Sundance Film Festival 2015 Preview

Jill Orschel | Courtesy Sundance Institute

With Sundance Film Festival right around the corner, we saw fit to showcase some of the movies we are most excited to see. The Festival is held from January 22 - February 1st in Park City, Utah. Last years Audience Award Winner, "Whiplash" is now in Oscar contention with the film already winning praise and J.K. Simmons taking home a Golden Globe and nominated for an Academy Award as well. This years fest, as in years past, is sure to produce some of the best narrative and documentary work the world over in independent cinema. Stay tuned for following coverage and reviews as we bundle up and head down to Sundance. 

Each section program features a multitude of excellent films. Here are a few we've put on the calendar. 

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Jas Shelton | Courtesy Sundance Institute 

The Stanford Prison Experiment
Based on the actual events that took place in 1971, Stanford professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo created what became one of the most shocking and famous social experiments of all time. 
Directed by: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Written by: Tim Talbott
Cast: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby 

Z for Zachariah
In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature.
Directed by: Craig Zobel
Written by: Nissar Modi
Cast: Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine

U.S. Documentary Competition

Being Evel
Millions know the man, but few know his story. Academy Award-winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face) and actor/producer Johnny Knoxville take a candid look at American daredevil and icon Robert “Evel” Knievel while also reflecting on our voracious public appetite for heroes
and spectacle.
Directed by: Daniel Junge

With unprecedented access to a covert counterterrorism sting, (T)ERROR develops in real time, documenting the action as it unfolds on the ground. Viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them through the perspective of *****, a 63-year-old black revolutionary turned
FBI informant.
Directed by: Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

When Catherine and Matthew Parker’s two teenage kids disappear into the remote Australian desert, the couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children’s fate.
Directed by: Kim Farrant
Written by: Fiona Seres, Michael Kinirons
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving, Lisa Flanagan, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Dreamcatcher takes us into a hidden world seen through the eyes of one of its survivors, Brenda Myers-Powell. A former teenage prostitute, Brenda defied the odds to become a powerful advocate for change in her community. With warmth and humor, Brenda gives hope to those who have none.
Directed by: Kim Longinotto

Listen to Me Marlon
With exclusive access to previously unheard audio archives, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career and extraordinary life
away from the stage and screen, the film fully explores the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely in Brando’s own voice.
Written/Directed by: Stevan Riley


KK Promotions | Courtesy Sundance Institute

Frank Masi | Courtesy Sundance Institute

A Walk in the Woods
An aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail with a long- estranged high school buddy. Along the way, the duo face off with each other, nature, and an eccentric assortment of characters. Together, they learn that some roads are better
left untraveled.
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Written by: Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman
Cast: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson,
Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal

Experimenter is based on the true story of famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, who in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans’ willingness to obey authority by using electric shock. We follow Milgram from meeting his wife through his controversial experiments that sparked public outcry.
Written/Directed by: Michael Almereyda
Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Kellan Lutz, Taryn Manning, John Leguizamo

Rodrigo Garcia | Courtesy Sundance Institute

Last Days in the Desert
Ewan McGregor is Jesus—and the Devil—in an imagined chapter from his 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test.
Written/Directed by: Rodrigo Garcia
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan, Ciarán Hinds, Ayelet Zurer

Documentary Premieres

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Nirvana, remains an icon 20 years after his death. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
is a raw and visceral journey through Cobain’s life and his career with Nirvana through the lens of his home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, and journals.
Written/Directed by: Brett Morgen

The Mask You Live In
Is there a “boy crisis” in America? Is our male population suffering due to our emphasis on power, dominance, and aggression? The Mask You Live In explores how our narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men, and society at large and unveils what we can do about it.
Directed by: Jennifer Siebel Newsom


’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.
Directed by: Yann Demange
Written by: Gregory Burke
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, Martin McCann

99 Homes
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.
Directed by: Ramin Bahrani
Written by: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Cullen Moss, J.D. Evermore

And many more - check out the full program for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival