‘Chicago 10’ doc to open Sundance

Pic about '68 trial tapped for film fest

Writer-director Brett Morgen’s docu “Chicago 10,” which revisits the famous Chicago Conspiracy Trial that followed the 1968 Democratic National Convention, will open the 2007 Sundance Film Fest on Jan. 18.

Annual festival runs through Jan. 28.

Morgen’s docu — his first after “The Kid Stays in the Picture” — combines historical storytelling, archival footage, interviews, animation and music to tell the story of the eight anti-war protesters who were put on trial following the momentous anti-war protests disrupting the convention.

Defendants repped a broad cross-section of the anti-war movement, from Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin to pacifist David Dellinger. Seven of the defendants were repped by Leonard Weinglass and William Kunstler, while Bobby Seale, co-chair of the Black Panther Party, defended himself.

Pic is presented by River Road Entertainment and Participant Prods. Animation sequences feature the voices of Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Baker, Liev Schreiber, Nick Nolte, Jeffrey Wright, Roy Scheider and Weinglass.

“We are particularly excited to be able to present a film that pushes the boundaries of many of the traditional aspects of documentary filmmaking, that speaks to audiences beyond what one might expect and that exemplifies the range of creativity and diversity that we support at the festival,” Sundance Film Fest director Geoffrey Gilmore said.

It’s the third film that Morgen has preemed at Sundance. “The Kid Stays in the Picture” played there in 2002, and “On the Ropes” preemed during the 1999 fest.

“It seems fitting to me that a film about the importance of taking a stand should launch the 2007 edition,” Morgen said. “For the past five years I have labored to bring this story into focus and with each passing day, the film becomes increasingly relevant. I can’t think of a more appropriate time and place to unleash this beast.”

Producers of “Chicago 10” are Graydon Carter and Morgen. Exec producers are William Pohlad, Laura Bickford, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Peter Schlessel and Ricky Strauss.

A docu last opened the festival in 2004 when Stacy Peralta’s “Riding Giants” played.

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