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Through year-round support and a series of Labs and Fellowships for screenwriters, directors, and producers, the Institute's Feature Film Program has supported more than 300 feature films, including Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's HOWL, Cherien Dabis' Amreeka, Cary Joji Fukunaga's Sin Nombre, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know, and Walter Salles's Central Station. Since those first Labs, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent film, theatre, and music artists. The programs of Sundance Institute include the annual Sundance Film Festival, held in and around Park City, Utah, each January. Widely considered the premier platform for American and international independent film, the Festival has introduced audiences to some of the most original stories of the last three decades including Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Splendor, An Inconvenient Truth, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Cove. In 1981, Robert Redford gathered a group of his friends and colleagues in the mountains of Utah to create an environment designed to foster independence, discovery, and new voices in American film. That spring, ten emerging filmmakers were invited to the first Sundance Institute Filmmakers/Directors Lab where they worked with leading writers and directors to develop their original independent film projects. In the remote natural setting and removed from the pressures of the marketplace, each emerging artist was encouraged to take creative risks and to craft a film true to their own, unique vision. In 1984, the Institute's activities expanded to include development programs for theatre when the Utah Playwrights Conference became the Sundance Playwrights Lab.

The Alumni Initiative cultivates connections with our alumni to foster a continued relationship between the Institute and the artists who have developed or shown work through the Institute's programs. The Art House Project is a collaboration with art house cinemas in cities around the country to create specialized screening programs of Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival-supported films for local audiences and our Community Programs are a series of Utah-based activities that offer many free and open to the public events for more than 25,000 Utah residents each year. Sundance Institute also continues to support film and theatre artists beyond their participation in our Artist Programs through a commitment to building audiences for their work. In order to create a record of cultural history, the Sundance Institute Archives preserves the organization's history and documents the creative processes of the artists we support. The Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA provides a ground-breaking educational archive devoted to the collection and preservation of independent cinema. Documentaries ranging from Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Trouble the Water to Laura Poitras' The Oath to Ross Kaufman and Zana Briski's Born into Brothels are among the 500 films that have been supported by the Documentary Film Program, which offers grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund along with a series of Labs in editing and storytelling.

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest Run time: 95 min. | U.S.A. | color T

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Having forged a 20-year run as one of the most innovative and influential hip-hop bands of all time, A Tribe Called Quest has kept a generation hungry for more of its groundbreaking music since the group’s much-publicized breakup in 1998. The band shaped a unique sound by wedding jazz-infused musicscapes to Afrocentric rhymes espousing unity and community. Its music became the anthem for cool and broke down barriers for people who had never before connected with hip-hop. In spite of unparalleled artistic success, however, the group encountered pitfalls that eventually caused its tumultuous breakup.

Hot Coffee

The Redemption of General Butt Naked

HERE

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Run time: 88 min. | U.S.A. | color

Run time: 84 min. | U.S.A. | color

Run time: 120 min. | U.S.A. | color

Run time: 84 min. | U.S.A. | color

For many Americans, the famous McDonald’s coffee case has become emblematic of the frivolous lawsuits that clog our courts and stall our justice system. Or is that exactly what McDonald’s wants us to think? Enter intrepid filmmaker Susan Saladoff. Using the now-infamous legal battle over a spilled cup of coffee as a springboard into investigating our civil-justice system, Saladoff exposes the way corporations have spent millions distorting this case to promote tort reform. Big business has brewed an insidious concoction of manipulation and lies to protect its interests, and media lapdogs have stirred the cup.

Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked, murdered thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war. Today this once-brutal warlord has renounced his sadistic past and reinvented himself as evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi. In a riveting cinema vérité journey that unfolds over the course of five years, filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion follow Blahyi’s unrelenting crusade to redeem his life. Facing those he once terrorized, preaching where he once murdered, Blahyi is on a quest to save his soul.

Will (Ben Foster) is a satellite-mapping engineer conducting a survey of Armenia. One morning at a rural hotel, he meets Gadarine (Lubna Azabal), an Armenian expatriate and photographer recently returned home. Forming an instant, unconscious bond, the two impulsively decide to travel together.

Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked, murdered thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war. Today this once-brutal warlord has renounced his sadistic past and reinvented himself as evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi. In a riveting cinema vérité journey that unfolds over the course of five years, filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion follow Blahyi’s unrelenting crusade to redeem his life. Facing those he once terrorized, preaching where he once murdered, Blahyi is on a quest to save his soul.

Another Earth Run time: 92 min. | U.S.A. | color Rhoda Williams, a bright young woman recently accepted into MIT's astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. John Burroughs, a brilliant composer, has just reached the pinnacle of his profession, and is about to have a second child with his loving wife. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes, and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined. Estranged from the world and the selves they once knew, the two outsiders begin an unlikely love affair, which reawakens them to life. But when one of them is presented with the opportunity to travel to the other Earth and embrace an alternative.

Run time: 109 min. | U.S.A. | color +

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BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey Run time: 76 min. | U.S.A. | color V B V V V

Each and every day, millions of kids tune in to Sesame Street to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable children’s characters, a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the Muppet is able to walk down the street without being recognized. Meet Kevin Clash. As an average teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin had very different aspirations from his classmates—he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim Henson’s team of Muppeteers, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of Sesame Street on a daily basis.

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How to Die in Oregon

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Run time: 107 min. | U.S.A. | color

Run time: 85 min. | U.S.A. | color

From its opening scene, where a terminally ill cancer patient takes a lethal dose of Seconal and literally dies on camera, it becomes shockingly clear that How to Die in Oregon is a special film. In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. Since 1994, more than 500 Oregonians have taken their mortality into their own hands.

Toynbee Idea in Movie 2001. Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter. Beginning in the early 1980s, hundreds of tiles carrying this cryptic message were found embedded in the asphalt of city. streets as far apart as New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Santiago, and Buenos Aires. Street art? A prank? A message from space?. Filmmaker Jon Foy recounts how young artist Justin Duerr became fascinated with the strange plaques and, with two other "Toynbee tile" enthusiasts, Steve Weinik and Colin Smith, spent years trying to discover what they meant and who made them.

Another Happy day

Run time: 85 min. | U.S.A. | color

Sing Your Song

Marshall Curry’s documentary tells a timely story of political action and environmental beliefs at loggerheads. His reconstruction of the recent history and unraveling of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is a fascinating exploration of a modern revolutionary movement and its efficacy.

Run time: 103 min. | U.S.A. | color

Buck Run time: 88 min. | U.S.A. | color

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A living legend in the horse world, Buck Brannaman was the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer. For this true cowboy, horses are a mirror of the human soul. Reared by an abusive father, Buck eschews violence. By teaching people to communicate with horses through instinct, not punishment, he frees the spirit of the horse and its human comrade. Crisscrossing the world with Zenlike wisdom, Buck promulgates grace in the bond between man and horse. The animal-human relationship becomes a perfect metaphor for meeting the challenges of daily life, whether they consist of raising kids, running a business.

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The Last Moutain Run time: 95 min. | U.S.A. | color It’s easy to forget that each time we turn on a light, we are contributing to the ecological damage caused by the coal that generates electricity in this country. The Last Mountain gives us plenty of reasons to remember. Contaminated air, soil, and water; coal dust, cancer clusters, and toxic sludge are all by-products of this widespread energy source.

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Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death T

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Run time: 82 min. | U.S.A. | color With wonderful heart and an impressive sense of scale, Tiffany Shlain’s vibrant and insightful documentary, Connected, explores the visible and invisible connections linking major issues of our time—the environment, consumption, population growth, technology, human rights, the global economy—while searching for her place in the world during a transformative time in her life. Employing a splendidly imaginative combination of animation and archival footage, plus several surprises, Shlain constructs a chronological tour of Western modernization through the work of her late father, Leonard Shlain.

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Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

A wedding at her parents’ Annapolis estate hurls high-strung Lynn into the fire of primal, Byzantine family dynamics. It’s the wedding of Lynn’s son, whom she was deprived of raising because of her acrimonious divorce, and a feud still rages between Lynn and her ex-husband’s hot-tempered wife. Meanwhile, the three children Lynn did raise display a panoply of disturbing behaviors like cutting and drug addiction, which Lynn’s mother and sisters alternately ridicule and blame her for. As Lynn attempts catharsis, her mother sweeps issues under the rug, but painful truths bubble and spurt.

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Run time: 84 min. | U.S.A. | color George (Freddie Highmore), a smart teenage loner, has made it to his senior year despite the fact that he has never completed an assignment. Enter Sally (Emma Roberts), the school beauty, who hides her melancholy behind the protective mask of popularity. An unlikely connection blooms as these kindred spirits bond over their troubled parental relationships. With his education hanging by a thread, George concedes to let Dustin mentor him.

Run time: 91 min. | U.S.A. | color

Page One: A Year Inside the -i-New York Times-/i-

In 1983, Deborah Peagler, a woman brutally abused by her boyfriend, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for her connection to his murder. Twenty years later, as she languished in prison, a California law allowing incarcerated domestic-violence survivors to reopen their cases was passed. Enter a pair of rookie land-use attorneys convinced that with the incontrovertible evidence that existed, they could free Deborah in a matter of months. What they didn’t know was the depth of corruption and politically driven resistance they’d encounter, sending them down a nightmarish, bureaucratic rabbit hole of injustice.

Run time: 88 min. | U.S.A. | color With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source, newspapers going bankrupt, and outlets focusing on content they claim audiences (or is it advertisers?) want, Page One chronicles the media industry’s transformation and assesses the high stakes for democracy if in-depth investigative reporting becomes extinct. The film deftly makes a beeline for the eye of the storm or, depending on how you look at it, the inner sanctum of the media, gaining unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom for a year.

Run time: 84 min. | U.S.A. | color At the club, the music thumps, go-go dancers twirl, shorties gyrate on the dance floor while studs play it cool, and adorably naive 17-year-old Alike takes in the scene with her jaw dropped in amazement. Meanwhile, her buddy Laura, in between macking the ladies and flexing her butch bravado, is trying to help Alike get her cherry popped. This is Alike’s first world. Her second world is calling on her cell to remind her of her curfew. On the bus ride home to Brooklyn, Alike sheds her baseball cap and polo shirt, puts her earrings back in, and tries to look like the feminine, obedient girl her conservative family expects.

The Ledge Run time: 101 min. | U.S.A. | color Atop a high-rise building, Gavin, a young hotel manager, is about to end his life. Hollis, a detective whose own world has just been turned upside down, is dispatched to the scene. As Hollis tries to persuade Gavin not to jump, each man begins to open up about his past, and we discover that neither of them is convinced that his life is worth living.

Take Shelter Following his acclaimed debut, Shotgun Stories, writer/director Jeff Nichols reteams with actor Michael Shannon to create a haunting tale that will creep under your skin and expose your darkest fears. Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl. When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard.

Framed by the illustrious careers of James Taylor and Carole King, Troubadours delves into the quietly explosive singer-songwriter movement in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. From their home at impresario Doug Weston’s Troubadour club in West Hollywood, artists like Taylor, King, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and Kris Kristofferson (the list goes on) wrote and performed songs with intimately personal lyrics, marking a transition from the politically focused songs of the ’60s.

Circumstance Run time: 105 min. | U.S.A. | color

Like Crazy

Teenagers Atafeh, and her best friend, Shireen, are experimenting with their burgeoning sexuality amidst the subculture of Tehran’s underground art scene when Atafeh’s brother, Mehran, returns home from drug rehab as the prodigal son. Battling his demons, Mehran vehemently renounces his former life as a classical musician and joins the morality police. He disapproves of his sister’s developing intimate relationship with Shireen and becomes obsessed with saving Shireen from Atafeh’s influence. Suddenly, the two siblings, who were close confidants, are entangled in a triangle of suspense.

Run time: 89 min. | U.S.A. | color Like Crazy is a film from and about the heart. Jacob, an American, and Anna, who is British, meet at college in Los Angeles and fall madly in love. It’s the purest kind of romance—they’re each other’s first significant attachment. When Anna returns to London, the couple is forced into a long-distance relationship. Their perfect love is tested, and youth, trust, and geography become their biggest enemies. Taking a complete tonal departure from his last film, Douchebag, which screened at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, cowriter/director Drake Doremus poetically reveals the intimate details and daily struggles.

Run time: 90 min. | U.S.A. | color

Run time: 94 min. | U.S.A. | color

Pariah

Run time: 91 min. | U.S.A. | color

We Were Here

Crime After Crime

In the isolated, frozen town of Barrow, Alaska, Iñupiaq teenagers Qalli and Aivaaq have grown up like brothers in a tight-knit community defined as much by ancient traditions as by hip-hop and snowmobiles. Early one morning, on a seal hunt with their friend James, a tussle turns violent, and James is killed. Panic stricken, terrified, and with no one to blame but themselves, Qalli and Aivaaq lie and declare the death a tragic accident. As Barrow roils with grief and his protective father becomes suspicious, Qalli stumbles through guilt-filled days, wrestling with his part in the death. For the first time in his life, he’s treading alone on existential ice.

Run time: 123 min. | U.S.A. | color

Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. It’s clear the mainstream media objectifies women, but what most people don’t realize is the magnitude of that phenomenon and the way objectification gets internalized—a symbolic annihilation of self-worth—and impedes girls and women from realizing their full potential.

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Run time: 96 min. | U.S.A. | color

Homework

Benavides Born In a small south Texas town, there aren’t many career options for young people besides oil rigs, the military, or fast-food restaurants. Luz Garcia, a fiery high-school athlete, is determined to forge a different future; she’s gained admission to the University of Texas at Austin. The problem is she can’t afford to go. With her one shot at a scholarship riding on the state powerlifting championship, she sees no choice but to bend the rules to ensure her victory. Although Luz’s rashness and frustration land her in increasingly hotter water, they also fuel her with courage and empowerment.

On the Ice

Troubadours

Run time: 89 min. | U.S.A. | color

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Wonderfully archived, and told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style, and musical panache, Susanne Rostock’s inspiring biographical documentary, Sing Your Song, surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte’s groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement and impacted many other social-justice movements.

Charting one woman’s spiritual journey through life while exploring and embracing her own humanity, Higher Ground is that rare film that is rich in ideas but also charged with emotion. As a child growing up in the 1960s, Corinne’s defining feature is her sense of inadequacy. When she reaches high school, her home life begins to unravel, driving her into the arms of Ethan, a guitarist in a local band. An event propels them to join a small fundamentalist community.

Run time: 115 min. | U.S.A. | color

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

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Higher Ground

In the early 1970s, in the shadow of the Stonewall riots and the free-love movement, gay men and lesbians flocked to San Francisco to find acceptance. They formed a thriving, tight-knit community until the arrival of AIDS in the early 1980s drove them under siege. Director David Weissman (The Cockettes screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival) chronicles this transformative era through the stories of five individuals who lived through the best and the worst of it.

Gun Hill Road Run time: 88 min. | U.S.A. | color After three years in prison, macho Enrique (Esai Morales) returns home to the Bronx and finds things changed. His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), is distant, and his teenage son, Michael, has come out as Vanessa, a transgender woman. Unable to accept his child for who she is now, Enrique clings to his masculine ideals while Angela attempts to hold the family together by fiercely protecting Vanessa. Still under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Enrique must become the father he needs to be or, once again, risk losing his family and freedom.

Little Birds Run time: 94 min. | U.S.A. | color Little Birds emanates both a harsh reality and an innocent luster as it explores the vigorous desire to escape one’s home—and the heavy price it can cost. Fifteen-year-old Lily and her best friend, Alison, live on the shores of the Salton Sea. Sprinting toward adulthood, Lily wants to escape her depressing hometown. But Alison is content with her life; she enjoys being sheltered from the uncertainty of growing up.

Terri Run time: 101 min. | U.S.A. | color Director Azazel Jacobs (Momma’s Man) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with a tale that will speak to anyone who has ever felt insecure or misunderstood. In other words . . . everyone. Orphaned to an uncle who is ailing, mercilessly teased by his peers, and roundly ignored by his jaded teachers, Terri finds himself alienated and alone. But when the dreaded vice principal, Mr. Fitzgerald, sees a bit of himself in the boy, they establish a friendship that encourages Terri to consider the possibility that life is something to be shared, even enjoyed, not just endured.


Sundance Film Festival (rotated)