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Sundance 2010 Spotlight: Sundance Showcases Cannes, TIFF and Venice

The Spotlight section (replacing the awkward Spectrum sidebar) is a place where the festival will showcase some great finds on the festival circuit. And let me tell you, there is some great stuff here especially with TIFF/Venice titles such as I am Love, Lourdes, Mother & Child, A Prophet and Women Without Men.

The Spotlight section (replacing the awkward Spectrum sidebar) is a place where the festival will showcase some great finds on the festival circuit. And let me tell you, there is some great stuff here especially with TIFF/Venice titles such as I am Love, Lourdes, Mother & Child, A Prophet and Women Without Men. The list includes some Cannes fair in Safdie Bros.’ Daddy Longlegs (formerly known as Go Get Some Rosemary) and Noe’s Enter the Void. Having already seen a good number of these pics, also means, less films for me to worry about. Here’s the complete list, which includes a selection of documentary films.

Bran Nue Dae/Australia (Director: Rachel Perkins; Screenwriters: Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, and Jimmy Chi)-In the summer of 1965, a young man is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome – fishing, hanging out with his mates and his girl. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo. U.S. Premiere

Daddy Longlegs/USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie)-A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it’s like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult. Cast: Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo. North American Premiere

Enter the Void/France (Director and Screenwriter: Gaspar Noé)-A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. Cast: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn. U.S. Premiere

I Am Love (Io Sono L’amore)/Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Luca Guadagnino)-A tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. Cast: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher, Marisa Berenson. U.S. Premiere

Louis C.K.: Hilarious/USA (Director: Louis C.K.)-Sharp-tongued comedian Louis CK pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience. World Premiere

Lourdes/Austria/France/Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jessica Hausner)-A woman in a wheelchair travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner. U.S. Premiere

Mother & Child/USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rodrigo García)-The lives of three women – a physical therapist, the daughter she gave up at birth three decades ago, and an African American woman seeking to adopt a child of her own – intersect in surprising ways. Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson. U.S. Premiere

Pumzi/South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Wanuri Kahiu)-A Sci-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, “The Water War.” Cast: Kudzani Moswela. North American Premiere

Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun)/France/Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Dyana Gaye)-Along the journey from Dakar to Saint Louis, seven passengers of a taxi meet each other and tell their lives through songs. Cast: Umban Gomez de Kset, Bigué Ndoye, Adja Fall, Yakhoub Ba, Abdoulaye Diakhaté. U.S. Premiere

The Tunnel/South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Jenna Bass)-When her father vanishes in 1980s Zimbabwe, young Elizabeth believes he has dug a tunnel to the city. Only by facing reality will she discover the truth behind his disappearance. Cast: Sibulele Mlumbi, Finch Moyo, Patricia Matongo, Anthony Watterson, Pakamisa Zwedala, Vuyisile Pandle. World Premiere

A Prophet (Un Prophète)/France (Director: Jacques Audiard; Screenwriters: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard)-An engaging examination of a seedy, gangster-driven underworld set in a French prison. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb.

Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan)/Germany/Austria/France (Directors and Screenwriters: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari)-A dissection of Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power. Cast: Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth. U.S. Premiere

Documentary films screening in the Festival’s Spotlight are:

8: The Mormon Proposition/USA (Director: Reed Cowan)-An examination of the relationship between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8 denying marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples. World Premiere

Catfish/USA (Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman)-When a young New York City photographer is contacted on Facebook by an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan, he becomes deeply enmeshed in her life, even falling in love with her older sister–that is, until a crack appears in her story. World Premiere

Climate Refugees/USA (Director: Michael Nash)-An over-consuming, crowded world, with depleting resources and a changing climate is giving birth to 25 million climate refugees resulting in a mass global migration and border conflicts. World Premiere

Countdown to Zero/USA (Director: Lucy Walker)-A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament. Premiere Status

Life 2.0/USA (Director: Jason Spingarn-Koff)-More than an examination of new technology, the film is foremost an intimate, character-based drama about people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world called Second Life. World Premiere

Teenage Paparazzo/USA (Director: Adrian Grenier)-A 13-year-old paparazzi boy snaps a photo of actor Adrian Grenier, leading Grenier to explore the effects of celebrity on culture. World Premiere

To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America/Bangladesh/USA (Director: Gayle Ferraro)-Tapping into the success of Muhammad Yunus after winning the Nobel Peace Prize (2006), Grameen America has opened in Queens, NY replicating the banking model program Yunus first started in Bangladesh. World Premiere

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks/USA (Director: Dan Klores)-Reggie Miller single-handedly crushed the hearts of Knick fans multiple times. But it was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that solidified Miller as Public Enemy #1 in New York City. 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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