Sundance Announces Docs in Competition
By Tom White
The Sundance Film Festival announced its competition lineup, including the films selected for the Documentary Competition and the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
This year's 16 films were selected from 879 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
Art & Copy (Director: Doug Pray; Screenwriter: Timothy J. Sexton)-Rare interviews with the most influential advertising creative minds of our age illustrate the wide-reaching effect advertising and creativity have on modern culture.
Boy Interrupted (Director: Dana Perry)-An
intimate look at the life, mental illness and death of a young man told from
the point of view of the filmmaker: his mother.
The Cove (Director: Louie Psihoyos; Screenwriter: Mark Monroe)-Dolphins are dying, whales are disappearing, and the oceans are growing sick. The horrors of a secret cove nestled off a small, coastal village in Japan are revealed by a group of activists led by Ric O'Barry, the man behind Flipper.
Crude (Director: Joe Berlinger)-The inside story of the "Amazon Chernobyl" case in the rainforest of Ecuador, the largest oil-related environmental lawsuit in the world.
Dirt! The Movie (Directors: Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow)-The story of the relationship between humans and dirt, Dirt! The Movie humorously details how humans are rapidly destroying the last natural resource on earth.
El General (Director: Natalia Almada)-As great-granddaughter of Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles, one of Mexico's most controversial revolutionary figures, filmmaker Natalia Almada paints an intimate portrait of Mexico.
Good Hair (Director: Jeff Stilson)-Comedian Chris Rock turns documentary filmmaker when he sets out to examine the culture of African-American hair and hairstyles.
Over the Hills and Far Away (Director: Michel Orion Scott)-Over the Hills and Far Away chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia in search of a mysterious shaman they believe can heal their autistic son.
The Reckoning (Director: Pamela Yates; Screenwriters: Peter Kinoy, Paco de Onís, Pamela Yates)-A battle of monumental proportions unfolds as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal dictators and world superpowers in bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice.
Reporter (Director: Eric Daniel Metzgar)-Set in Africa, this documentary chronicles, in verité fashion, the haunting, physically grueling and shocking voyage of Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Nicholas D. Kristof.
The September Issue (Director: R.J. Cutler)-With unprecedented access, director R.J. Cutler and his crew shot for nine months as they captured Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team preparing the 2007 VogueSeptember issue, widely accepted as the "fashion bible" for the year's trends.
Sergio (Director: Greg Barker)-Sergio examines the role of the United Nations and the international community through the life and experiences of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, including interviews with those who knew and worked with him over the course of his extraordinary career.
Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech (Director: Liz Garbus)-An exploration of the history and current state of free speech in America narrated by the filmmaker's father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus.
We Live in Public (Director and Screenwriter: Ondi Timoner)-We Live in Public is the story of the Internet's revolutionary impact on human interaction as told through the eyes of maverick Web pioneer Josh Harris and his transgressive art project that shocked New York.
When You're Strange (Director and Screenwriter: Tom DiCillo)-The first feature documentary about The Doors, When You're Strange enters the dark and dangerous world of one of America's most influential bands using only footage shot between 1966 and 1971.
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (Directors: Sarah Kunstler and Emily Kunstler)-With clients including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and the Chicago 10, the late civil rights attorney William Kunstler was one of the most famous lawyers of the 20th century. Filmmakers Emily and Sarah Kunstler explore their father's life from movement hero to "the most hated lawyer in America."
World Cinema Documentary
This year's 16 films were selected from 744 submissions.
211:Anna / Italy (Directors:Paolo Serbandini and Giovanna Massimetti)-The story of Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist and human rights activist who risked her life to report the truth about the Chechen conflict and President Vladimir Putin. World Premiere
Afghan Star / Afghanistan/UK (Director: Havana Marking)-After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to television in Afghanistan: millions are watching and voting for their favorite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing. North American Premiere
Big River Man / USA (Director: John Maringouin)-An overweight, wine-swilling Slovenian world-record-holding endurance swimmer resolves to brave the mighty Amazon-in nothing but a Speedo. World Premiere
Burma VJ / Denmark (Director: Anders Ostergaard)-In September 2007, Burmese journalists risking life imprisonment to report from inside their sealed-off country are suddenly thrown onto the global stage as their pocket camera images of the Saffron Revolution make headlines everywhere. US Premiere
The End of the Line / UK (Director: Rupert Murray)-Based on the book by journalist Charles Clover, The End of the Line reveals the devastating effect that global overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans. World Premiere
The Glass House / USA (Director: Hamid Rahmanian)-The Glass House follows four teenage girls striving to overcome drug addiction, abandonment and abuse by attending a rehabilitation center in Tehran. North American Premiere
Kimjongilia / France/USA (Director: N.C. Heikin)-Defectors from North Korea finally speak out about the terrifying reality of their lives-and escapes. World Premiere
Let's Make Money /Austria/China/South Africa/Spain/Switzerland/U.S.A. (Director: Erwin Wagenhofer)-From the factories of India, to financial markets in Singapore, to massive housing developments in Spain and offshore banks in Jersey, Let's Make Money reveals complex and shocking workings of global money flow. World Premiere
Nollywood Babylon / Canada (Directors: Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal)-Welcome to the wacky world of Nollywood, Nigeria's bustling home-grown movie industry. US Premiere
Old Partner/ South Korea (Director: Chung-ryoul Lee)-A humble octogenarian farmer lives out his final days with his spitfire wife and his loyal old ox in the Korean countryside. North American Premiere
Prom Night in Mississippi/ Canada (Director: Paul Saltzman)-When a small-town Mississippi high school resolves to hold its first integrated senior prom, strong emotions fly and traditions are challenged to their core. World Premiere
The Queen and I (Drottningen och jag) / Sweden (Director: Nahid Persson Sarvestani)- Swedish filmmaker Sarvestani, an Iranian exile who helped overthrow the Shah's regime in 1979, confronts her own assumptions and complex truths about Iran when she enters the life of the Shah's widow. World Premiere
Quest for Honor/ Kurdistan / USA (Director: Mary Ann Bruni)-A former teacher and tireless activist works with local lawmen, Kurdish government agencies and her colleagues to investigate and eradicate honor killings in the tribal regions of Kurdistan. World Premiere
Rough Aunties/ UK (Director: Kim Longinotto)-Fearless, feisty and unwavering, the "Rough Aunties" protect and care for the abused, neglected and forgotten children of Durban, South Africa. North American Premiere
Thriller in Manila/ UK (Director: John Dower)-A tale of betrayal stoked by the racial politics of 1970s America, Thriller in Manila chronicles the most intense and bitter sporting rivalry ever: the 1975 final match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. North American Premiere
Tibet in Song / USA (Director: Ngawang Choephel)-Through the story of Tibetan music, this film depicts the determined efforts of Tibetan people, both in Tibet and in exile, to preserve their unique cultural identity. Choephel served six years of an 18-year prison sentence for filming in Tibet. World Premiere