After past Sundance glory, directors return for premieres program

Mon Dec 9, 2013 8:31pm EST
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedies, dramas, thrillers and documentaries exploring notable individuals will lead the 2014 Sundance Film Festival non-competitive premieres program, the annual independent film festival said on Monday.

The coveted premieres slot, usually reserved for more seasoned directors, will showcase 17 feature films, several of which are by directors who have gained prior success at Sundance.

Filmmaker Mike Cahill, who garnered critical praise in 2011 at Sundance as the writer-director of "Another Earth," returns in 2014 with "I Origins," a film about scientists who make a life-changing discovery starring Brit Marling and Michael Pitt.

Writer-director Ira Sachs, who won the annual festival's grand jury drama prize in 2005 with "Forty Shades of Blue," will premiere his latest film, "Love Is Strange," starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.

"Discovering the talent ... is a big part of what the festival does and is about, and to help them with their careers as they make their features," said Trevor Groth, the director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival. "It's great to have them back."

The Sundance Film Festival, backed by actor and director Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, is the top U.S. festival for independent cinema, and often selects films that go on to become strong contenders in Hollywood's annual awards race.

Previous selections include 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine," which won two Oscars, and 2012's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which was nominated for four Oscars.

Eleven documentaries also will be shown in the premieres category, many of which focus on the journey of notable individuals. Highlights include "Mitt" by Greg Whiteley, which followed Governor Mitt Romney on his failed 2012 U.S. presidential campaign.   Continued...

 
Main Street is pictured during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni