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Sundance announces 67 competition and Next films

First Published      Last Updated Dec 05 2013 03:29 pm

Here are the 67 films announced today that represent Sundance's four competition categories, for Dramatic and Documentary films both from U.S. filmmakers and in World Cinema, as well as the micro-budgeted Next program.

They are among 117 feature films selected for the festival, out of 4,057 feature-length films submitted. The films come from 37 countries, and 54 films come from first-time directors.

U.S. Dramatic

"Camp X-Ray" (Director/screenwriter: Peter Sattler) • "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart stars as a young guard at Guantanamo Bay, where she befriends a Muslim ("A Separation's" Payman Maadi) detained there.

"Cold in July" (Director: Jim Mickle; screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) • Jim Mickle ("We Are What We Are," SFF '13) adapts Joe R. Lansdale's pulp novel, about a man (Michael C. Hall) who shoots a burglar in his home — and is then confronted by the burglar's father (Sam Shepard), a career criminal seeking revenge. Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw also star.

"Dear White People" (Director/screenwriter: Justin Simien) • A satirical look at race in "postracial" America, with four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out when white students throw an "African American" themed party.

"Fishing Without Nets" (Director: Cutter Hodiene; Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman; U.S./Somalia/Kenya) • An expansion of director Cutter Hodiene's Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning 2012 short film, this drama looks at Somali pirates from the view of a struggling young Somali fisherman.

"God's Pocket" (Director: John Slattery; Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) • "Mad Men" star John Slattery makes his feature directing debut, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man trying to hide the news of his stepson's death in a construction "accident." Also starring Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro.

"Happy Christmas" (Director/screenwriter Joe Swanberg) • The latest by indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg ("Uncle Kent," SFF '11) stars Anna Kendrick as a young woman who, after a breakup, moves in with her brother (played by Swanberg), his wife (Melanie Lynskey) and their 2-year-old son.

"Hellion" (Director/screenwriter: Kat Candler) • Filmmaker Kat Candler expands her short (SFF '12) into a story about an absentee father (Aaron Paul) and his metal-obsessed son (Josh Wiggins), who must finally deal with their actions in an attempt to be reunited with the son's little brother. Juliette Lewis also stars.

"Infinitely Polar Bear" (Director/ screenwriter: Maya Forbes) • Mark Ruffalo ("The Avengers") stars as a manic-depressive father trying to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by taking full charge of their two young daughters.

"Jamie Marks Is Dead" (Director/ screenwriter: Carter Smith) • This adaptation of Christopher Barzak's novel "One For Sorrow" traces the relationship between two high-school classmates (Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver), one of whom is a ghost.

"Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" (Director: David Zellner; Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) • Director David Zellner ("Kid-Thing," SFF '12; "Goliath," SFF '08) returns with the story of a lonely Japanese woman ("Pacific Rim's" Rinko Kikuchi) who ventures to the frozen wilds of Minnesota, convinced that a fictional treasure she saw buried in a movie is real.

"Life After Beth" (Director/screenwriter: Jeff Baena) • The directorial debut of "I Heart Huckabees" writer Jeff Baena, this comedy stars Dane DeHaan as a guy who is devastated by his girlfriend's death, and surprised when she (Aubrey Plaza) returns as a zombie. Also starring John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser.

"Low Down" (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) • An adaptation of Amy Jo Albany's memoir of how Amy (Elle Fanning) was raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), as he dealt with jail time and addiction in '70s Hollywood. The cast includes Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and rocker Flea.

"The Skeleton Twins" (Director: Craig Johnson; Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) • "Saturday Night Live" alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as estranged twins who, coincidentally, cheat death on the same day — which prompts them to reunite and consider where their lives have gone wrong. Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell also star.

"The Sleepwalker" (Director: Mona Fastvold; Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady Corbet; U.S./Norway) • A couple (Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott) on a secluded estate are confronted with the sudden arrival of the woman's sister (Stephanie Ellis) and her fiance (Brady Corbet).

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