If you’re anything like me
and don’t like to be cold at all, then maybe Park City, Utah won’t exactly be
your cup of tea, but in gearing up for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the
cold will have to take a back seat! In a previous post, I wrote about the competition
films that will screen at Sundance in the U.S. and World Dramatic competitions
and Documentary competition. There are a lot of good ones on the list and it
was enough to wet any film lover’s appetite.

And as the month of December
chugs along, Sundance has released their next slate of films that will screen
at the festival. The next round of films, listed below, are screening in the
out-of-competition sections Spotlight and Park City at Midnight. 
The slate includes the
highly anticipated 99 Homes, starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, ‘71,
which screened at the Middleburg Film Festival in November, stars Unbroken’s
Jack O’Connell, and Knock, Knock, an interesting collaboration between director
Eli Roth and actor Keanu Reeves.
Check out the entire list of
films below and stay tuned for more Sundance coverage!
Regardless of where these
films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to
the cinema we love.
6 Desires: DH Lawrence and
Sardinia / United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, DH
Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their
experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s
footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a letter to Lawrence — or
“Bert” — a detail that’s typical of the film’s inviting sense of
conversational intimacy. International Premiere
’71 / United Kingdom
(Director: Yann Demange, Screenwriter: Gregory Burke) — ’71 takes place over a
single night in the life of a young British soldier accidentally abandoned by
his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell
friend from foe, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety.
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Barry
Keoghan, Martin McCann.
99 Homes / U.S.A. (Director:
Ramin Bahrani, Screenwriters: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi) — A
father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by
working for the greedy real-estate broker who’s the source of his frustration.
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Cullen Moss,
J.D. Evermore.
Aloft / Spain, France,
Canada (Director and screenwriter: Claudia Llosa) — Aloft tells the story of a
struggling mother, Nana, and her evolution to becoming a renowned healer. When
a young artist tracks down Nana’s son 20 years after she abandoned him, she
sets in motion an encounter between the two that will bring the meaning of
their lives into question. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, Mélanie
Laurent, William Shimell. North American Premiere
Eden / France (Director: Mia
Hansen-Løve, Screenwriters: Mia Hansen-Løve, Sven Hansen-Løve) — Mia
Hansen-Løve’s electronic-dance-music epic follows the rise and fall of a DJ (based
on her brother, Sven, a contemporary of Daft Punk) who gets into the rave scene
in 1994 and spends the next 20 years navigating the French club scene. Cast:
Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Greta Gerwig, Brady Corbet, Arsinee Khanjian,
Vincent Macaigne.
Girlhood / France (Director
and screenwriter: Céline Sciamma) — Oppressed by her family, dead-end school
prospects, and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life
after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name and
dress, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping to find a way to
freedom. Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré,
Idrissa Diabaté, Simina Soumaré.
The Tribe / Ukraine
(Director and screenwriter: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) — Set at a Ukrainian
boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign
language without the need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a
unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a
new level. Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander
White God / Hungary
(Director: Kornél Mundruczó, Screenwriters: Kata Wéber, Kornél Mundruczó,
Viktória Petrányi) — When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog,
Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by The
State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back toward each other. Cast:
Zsófia Psotta, Sandor Zsótér, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, László Gálffi,
Lili Horváth. U.S. Premiere
Wild Tales / Argentina,
Spain (Director and screenwriter: Damián Szifrón) — Inequality, injustice, and
the demands of the world cause stress and depression for many people. Some of
them, however, explode. This is a movie about those people. Vulnerable in the face
of an unpredictable reality, the characters of Wild Tales cross the thin line
dividing civilization and barbarism. Cast: Ricardo Darín, Julieta Zyberberg,
Leonardo Sbaraglia, Darío Grandinetti, Erica Rivas, Oscar Martínez.
From horror flicks to
comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you
edge-seated and wide awake.
Cop Car / U.S.A. (Director:
Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) — Two 10-year-old
boys steal an abandoned cop car. Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson,
Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim. World Premiere
The Hallow / Ireland, United
Kingdom (Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) —
When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of
ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he
unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his
family. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael
Smiley. World Premiere
Hellions / Canada (Director:
Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) — Teenage Dora Vogel must
survive a Halloween night from hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come
knocking at her door. Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland,
Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk. World Premiere
It Follows / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) — After a strange sexual
encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the
inescapable sense that something is after her. Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir
Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.
Knock Knock / U.S.A.
(Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo)
— Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man’s life and turn a wild
fantasy into his worst nightmare. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De
Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp. World Premiere
The Nightmare / U.S.A.
(Director: Rodney Ascher) — A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon
of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly
large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and
awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to
disturbing sights and sounds.World Premiere
Reversal / U.S.A. (Director:
J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) — A gritty
psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a basement of a sexual
predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for
freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to turn the tables on her
captor. Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere
Turbo Kid / Canada, New
Zealand (Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell,
Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Simard) — In a
post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl.
They become friends until Zeus, the sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps
her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and
save the girl. Cast: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron
Jeffery, Edwin Wright. World Premiere

The Forbidden Room / Canada
(Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson,
Robert Kotyk) — A submarine crew, a feared pack of forest bandits, a famous
surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for
as they wend their way toward progressive ideas on life and love. Cast:
Geraldine Chaplin, Caroline Dhavernas, Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Charlotte
Rampling, Karine Vanasse. World Premiere
Liveforever / Colombia,
Mexico (Director: Carlos Moreno, Screenwriters: Alberto Ferreras, Alonso
Torres, Carlos Moreno) ­— Driven by the music and dancing she finds along the
way, a teenager leaves home willing to try anything her provocative and
tolerant city has to offer, even if she burns out in the process. Inspired by
the best-selling novel “Que viva la música” by Andres Caicedo. Cast:
Paulina Davila, Alejandra Avila, Luis Arrieta, Juan Pablo Barragan, Nelson
Camayo, Christian Tappan. World Premiere
The Royal Road / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson) — This cinematic essay, a defense of
remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and
the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch
identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop
of 16mm urban California landscapes.Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. World
Sam Klemke’s Time Machine /
Australia (Director: Matthew Bate) — Sam Klemke has filmed and narrated 50
years of his life, creating a strange and intimate portrait of what it means to
be human. World Premiere
Station to Station / U.S.A.
(Director: Doug Aitken) — Station to Station is composed of 60 individual
one-minute films featuring different artists, musicians, places, and
perspectives. This revolutionary feature-length film reveals a larger narrative
about modern creativity. World Premiere
Things of the Aimless
Wanderer / Rwanda, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Kivu Ruhorahoza)
— A white man meets a black girl, then she disappears. The white man tries to
understand what happened to her while also trying to finish a travelogue.
Things of the Aimless Wanderer is a film about the sensitive topic of relations
between “locals” and Westerners, about paranoia, mistrust, and
misunderstandings. Cast: Justin Mullikin, Grace Nikuze, Ramadhan Bizimana,
Eliane Umuhire, Wesley Ruzibiza, Matt Ray Brown. World Premiere

1979 Revolution Game
Artists: Navid Khonsari,
Vassiliki Khonsari
1979 Revolution Game
presents an innovative approach to non-fiction storytelling. Designed to engage
players with an immersive “on the ground” experience of the Iranian
Revolution, the game integrates an emotionally impactful narrative with
interactive moral choices and intuitive touchscreen gameplay while remaining
true to history.

Artist: Oscar Raby
This immersive documentary
uses virtual reality technology to put the user in the footsteps of Director
Oscar Raby’s father, who in 1973 was a 22-year-old army officer stationed in
the north of Chile, on the day when the Caravan of Death came to his regiment.

Artist: Max Rheiner
Flying is one of the oldest
dreams of humankind. Birdly is an experiment to capture this dream, to simulate
the experience of being a bird from a first-person perspective. This embodiment
is conducted through a full-body virtual reality setup.

Artist: François Quévillon
This interactive
installation uses the audience’s body motions and positions to explore 3-D
reconstructions of urban and natural spaces that are transformed according to
live environmental data, including meteorological and astronomical phenomena.

Evolution of Verse
Artist: Chris Milk
Chris Milk, working with
visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain and virtual reality production company
VRSE.works, has created this photo-realistic CGI-rendered 3-D virtual reality
film that takes the viewer on a journey from beginning to new beginning.

Kaiju Fury!
Artist: Ian Hunter
A dark energy experiment
leads to a devastating attack by monstrous Kaiju, and you are standing at
ground zero — all in 360-degree, stereoscopic 3-D cinematic virtual reality.
You will “be there” as the beasts lay waste to a crumbling city and
humanity makes its last stand. Cast: Susie Abromeit, Bill Lippincott, Daniel
Martin, Brian Dodge, Vincient Chiantelli​.

Artist: Pleix
Paradise is certainly not
paradisiacal if you look at it through our eyes. But neither is it totally
devoid of humor, melancholy and absurdity. Perhaps it is first and foremost
life as it is, and then a touch exaggerated in the digital overdrive.

Perspective; Chapter I: The
Artists: Rose Troche, Morris
A young college woman
attends a party with the intention of shedding her “shy girl”
persona. At the same party, a young man is after a similar reinvention. They
meet, drink, and misinterpreted signals turn into things that cannot be undone.
Virtual reality simulators let viewers experience both characters. Cast:
Tabitha Morella, Caleb Thomas, Zachary Zagoria, Anna Grace Barlow.

Artists: Daniel Kwan, Daniel
Possibilia is a
multi-layered narrative experience from acclaimed directing duo the Daniels.
The story of two quarreling lovers splits exponentially into more and more
possible worlds as their relationship unravels. Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Zoe

Project Syria
Artist: Nonny de la Peña
More than one million
children have fled Syria and news reports indicate children are being
specifically targeted in the violence. By combining pioneering virtual reality
technologies with audio and video captured during a real event, audiences feel
transported to the powerful scene, becoming witnesses as the intense tragedy

The VR works of Felix &
Artists: Félix Lajeunesse,
Paul Raphaël
Felix & Paul’s
groundbreaking live-action virtual reality experiences range from independent
documentary to fictional work with major Hollywood studios and stars. These
experiences let viewers sit in the room with musicians making music, roam the
Mongolian plains with yak herders, and experience an encounter with the

Way to Go
Artist: Vincent Morisset
It is a walk in the woods.
It is an astonishing online and virtual reality interactive experience, a
restless panorama, a mixture of hand-made animation, 360-degree video capture,
music, dreaming, and code; but mostly it is a walk in the woods, c’mon!

Zero Point
Artist: Danfung Dennis
Zero Point, a 3-D and
360-degree documentary for the Oculus Rift headset, creates an entirely new
digital dimension. From combat training simulations to research labs at
Stanford to indie game developers and hackers, this immersive experience
highlights the future of virtual reality.

About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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