The annual Sundance Film Festival, which begins today in Utah’s Park City, has become the premier platform for independent filmmakers looking to showcase their breakthrough work. Started in 1978, the festival has expanded over the years to include US and international feature films, documentaries and shorts along with a wide variety of panels and music events.
Under the guidance of Robert Redford and Festival Director John Cooper, Sundance expanded to host its first film and music festival in London last year. Both the Park City and London events offer a diverse line-up of programming to appeal to film and music fans. Internationally, Sundance Channel is also featuring a wide array of festival favourites on-air during its 10 Days of Sundance stunt. This includes Destin Daniel Cretton’s drama I Am Not a Hipster and Christopher Neil’s Goats starring Graham Phillips, David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga.
This year’s Park City festival includes 119 feature-length films from 32 countries. The competition to be selected is fierce. There were more than 12,000 submissions – 429 more than for 2012. Hollywood A-listers will be well represented with Nicole Kidman appearing in Stoker, Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings, Amanda Seyfried in Lovelace, Ashton Kutcher in jOBS and James Franco in Interior. Leather Bar.
Beyond the star-studded line-up, there are loads of new filmmakers present in Park City. This year 51 first-time filmmakers are part of the festival, which ensures that emerging artists will be given the opportunity to have their voices heard. This includes Hannah Fidell and her first feature, A Teacher, which tells the story of a popular teacher who has an affair with one of her students. Fidell was recently named one of Filmmaker magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Here’s an interview she just filmed discussing the movie and the excitement about going to Sundance this year.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxWmjYYHW6k]