Today is the official first day of the annual Sundance Film Festival, so we are just around the corner from discovering some of the year’s best indie features and tomorrow’s breakout stars. Two years ago, Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique broke out in a big way in “Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire”, riding buzz all the way to the Oscars, and who could forget last year, when “Winter’s Bone” premiered in Park City and people haven’t stopped talking about Jennifer Lawrence since?
There are sure to be some surprises that come out of nowhere to grab the attention of the festival and soon, the country, but based on what we know right now – the casts in particular – here are just a few of the films that we’re excited to see.
Here | Directed by: Braden King
Starring: Ben Foster, Lubna Azabal, Narek Nersisyan, Yuri Kostanyan, Sofik Sarkisyan
Will (Ben Foster) is a satellite-mapping engineer conducting a survey of Armenia. One morning at his hotel, he meets Gadarine (Lubna Azabal), an Armenian expatriate and photographer, who has recently returned home. The pair impulsively decide to drive across the country together.
An unlikely love story, HERE is also a cerebral, self-reflexive road movie that arrives at a fascinating intersection of forms. The film’s development process included a non-narrative multimedia piece (2008 Sundance Film Festival, New Frontier), a collaboration between director Braden King, a composer, and a video artist – parts of which migrated into the script (developed through the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program). King’s atmospheric, contemplative aesthetic encourages us to examine the personal relationship we all form to both physical space and story space. Because of his work (called ground-truthing), Will comes to view the land as a source of faulty data, while Gadarine sees it as a way to redefine her relationship with home. As HERE suggests, “truth is conjecture.” (Photo and official description courtesy of Sundance)