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Sundance 2011 Spotlight Section: Tsangari, Villeneuve, Reichardt, Silva, Ayoade and Swanberg

Some major Venice, TIFF, NYFF titles have been added to Sundance including high quality premium titles in Attenberg, Meek’s Cutoff and Submarine. Gregg Araki will once again have had the chance to showcase his films at top fest on the circuit, his latest film Kaboom which was shown at Cannes and TIFF will find it’s final fest presentation in Park City. Denis Villeneuve will deliver one extra push before the Oscars (Incendies is a top tier pick among all the nominees). Mumblecore member Joe Swanberg is also in the section but with a world premiere of his film.

Some major Venice, TIFF, NYFF titles have been added to Sundance including high quality premium titles in Attenberg, Meek’s Cutoff and Submarine. Gregg Araki will once again have had the chance to showcase his films at top fest on the circuit, his latest film Kaboom which was shown at Cannes and TIFF will find it’s final fest presentation in Park City. Denis Villeneuve will deliver one extra push before the Oscars (Incendies is a top tier pick among all the nominees). Mumblecore member Joe Swanberg is also in the section but with a world premiere of his film.

Attenberg /Greece (Director and screenwriter: Athina Rachel Tsangari)
Marina, a young woman living with her father in a decaying, seaside factory town, acquires a new perspective on the mysteries of human nature after she meets a stranger. Cast: Ariane Labed, Yorgos Lanthimos, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou. U.S. Premiere

Elite Squad 2 (Tropa de Elite 2) /Brazil (Director: José Padilha; Screenwrtiers: Bráulio Mantovani, José Padilha and Rodrigo Pimentel)
Captain Nascimento of Rio de Janeiro’s special operations police unit has a new enemy: widespread corruption within the city. Cast: Wagner Moura, Seu Jorge, Tainá Müller, André Ramiro, Milhem Cortaz. International Premiere

I Saw the Devil (Akmareul boattda) /South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Kim Jee-woon)
A young secret agent tracks a brutal serial killer who murdered his fiancée. Cast: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi. U.S. Premiere

In a Better World (Hævnen)/Denmark (Director: Susanne Bier; Story: Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen, Screenplay: Anders Thomas Jensen)
The lives of two Danish families become intertwined as an extraordinary but risky friendship develops. Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Markus Rygaard and William Jøhnk Nielsen. U.S. Premiere

Incendies /Canada (Director: Denis Villeneuve; Screenwriters: Denis Villeneuve, Valérie Beaugrand-Champagn and Wajdi Mouawad)
A mother’s last wish sends Jeanne and Simon, twins living in Canada, on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots. Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette.

Kaboom /U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki)
A science fiction story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students. Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple. U.S. Premiere

Letters From the Big Man /U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christopher Munch)
An artist and government hydrologist surveying a remote part of southwestern Oregon befriends a sasquatch man and must take bold steps to protect his privacy, as well as her own. Cast: Lily Rabe, Jason Butler Harner, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Jim Cody Williams, Fiona Dourif. World Premiere

Meek’s Cutoff /U.S.A. (Director: Kelly Reichardt; Screenwriter: Jon Raymond)
In 1845, three families who have hired mountaineer Stephen Meek to guide their wagons over the Cascade Mountains get lost and face hunger, thirst and a lack of faith in their instincts for survival. Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Zoe Kaza, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson.

Old Cats (Gatos Viejos) /Chile (Directors and screenwriters: Pedro Peirano and Sebastián Silva)
An old woman who realizes that her mind is quickly deteriorating desperately tries to hide this condition from her daughter, who waits keenly for any sign of senility in order to take her apartment. Cast: Bélgica Castro, Claudia Celedón, Catalina Saavedra, Alejandro Sieveking.

Submarine /United Kingdom, U.S.A. (Director: Richard Ayoade; Screenwriter: Richard Ayoade from the novel by Joe Dunthorne)
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, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige. U.S. Premiere

Uncle Kent /U.S.A. (Director: Joe Swanberg; Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg and Kent Osborne)
A pothead cartoonist in Los Angeles spends a weekend trying to sleep with his visiting house guest – a woman from New York he met on Chatroulette. Cast: Kent Osborne. 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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