Sundance announces the 2018 program as the festival is at a cultural crossroads

In film circles these days it is difficult to separate what happens in the real world from what happens on the screen. Issues of social relevance such as diversity and abuse of power are feeding the filmmakers and taking into account the selections of the main film festivals.

Therefore, issues of inclusion, diversity and abuse of power go through the Sundance Film Festival elections for its 2018 feature film programs on Wednesday. In total, 110 feature films have been selected for the festival that will run from January 18 to 28 in Park City, Utah.

Among the films chosen for the high profile Premieres section are "Beirut" by Brad Anderson, starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike; "The Catcher Was a Spy" by Ben Lewin with Paul Rudd; "Come Sunday" by Joshua Marston, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor; David Zellner and "Damsel" by Nathan Zellner with Robert Pattinson; and "Do not worry, you will not get far on foot" by Gus Van Sant.

Also premiered Juliet, Naked, by Jesse Peretz, starring Rose Byrne and Ophelia, by Claire McCarthy, with Daisy Ridley. The filmmaker "Winter & # 39; s Bone" Debra Granik returns to the festival with what is currently announced as the "Project without title Debra Granik".

Festival programming director Trevor Groth said in an interview earlier this week that many of the titles from The Dramatic Competition of the United States present complicated and rich female performances, with Maggie Gyllenhaal in "The Garden Teacher of infants ", Chloë Sevingy in" Lizzie ", Chloë Grace Moretz in" The bad education of Cameron Post ", Andrea Riseborough in" Nancy ", Laura Dern in" The Tale "and Carey Mulligan in" Wildlife ".

Several other competition titles include leading African-American actors such as Jason Mitchell in "Tyrel," Lakeith Stanfield in "Sorry to Bother You," Kelvin Harrison. Jr. and Jeffrey Wright in "Monster", John David Washington in "Monsters and Men" and Daveed Diggs in "Blindspotting". In "Burden," Garrett Hedlund plays a KKK member who has a change in his beliefs after being admitted by an African-American pastor played by Forest Whitaker.

The documentary category features profiles of several notable Americans, including Jane Fonda ("Jane Fonda in five acts"), Gloria Allred ("Seeing Allred"), Joan Jett ("Bad Reputation"), Fred Rogers ("Will not Be My Neighbor "), Hal Ashby (" Hal "), Robin Williams (" Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind "") and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ("RBG.")

The Documentary Premiere section also includes "Half the Picture "by Amy Adrion on gender equality in Hollywood and the ongoing struggles of filmmakers within the industry.

" We "have been talking about how the independent film is progressing so fast," said the director of the John Cooper festival, pointing out the changes in technology and content. "There is a certain kind of awareness and acceptance and almost a demand for stories from alternative points of view in the United States, and that feels like an badet to us."

Sundance, as the most important independent film festival in the country, is once again at the center of multiple crossings at the same time. The winner of last year's grand prize, "I Do not Feel at Home in This World Anymore," was the first to belong to a broadcast service, appearing on Netflix less than a month after the festival. The 2017 edition of the festival also saw the world premieres of films dealing with racism and badism such as "The Big Sick", "Call Me by Your Name", "Mudbound" and "Get Out", all the actors in the awards of the this year's movie. season.

The presidential inauguration also coincided with the event last year, bringing an additional resolution and an air of shared purpose and commitment among the attendees. This year the festival will take place amid the revealed revelations of badual harbadment and abuse within the entertainment industry.

Cooper said the festival is still exploring ways to address the problem, including a code of conduct that has long been applied to staff and volunteers. expanded to include the entire festival population. "I feel responsible for having a community about it," Cooper said.

Reed Morano recently won an Emmy for directing the Hulu series "The Handmaid & # 39; s Tale" and now the second film he has directed will be the first to play at Sundance. "I think we're alone now," starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, who appears in the dramatic US competition.

"In the end I think that my heart is in the cinema and see something on a big screen," Morano said in an interview. this week from Dublin, where he is already in production at another show.

is the beauty of the movies I love, "he added." You get an undiluted view and it's great to get into someone else's crazy mind. "

If the festival organizers have found themselves responding unexpectedly to cultural changes , the filmmakers have also seen their work acquire a new and expanded meaning in the face of the current political environment.

In "The bad education of Cameron Post", the director and co-writer Desiree Akhavan and her producer and co-writer Cecilia Fruguele adapted the Emily Danforth's novel, a history of adolescent homobadual conversion therapy.

"It felt so relevant to both of you in many ways. It covered a lot of issues that we wanted to discuss, "Akhavan said." The election happened while we were filming. I remember that I kept having the same conversation: "Is this movie relevant, will anyone care?" And it became disturbingly relevant when we achieved it "

The 10 films in the Next section will continue to be the home of some of the festival's most extravagant and exciting discoveries, and this year's selections include the director of "The Wolfpack" Crystal Moselle, "Skate Kitchen." "Madeline & # 39; s Madeline" by Josephine Decker starring Molly Parker and Miranda July, "An Evening With Beve" by Jim Hosking and Luff Linn "starring Aubrey Plaza, Aneesh Chaganty & # 39; s "Search" with John Cho and Bridey Elliott It's "Clara's Ghost" starring the screenwriter and director along with her parents, Chris and Paula Elliott, and her sister Abby Elliott.

Screenwriter and director Qasim Basir set out to make a light romance and with what he ended up is "A boy, a girl, a dream", a romantic drama set on the night of the 2016 presidential election that is played in the Next section . The film stars Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good with a small role for "black-ish" creator Kenia Barris.

"We created a funny love story, then the election happened," Basir said in an interview from Los Angeles this week. . "And then it hit me so deeply, I really have such a strong feeling about what's happening in this country right now." So I called my producer and said, "And if it's scheduled for the night of the Elections? Then my attempt to make a light love story became something serious and intense again. "

That mix of cultural relevance and emotional resonance seems to be the signature feature of the next festival.

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