Sundance 2011: Vera Farmiga, Emma Roberts, and Elmo among the films in competition

sundance-2011Image Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; Sesame Workshop; Christopher Smith/PR PhotosThe 2011 Sundance Film Festival, which will run from Jan. 20 to 30, 2011 in and around Park City, Utah, announced its dramatic and documentary in-competition line-up today. In a break with tradition, there will be no opening night film; instead one narrative and documentary film from the U.S. and World competitions will each screen on the first night. Highlights from the 16 films in the U.S. dramatic competition, culled from 1,102 submissions, include:

  • Higher Ground — The directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), about a mother who joins a fundamentalist community, and starring Farmiga, Joshua Leonard (Humpday), and John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone).
  • Homework — About a rebellious high schooler, starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Rita Wilson, and Blair Underwood, written and directed by newcomer Gavin Wiesen.
  • The Ledge — A thriller about a man who says he has to jump from a ledge by noon, starring Charlie Hunnam (FX’s Sons of Anarchy), Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, and Terrence Howard, written and directed by screenwriter Matthew Chapman (Runaway Jury).
  • The Untitled Sam Levinson Project (formerly known as The Loved Ones) — Two siblings attend an anarchic family wedding. Starring Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, and Thomas Haden Church. As the placeholder title suggests, it’s written and directed by Sam Levinson (Operation: Endgame).

Highlights from the 16 films in the U.S. documentary competition, selected from 841 submissions, include: 

  • Beats, Rhymes, and Life — The story of influential hip-hop band A Tribe Called Quest, directed by actor Michael Rapaport.
  • BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey — Yes, it’s a documentary about the man behind the beloved Sesame Street muppet Elmo, Kevin Clash.
  • Page One: A year inside the New York Times — A year-long look into the newsroom of the famed Grey Lady.
  • Troubadours — A look into the careers and lives of singer-songerwriter icons James Taylor and Carole King.

You can read a full breakdown of all the films in both the U.S. and Global competitions at the Sundance Festival website here.

Comments (7 total) Add your comment
  • Mary

    Very excited!! This will be my ninth trip to the Sundance Film Fest; can’t wait!

  • Jonathan

    Actually, the formerly untitled Sam Levinson project is NOW called “The Loved Ones”, not the other way around.

  • jon

    why are established director even making it into Sundance. I thought its supposed to be for new directors and actors

  • alan of montreal

    looks like an interesting list thus far. I’m intrigued by the Elmo doc.

  • Fred


  • G.R.

    Interesting stuff, but I’m most psyched about ‘Tyrannosaur’ (in the World Cinema Dramatic competition). Paddy Considine (of ‘In America’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’) is one of my favorite actors, and I have high hopes for his feature-film directing debut:

    “Tyrannosaur / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Paddy Considine) – For Joseph, a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own. Cast: Peter Mullan, Eddie Marsan, Olivia Colman. World Premiere”


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