Sundance Institute announced today the program of short films selected to screen at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. This year the Festival Short Film Program comprises 83 short films representing 17 countries from 5,107 submissions, from U.S. and international filmmakers. Submissions grew by more than 15% over last year. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27 with screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.
This year’s short films reinforce the genre as one which represents creativity and technological innovation. These films are diverse and eclectic, straying from the norms of creative film production. The 41 U.S. shorts include a collection of films that grapple with dystopia and disenfranchisement as well as a psychedelic opera and a prison beauty pageant.
The Sundance Film Festival announced this year’s slate of documentary short films. Click through to check out the list.
This year’s record number of international shorts offers a compelling look at stories from around the world. There are 42 international short films, up from 28 last year, representing 16 countries. From the torment of a ten-year old Iranian girl to the various collisions of seemingly unrelated worlds, the international shorts challenge our preconceptions and visual conventions.
To showcase the diversity of contemporary independent cinema, the Sundance Film Festival Premieres section offers the latest work from American and international directors and world premieres of highly anticipated films.
Films screening in Premieres are…
Alejandro Fernández Almendras was born in Chillán, Chile, in 1971. He has worked as a journalist, photographer and film critic, and has lived in Chile and New York. He has directed several short films, including LO QUE TRAE LA LLUVIA (2007), which screened at the Berlin Film Festival and was awarded the Casa de Americas prize in the Version Española short film competition; and DESDE LEJOS (2006), which won best short film at the Santiago International Film Festival, and best regional work at the Valdivia Film Festival. Almendras is a 2007 Artists’ Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
Paz Fabrega / AGUA FRIA DE MAR (Costa Rica) — On the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, a young woman encounters a strange little girl, who brings on a crisis of unsuspected proportions. She is faced with the limitations and loneliness of her privileged life complicated by the heightened atmosphere of the unpredictable, vast nature, which make human effort seems small and absurd.
A tribute to the abundance of compelling new voices and the creative spirit in independent filmmaking, the Spectrum program presents out-of-competition dramatic and documentary films from some of the most promising filmmakers in the world today. For 2008, Sundance Film Festival features a new sidebar, Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight. Unfulfilled dreams, storybook heroes, joyful octogenarians, and gangsters with a heart are revealed in these new films.
Braden King co-directed the lyric Aleutian Island documentary, DUTCH HARBOR: WHERE THE SEA BREAKS ITS BACK, which had extensive festival screenings and a theatrical release. King has directed music videos and short films for artists including Sonic Youth, Will Oldham, Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Sparklehorse and Yo La Tengo. Recent non-narrative work includes HEAVEN IS A PLACE / NOTHING EVER HAPPENS, a film/video installation commissioned by Chris Doyle for the 50,000 BEDS exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum; and [THE STORY IS STILL ASLEEP], a multi-channel film, video and live music event that will premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His screenplay, HERE (co-written with Dani Valent), has received grants and awards from the Creative Capital, Alfred P. Sloan and Annenberg Foundations.
New Frontier represents film at the crossroads of art, environment, culture and new media. This year’s line-up includes a program of six feature-length films from France, Haiti, and the United States. In addition to the films screening in New Frontier, the program draws focus to new work that is at the forefront of the intersection between art, new technology, and the moving image….
This year’s projects range from Slovenia and Bosnia to Chile, Japan and the United States. The twelve finalists for the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards are…
For the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, 121 feature-length films were selected including 87 world premieres, 14 North American premieres and 12 U.S. premieres representing 25 countries with 55 first-time filmmakers, including 23 in the non-competition categories. These films were selected from 3,624 feature film submissions composed of 2,021 U.S. and 1,603 international feature-length films. These numbers represent an increase from last year when 1,852 U.S. and 1,435 international feature-length films were considered.
UPDATE: EVERYTHING’S COOL had a limited theatrical debut in November 2007. MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES went on to win Best Documentary at both the Genie Awards and the RiverRun International Film Festival. The film had a limited theatrical release this past June 2007 and can now be bought on DVD.
UPDATE: Making its limited theatrical debut this past October, MY KID COULD PAINT THAT was released with wide acclaim. Richard Roeper says, “It’s one of the best documentaries of this or any other year.” IN UPDATE: THE SHADOW OF THE MOON invoked a sense of nostalgia in many when it was released for its theatrical debut on September 9, 2007. It went on to receive the Audience Award from the Florida Film Festival, as well as the Grand Prize at the Boulder International Film Festival.
UPDATE: Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood have received praise from critics for their roles in KING OF CALIFORNIA, which had a limited release in theaters this past September 2007. With a theatrical release coming this January 28, 2008, Variety’s Justin Chang describes HOW SHE MOVE as a “moody, intelligent take on conventional material.”
The 2008 Sundance Film Festival announced today a line-up of cinematic installations, live multimedia performance events, and panel discussions that will be featured in the New Frontier on Main, a flagship venue that is part of the Festival’s New Frontier program for showcasing films and art work from the cutting edge of cinematic culture.
New Frontier on Main will present the following Artist Presentations and Media Installations:
ALONG THE WAY/ (Artist: ©ause Collective)– ©ause Collective uses a vibrant assembly of video portraits of people and places around Oakland, CA to paint a mesmerizing digital canvas of what makes up a town. ALONG THE WAY digs below the surface to examine how the unique individual affects the greater identity and how a community is a direct reflection of its citizenry.
Complete list after the jump…
Check out the panels and presenters who will be participating in the New Frontier Section of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Panels and personalities after the jump…
Check out the films screening as part of The New Frontier Section of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
List after the jump…
UPDATE: I WANT TO BE A PILOT is a 2006 award winning Kenyan – Mexican short film documentary directed by Diego Quemada-Diez. The film won some seven awards worldwide including at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
UPDATE: After Sundance, THE LEGACY was released in the UK in September 2007. “This grimly rewarding film reveals a nation trapped in its own historical legacy, and outsiders unable to understand let alone help.” – Anton Bitel (Channel 4 Film)
UPDATE: James Greenberg from the Hollywood Reporter reviews NANKING: “Indispensable, beautifully crafted account of a little-known Japanese massacre.” It had its limited theatrical release in December 2007.
UPDATE: Said to have the ability to obtain cult-movie status, ROCKET SCIENCE had a limited theatrical release this past summer.
“What makes the first fiction feature from documentarian Blitz persuasive is its late-film detour from the inspirational niche-sports genre to something altogether unexpected — and the winning lead performance of Reece Daniel Thompson.” – Jim Ridley (Village Voice)”
UPDATE: FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND was released on DVD on November 6, 2007. EAGLE VS. SHARK went on from Sundance to receive Best Screenplay at the US Comedy Arts Festival, Best Comedy Feature Film Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, as well as Best Film and Best Barrative Feature Jury Awards at the Newport International Film Festival. Actress Loren Horsley won Best Actress and Best Female Performance at the Newport International Film Festival. The film had its theatrical debut in June 2007.
UPDATE: With a limited theatrical release in June, CRAZY LOVE captured the attention of critics with its interesting look into a dysfunctional relationship. “Crazy Love scrapes away the cartoon exterior around this story and peers into the unknowable murk of the human heart.” – Ty Burr (Boston Globe)
UPDATE: GRACE IS GONE, a touching story of a family’s survival after the loss of the mother in Iraq, made its theatrical debut on December 7, 2007, went on after Sundance to win the Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival.