Firming the remainder of its selections beyond the competition entries announced last week, the Sundance Film Festival is poised to present 55 world premieres and 32 U.S. premieres during its Jan. 18-28 run in Park City, Utah.
The bulging number of preems would now seem to place Sundance behind only Cannes and perhaps Berlin and Montreal in sheer quantity of new films debuting. Unquestionably, there is no other festival that presents so many brand new films from one particular country.
A grand total of 117 features and 57 shorts will be shown in the festival’s various sections, which include the dramatic and documentary competitions, the new American Spectrum, Premieres, World Cinema, midnight screenings and the new Frontier sidebar.
The opening night film in Salt Lake City on Jan. 18 will be Kenneth Branagh’s “A Midwinter’s Tale,” about a low-rent theatrical troupe putting on a Christmas production of “Hamlet” in an English village. Originally titled “In the Bleak Midwinter,” the Castle Rock production will be released by Sony Classics.
Hal Hartley’s three-part “Flirt” will kick things off in Park City the following night, while the world preem of Robert Young’s “Caught,” a melodrama starring Edward James Olmos and Maria Conchita Alonso, will serve as the centerpiece premiere to launch the second half of the fest.
Two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest will become the fifth recipient of the Piper-Heidsieck Tribute to Independent Vision.
Unspooling in the Premieres section are: Phillip Haas’ U.K.-set period piece and Cannes entry “Angels & Insects,” which Goldwyn has; Andy and Larry Lachowski’s “Bound,” starring Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly; Bruno Barreto’s “Carried Away”; Fredrik Thor Fridriksson’s “Cold Fever”; Thomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Tabio’s “Guantanamera”; and Eric Schaeffer’s “If Lucy Fell,” toplining Schaeffer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle Macpherson and Ben Stiller.
The 30 pictures included in the World Cinema section are: Chul-Soo Park’s “301 302,” Michael Rymer’s “Angel Baby,” Angela Pope’s “Believe Me,” Fina Torres’ “Celestial Clockwork,” the short Cuban films “Madagascar” and “Love Me and You’ll See,” Richard Spence’s “Different for Girls,” Eliseo Subiela’s “Don’t Die Without Telling Me Where You’re Going,” Pedro Almodovar’s “Flower of My Secret,” Walter Salles’ “Foreignland,” Michael Winterbottom’s “Go Now,” Laurie Lynd’s “House,” Monique Gardenberg’s “Jenipapo,” Juan Carlos Valdivia’s “Jonah and the Pink Whale” and Maurice Pialat’s “Le Garcu,” for which star Gerard Depardieu will be in attendance.