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Tag: Sundance Film Festival (1-10 of 431)

Winona Ryder, Edgar Wright among Sundance 2015 jury members

The Sundance Institute has packed the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with a host of writers, directors, actors, and others for the six juries that will be handing out prizes during next year’s festival.

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Cobie Smulders tackles motherhood in Sundance film 'Unexpected' -- exclusive photo

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What happens when you’re a new mother caught between having to choose between your personal and your professional life? That’s the question Kris Swanberg tackles in her latest film, Unexpected. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival next month and starring How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders, Unexpected tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a high school teacher and a young student, who both find themselves in a similar situation when they get unexpectedly pregnant. Swanberg, who wrote and directed the feature, based the story on her own real life experiences as a new parent who found herself trying to balance motherhood and work, as well as her experiences teaching in a Chicago public high school.

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Things get bloody in exclusive image from post-apocalyptic Sundance film 'Turbo Kid'

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In a rush to see a post-apocalyptic, BMX-powered, blood-splattered love story that follows the epic journey of an orphaned outcast reluctant to be a hero in the wasteland of an alternate future? Then we recommend you book a flight to next year’s Sundance Film Festival which, it was announced today, will see the world premiere of Turbo Kid. Written and directed by the filmmaking trio known as RKSS (Anouk Whissell, François Simard, and Yoann-Karl Whissell) the film boasts both the talents of genre legend Michael Ironside and just that premise.

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Sundance 2015: Jack Black, Kristen Wiig and Sarah Silverman lead the laugh pack to Park City

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Over the past three decades, the Sundance Film Festival has transcended its humble origins as founder Robert Redford’s field of art house movie dreams to become North America’s vanguard showcase for independent cinema. Just ask Owen Wilson or Steven Soderbergh, Amy Adams or Quentin Tarantino, all of whom got their starts at the fest: it’s the place where seriousness of intent and raw talent combust under the blinding world spotlight to create new stars.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fest’s 2015 installment, which kicks off in Park City on Jan. 22. An influx of Hollywood funny people basically remade Sundance in their own image.

With today’s unveiling of the festival’s much-anticipated line-up of Dramatic and Documentary competition films, as well as its NEXT section (which highlights digital technology and cutting-edge storytelling), it’s impossible to ignore the roll call of well-known comedians appearing in both comedic and dramatic movies this year. Among them: Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Molly Shannon, Jeffrey Tambor, Nick Offerman, and Flight of the Conchords co-star Jemaine Clement. READ FULL STORY

See the poster for Anne Hathaway's 'Song One'

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In Song One, Anne Hathaway plays Franny, an academic whose research in North Africa is cut short by an emergency phone call from home: her younger brother Henry has been hit by a car and is in a coma.

Henry was an aspiring Brooklyn musician, a career development that had soured the siblings’ relationship. But as she and her mother (Mary Steenburgen) reconnect around his hospital bed, she also gains a greater appreciation for her brother’s commitment to music from the songs he left behind. She visits the clubs he frequented, and when the opportunity presents itself, she approaches her brother’s favorite singer, James Forrester (Johnny Flynn), with a recording of one of her brother’s songs.

Serene and guarded, James is suffering in his own way. A wave of early success has left him paralyzed creatively, but his connection with Franny and her family sparks a healing relationship for both of them.

Flynn was cast perfectly as James, a folksy musician from England who’s a star in Brooklyn’s hip rock-folk scene. Flynn has released four albums, including Country Mile in 2013, and he’d already performed in Brooklyn clubs like Pete’s Candy Store before ever being cast in Song One. “When I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh, in some ways, this is almost my experience of New York,'” says Flynn.

The film is written and directed by Kate Barker-Froyland, who met Hathaway on the set of The Devil Wears Prada, where she was director David Frankel’s assistant. Song One debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and is the first film Hathaway has produced with her husband, Adam Shulman. Film Arcade is releasing the film in theaters and on-demand on Jan. 23. READ FULL STORY

Watch the mysterious trailer for 'The Sleepwalker'

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It’s tough getting acclimated to new roommates, as seen in the new theatrical trailer for The Sleepwalker.

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See young Abe Lincoln in 'The Better Angels' trailer

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Death was a constant shadow in the life of Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood on the American frontier to his assassination in 1865. In The Better Angels, writer/director A.J. Edwards—a disciple of the film’s producer Terrence Malick—focused on the three-year period of Lincoln’s youth where his young mother (Brit Marling) died, and his father (Jason Clarke) remarried a woman (Diane Kruger) who recognized Abe’s spark of intelligence and helped provide the moral and intellectual foundation that would one day preserve the Union. At his 1861 inauguration, with his country on the brink of civil war, President Lincoln appealed to “the better angels of our nature.” For Lincoln, the seeds of those sentiments were planted by the two women in his life who refused to let him be average.

Thirteen-year-old Braydon Denney had never acted before, but the Kentucky native beat out thousands of others to play the role of the future president—in part because of his outdoorsy athleticism and serene thoughtfulness. Lincoln was only nine years old when his mother died, and though untimely death was common in 1818, his bright future could’ve been snuffed out by grief and the rugged demeanor of his uneducated father.

“This is a film that portrays profound and personal loss, intense suffering, and the realization that faith and endurance can transform one’s suffering into good for all,” said Edwards, in the film’s production notes.

The Better Angels, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, opens in theaters on Nov. 7. EW has the exclusive trailer below: READ FULL STORY

See the trailer for the Penn State scandal documentary 'Happy Valley'

The Penn State football team is off to a 4-2 start this season, and more than 100,000 fans will file into Beaver Stadium on Oct. 24 when their beloved Nittany Lions take on their rivals from Ohio State. James Franklin is Penn State’s first-year head coach—but he still operates in the shadow of the late, legendary Joe Paterno, who raised Penn State to national prominence during his 62 years with the university’s football program.

Paterno infamously was forced out in 2011 after a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of sexually abusing children. Questions remain whether Paterno could or should have done more to investigate suspicions and claims in the years before the scandal exploded. Happy Valley, a new documentary from Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story), is about Penn State football and the near-religious fervor that Paterno’s unparallelled success bred over the decades. But it’s not just about Penn State. It’s also about the deification of American sports heroes, and the compromised relationship between a billion-dollar sports industry and the universities that enable it. READ FULL STORY

How Jan Brady went bad for revenge thriller 'Blue Ruin'

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“I’m not known for my gun-play,” says Brady Bunch star Eve Plumb.

No kidding. So how did the actress who played Jan Brady on the classic sitcom wind up portraying the gun-toting matriarch of a crime family in the indie revenge thriller Blue Ruin (which was released last Friday and is also available  to watch on VOD)? “Well, auditions are few and far between and I will audition for anything,” says the plain-speaking Plumb, 56. Her taped audition impressed director Jeremy Saulnier, who was unfamiliar with the actress’ small-screen work. “Jeremy shows me all these audition tapes, and he was like, ‘She’s really good,’” recalls Blue Ruin star Macon Blair, who plays a vengeance-seeking homeless man in the film and did recognize the Brady sister. “I was like, ‘She is really good. What I’m saying is you’re going to have Jan Brady with a goddamn machine gun! That’s kinda cool, right?’” READ FULL STORY

Felicity Jones in 'Breathe In': Wise beyond her years -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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The last time Felicity Jones played a British exchange student, hearts were broken in Like Crazy, the bittersweet 2011 indie romance that won her a special acting prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In Breathe In, another Sundance movie from Like Crazy director Drake Doremus, Jones plays another British exchange student who falls in love with an American. But this tale is much darker and more complex.

Jones plays a piano prodigy named Sophie who comes to America to experience the thrills of New York. Her host family, however, lives in upstate New York, far away from the bright lights and excitement. The doldrums of suburban life are broken when she forms a deep connection with the married man of the house (Guy Pearce), a high-school music teacher whose dreams of playing in an elite orchestra are no longer encouraged by his wife (Amy Ryan). What starts as a shared passion blooms into something more dangerous that threatens all the characters’ well-being and sense of identity.

The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and opens in theaters this Friday, March 28. Click below for an exclusive video from the film and a chat with Jones.

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