Today: February 22, 2024

Sundance London

In March 2011, filmmaking pioneer Robert Redford announced that Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the US, will be gracing our mighty London town for its British debut.

In March 2011,
filmmaking pioneer Robert Redford announced that Sundance Film Festival, the
largest independent film festival in the US, will be gracing our mighty London
town for its British debut.

The event that has proved a breakthrough for the likes of Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) and Kevin
(Clerks)is bringing with
it a fine spread of American indie talent to the O2 Arena from the 26th to the 29th of April.

This year’s hosting committee will include local darlings Helen Mirren, Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle
and Submarine director Richard Ayaode.

Sundance will house 14 UK premieres this year, to run
alongside its infamous shorts collection, panels and appearances.

For your consideration are So Yong Kim’s For Ellen, a road movie that follows a struggling musician,
played by indie poster boy Paul Dano
as he travels to meet with a lawyer to fight custody for his daughter. Dano is
joined by Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder
and Jenna Malone (Donnie Darko, Into the Wild) for this
character piece, which will be showing throughout the weekend.

Julie Delpy’s
latest triumph as director comes as 2
Days in New York
(Main Picture), about a couple Marion and Mingus (Delpy and Chris Rock) whose relationship faces trouble after the arrival of
Marion’s trying father (played by real life Dad Albert Delpy) and accompanying family members, whose racial and
sexual attitudes are brash to say the least. The follow up to 2 Days in Paris, Delpy also co-wrote
this politically incorrect family caper, which will be showing on the evenings
of the 28th and 29th of the festival.

Sundance sees the return of Josh Radnor behind the camera this year with his second directorial
contribution Liberal Arts. Having
stormed to acclaim with 2010’s HappyThankYouMorePlease,
Radnor is best known for his ongoing part in the US sitcom How I Met Your Mother and appears on screen also for this feature
as a mid thirty year old reassessing his newly single lifestyle. Co starring it
girl 2012 Elizabeth Olsen as well as
Richard Jenkins and John Megaro, Liberal Arts promises
engaging chemistry and determined humour. It shows on every day of the

One of the more publicised films of this year’s programme is
Colin Trevorrow’s feature debut Safety Not Guaranteed. Starring the
better known faces of the hit sit com scene, Jake M. Johnson (New Girl,
Allen Gregory) drags two interns
with him to the coast in pursuit of the publisher of a wanted ad for an
accomplice in time travel. Intern Darius (Aubrey
) becomes attached to the keen time traveller; cue witty banter and
gaspingly dry dialogue. The film has already won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting
Award and will be on from the 27th to the 29th.

The Sundance documentary flashlab enforces a steady mission
to raise awareness about the global documentary movement, and as part of the
festival will hold talks with Lauren
(The Queen of Versailles)
and The House I Live In director Eugene Jarecki, and is hosted by Cara
Mertes who is director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Program. The
discussion kicks off at noon on Saturday the 28th.

And then there’s the shorts. Sundance is renowned for its
keen eye for short films both from the US and overseas, and this year expect
nothing less from the festival’s showcase of slimmer films. Eight films flesh
out the programme this year, including Andrew
Ahn’s Dol
; a depiction of a gay Korean man who pines for family life just
beyond his reach, and Fishing Without
, Cutter Hodierne’s story of
Somalian pirates told from their perspective.

Music offerings from the festival this year include a live
performance from alternative angsty performers Placebo, which coincides with the documentary Coming Up for Air which follows the band on their eight world tour.

One of the other more high profile acts playing are soulful
siblings Martha and Rufus Wainwright.
Both global successes in their own right, the two will be playing on stage
together following an on screen homage to their late mother, singer-songwriter Kate Mcgarrigle, which is pieced
together by American director Lian

The assumption that Robert
founded the festival, having named it after his character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is
a false one. Sundance began in Salt Lake City back in 1978, and before Redford
took the title of organiser in 1981 was little more than a series of seminars
and workshops. It went on to play what would soon become a selection of some of
the best known contemporary
classics of the last 50 years; Midnight
, Deliverance, A Streetcar Names Desire to list a few,
with more recent accomplishments including Sex,
Lies and Video Tape
, Winter’s Bone
and The Blair Witch Project.

This year thousands are expected to turn up at the Thames
side venue to gorge on independent technicolour, music and of course the
celebrities. The full programme, updates and ticket information, can be found
at the Sundance London website HERE

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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