Pull on your snow boots and wool cap, pick up some popcorn, and get ready to be wowed in theaters in Park City, Utah. The Sundance and Slamdance film festivals get underway this week, revealing a new collection of poignant dramas, heartwarming comedies, and enlightening documentaries. Not too far from the ski slopes, some of the year's most anticipated films are debuting for eager audiences.
You only have to look back as far as 2012 to see the impact that films premiering in the next few weeks can make. Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild electrified the crowds at last year’s Sundance festival. The powerful story of 6-year-old Hushpuppy, which premiered against the backdrop of snow drifts, is now basking in the golden glow of four Oscar® nominations, including one for Best Picture.
This year's festivals will certainly produce its own selection of memorable films. Here are just a few to keep your eye out for:
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Scene from Ain't Them Bodies Saints staring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. Photo by David Lowery.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints Director David Lowery
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is the story of Bob and Ruth, an impassioned young outlaw couple on an extended crime spree, who are finally apprehended by lawmen after a shootout. Although Ruth wounds a local officer, Bob takes the blame. Four years later, Bob escapes from prison and sets out to find Ruth and their daughter, born during his incarceration. David Lowery’s debut feature, shot by Bradford Young on Kodak 35mm, includes powerful performances from Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster.
Scene from Austenland staring Georgia King, JJ Feild, James Callis, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret Mckenzie, Keri Russell. Photo by Giles Keyte
Austenland Director Jerusha Hess
Austenland is the directorial debut of writer Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre), and was photographed on Kodak 35mm by Larry Smith, BSC. The story follows Jane (Keri Russell), whose obsession with all things Jane Austen, leads her to Austenland for an immersive vacation. Unfortunately, due to limited funds, she’s relegated to lesser quarters and drearier costumes than fellow bachelorette guests. Jane catches the eye of a young footman, however, and is swept into a romantic adventure she could never have imagined.
Scene from Fruitvale staring Octavia Spencer. Photo by Rachel Morrison.
Fruitvale Director Ryan Coogler
Ryan Coogler makes his directorial debut with Fruitvale, which is based on the real-life event that ended the life of 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The San Francisco Bay area resident was shot by transit officers at the Fruitvale station on New Year’s Day in 2009. Cinematographer Rachel Morrison chose Super 16mm for this film’s soulful look into Grant’s life and the incident that ended it.
Kill Your Darlings
Scene from Kill Your Darlings staring Ben Foster, Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Jack Huston. Photo by Reed Morano
Kill Your Darlings Director John Krokidas
Director John Krokidas teamed with cinematographer Reed Morano on Kill Your Darlings. Audiences go on a journey with the young Allen Ginsberg’s who meets the cool and handsome Lucien Carr while attending Columbia University in 1944. Carr opens Ginsberg up to a bohemian world and introduces him to William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Repelled by rules and conformity in both life and literature, the four agree to tear down tradition, ultimately giving birth to what became the Beat movement. Meanwhile, David Kammerer, a man in his 30s, is desperately in love with Carr. When Kammerer is found dead, and Kerouac, Burroughs and Carr are arrested in conjunction with the murder, their lives change forever.
The Spectacular Now
The Spectacular Now staring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. Photo by Wilford Harewood
The Spectacular Now Director James Ponsoldt
Director James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel of the same name, is an intimate look at life through adolescent eyes, specifically high school senior Sutter Keely. Sutter is the life of the party who lives in the now. After he is dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finicky hovering over him. Not a member of the cool crowd, she’s different. Aimee does have dreams, while Sutter lives in a world of impressive self-delusion. And yet they’re drawn to each other. This funny and poignant story was photographed on Kodak 35mm by Jess Hall, BSC.
We are proud to have a long-standing presence both on and off the screen at Sundance and Slamdance. We want independent filmmakers to know they don’t have to make compromises to realize their vision, because our film technology offers great options for productions at all budget levels.
This new class of filmmakers will take audiences on new adventures, but they still share the same goal as their predecessors; to have the best visual tools possible for their story. Kodak is here to help them realize those dreams.
We’re looking forward to seeing all the innovative, inspirational and entertaining films premiering in Park City!