Sundance unveils competition lineup "no matter what's happening into the industry, persons are going to remain making films," opined John Cooper optimistically as he revealed the lineup intended his first edition of the Sundance Film Festival as director. The planet's main event for independent American cinema, which unfolds Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Utah, will feature a few changes active the old formula, notably no opening-night image; Sundance USA, which will take choose festival films to eight cities as the fest unspools; moreover new noncompetitive categories called Spotlight, for what are viewed as particularly audience-friendly films, also subsequently, dedicated to no-budget digital work.
Cooper, who worked for many years as lieu-tenant to departed fest director Geoffrey Gilmore, boldly ventured that "we may even be going into a golden age intended independent films, in that the technology will make it possible for the films to be made and intended audiences to see them. The industry is going through a major evolutionary stage right now, thither's no doubt regarding that, although we're not here to ascertain how it reshapes itself. We're serving the filmmaking community rather than the film industry, also we decided to cane to looking for artistic excellence."
In terms of excellence, Sundance is unmoving riding tall from having launched two of 2009's big indie titles, "precious" and "An Education," also Cooper and his fresh No. 2, veteran programmer Trevor Groth, suspect thither might be some pictures this year with similar prospective. Cooper bluntly predicted, "I think thither will be a lot of action in sales."
Given industry turmoil and contractions, particularly in the interior the independent planet, as fine as overall financial realities, Cooper was mildly surprised that the number of submissions to Sundance rose somewhat above the total of a year ago 2,080 intended narrative features, up from 2,038 concluding year, and 1,644 for documentaries, an increase from 1,623, producing for 3,724 films to be viewed by the festival's seven feature moreover three docu programmers.
possibly still more reassuringly, the festival's presenting sponsors — Entertainment Weekly, HP, Honda and Sundance Channel all remained onboard at a era when other fests have scrambled to remain or replace crucial backers. The festival benefits seeing as the extensive support network enjoyed by its umbrella organization, the Sundance Institute, providing a fiscal foundation that has been minimally affected by the April departure of the institute's executive director, Ken Brecher, who have nonetheless to be replaced. Ticket sales are running apace inclusive of previous years, for each Cooper.
As to differences festgoers will notice on top of arriving in the mountains next month, the primary will be the lack of a traditional opening night. Attributing the thought to Sundance topper Robert Redford, Cooper explained, "We don't perform red carpet, and we don't have government officials also executives who claim this sort of item, so we absolute we didn't need that kind of opening evening." alternatively, Sundance will jumpstart its race on the first Thursday night inclusive of screenings of single dramatic and one documentary competing title, as well as inclusive of a program of shorts. A Salt Lake City gala will remove place as usual inclusive of a screening of Aaron Schneider's "Get short," starring Robert Duvall also Bill Murray. The film debuted at Toronto into September.
The fest's Spectrum section, known previously as American Spectrum also once perceived as a consolation category intended films that didn't quite make the competition slash, have now been reconceived as Spotlight. Groth defined it as "a location for films we love," faves from previous fests otherwise pictures otherwise unqualified for race slots that perhaps need a boost to find their way to the marketplace.
The fresh category, Next, will consist of eight features of an adamantly independent nature that "will show audiences what no-budget truely looks like," Cooper said. "We wanted to make sure we possessed a platform for them, so they wouldn't aquire lost." Groth elaborated that, seeing as Next will lean toward narrative films, "Now we can be a little more rigorous regarding what goes in Frontier," the fest department devoted to avant-garde and more non-narrative work.
All the American dramatic and documentary race entries will be saw in their planet premieres, and Groth allowed that he and Cooper are pushing toward the goal that wholly World Cinema entries be planet preems as well. This 365 day period, the American competish categories retain 16 entries apiece, not single of them with distributors, meantime the foreign dramatic and docu sections encompass been reduced since 16 to 14 and 12, respectively; dropping the numbers marks an try to make sure negative significant international titles aquire lost in the shuffle, an admitted problem in the past due to the fest's dominant spotlight active American employment. This year, fest directors allow to having lost only one film they wanted to the Berlin Film Festival, which takes place in February, shortly after Sundance wraps.
in an effort to "position upwards a lightning rod about independent cinema," according to Cooper, Sundance USA will physically bring what's happening at Sundance to other regions of the nation. On the fest's subsequent Thursday, Jan. 28, eight filmmakers four from Premieres, two inclusive of competitive titles and two since Spotlight will voyage to arthouses in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Boston; Brooklyn; Chicago; Los Angeles; Madison, Wisc.; Nashville, Tenn.; also San Francisco to share their employment with audiences there. Fest toppers acknowledge that the effort is "an experiment" designed "to remove some of the energy at the festival to connect where thither's an awareness of the spirit of independent cinema."
Both Cooper also Groth discovered it complex to generalize regarding the nature of the work set to fill the screens at Sundance 2010. Groth noticed a recurrence of the examination of "faith in the modern age" and, especially among documakers, an urge "to inform the truth, to locate out what's going on out there moreover tell it so as to get their indicate across into a method that conventional films can't." Cooper agreed, noting, "Documentary filmmakers are becoming nonfiction storytellers instead of longform newscasters."
Looming above everything having to perform with mass communications these days is the concern that, as Groth position it, "greater people are using more media currently than ever, but they want it for gratis." The search for fresh models intended making currency in films, composition, news is in full swing, but in the while, Sundance, said its director, "is trying to supply a feeling intended pardon's being made."