Sundance Film Festival

Festival Films In The Premieres Section

PREMIERES

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:

ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT/ U.S.A. (Director: Brett Simon; Screenwriters: Tim Calpin & Kevin Jakubowski)–A rookie journalist for the school paper unravels a mysterious plot involving the class president, drugs, and a ring of stolen test scores in this noir caper set at a quirky Catholic High School. Cast: Reece Thompson, Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Morris, Josh Pais. World Premiere

BE KIND REWIND/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Michel Gondry)–When a man whose body accidentally becomes magnetized unintentionally erases every tape in his friend’s video store, the pair set out to remake the lost films, including GHOSTBUSTERS, DRIVING MISS DAISY and BOYZ IN THE HOOD. Cast: Jack Black, Mos Def, Mia Farrow, Danny Glover. World Premiere

CSNY DÉJÀ VU/ U.S.A. (Director: Bernard Shakey; Screenwriters: Neil Young, Mike Cerre)–The war in Iraq is the backdrop as the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young “Freedom of Speech Tour” crisscrosses North America. Echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment abound as the band connects with today’s audiences. Cast: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Mike Cerre, Stephen Colbert. World Premiere, Closing Night Film

THE DEAL/ Canada (Director: Steven Schachter; Screenwriters: William H. Macy, Steven Schachter)–A long-time Hollywood producer on the verge of suicide cons a major studio into financing a $100-million film based on a non-existent script, starring a black action star who has converted to Judaism. Cast: William H. Macy, Meg Ryan, LL Cool J. World Premiere

DEATH IN LOVE/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Boaz Yakin)–A self-assured but neurotic 40-year-old bachelor attempts to make sense of his complicated life as he negotiates his sexual relationships in the shadow of his mother’s concentration camp experience. Cast: Josh Lucas, Jacqueline Bisset, Adam Brody, Lukas Haas. World Premiere

DIMINISHED CAPACITY/ U.S.A. (Director: Terry Kinney; Screenwriter: Sherwood Kiraly)–Learning that his senile uncle harbors a priceless baseball card, Cooper embarks on a road trip intent on selling it to save money for his uncle’s later years. He and his friends become entangled in the oddball world of baseball memorabilia and love. Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Virginia Madsen, Dylan Baker. World Premiere

THE ESCAPIST/ Ireland (Director: Rupert Wyatt; Screenwriters: Rupert Wyatt and Daniel Hardy)– A convict twelve years into a life sentence is determined to make peace with his sick daughter. He develops an ingenious escape plan, recruiting a band of misfits to put it into action. Cast: Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Seu Jorge, Damian Lewis. World Premiere

THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Sean McGinly)–When a law school dropout answers an advertisement to be a personal assistant he unknowingly signs on to work for a belligerent has-been magician struggling to resurrect his career. This leads to a journey across the country staging the comeback of a lifetime. Cast: Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn. World Premiere, Salt Lake City Gala

THE GUITAR/ U.S.A. (Director: Amy Redford; Screenwriter: Amos Poe)–The life of a woman is transformed after she is diagnosed with a terminal disease, fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend. Given two months to live, she throws caution to the wind to pursue her dreams. Cast: Saffron Burrows, Isaach De Bankole, Paz De La Huerta. World Premiere

HENRY POOLE IS HERE/ U.S.A. (Director: Mark Pellington; Screenwriter: Albert Torres)– Henry Poole abandons his fiancée and family business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a “miracle” by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life. Cast: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Cheryl Hines, Adriana Barraza. World Premiere

IN BRUGES/ United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: Martin McDonagh)–Two London hit men are ordered to take a forced vacation in Bruges, Belgium. This is the suspenseful, twisted tale of how their time in exile goes awry. Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy. World Premiere, Opening Night Film

INCENDIARY/ United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: Sharon Maguire)–A spirited young mother juggles grief and love in the aftermath of a dramatic terrorist attack in London. Cast: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew MacFadyen. World Premiere

THE MERRY GENTLEMAN/ U.S.A. (Director: Michael Keaton; Screenwriter: Ron Lazzeretti)–After fleeing an abusive marriage, a young woman sets off to start a new life. When she finds herself an unwitting witness to a murder she stumbles into a curious friendship with a depressed hit man. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Michael Keaton. World Premiere

A RAISIN IN THE SUN/ U.S.A. (Director: Kenny Leon; Screenwriter: Paris Qualles)–After moving to Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s, a black family struggles to deal with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better life. Adapted for the screen from Lorraine Hansberry’s play, this is a moving portrait of dreams deferred. Cast: Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sean Patrick Thomas. World Premiere

SAVAGE GRACE/ U.S.A. (Director: Tom Kalin, Screenwriter: Howard A. Rodman)–The true story of the beautiful and charismatic Barbara Daly, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only child is a failure in his father’s eyes, and as he matures and becomes increasingly close to his lonely mother, the seeds for tragedy are sown. Cast: Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne. U.S. Premiere

SLEEPWALKING/ Canada/ U.S.A. (Director: Bill Maher; Screenwriter: Zac Stanford )–A young man ill equipped to raise his abandoned niece is forced to take responsibility when faced with the prospect of losing her to a foster home. Cast: Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Deborrah-Lee Furness. World Premiere

SMART PEOPLE/U.S.A. (Director: Noam Murro; Screenwriter: Mark Jude Poirier)–An acerbic and self-absorbed literature professor has alienated his son and turned his daughter into an overachieving, friendless teen. When his brother unexpectedly shows up at his door, the man is forced is to confront his own life. Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Page, Ashton Holmes. World Premiere

TOWELHEAD (F.K.A. NOTHING IS PRIVATE)/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alan Ball)–The life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl is illuminated as she navigates her way through the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and sexual awakening. Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, Summer Bishil. U.S. Premiere

TRANSSIBERIAN/ Spain (Director: Brad Anderson; Screenwriters: Brad Anderson and Will Conroy)–A Trans-Siberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Thomas Kretschmann, Eduardo Noriega and Ben Kingsley. World Premiere

U2 3D/ U.S.A. (Directors: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington)–A 3-D presentation of U2′s global “Vertigo” tour. Shot at seven different shows, this production employs the greatest number of 3-D cameras ever used for a single project. World Premiere

THE VISITOR/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Tom McCarthy)–A college professor becomes embroiled in the lives of a young immigrant couple he discovers squatting in his Manhattan apartment. Confronted with adversity, these strangers become inextricably bound together. Cast: Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira. U.S. Premiere

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?/ U.S.A. (Director: Barry Levinson; Screenwriter: Art Linson)–A comedy about a desperate movie producer who is trying to survive a crazed director, a shameless actor, a clueless executive, a battered agent, and above all a broken second marriage while struggling to maintain a shred of dignity. Cast: Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro. World Premiere

THE YEAR OF GETTING TO KNOW US/ U.S.A. (Director: Patrick Sisam; Screenwriters: Patrick Sisam and Rick Velleu)–A commitment-phobic man reunites with his estranged, ailing father and comes to terms with his own childhood. Cast: Jimmy Fallon, Chase Ellison, Lucy Liu, Sharon Stone, Tom Arnold. World Premiere

THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF/ U.S.A. (Director: Udayan Prasad; Screenwriter: Erin Dignam)– A recently released convict and a pair of disillusioned young people, three strangers of two generations, bound by loneliness, reach out to one another, embarking on a road trip through Louisiana. Cast: Maria Bello, William Hurt, Eddie Redmayne, Veronica Russell. World Premiere

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