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Sundance Film Festival: The full competition list

Published November 29, 2012 8:16 am

Movies • Here's what will be showing in the drama, documentary and Next categories
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Here are the 66 films in the competition categories for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, announced Wednesday.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

"Afternoon Delight" • A comedy by writer-director Jill Soloway (whose short "Una Hora Por Favora" played Sundance last year) tells of a bored L.A. housewife (Kathryn Hahn) who rescues a stripper (Juno Temple) by taking her in as a live-in nanny. Also starring Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch.

"Ain't Them Bodies Saints" • Writer-director David Lowery's drama casts Casey Affleck as an outlaw who busts out of prison to see his wife (Rooney Mara) and the daughter he has never met. Also starring Ben Foster, Nate Parker and Keith Carradine.

"Austenland" • Utah author Shannon Hale's book, about a "Pride & Prejudice"-obsessed woman (Keri Russell) who visits a Jane Austen-themed resort, is adapted by fellow Utahn Jerusha Hess (co-writer of "Napoleon Dynamite" with her director husband Jared). Jerusha Hess makes her directorial debut, and wrote the script with Hale. JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie ("Flight of the Conchords"), Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, James Callis ("Battlestar Galactica") and Jane Seymour co-star.

"C.O.G." • Kyle Patrick Alvarez directs and writes this adaptation of a David Sedaris story, starring Jonathan Groff ("Glee") as a cocky young man whose ideas are challenged when he goes to work on an Oregon apple farm. Casey Wilson, Denis O'Hare and Dean Stockwell also star.

"Concussion" • After a woman (Robin Weigert) suffers a blow to the head, she decides suburban life with her wife and kids isn't enough — so she embarks on a dangerous double life in the city. Stacie Passon wrote and directed this drama, which co-stars Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney and Laila Robbins.

"Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes" • Kaya Scoledario ("Wuthering Heights") stars as a troubled teen who becomes pre-occupied with her new neighbor (Jessica Biel), who bears a striking resemblance to the girl's dead mother. When the girl offers to baby-sit the woman's newborn baby, she "enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper." Written and directed by Francesca Gregorini; Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson and Aneurin Barnard also star.

"Fruitvale" • Writer-director Ryan Coogler tells the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland, Calif., man whose shooting death on New Year's Day 2009 by BART police was captured on cellphone video and sparked widespread outrage. Michael B. Jordan ("Chronicle") portrays Grant; Octavia Spencer ("The Help"), Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray also star.

"In a World…" • Actress Lake Bell ("Children's Hospital") makes her writing-directing debut in this comedy, playing a vocal coach who dreams of being a voice-over star like her father (Fred Melamed), the king of movie-trailer voice-overs. The cast includes Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins and Ken Marino.

"Kill Your Darlings" • A murder at Columbia University in 1944 brings together poets Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster), the leading lights of the Beat generation. John Krokidas directs this drama, written by Austin Bunn and Krokidas. Also starring Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross and Elizabeth Olsen.

"The Lifeguard" • In writer-director Liz W. Garcia's drama, a burned-out reporter (Kristen Bell) returns to her Connecticut hometown, takes a job as a lifeguard, and begins a relationship with a troubled teen ("Win Win's" Alex Shaffer). Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Amy Madigan and David Lambert co-star.

"Mother of George" • Danai Gurira ("The Walking Dead") stars as an African immigrant who will risk everything for her marriage to an African restaurant owner (Isaach De Bankolé). The drama is directed by Andrew Dosunmu, written by Darci Picoult, and co-stars Anthony Okunbowa, Yaya Alafia and Bukky Ajayi.

"May in the Summer" • Cherien Dabis ("Amreeka," Sundance '09) writes, directs and plays the title role in this tale of a bride-to-be returning to her native Jordan and dealing with aftermath of her parents' divorce. The cast includes Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf and Alexander Siddig ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"). Day One Film.

"The Spectactular Now" • Director James Ponsoldt ("Smashed," Sundance '12) returns with this teen drama, about a high-school senior ("Footloose's" Miles Teller) who attempts to "save" an introverted classmate (Shailene Woodley, from "The Descendants"). Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the script. The cast includes Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler.

"Touchy Feely" • Writer-director Lynn Shelton ("Humpday," Sundance '09; "Your Sister's Sister," Sundance '12) returns with a comedy starring Rosemarie DeWitt as a massage therapist who suddenly finds the human body repulsive — just as her dentist brother (Scoot McNairy) is inundated with patients seeking his "healing touch." Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Ellen Page and Josh Pais also star.

"Toy's House" • Three unhappy teen boys (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias) make a plan to build a house in the wilderness and live off the land, in this drama directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (the short "Successful Alcoholics," Sundance '10) and written by Chris Galletta. The cast includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally and Alison Brie.

"Upstream Color" • Writer-director Shane Carruth ("Primer," Grand Jury Prize, Sundance '04) returns another trippy tale, of a man and a woman who become entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Carruth co-stars with Amy Seimetz, Andrew Sensenig and Thiago Martins.

U.S. Documentary Competition

"After Tiller" • Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson profile the four doctors in the United States who still perform late-term abortions, examining their lives in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

"American Promise" • Two African-American boys and their families are followed through a 12-year journey from kindergarten to high-school graduation. Directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson.

"Blackfish" • Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite examines the life of Tilikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando who has been responsible for the deaths of three individuals. It also looks at the dangers of keeping such intelligent creatures in captivity.

"Blood Brother" • Director Steve Hoover tells the story of Rocky Braat, an aimless American who finds purpose helping a group of HIV-infected children in India.

"Citizen Koch" • Directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin ("Trouble the Water," Grand Jury Prize winner, Sundance '08) go to Wisconsin, where the conservative tycoons David and Charles Koch are behind "a test market in the campaign to buy democracy."

"Cutie and the Boxer" • Director Zachary Heinzerling tells the New York love story of boxer/painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife of 40 years, Noriko, who's eager to leave behind her role as her husband's put-upon assistant to establish her own identity.

"Dirty Wars" • Director Richard Rowley profiles investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, as he ferrets out information on America's covert wars.

"Gideon's Army" • Director Dawn Porter follows three public defenders in the Deep South, fighting for their impoverished clients in the legal system — and enduring long hours, heavy caseloads and low pay.

"God Loves Uganda" • A look at the campaign by America's Christian Right to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law against "sexual immorality" — particularly when it comes to gay people. Director Roger Ross Williams won an Oscar in 2010 for his short documentary "Music By Prudence."

"The Good Life" • The story of married doctors who learn that their only son has progeria, and that he would only live to age 13. Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine ("War/Dance," Sundance '07) spotlight the doctors' campaign to find a cure for their son and millions of other children.

"Inequality for All" • Economic-policy expert and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains the issue of income inequality — how the poor and rich are getting farther apart — and what it will do to our economy and society. Directed by Jacob Kornbluth ("Haiku Tunnel," Sundance '01; "The Best Thief in the World," Sundance '04).

"Manhunt" • Think of this as the documentary version of "Zero Dark Thirty": a look at the CIA's conflict with Al Qaeda, seen through the eyes of the analysts and agents who had been pursuing Osama bin Laden before he was a household name. Directed by Greg Barker ("Sergio," Sundance '09).

"Narco Cultura" • Two people — a "narcocorrido" singer in L.A. and a crime scene investigator in Juarez — illustrate the influence of Mexico's drug cartels on pop culture on both sides of the border, in this film by director Shaul Schwarz.

"99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film" • Ninety-nine filmmakers across America tell the story of the protests that erupted in September 2011, making income inequality a major issue in America's political discourse.

"Twenty Feet From Stardom" • Morgan Neville ("Troubadours," Sundance '11) puts back-up singers in the spotlight for a change, chronicling the lives of those who bring harmony to your favorite performers. Day One Film.

"Valentine Road: The Murder of Lawrence King" • The 2008 shooting of 15-year-old gay student Lawrence King by a classmate is explored by director Marta Cunningham.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

"Circles" • (Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia) Five people must confront their shared past, 20 years after a tragic heroic act that affected them all. Directed by Srdan Golubovic; written by Srdjan Koljevic and Melina Pota Koljevic.

"Crystal Fairy" • (Chile) Michael Cera plays Jamie, who invites a stranger (Gaby Hoffman) on a mescaline-fueled road trip through the Chilean desert, in this drama from writer-director Sebastián Silva ("The Maid," Sundance '09). Day One Film.

"The Future" • (Chile, Germany, Italy, Spain) Bianca (Manuella Martelli) and Tomas (Luigi Ciardo) are orphaned, growing up fast — with Bianca meeting a retired Mr. Universe (Rutger Hauer), who invites her into his dark mansion. Directed and written by Alicia Scherson.

"Houston" • (Germany) Corporate headhunter Clemens Trunschka (Ulrich Tukur) goes to Houston, where his alcoholism takes him down some dark roads. Directed and written by Bastian Günther; also starring Garrett Dillahunt.

"Jisuel" • (South Korea) Residents of a peaceful village take sanctuary in a cave after a military invasion, in 1948 when the Korean government evicted Communists to a remote island. Written and directed by Muel O.

"Lasting" • (Poland, Spain) Jacek Borcuch wrote and directed this drama, in which a romance between two Polish students (Jakub Gierszal, Magdalena Berus) working summer jobs in Spain is interrupted by a nightmare that disrupts their carefree lives.

"Metro Manila" • (U.K., Philippines) Oscar (Jake Macapagal) moves his family from the rice fields to Manila, where they are preyed upon by people for whom manipulation is part of survival in the big city. Directed by Sean Ellis ("The Broken," Sundance '08), who co-wrote with Frank E. Flowers.

"Shopping" • (New Zealand) Set in 1981, this drama centers on a teen (Kevin Paulo) who must choose between his own blood or a charismatic career criminal leading a family of shoplifters. Written and directed by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland.

"Soldate Jeannette" • (Austria) Two women of different backgrounds, the monied Fanni and the pig-farming Anna, both get fed up with their lives — and when they meet in a car crash, their lives are changed. Directed by Daniel Hoesl.

"There Will Come a Day" • (Italy, France) Young Augusta (Jasmine Trinca), leaving behind painful family issues, goes to the Amazon rainforest in a small boat to search for herself. Giorgio Diritti directed this drama, co-writing with Tania Pedroni and Fredo Valla.

"Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)" • (Afghanistan) Barmak Akram wrote and directed this drama set in Kabul, where a young man seduces a girl but then questions her virginity when she reports that she's pregnant — and then her father arrives, leading to violence.

"What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love" • (Indonesia) Director-writer Mouly Surya explores the chances for love among the students at a high school for the visually impaired.

World Cinema Documentary Competition

"Fallen City" • (China) Director Qi Zhao follows three families who survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquake over four years, as they try to rebuild their lives in a China split between tradition and progress.

"Fire in the Blood" • (India) Director Dylan Mohan Gray introduces audiences to an unlikely group of people fighting back against Western governments and pharmaceutical companies who blocked low-cost anti-HIV drugs from reaching Africa in the late '90s and early 2000s.

"Google and the World Brain" • (Spain, U.K.) Ben Lewis directs this look at Google's 10-year effort to scan the world's books and create a giant digital library — and how that effort ran up authors and publishers seeking to protect the copyrights of millions of works.

"The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear" • (Georgia, Germany) A film director visits villages and cities looking to cast a protagonist between 15 and 23 years old, running the prospective candidates through various dramatic and funny situations. Directed by Tinatin Gurchiani.

"The Moo Man" • (U.K.) Directors Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier trace a year in the life of Steve, a heroic dairy farmer whose livelihood and his 55 cows are imperiled when Ida, the queen of his herd, gets sick.

"Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer" • (Russian Federation, U.K.) The courtroom ordeal of three young women, members of the activist punk band Pussy Riot, for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral puts Russian society in the dock, in this documentary directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Poxdorovkin.

"A River Changes Course" • (Cambodia, U.S.) As Cambodia struggles to overcome the aftermath of war, three young people fight the effects of deforestation, overfishing and debt on the Tonle Sap River. Directed by Kalyanee Mam.

"Salma" • (U.K., India) Salma was locked away by her parents at puberty — the same as millions of girls around the world. Director Kim Longinotto ("Rough Aunties," Sundance '09) finds Salma 25 years later, as she fights the outside world.

"The Square (El Midan)" • (Egypt, U.S.) Five revolutionaries in Egypt, fighting to protect the freedoms they won with the fall of Hosni Mubarak, are profiled by director Jehane Noujaim ("Startup.Com," Sundance '01, "Control Room," Sundance '04).

"The Summit" • (Ireland, U.K.) In 2008, 24 climbers met at the last stop before summitting K2, the world's most dangerous mountain, and 11 of them were dead within 48 hours. Director Nick Ryan profiles one of them, Ger McDonnell, and details "the climbers' code" that he violated.

"Who Is Dayani Cristal?" • (U.K.) Marc Silver directs this documentary of a real-life mystery, which begins with an anonymous body found in the Arizona desert bearing a tattoo that reads "Dayani Cristal." Actor Gael Garcia Bernal appears in the film. Day One Film.

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"Blue Caprice" • The 2002 "Beltway Sniper" case inspires this drama, of an abandoned boy (Tequan Richmond) drawn to a dangerous father figure (Isaiah Washington). Alexandre Moors directed, and co-wrote with R.F.I. Porto. The cast includes Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, Cassandra Freeman and Leo Fitzpatrick.

"Computer Chess" • Andrew Bujalski wrote and directed this comedy, about the men who first taught computers to play chess.

"Escape From Tomorrow" • A trip to a theme park takes a surreal turn for an unemployed dad (Roy Abramsohn) who encounters two teen girls, in this drama written and directed by Randy Moore.

"I Used to Be Darker" • A Northern Irish runaway (Deragh Campbell) discovers that her aunt and uncle in Baltimore are on the verge of divorce — leaving her college-student cousin (Hannah Gross) in crisis. Matthew Porterfield directed, and co-wrote with Amy Belk.

"It Felt Like Love" • The line between love and obsession is tested in writer director Eliza Hittman's drama, when a 14-year-old Brooklyn girl (Gina Piersanti) pursues an older man.

"Milkshake" • A comedy centering on Jolie Jolson (Tyler Ross) — a wannabe thug and the great-great-grandson of Al Jolson — and his tragic sex life. Director David Andalman co-wrote with Mariko Munro. The cast includes Shareeka Epps and Leo Fitzpatrick.

"Newlyweeds" • Romance and marijuana compete between a Brooklyn repo man (Amari Cheatom) and his globetrotting girlfiend (Trae Harris), in this dark comedy written and directed by Shaka King.

"Pit Stop" • Two working-class gay men meet in a Texas town. Yen Tan directed this drama, and co-wrote with David Lowery (who also directed this year's U.S. Dramatic Competition entry "Ain't Them Bodies Saints").

"A Teacher" • Writer-director Hannah Fidell's drama about a popular teacher (Lindsay Burdge) at a suburban Austin high school, whose life unravels after an affair with a student (Will Brittain).

"This Is Martin Bonner" • At 58, Martin (Paul Eenhoorn) is starting over in Reno with a job in prison rehabilitation — when he starts an unlikely friendship with an ex-con (Richmond Arquette). Chad Hartigan writes and directs.

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