Sundance Film Festival

25th Anniversary Films Announced

Park City, UT—Sundance Institute announced today that Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape (1989 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner) and Wendell B. Harris’s Chameleon Street (1990 Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize Winner) have been selected for the Festival’s From the Collection screenings. Each year the Festival presents two retrospective screenings of influential feature-length films from the Sundance Collection at UCLA, paying tribute to significant works in the history of independent film. The series reflects Sundance Institute’s commitment to collect and preserve independent films for contemporary and future audiences. Celebrating its 25th year, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival runs January 15-25, 2009 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.

Sundance Institute joined with the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1997 to create The Sundance Collection at UCLA (The Collection) to preserve and restore documentaries, narratives, shorts, festival films, and commercially released independent films. The Collection broke new ground by becoming the first archive devoted specifically to the preservation of independent cinema.

“Sundance is thrilled to welcome back directors Steven Soderbergh and Wendell B. Harris with their first features,” said John Nein, Programmer, Sundance Film Festival and From The Collection. “Screening breakout films like sex, lies, and videotape and rarely-shown gems like Chameleon Street serves the dual purpose of bringing new audiences to these works and raising visibility for the need to preserve independent cinema.”

sex, lies, and videotape / U.S.A. 1989 (Director/Screenwriter: Steven Soderbergh)—Steven Soderbergh’s ground-breaking debut film about a man who films women discussing their sexuality, and his impact on the relationship of a troubled married couple. The Oscar-nominated film won the Audience Award at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is credited for its pivotal role in revolutionizing the independent film movement in the early 1990s. In 2006, sex, lies, and videotape was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”  Cast: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Chameleon Street / U.S.A. 1989 (Director/Screenwriter: Wendell B. Harris, Jr.)—A biting satire based on the true confessions of Detroit con artist and high school drop-out William Douglas Street, Jr. who successfully impersonated professional reporters, lawyers, athletes, extortionists, and surgeons. (In this last “role” he performed more than 36 successful hysterectomies.) One of the first films to examine how mellifluously race, class, and role-playing morph into the social fabric of America, Chameleon Street won the Grand Jury Prize at 1990 Sundance Film Festival. Cast: Wendell B. Harris, Jr., Angela Leslie, Amina Fakir, Coleman Young

Sundance Institute Archive Project Exhibit
New this year, the Sundance Institute Archive Project presents a gallery exhibit at Sundance House, free to Festival badge holders. Drawing from the extensive archive holdings, this exhibit presents a selection of materials that represents the films, people, and stories from the Sundance Film Festival over the past 25 years. Archival photographs, posters, memorabilia and footage will be on display. Highlights include a selection of archival photographs of filmmakers accepting their Festival awards, such as Todd Haynes (Poison), Parker Posey (House of Yes), Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves), Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies, and videotape), Wendell B. Harris, Jr. (Chameleon Street), Jennie Livingston (Paris is Burning), Karyn Kusama (Girl Fight), John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch); and archival posters, including The Times of Harvey Milk, Full Monty, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Girlfight, Smoke Signals, Donnie Darko, Children Underground, Bottle Rocket, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, American Astronaut, Real Women Have Curves, Derrida, Pumpkin, Tarnation and Riding Giants.

The Sundance Collection at UCLA has grown to nearly 600 titles, generously donated by individual filmmakers and eight founding donors: Fine Line Features, Gramercy Pictures, Miramax, New Line Cinema, October Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Strand Releasing, and Trimark Pictures. To supplement its growing library of films, the Collection also features a rare assemblage of data on the history of independent cinema. Filmmakers can visit www.sundance.org/collection to learn more about donating their work to the Sundance Collection at UCLA.