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We’ve got Plans for NEXT Weekend; Blue Caprice, It Felt Like Love & A Teacher Part of Blossoming Sundance Sidebar

I’m pretty sure that four years back when Trevor Groth and John Cooper (Sundance programming tandem who overhauled, switched over and re-defined the Spotlight section) knew just how significant the NEXT section (“less is greater than”) would become in the American independent-filmmaking sphere. Tomorrow, the Sundance Institute debuts its first ever NEXT Weekend program in Los Angeles and over the course of one weekend, denizens of LA will get to experience a slew of films from the 2013 program, including much talked about titles like Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher (pictured above), Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love and Alexandre Moor’s Blue Caprice. More intriguingly, a pair of titles not included in the original fest lineup, like Madeleine Olnek’s The Foxy Merkins and Chadd Harbold’s How to Be a Man make an appearance in the mini-festival event, which we assume were not ready in time to make the initial selection, and curiously SXSW preemed 12 O’Clock Boys and Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (Tribeca ’12) make the cut as well.

The fest opens August 8th with the 1999 cult documentary American Movie from Chris Smith, and Mark Borchardt’s short horror film, Coven at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (additional titles will screen at a variety of Los Angeles venues). NEXT Weekend is meant to be a celebration of filmmakers past and present with “next” sensibilities, renegades who operate outside the mainstream and indie film sensibility to provide compelling, engaging, and daring works of the cinematic form. Here’s the listed titles to show:

12 O’Clock Boys / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lotfy Nathan) – LA PREMIERE
Blue Caprice / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriters: R. F. I. Porto, Alexandre Moors) – LA PREMIERE
Cutie and the Boxer / U.S.A. (Director: Zachary Heinzerling) — LA PREMIERE
The Foxy Merkins / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Olnek, Screenwriters: Madeleine Olnek, Jackie Monahan, Lisa Haas) – WORLD PREMIERE
How to be a Man / U.S.A. (Director: Chadd Harbold, Screenwriters: Bryan Gaynor, Chadd Harbold, Gavin McInnes) – WORLD PREMIERE
It Felt Like Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) – LA PREMIERE
Newlyweeds / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shaka King) — LA PREMIERE
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors / U.S.A. (Director: Sam Fleischner, Screenwriters: Rose Lichter-Marck, Micah Bloomberg) — LA PREMIERE
A Teacher / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Hannah Fidell) — LA PREMIERE
This is Martin Bonner / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — LA PREMIERE

SHORT FILMS:
The Apocalypse / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Zuchero)
The Cub / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Riley Stearns)
The Event / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Julia Pott, Screenwriter: Tom Chivers)
K.I.T. / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Morgan)
#PostModem / U.S.A. (Directors: Jillian Mayer, Lucas Leyva, Screenwriters: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer)
Seraph / U.S.A. (Director: Dash Shaw, Screenwriters: John Cameron Mitchell, Dash Shaw)
Social Butterfly / France, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lauren Wolkstein)
A Story for the Modlins / Spain (Director: Sergio Oksman, Screenwriters: Carlos Muguiro, Emilio Tomé, Sergio Oksman)
Until the Quiet Comes / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kahlil Joseph)
What Do We Have in Our Pockets? / U.S.A., Israel (Director: Goran Dukic, Screenwriters: Goran Dukic)

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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