– . – 20 UK films selected for Sundance 2011
20 UK films selected for Sundance 2011
2011 has got off to a good start for the UK film industry with 20 of the 115 films selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival (out of a total international submission pool of close to 4000), coming from the UK. Of these 20 films (which include documentaries, shorts and animations), only 7 received co-funding from the UK Film Council/ National Lottery – representing a fantastic achievement by truly independent UK filmmakers.The UKFC lists the 7 co-funded films as:
Tyrannosaur – Director and screenwriter: Paddy Considine.
Synopsis: For Joseph, a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own.
Cast: Peter Mullan, Eddie Marsan, Olivia Colman. World cinema dramatic competition.
The Guard (an Ireland/UK co-production) – Director and screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh.
Synopsis: A small-town cop in Ireland has a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a fondness for prostitutes and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international drug-smuggling ring that has brought a straight-laced FBI agent to his door. However, a surreal chain of events pulls him into the action.
Cast: Don Cheadle, Brendan Gleeson, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Dominique McElligott.
World cinema dramatic competition.
Project Nim – Director: James Marsh.
Synopsis: From the Oscar®-winning team behind Man on Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who was taught to communicate with language as he was raised and nurtured like a human child.
World cinema documentary competition.
Submarine – Director: Richard Ayoade, Screenwriter: Richard Ayoade from the novel by Joe Dunthorne.
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents’ marriage and to lose his virginity before his next birthday.
Cast: Craig Roberts, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige.
Spotlight section – out of competition.
The Nine Muses – Director and screenwriter: John Akomfrah.
Synopsis: An allegorical fable divided into overlapping musical chapters, this film retells the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. New frontier – out of competition.
Son of Babylon (an Iraq/UK co-production) – Director: Mohamed Al Daradji; Screenwriters: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge, Mithal Ghazi.
Synopsis: In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find their missing father/son.
Cast: Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid. Film forward.
Baby – Director and Screenwriter: Daniel Mulloy.
Synopsis: A young woman intervenes when she witnesses men mugging a girl. Now they won’t leave her alone. International narrative shorts.
The non-UKFC funded UK films selected to screen at Sundance include:
World Cinema Documentary Competition
The Flaw (Director: David Sington). Within a few months in 2008, several American financial institutions failed, and before you knew it the USA was in the red. An imaginative blend of archive, animation and personal stories delivers a devastating indictment of the unfettered capitalism which has led to crippling, catastrophic income inequality in the land of the free.
Hell and Back Again (USA/UK co-production) (Director: Danfung Dennis). Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Afghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the US, we witness what modern “unconventional” warfare really means to the men who are fighting it.
Knuckle (Ireland/UK co-production) (Director: Ian Palmer). An epic 12-year journey into the world of an Irish Traveler community, KNUCKLE takes us inside their brutal, secretive and exhilarating bare-knuckle fighting lives. Chronicling a history of violent feuding between rival families, the story focuses on two brothers as they fight for their reputations and the honour of their family name.
Senna (Director: Asif Kapadia; Screenwriter: Manish Pandey). The story of the legendary racing driver and Brazilian hero Ayrton Senna takes us on the ultimate journey of what it means to become the greatest when faced with the constant possibility of death.
The Bengali Detective (India/USA/UK) (Director: Phil Cox). Chubby, dance-obsessed private-detective Rajesh Ji and his motley band of helpers tackle poisonings, adultery and the occasional murder on the frenzied streets of Kolkata.
International Narrative shorts
Little Brother (Director: Callum Cooper; Screenwriters: Callum Cooper in collaboration with Oni Family). A teenage boy uses his hearing impairment to escape his daily routine and the responsibility of looking after his wheelchair-bound little brother.
Spring (Director and Screenwriter: Hong Khaou). A young man meets a stranger for an experience that will change his life forever.
International Documentary shorts
Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul. UK (Director: Orlando von Einsiedel). In a country with innumerable problems, Skateistan represents an oasis where chil dren can be children and build the kinds of cross-cultural relationships that Afghanistan needs for future stability.
International animated shorts
The Eagleman Stag (Director and Screenwriter: Mikey Please). If you repeat the word “fly” for long enough it sounds like you are saying “life”. This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of the beetle.
New Frontier Shorts
This Is Not A Suit (Directors: Adrien Sauvage, Chris Gaunt, and Jon Clements; Screenwriters: Adrien Sauvage and Madeleine Morlet). An instructional guide to the art of dressing that explores the creative quandaries of the mind. Who is the designer? Well, we will look into that. Here we learn the principles of easy dressing as you have not seen them before. This is not a suit.
Life in a Day (Director: Kevin Macdonald). Life in a Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film. On July 24, 2010, professional and amateur filmmakers captured a glimpse of their lives on camera and uploaded the footage to YouTube, serving as a time capsule for future generations.
Perfect Sense (Director: David Mackenzie; Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson). A poetic and magnetic love story about two people who start to fall in love just as the world begins to fall apart. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Dillane, Denis Lawson and Connie Nielsen.
Reagan (USA/UK) (Director: Eugene Jarecki). Reagan examines the enigmatic career of one of the revered architects of the modern world – icon, screen star, and two-term president Ronald Reagan.
In addition Afghan Star will be part of the Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue initiative run by the Sundance Institute
Afghan Star (Afghanistan/UK) (Director: Havana Marking). After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to television in Afghanistan: millions are watching and voting for their favourite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing.