After all, it's just a ride….

Sundance London 2013, o2 Arena

sundance2013Well, we’ve all been waiting with bated breath since January but today the Sundance Institute and The O2 announced today the programme of panels, feature films and short films for the second Sundance London film and music festival, due to commence on the 25-28 April at The O2 in Greenwich. If you’re so inclined then passes and ticket packages are available at www.sundance-london.com, and individual tickets will be on sale from 9:00 a.m. GMT Friday 15 March. The Sundance Institute, which annually presents the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., selected the film and panel programming for this second year of the best in American independent cinema and music programming, and this years schedule continues its 2012 focus on presenting new work by independent filmmakers and exploring the interplay between independent film and music. The programme announced today includes 18 feature films and nine short films across four sections, including a new UK Spotlight. Twenty-three films will make their international, European or UK premieres at Sundance London. Ten are by female filmmakers and six are by first-time feature filmmakers. The films collectively received 12 awards when they premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A.. Among the artists expected to attend Sundance London are Lake Bell, Mike Birbiglia, Jimmy Carr, the Eagles, Barbara Kopple and Peaches, as well as Sundance Institute President & Founder Robert Redford.

o2_arenaNow we’ve got the blurb out-of-the-way I’m enormously relived to see one inclusion on the schedule which we’ll get into shortly, on the other hand I’ve a bit glum that the terrific sounding Escape From Tomorrow  isn’t included, I wonder if that films guerilla shooting tactics has resulted in potential trademark problems from the evil house of mouse, or perhaps it was considered too slight a feature for international selection? I’m still waiting to hear on my potential press credentials so we’ll just have to keep the extremities crossed, I have however booked the time off work so that’s one hurdle overcome. Questions about my sanity in spending the first time off in four months by evading any relaxing lie-ins and charging over to the O2 for four days straight of eight to ten hours of  movie watching coverage could not be confirmed as of press time. In any case here’s what we have on the cards;

Oh well, not the most exciting promo I’ve ever seen, hopefully that’s just a placeholder and something more official and slightly more assertive will be circulated shortly. I think I have an idea on how to grab your attention, here’s one of the short films that’s screening which a friend sent to me a few weeks ago, I assure you this will burst your Sundance bubble;

Heh, that makes me laugh every time – looks like someones angling for a potential Scanners remake? Right, so what’s on the Minty hit list? Firstly, I’ve been vaguely following the release of this as I’m a fan of the This American Life and associated podcasts, Birbiglia gets around and can be amusing so this could be a pleasant diversion;

After that it gets pretty short on the trailers list, these films are so hot off the press they haven’t even concluded their marketing strategies. I really enjoyed Your Sisters Sister last year from director Lynn Shelton, she’s followed this up with another one of those slightly quirky relationship dramedies Touchy Feely;

After Mea Maxima Culpa (a fantastic, gruelling and important documentary) and almost weekly revelations about the crimes and corruption of various Church factions around the world anything else illuminating these financially self-serving, medieval ideological peddling criminal conspirators gets a holy blessing in my book;

In terms of special events there is a screenwriters panel featuring the exalted presence of Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland, In This World, Death Defying Acts), Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Debt, Men Who Stare at Goats), the aforementioned Lynn Shelton (Touchy Feely, Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday), and an afternoon with David Arnold, musical score composer of Bond movies Casino Royale and Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla, Hot Fuzz and The Stepford Wives. Now, hands up if you liked Take Shelter? Good, well then, here’s the trailer for Mud, director Jeff Nichols follow-up;

There is a UK strand to the festival which highlights indigenous work, naturally a repeat collaboration of Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan on the sordid sounding biopic of Soho magnate Paul Raymond is an early riser;

The horror themed In Fear also sounds like its worth a go, alas no trailer yet. Finally thank god Upstream Colour is on the list, this is one of the ‘hottest’ films of the year and I’m pretty sure this is going to sell out immediately given the cult prestige of Carruth’s earlier effort, with one skim-read exception I’ve avoided all reviews but the general feeling out there is that this is an astonishing piece of work which hasn’t aligned with everyone’s sensibilities, so that sounds like Primer II to me…

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