matthew Porterfield) — A runaway seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore, only to find their marriage ending and her cousin in crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let go while searching for things to sustain them. Cast: Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace, Nick Petr.

It Felt Like Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) — On the outskirts of Brooklyn, a 14-year-old girl’s sexual quest takes a dangerous turn when she pursues an older guy and tests the boundaries between obsession and love.Cast: Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen, Case Prime.

Milkshake/ U.S.A. (Director: David Andalman, Screenwriters: David Andalman, Mariko Munro) — In mid-1990's America, we follow the tragic sex life of Jolie Jolson, a wannabe thug (and great-great-grandson of legendary vaudevillian Al Jolson) in suburban DC as he strives to become something he can never be – black. Cast: Tyler Ross, Shareeka Epps, Georgia Ford, Eshan Bay, Leo Fitzpatrick, Danny Burstein.

Newlyweeds/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shaka King) — A Brooklyn repo man and his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But what should be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love triangle gone awry in this dark coming-of-age comedy about dependency. Cast: Amari Cheatom, Trae Harris, Tone Tank, Colman Domingo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Adrian Martinez.

Pit Stop/ U.S.A. (Director: Yen Tan, Screenwriters: Yen Tan, David Lowery) — Two working-class gay men in a small Texas town and a love that isn't quite out of reach. Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, John Merriman, Alfredo Maduro, Corby Sullivan.

A Teacher/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Hannah Fidell) — A popular young teacher in a wealthy suburban Texas high school has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end. Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Jonny Mars, Julie Phillips, Chris Dubeck.

This is Martin Bonner/ U.S.A.(Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet, Demetrius Grosse.

The Sundance Film Festival®

A program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®, the Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, Trouble the Water, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival® sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Hp, Acura, Sundance Channel and Chase Sapphire PreferredSM; Leadership Sponsors – Directv, Entertainment Weekly, Focus Forward, a partnership between Ge and Cinelan, Southwest Airlines, Sprint and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – Adobe, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., CÎRoc Ultra Premium Vodka, FilterForGood®, a partnership between Brita® and Nalgene®, Hilton HHonors and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Intel Corporation, L'Oréal Paris, Recycled Paper Greetings, Stella Artois® and Time Warner Inc. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations will defray costs associated with the 10-day Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute's year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists. www.sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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- Sydney Levine

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Poster Debut: Yen Tan's Sundance-Bound Small-Town Drama Pit Stop

21 December 2012 8:00 AM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

Soon to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Yen Tan's Pit Stop has its first poster, designed by the filmmaker himself, and we're pleased to present its debut. Pit Stop is the third feature film from Tan, who I first met when I was volunteering at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas in 2002. He's an incredibly talented filmmaker and graphic designer, down-to-earth and modest, yet determined to stay the course and make personal films that resonate widely. Here's the description of Pit Stop from the Sundance film guide: Recovering from an ill-fated affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the relationship he maintains with his ex-wife and daughter. On the other side of town, Ernesto evades life at home with his current »

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Variety's 10 Directors to Watch Includes Sundance and Foreign Oscar Entry Helmers

7 December 2012 11:56 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Variety has announced its annual pre-Sundance 10 Directors to Watch list. The indie world is already familiar with Texas jack-of-all-trades David Lowery, whose Casey Affleck-Rooney Mara starrer "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" will debut in competition at Sundance in January, while "Pit Stop," which he co-wrote, is in the Next section; Rebecca Thomas, whose Mormon drama "Elecktrick Children" was an official selection at Berlin 2012; and the director of Sundance 2013 entry "Kill Your Darlings," John Krokidas. On the foreign side comes Australian Wayne Blair, director of the entertaining Cannes selection "The Sapphires," backed by the Weinstein Co.; David Ondricek, whose gorgeous noir "In the Shadow" is the Czech Republic's Oscar entry; and Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, the directing duo behind Norway's enjoyable high-seas adventure Oscar submission "Kon-Tiki" (our review is here). Haifaa »

- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna

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Wtf is Latino at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival?

5 December 2012 12:30 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Glad you asked.  Now that the entire programming slate has been announced for the 2013 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, let’s take a look at the representation of Latinos in the broadest, most diverse sense, because that is what that ill-defined lump category encompasses.  {Full disclosure:  I work as a Programming Associate for the Festival.  These are not reviews but an insider breaking-it-down preview}

At first glance the Latino representation may not seem obvious.  Nor may it seem as strong as the films and filmmakers from the African-American and Lgbt community representing, or the record breaking number of female directors’ – each group highly visible by their nature.  We may not have a Mosquita y Mari or Filly Brown, two fiction films, which broke out of the festival this past year, but we do have two hugely relevant and urgent documentaries, Narco Cultura which explores the phenomenal music and social culture being shaped and perpetuated by the influence of Mexico’s violent drug cartels, and Who Is Dayani Cristal? an innovative doc-fiction hybrid produced by Gael Garcia Bernal that will hopefully re-divert much needed attention back to the Us/Mexico border.  By the way, Who is Dayani Cristal? screens in the high profile Day One slot.

What’s Latino anyway?

I personally embrace the responsibility of changing the conversation as to what constitutes representing American Latinos.  First, by focusing on both the above-the- line-talent (filmmaker or actor) And storyline/subject.  The second part is highlighting the second, third, fourth and so-on generations of filmmakers. What about the filmmakers in the festival like Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G),  Liz W. Garcia (The Lifeguard) and Eduardo Sanchez (S-vhs horror anthology and co-director of the infamous Blair Witch Project)? I don’t know these filmmakers personally so I can’t speak to how they might view their cultural identities and how it informs their work, if at all. But I do believe it is worth pointing out and feeling good about these last names being out there as part of the mainstream fabric.  It is similar to how Robert Rodriguez does not identify himself as a Mexican-American yet his last name has been key to driving the younger Latino generation in feeling a proud connection as an American and not just “dash” American.

Chile is still hot

There are three films from Chilean filmmakers.  In unprecedented fashion – because that’s how Sundance likes to roll- there is a repeat of last year with two in competition, El Futuro by Alicia Scherson (mostly taking place in Italy) and Magic Fairy by Sebastian Silva, an alumnus who broke out in 2009 with La Nana. In the section Spotlight aka “Movies we love and don’t care if they’ve traveled the festival circuit”, is Pablo Larrain’s No starring Gael Garcia Bernal.  Chilean cinema is hot and king of engrossing character-driven fare.  What we are seeing is a boom on two fronts; an invigorating new generation of provocateurs (Marialy Rivas’s Young & Wild comes to mind) and a slightly older generation of equally exciting filmmakers who continue to sustain their careers with their distinct voice (like Pablo Larrain along with Andres Wood).

So now lets dive in and look at the list.  Loglines copied from official press release – Bold Italics are my comments.

Us Dramatic Competition

Fruitvale / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler) — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008. Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray.

Puerto-Rican Diaz delivers a fiercely moving performance embodying the girlfriend of Oscar Grant who was with him that fateful day.   Diaz is no stranger to the festival. She’s previously been at the festival with four films including seminal indie American Latino story, Raising Victor Vargas 2002 and comedies like Hamlet 2 20008.  Why homegirl hasn’t gotten more props for her mad acting skills I don’t know, but this girl is wildly talented and Fruitvale showcases her dramatic chops.

Us Documentary Competition

Narco Cultura / U.S.A. (Director: Shaul Schwarz) — An examination of Mexican drug cartels’ influence in pop culture on both sides of the border as experienced by an La narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War.

Absolutely arresting photography that works in giving weight to the violent images the public has become numb from seeing.  I predict some of my hard core brown and proud friends might focus and hence diminish this film based on the fact that this bi-cultural, Mexican-American subject is made by non-Latino filmmakers. It could be argued as a valid point.  When it comes to documentaries a legit question to make when evaluating is “What makes This person the right one to tackle This subject?   What is their connection?”  Let’s watch it to find out, then give consideration to what other docs are currently out there on this same timely topic made by Latinos, and without bias regard their depth and artistic merit.  

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Crystal Fairy / Chile (Director and screenwriter: Sebastián Silva) — Jamie invites a stranger to join a road trip to Chile. The woman’s free and esoteric nature clashes with Jamie’s acidic, self-absorbed personality as they head into the desert for a Mescaline-fueled psychedelic trip. Cast: Michael Cera, Gabby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva. World Premiere. Day One Film

This marks Sebastian’s third appearance at the festival following La Nana and Gatos Viejos. Remember what I said about character driven?  Silva excels at getting at spilling out the insides of his protagonists. 

The Future / Chile, Germany, Italy, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Alicia Scherson) — When their parents die, Bianca starts to smoke and Tomas is still a virgin. The orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca finds Maciste, a retired Mr. Universe, and enters his dark mansion in search of a future. Cast: Manuela Martelli, Rutger Hauer, Luigi Ciardo, Nicolas Vaporidis, Alessandro Giallocosta. World Premiere

Scherson’s last film, Turistas screened at various film festivals including the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2009.  Shot in another country and in a different language, The Future continues the filmmaker’s incisive capturing of the strong female led journey.

 World Cinema Documentary Competition

Who is Dayani Cristal? / United Kingdom (Director: Marc Silver) — An anonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama. The search for its identity leads us across a continent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo. World Premiere. Day One Film

An extraordinary cinematic and symbolic approach to the border crossing genre, this meta reflexive journey retraced by none other than Gael Garcia Bernal imagines the grueling experience of a migrant and who he might have been.  Bernal has been lending his star power to the social justice causes that move him and you can tell its genuine.

New Frontier

Halley / Mexico (Director: Sebastian Hofmann, Screenwriters: Sebastian Hofmann, Julio Chavezmontes) — Alberto is dead and can no longer hide it. Before surrendering to his living death, he forms an unusual friendship with Luly, the manager of the 24-hour gym where he works as a night guard. Cast: Alberto Trujillo, Lourdes Trueba, Hugo Albores

As unsettling it is watch, its as deep to ponder, this incredibly-shot first feature had its world premiere at the Morelia Film Festival and its inclusion in the most daring section of the festival speaks to the highly diverse and radical new cinema coming from Mexico.

Spotlight

No / Chile, U.S.A. (Director: Pablo Larraín, Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano) — When Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet calls for a referendum to decide his permanence in power, the opposition persuades a young advertising executive to head its campaign. With limited resources and under scrutiny, he conceives a plan to win the election. Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Luis Gnecco, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana.

There have been many films about the Pinochet regime and its wide-reaching after effects.  But none have had as unique an entry point as No. Trust.

Midnight

We Are What We Are / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle) — A devastating storm washes up clues that lead authorities closer and closer to the cannibalistic Parker family. Cast: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell, Kelly McGillis.

Okay, I only include this because this is based on the Mexican cult hit, Somos Lo que Hay by Jorge Michel GrauJim Mickle of Stakeland has promised to “Not Fuck it Up per Twitch interview

To cap off the features;  Stalwart Spanish actor Alfred Molina is in Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes by Francesca Gregorini in Us Dramatic Competition, and we have a strong acting splash by Marcus DeAnda, a co-lead in Pit Stop directed by Yen Tan and co-written by David Lowery.  The film about two gay working class lovers in small town Texas is in the Next section.

And lets not forget about shorts!

Short Film Competition

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.

Ever since writing and directing team Arriga and Innaritu broke up (Amores Perros, Babel) Arriaga has been trying to make his stamp directing his own material.

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.

Intriguing and highly atmospheric gem from Peru!

Chicago? Check.  Mexicans check!  No, but really this intimate glimpse is poetic and moving.

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.

Must see.  Fascinating and inventive ‘Found family photos’  yarn.  

#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.

My favorite locos from Miami.  After making the rounds with Life & Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, which played last year, these rump-shakers have been busy with their work in and out of their funky audiovisual collective Borscht Corp.

If you are heading to Park City I highly recommend you register to purchase Advance tickets here.  See you on the mountain!

»

- Christine Davila

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Lone Star Films Will Shine at Sundance in 2013

5 December 2012 11:30 AM, PST | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

The Sundance Film Festival has announced most of its 2013 film program, which includes a pleasantly surprising number of films from the Lone Star State. Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater will premiere Before Midnight, the sequel to Before Sunset (2004) and Before Sunrise (1995), with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (pictured above) reprising their roles as their characters cross paths again. Local company Stuck On On was involved in the movie's post-production.

Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols' new film Mud, starring sometimes-Austinite Matthew McConaughey, native Texan Joe Don Baker and Reese Witherspoon will have its North American premiere at the Utah festival, having wowed audiences and critics alike at Cannes earlier this year. Young actor Tye Sheridan (Tree of Life) from Elkhart, Texas, stars as one of the young boys who befriends McConaughey's title character. As with Take Shelter, Nichols utilized Stuck On On for sound post-production and Austin composer David Wingo for Mud. »

- Debbie Cerda

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Sundance 2013 Film Festival Line-Up Announced

29 November 2012 4:36 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

We have the official full slate of films confirmed for next years Sundance Film Festival, the prestigious event founded by legendary acting, directing and producing icon, Robert Redford. The ceremony was originally set up during 1978 for those independent films and filmmakers to showcase their talents to the world, in hope of gaining a wider audience. Check out the press release giving all the details below:-

Sundance Institute announced today the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said:

“Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year. We look forward to hearing from these »

- Craig Hunter

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2013 Sundance Line-Up Announced

29 November 2012 4:36 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Sixteen films are set to compete in the dramatic category at next year's Sundance Film Festival in January, with exactly half of those films directed by women - a new record for the festival which will be in its 29th year.

Approximately 113 feature-length films representing 32 countries were selected for Sundance for next year including 27 films in competition and 51 films from first-time directors. Many of the key categories were announced today.

While the Utah-based film festival only occasionally showcases films that have true mainstream crossover potential, this year sees more audience friendly fare in competition even it is still specifically targeting the art house crowd.

The fest in January this year was dominated by the rave reviews for its Grand Jury Prize winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" which, upon moving to a more mainstream release, scored many accolades but just $13 million in worldwide box-office.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Afternoon Delight »

- Garth Franklin

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Sundance 2013 To Feature Primer Director Shane Curruth’s Upstream Color

29 November 2012 4:30 AM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

If you ever managed to see Shane Carruth‘s Primer, you’re probably a very confused person. That’s to say, the 2004 time-travel flick strove to be as realistic as possible, and by realistic, we mean completely mind-boggling. Saying that, Primer remains one of the most intriguing movies of the past decade (even if we still can’t figure it out), which means that the promise of a second movie from writer/director Curruth is something to be excited about.

Though it was rumored that the poor guy couldn’t get funding sorted for a second feature, it appears he finally got it made: Upstream Color will premier at Sundance 2013, presumably to grant everybody another headache with a bizarre-sounding story about two people who become a single organism.

Sundance, of course, exists to showcase the best and brightest in indie film. Next year’s festival takes place from January 17-27 in Park City, »

- T.J. Barnard

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2013 Sundance Film Fest: Moors, Porterfield, Bujalski and Hartigan Fill Innovative Next Program

28 November 2012 3:00 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Moving from last year’s eight selections (which included Craig Zobel’s Compliance), this year section described as “a “greater” next wave in American cinema” balloons to ten selections including a pair that we not only predicted, but happen to be titles we’ve been buzzing about for some time now in Alexandre MoorsBlue Caprice and Matthew Porterfield’s I Used to Be Darker. Also among the batch of ten we find, Andrew Bujalski of Beeswax and Mutual Appreciation fame with his fourth feature, Computer Chess, we have Chad Hartigan’s This is Martin Bonner (see pic above – and kudos for the teaser poster artwork) and finally Yen Tan’s Pit Stop which is co-written with David Lowery who also happens to have been selected in the U.S. Dramatic Comp program for his feature film debut, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Here is the list of 10:

Blue Caprice / U. »

- Eric Lavallee

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Line-Up Announced for Sundance Film Festival 2013

28 November 2012 2:07 PM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Every year, the festival circuit kicks off with a huge bang – Sundance.

It’s one of the biggest festivals for independent films around the world, taking over Park City, Ut every January, to bring together some of the biggest and finest names in the independent filmmaking world.

The line-up has now been announced for the Us and World Competition categories, along with Next, giving us a great first look at what we have to look forward to in January – and, looking ahead, at some of the films that will be coming to Sundance London in April 2013.

The first slew of films show incredible promise, with David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, and Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely leading the Us Dramatic category with so much potential.

Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints features an all-star cast, headed up by Rooney Mara, »

- Kenji Lloyd

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2013 Sundance Film Festival Competition Lineup Revealed

28 November 2012 1:59 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17-27 and today the fest unveiled their competition slates including film in the Dramatic, Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic, Word Cinema Documentary and Next competitions. As always, these lineups are incredibly hard to predict, but amid this group there are a few interesting titles. The Dramatic competition includes Jill Soloway's Afternoon Delight, a dark comedy starring Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch that centers on a L.A. housewife who hires a stripper as a live-in nanny. I had not heard of David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, but a cast that includes Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker and Keith Carradine is immediately appealing, while the plot compares itself to Terrence Malick's Badlands and Bonnie & Clyde telling a story of Bob Muldoon and Ruth Guthrie, two young outlaws who are brought down by the authorities in the hills of Texas. »

- Brad Brevet

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The Latest Austin Movie Success Stories: ‘Where Soldiers Come From,’ ‘Fourplay,’ ‘Pit Stop,’ ‘Black Metal’ and More…

16 July 2012 10:00 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Austin will be representin’ at the Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. As if winning the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards weren’t enough, Austin filmmaker Heather Courtney’s Where Soldiers Come From (which was broadcast on PBS’s Pov series) just received an Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story – Long Form” category. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, October 1 at the Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have not seen Where Soldiers Come From, it will be rebroadcast in September. And, don’t worry, I will remind you again. Former Austinite Kyle Henry‘s Fourplay (which boasts an Austin-centric cast and crew including producer Jason Wehling, cinematographer Pj Raval and actor Paul Soileau) premiered at San Franciso’s Frameline36 in June and it just screened last night in Los Angeles at Outfest 2012. I can only assume that Fourplay will be screening at many more »

- Don Simpson

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TV Castings: Iain Glen Guests In ‘Haven’, Bill Heck, Shannyn Sossamon Join New Series

12 July 2012 7:46 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) is set to guest star in the upcoming third season of Syfy’s Haven. Glen will appear in the October 26 episode as Roland Holloway, a refined yet bitter man who’s been trapped inside his house for more than 27 years and is bent on vengeance. He joins cast members Emily Rose (Audrey), Lucas Bryant (Nathan) and Eric Balfour (Duke). Haven returns on Friday, September 21 at 10 Pm. Bill Heck has booked a recurring role on CBS’ new Sherlock Holmes reboot Elementary. He plays Ty, a handsome old friend of Joan’s (Lucy Lui) and a rising star in the New York District Attorney’s office. Heck had a lead role in Yen Tan’s new feature film Pit Stop. Heck is repped by Wme. Elementary premieres on Thursday, September 27 at 10 Pm. Shannyn Sossamon has been cast in the role of Alex in ABC’s racy new soap Mistresses. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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