Building on the great work done by the festival’s filmmakers and directors over the last few years the London based offshoot of the famous Park City happening has carved out its own identity to become on the most interesting and eclectic events in the calendar.
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Michael Fassbender leads the way as Jon Ronson’s affectionate tribute to the world of Frank Sidebottom gets a UK premiere at the festival. Likewise Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s second Trip (this time to Italy) gets its first showing (and is highly recommended) and Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton talk to the animals in Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices. The 2013 festival sensation Fruitvale Station gets a welcome slot.
Gillian Robespierre’s acclaimed comedy Obvious Child gets its first play here, as does Jeremy Saulnier’s much discussed Blue Ruin and there’s an airing of Alex Gibney’s new film. A series of short films and panels, including Pulpman Jarvis Cocker on the evolution of the music documentary film which looks to be a must see event. These films will run alongside the Sundance Classics which were already revealed as part of this year’s lineup – these include Memento, Winter’s Bone and Reservoir Dogs.
As always there are an embarrassment of riches here, with a fine tradition being established of essential independent cinema and unique events. Please click here for the full lineup, and you can find tickets and booking information here at the Sundance London homepage.
FEATURE FILM PROGRAMME
Blue Ruin (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Saulnier) — A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.
The Case Against 8 (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) — A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Documentary) Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. International Premiere
Dinosaur 13 (Director: Todd Miller) — An unprecedented saga in human history unfurls in this true tale of the world’s greatest dinosaur discovery and the ensuing battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure. (Documentary) International Premiere
Drunktown’s Finest (Director and screenwriter: Sydney Freeland) — Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian reservation. Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis. International Premiere
Finding Fela (Director: Alex Gibney) — Fela Anikulapo Kuti created the musical movement Afrobeat and used it as a political forum to oppose the Nigerian dictatorship and advocate for the rights of oppressed people. This is the story of his life, music, and political importance, from the award-winning director of Taxi to the Dark Side and We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks. (Documentary) European Premiere
In conjunction with the film, the festival will host a free performance from Dele Sosimi, one of the original members of Fela Kuti’s band, alongside an Afrobeat orchestra on Sunday, 27 April.
Fruitvale Station (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. Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic presented by Acura at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. UK Premiere
Hits (Director and screenwriter: David Cross) — A small town in upstate New York is populated by people who wallow in unrealistic expectations. There, fame, delusion, earnestness and recklessness meet, shake hands and disrupt the lives around them. Hits is the directorial debut of writer, comedian and actor David Cross, best known for his work on Arrested Development. Cast: Michael Cera, Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, James Adomian, Jake Cherry, Derek Waters, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Ritter. International Premiere
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi. Winner of a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. UK Premiere
LAMBERT & STAMP (Director: James D. Cooper) — In this crazy, chaotic gospel of chance, aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert set out to search for a subject for their underground movie, leading them to discover, mentor, and manage the iconic band known as The Who and create rock ‘n’ roll history. (Documentary) UK Premiere
Little Accidents (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo) — In a small American coal town living in the shadow of a recent mining accident, the disappearance of a teenage boy draws three people together—a surviving miner, the lonely wife of a mine executive, and a local boy—in a web of secrets. Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland, Josh Lucas. International Premiere
Memphis (Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A strange singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids. Under a canopy of ancient oak trees and burning spirituality, his doomed journey breaks from conformity and reaches out for glory. Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson. International Premiere
Obvious Child (Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre) — An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind. UK Premiere
They Came Together (Director: David Wain, Screenwriters: Michael Showalter, David Wain) — This subversion/spoof/deconstruction of the romantic comedy genre has a vaguely, but not overtly, Jewish leading man, a klutzy, but adorable, leading lady, and New York City itself as another character in the story. They Came Together reunites director Wain with many of the stars from his 2001 cult teen classic, Wet Hot American Summer. Cast: Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni. International Premiere
Under the Electric Sky (EDC 2013) (Directors: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz) — This 3-D film chronicles the love, community, and life of festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music festival in the U.S. Behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella reveal the magic that makes this three-night, 345,000-person event a global phenomenon. (Documentary) UK Premiere
The Voices (Director: Marjane Satrapi, Screenwriter: Michael R. Perry) — This genre-bending tale centers around Jerry Hickfang, a lovable but disturbed factory worker who yearns for attention from a woman in accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation. Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver. International Premiere
Axiom (Director: NYSU, Screenwriters: David Gambero & NYSU) — Axiom is an island in the middle of nowhere, steep cliffs on all sides. On the island there is an underground city dominated by a bell, the bell decides the fate of the city’s inhabitants. Cast: Jonathan David Mellor, Santi Senso, Cova de Alfonso, Silvia Vacas, Pablo Menasanch, Julia Llerena. World Premiere
Includes a live performance and DJ set by South London collective Archive, who will also participate in a post-screening Q&A.
Frank (Director: Lenny Abrahamson, Screenwriters: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan) — Frank is an offbeat comedy about a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant garde rock band led by the enigmatic Frank—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy. UK Premiere
The Trip to Italy (Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriters: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Michael Winterbottom) — Michael Winterbottom reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for more delectable food, some sharp-elbowed rivalry, and plenty of laughs. Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon. European Premiere