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indiewire 2013 Sundance spotlight

Sundance 2013: Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontiers Programs, Focus on Exhibition

NOVEMBER 29, 2012 4:00 PM

Unlike most of the Sundance Film Festival sections this coming January, which largely introduce brand-new films, the Spotlight program screens the best of films that have already been shown around the world. Many are official Oscar submissions, including Sony Pictures Classics releases  “Fill the Void” and “No,” while their “The Gatekeepers” is in this year’s documentary race. Sarah Polley’s lauded Telluride/Toronto entry “Stories We Tell” (Roadside) will compete next year.


The midnight program is often a target for acquisitions at the fest; a sequel to omnibus film “V/H/S” is in the mix there, along with producer James Franco’s pornography documentary “kink.”

And Fest director John Cooper is proud of the New Frontiers program and installations, which offer cutting edge technology including 3-D mapping and and what he calls “the next phase of storytelling.” Programmer Trevor Groth was particulalry impressed with and Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson’s “Charlie Victor Romeo,” which dramatizes actual black box recordings from airline emergencies. That’s a new one.

In fact the festival paid close attention to making sure its exhibition venues were up to scratch, as fests are rife with DCP snafus these days–only a few of the films in the 2013 lineup are shot in 35mm. Major festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, and Berlin are participating in a think tank to get a handle on these problems, via meetings throughout year, says Cooper: “We’ve spent a good deal of the year getting cracking with filmmakers working on the forefront of the technology of exhibition. Projection is foremost in our mind.”

Sundance will announce its Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections on Monday.


Charlie Victor Romeo / U.S.A. (Directors: Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Karlyn Michelson Screenwriters: Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory) — An award-winning theatrical documentary derived entirely from ‘Black Box’ transcripts of six real-life major airline emergencies brought to the screen with cutting-edge stereoscopic 3D technology. Cast: Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory, Noel Dinneen, Sam Zuckerman, Debbie Troche, Nora Woolley.

Fat Shaker / Iran (Director and screenwriter: M Shirvani) — An obese father and his handsome, deaf son share extraordinary experiences in Tehran. Then a beautiful young woman upsets the balance of their relationship, forcing them to renegotiate their position with each other and the world around them. Cast: Levon Haftvan, Maryam Palizban, Hassan Rostami, Navid Mohammadzadeh.

Interior. Leather Bar. / U.S.A. (Directors: Travis Mathews, James Franco, Screenwriter: Travis Mathews) — To avoid an X rating, it was rumored that 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was cut from the controversial 1980 film, Cruising. Filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews re-imagine what was in the lost footage. Cast: Val Lauren, James Franco, Travis Mathews, Christian Patrick, Brenden Gregory.

Halley / Mexico (Director: Sebastian Hofmann, Screenwriters: Sebastian Hofmann, Julio Chavezmontes) — Alberto is dead and can no longer hide it. Before surrendering to his living death, he forms an unusual friendship with Luly, the manager of the 24-hour gym where he works as a night guard. Cast: Alberto Trujillo, Lourdes Trueba, Hugo Albores.

The Meteor / Canada (Director: François Delisle, Screenwriter: François Delisle) — Forty-something Pierre, his mother and his wife are linked by crime, guilt and loneliness. Like casualties of love and desire, they are dying to stick their heads above water and breathe the air of life. Cast: Noémie Godin Vigneau, François Delisle, Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Pogonat, François Papineau, Andrée Lachapelle.

To view this article in full, please visit IndieWire’s original article “Sundance 2013: Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontiers Programs, Focus on Exhibition.”