Nearly 2 weeks ago, cinephiles were finally allowed back into cinemas. Next month we will be allowed to attend a film festival, that festival will be Sundance Film Festival: London!
Today Sundance unearthed their 2021 Programme, giving a taste of Sundance Film Festival that took place earlier this year in Utah, USA. Presenting 15 feature films opening with the UK premiere of Edgar Wright’s debut documentary The Sparks Brothers. It will close four days later with the UK premiere screening of Janicza Bravo’s feature Zola.
Two short film programmes will showcase the work of emerging and established independent filmmakers; the 2021 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour – a 96-minute theatrical program of seven short films selected from this year’s Festival, including Wiggle Room winner of the Special Jury Prize for Acting; and the UK Short Film Programme – a selection of new shorts with diverse styles and unique stories, showcasing the vibrant talent creating short films in the UK today, including Lizard, winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize.
Tabitha Jackson, Sundance Film Festival Director, said: “These films exemplify the spirit of a unique 2021 Sundance Film Festival – bold visions, unique perspectives, and singular creative talents. We (and I as a proud Brit) can’t wait to bring them to the big screens and in-person audiences of Sundance Film Festival: London.”
“I echo Tabitha’s sentiments about being back in a venue where we can really show off the diverse and exciting programme to our audiences in London and beyond. We’re thrilled to be once again a physical event and look forward to welcoming people to this great line-up.” said Clare Binns, Joint Managing Director Picturehouse Cinemas
Here’s the line up…
Censor / United Kingdom
Director: Prano Bailey-Bond, Screenwriters: Prano Bailey-Bond, Anthony Fletcher, Producer: Helen Jones
When film censor Enid discovers an eerie horror that speaks directly to her sister’s mysterious disappearance, she resolves to unravel the puzzle behind the film and its enigmatic director – a quest blurring the lines between fiction and reality in terrifying ways.
Cast: Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Michael Smiley.
CODA / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Siân Heder, Producers: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger —
As a CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents.
Principal cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.
Winner – Best Director U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, 2021
Cryptozoo / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Dash Shaw, Producers: Kyle Martin, Jane Samborski, Bill Way, Tyler Davidson
As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a Baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a cryptozoo, or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown.
Principal cast: Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Angeliki Papoulia, Zoe Kazan, Peter Stormare, Grace Zabriskie.
First Date / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Directors and Screenwriters: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp, Producers: Brandon Kraus, Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp, Lucky McKee, Charles Horak
Conned into buying a shady ’65 Chrysler, Mike’s first date with the girl-next-door, Kelsey, implodes as he finds himself targeted by criminals, cops, and a crazy cat lady. A night fueled by desire, bullets and burning rubber makes any other first date seem like a walk in the park.
Principal cast: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Ryan Quinn Adams, Brandon Kraus.
The Blazing World / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director: Carlson Young, Screenwriters: Carlson Young, Pierce Brown, Producers: Brinton Bryan, Elizabeth Avellán — Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive.
Principal cast: Udo Kier, Carlson Young, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, John Karna, Soko.
Human Factors / Germany, Italy, Denmark
Director and Screenwriter: Ronny Trocker, Producers: Susanne Mann, Paul Zischler, Martin Rehbock) —
A mysterious housebreaking exposes the agony of an exemplary middle class family.
Principal cast: Sabine Timoteo, Mark Waschke, Jule Hermann, Wanja Valentin Kube, Hannes Perkmann, Daniel Séjourné.
In The Same Breath / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director: Nanfu Wang, Producers: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn — How did the Chinese government turn pandemic coverups in Wuhan into a triumph for the Communist party? An essential narrative of first hand accounts of the coronavirus, and a revelatory examination of how propaganda and patriotism shaped the outbreak’s course.
Mass / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Fran Kranz, Producers: Fran Kranz, Casey Wilder Mott, JP Ouellette, Dylan Matlock — Years after a tragic shooting, the parents of both the victim and the perpetrator meet face-to-face.
Principal cast: Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney. World Premiere, Narrative
Misha and The Wolves / United Kingdom, Belgium | UK Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Sam Hobkinson, Producers: Poppy Dixon, Al Morrow, Matthew Wells, Gregory Zalcman, Jürgen Buedts – A woman’s Holocaust memoir takes the world by storm, but a fallout with her publisher-turned-detective reveals her story as an audacious deception created to hide a darker truth.
The Most Beautiful Boy in The World / Sweden | UK Premiere
Directors: Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri, Producer: Stina Gardell —
Swedish actor/musician Björn Andresen’s life was forever changed at the age of 15, when he played Tadzio, the object of Dirk Bogarde’s obsession in Death in Venice – a role which led Italian maestro Luchino Visconti to dub him “the world’s most beautiful boy.”
The Nest / United Kingdom, Canada | UK Premiere
Director and screenwriter: Sean Durkin, Producers: Ed Guiney, Derrin Schlesinger, Rose Garnett, Sean Durkin, Amy Jackson, Christina Piovesan —
Charismatic entrepreneur, Rory, relocates his family to England with dreams of profiting from booming 1980’s London. But as his wife, Allison, struggles to adapt, and the promise of a lucrative new beginning starts to unravel, the couple have to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.
Principal cast: Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Charlie Shotwell, Oona Roche.
The Sparks Brothers / United Kingdom | UK Premiere
Director: Edgar Wright, Producers: Nira Park, Edgar Wright, George Hencken, Laura Richardson
How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? Take a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron & Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favorite band’s favorite band.
Together Together / U.S.A. | UK Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Nikole Beckwith, Producers: Anthony Brandonisio, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Tim Headington – When young loner Anna is hired as the surrogate for Matt, a single man in his 40s, the two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will quickly challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love.
Principal cast: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Tig Notaro, Julio Torres, Anna Konkle.
Writing With Fire / India | UK Premiere
Directors and Producers: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues and within the confines of their own homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
Winner – Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change, 2021
Zola / U.S.A. | UK Premiere.
Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris, Producers: Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Vince Jolivette, Elizabeth Haggard, Dave Franco, Gia Walsh) — 2015: @zolarmoon tweets “wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Two girls bond over their “hoeism” and become fast friends. What’s supposed to be a trip from Detroit to Florida turns into a weekend from hell.
Principal cast: Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, Colman Domingo.
SURPRISE FILM – Following on from the last three Surprise Films, Paul Briganti’s dark comedy Greener Grass, Bart Layton’s crime flick American Animals and the hit rap story Patti Cake$, Sundance Film Festival: London will again feature an unannounced screening. Details will only be revealed as the opening credits roll. With just one screening, this will be one of the festival’s hottest tickets.
The Sundance Film Festival: London 2021, will take place from 29th July until 1st August at Picturehouse Central.
Sundance Film Festival Ticket Passes are on sale from 9:00am 2nd June, with priority booking for Picturehouse Members and Sundance Film Festival Ticket Passholders on sale from 9:00am, Friday 4th June. Become a Picturehouse Member now at picturehouses.com/membership. General ticket sales will open at 9:00am on Monday 7th June. Tickets can be purchased today with a Sundance Film Festival ticket pass; buy yours now at picturehouses.com/sundance.