Womens' stories dominate 2013 Sundance film lineup

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:30pm EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Sundance Film Festival, the top U.S. film festival for independent cinema, on Wednesday unveiled its lineup for 2013, with films centered on female characters dominating the American fiction film competition.

The 113 feature length movies, including both narrative films and documentaries, cover a range of topics, but more than half of those chosen for the U.S. dramatic competition focus on stories about women, including several about females exploring sexual relationships.

That includes "May In The Summer," director Cherien Dabis's new film about a bride-to-be forced to re-evaluate her life when she reunites with her family in Jordan that is one of 16 films in the U.S. dramatic competition.

It will kick off Sundance on January 17 as one of four first-night screenings that will comprise of one feature and one documentary from each of the U.S. films and world cinema sections - movies made outside the United States.

Overall, 4,044 feature films from around the world were submitted for the festival that is backed by Robert Redford's Sundance Institute for filmmaking and is the premiere U.S. event for movies made outside Hollywood's major studios.

Indie films from Sundance festivals that have gone on to critical success include last year's winner, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," as well as "The Sessions," and "Little Miss Sunshine" and "An Inconvenient Truth".

Other features about female journeys include writer director Lynn Shelton's "Touchy Feely," about a massage therapist unable to do her job when she suddenly has an aversion to bodily contact.

"There are a lot of women's stories, and interestingly enough, a lot of those stories exploring sexual relationships," the festival's program director Trevor Groth said in an interview, noting it was a natural extension of an increase in female directors.   Continued...