Sixteen features and 16 documentaries will compete for the top awards at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, which will run Jan. 20-30 in Park City, Utah.

Stressing the difficulty of making their selections this year “given the diversity and range of films that were submitted to us,” fest programming director Geoffrey Gilmore and associate programmer Catherine Schulman stated, “Artistically, this is the strongest competition we’ve ever presented.”

In recent years, Sundance has become the leading showcase for American independent films, with many notable pictures having begun their careers there.

Set for the dramatic competition are Paul Zehrer’s “blessing,”Lodge Kerrigan’s “Clean, Shaven,” Kevin Smith’s “Clerks,” Peter McCarthy’s “Floundering,” Boaz Yakin’s “Fresh,” Rafal Zielinski’s “Fun,” Richard Glatzer’s “Grief,” Rose Troche’s “Go Fish,” Kayo Hatta’s “The Picture Bride,” Patrick Duncan’s “The Pornographer,” Deirdre Fishel’s “Risk,” Kelly Reichardt’s “River of Grass,” Adrian Velicescu’s “The Secret Life of Houses,” David Russell’s “Spanking the Monkey,” Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s “Suture” and Tom Noonan’s “What Happened Was.” Tomislav Novakovic’s “Are They Still Shooting” will screen out of competition.

Docu entries

Firmed for the documentary competition are Gianfranco Rosi’s “Boatman,” Celia Cotelo’s “Boxer Rebellion,” Arthur Elgort’s “Colorado Cowboy: The Bruce Ford Story,” Arthur Dong’s “Coming Out Under Fire,” Vicente Franco and Gail Dolgin’s “Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Generation,” Allie Light’s “Dialogues With Madwomen,” Gregg Bordowitz’s “Fast Trip, Long Drop,” Soraya Mire’s “Fire Eyes,” Randy Holland’s “The Fire This Time,” Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford’s “Freedom on My Mind”;

Also, Steve James’s “Hoop Dreams,” Susan Todd and Andrew Young’s “Lives in Hazard,” Bethany Yarrow’s “Mama Awethu!,” Jyll Johnstone’s “Martha & Ethel,” Steven M. Martin’s “Theremin — An Electronic Odyssey” and Gini Retiker and Amber Hollibaugh’s “Women and Children Last” (working title). Lucy Massie Phenix’s “Cancer in Two Voices” will be shown out of competition.

As usual, fest will also include numerous premieres, special screenings, tributes, international surveys, retrospectives and seminars, which will be announced shortly.

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