Sundance festival adds classics ‘High Art’ and ‘Born Into Brothels’ to 2020 lineup

(Gour | courtesy of Red Light Films) “Cab Ride,” a photo taken by Gour of his classmates in the 2004 documentary “Born Into Brothels.”

Two classic independent movies — a groundbreaking lesbian romance and an Oscar-winning documentary about Calcutta street kids — will return to Park City for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Festival organizers on Wednesday announced the two films, “High Art” and “Born Into Brothels,” will screen in Sundance’s “From the Collection” program, dedicated to classic independent titles.

“High Art,” which played Sundance in 1998, stars Radha Mitchell as a young magazine editor who meets a neighbor, Lucy (Ally Sheedy), an enigmatic photographer, and the two begin a tempestuous romance, interrupted by Lucy’s former flame, Greta (Patricia Clarkson). Directed and written by Lisa Cholodenko, who went on to direct “The Kids Are All Right” and the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” the movie also stars Tammy Grimes, Gabriel Mann and Bill Sage.

“Born Into Brothels” follows photographer Zana Briski, who co-directed with Ross Kauffman, as she ventures into Calcutta’s red-light district to teach the children of the sex workers who live there. By teaching photography, Briski helps the kids express themselves and describe their world — and, maybe, offer them an escape from a cycle of poverty and exploitation. The 2004 documentary counts Utah Film Center founder Geralyn White Dreyfous as its executive producer.

Also added to the Sundance lineup, in the Documentary Features section, is “The Social Dilemma,” by director Jeff Orlowski, who chronicled the effects of climate change in “Chasing Ice” (SFF ’12) and “Chasing Coral” (SFF ’17). This time, Orlowski charts the environment in social media, interviewing insiders from Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to “reveal how these platforms are reprogramming civilization.” The actors Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”), Skyler Gisondo (“Booksmart”) and Kara Hayward (“Moonlight Kingdom”) appear in the film.

Also Wednesday, the festival confirmed that “Love Fraud,” a four-part documentary series for Showtime about a conman who cheated women out of money for 20 years, will be a Day One entry, screening on the festival’s opening night, Jan. 23.

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, in Park City and at venues in Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort in Provo Canyon.