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2009 Sundance Film Selections: World Dramatic Competition

Germany’s Oliver Hirschbiegel and Denmark’s own Lone Scherfig and Nicolas Winding Refn are among those representing their latest works in the World Dramatic Competition. The selection committee had the crazy task of bringing down the total number 1,012 submissions down to 16.

Germany’s Oliver Hirschbiegel and Denmark’s own Lone Scherfig and Nicolas Winding Refn are among those representing their latest works in the World Dramatic Competition. The selection committee had the crazy task of bringing down the total number 1,012 submissions down to 16.
 
Films screening in World Cinema Dramatic Competition are:
 
Before Tomorrow (Le Jour Avant Lendemain) / Canada (Directors: Madeline Piujuq & Marie-Helene Cousineau)—A wise old woman fights to survive impossible circumstances with her young grandson in the Canadian arctic. Cast: Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Paul-Dylan Ivalu, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, Mary Qulitalik, Tumasie Sivuarapik. U.S. Premiere
 
Bronson / UK (Director: Nicolas Winding Refn; Screenwriter: Brock Norman Brock)—Bronson traces the transformation of Mickey Peterson into Britain’s most notorious, dangerous, and charismatic prisoner, Charles Bronson. Cast: Tom Hardy.  North American Premiere
 
Carmo, Hit the Road / Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Murilo Pasta)— A lonely, handicapped smuggler and a beautiful girl embark on a reckless ride through a South American border landscape. Cast: Mariana Loureiro, Fele Martínez, Seu Jorge. World Premiere
 
The Clone Returns (Kuron Wa Kokyo-Wo Mezasu)/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Kanji Nakajima) —A Japanese astronaut who dies during a mission is subsequently resurrected as a clone and returns to his childhood home. Cast: Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Eri Ishida, Hiromi Nagasaku.  North American Premiere
 
Dada’s Dance / China (Director: Zhang Yuan; Screenwriter: Li Xiaofeng)—Dada is a flirtatious young woman who lives with her mother in a small town. Having to fend off the constant advances of her mother’s boyfriend who tells her she is adopted, she undertakes a journey in search of her birth mother. Cast: Li Xinyun, Li Xiaofeng, Gai Ge, Chen Jun.  North American Premiere.
 
An Education / UK (Director: Lone Scherfig; Screenwriter: Nick Hornby)—In the early 60s, a sharp 16-year-old with sights set on Oxford meets a handsome older man whose sophistication enraptures and sidetracks both her and her parents. Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson.  World Premiere
 
Five Minutes of Heaven / UK / (Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel; Screenwriter: Guy Hibbert)—Two men from the same town but from different sides of the Irish political divide discover that the past is never dead–in fact it isn’t even past. Cast: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca.  World Premiere.
 
A French Gigolo (Cliente) / France (Director and Screenwriter: Josiane Balasko)—An attractive, successful 50-something woman regularly treats herself to the sexual services of young men selected on Internet sites. When one particular escort becomes a habit, the relationship gets a bit more complicated. Cast: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carré, Josiane Balasko.  North American Premiere.
 
Heart of Time (Corazon Del Tiempo) / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: Alberto Cortes)—In La Esperanza de San Pedro, Chiapas, in the midst of the Zapatista struggle, a young woman makes serious waves when she falls in love with a revolutionary fighter from the mountains.  Cast: Rocío Barrios. North American Premiere
 
Louise-Michel / France (Directors: Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern)—When a French factory is abruptly closed by its corrupt management, a group of disgruntled female workers pool their paltry compensation money and hire a hit man to knock off the corrupt executive behind the closure. Cast: Yolande Moreau, Bouli Lanners.  North American Premiere.
 
Lulu and Jim (Lulu und Jimi) / Germany (Director: Oskar Roehler)—Bright garish colors, rock and roll and wild dance numbers mark this road movie about lovers fleeing from the evil powers of a 1950s deeply bigoted German society. Cast: Jennifer Decker, Ray Fearon, Katrin Saß, Rolf Zacher, Udo Kier. World Premiere.

Maid (La Nana) / Chile (Director and Screenwriter: Sebastian Silva)—When her mistress brings on another servant to help with the chores, a bitter and introverted maid wreaks havoc on the household. Cast: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedón, Mariana Loyola, Alejandro Goic, Andrea García-Huidobro. North American Premiere.

One Day in a Life (Un Altro Pianeta) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Stefano Tummolini)— One languid summer day, a man heads to the beach in search of sunshine and bit of peace, but finds himself tangled up in the dramas of an eclectic group of nearby sunbathers.Cast: Antonio Merone, Lucia Mascino.  World Premiere.
 
Unmade Beds / UK (Director and Screenwriter: Alexis Dos Santos)—Two young foreigners find romance in the vibrant, artistic underground of London’s East End. Cast: Deborah Francois, Fernando Tielve. World Premiere.
 
Victoria Day / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: David Bezmozgis)—Over the course of one week in 1988, the search for a missing teammate, parental expectations, a burgeoning sexual awakening and the rock concert of the century all threaten to jolt a sixteen year old into adulthood. Cast: Mark Rendall, Sergiy Kotelenets, Nataliya Alyexeyenko, Holly Deveaux, John Mavrogiannis. World Premiere.
 
Zion and His Brother (Zion Ve-Achiv)/ France / Israel (Director and Screenwriter: Eran Merav) The disappearance of a young boy sends a wedge between two teenage brothers whose loyalty had been unshakeable, in this gritty story of a working class Tel Aviv single-parent family. Cast: Reuven Badalov, Ronit Elkabetz, Tzahi Grad. World Premiere.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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