The 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival officially concludes today with a full day of screenings of the award winners announced at a ceremony last night. As this year’s festival wraps up, w(n)td will resume regular posting starting tomorrow, but until then, a summary of the awards announcement follows: Continue reading
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival begins tonight, Thursday, January 22. My responsibilities as Programming Associate for the festival take priority for the duration of the festival, which runs through Sunday, February 1, so w(n)td will be on hiatus during this time, with normal, daily weekday posting resuming on Monday, February 2.
To catch up with Sundance programming, here are my 2015 Sundance documentary profiles, divided by festival section:
US Documentary Competition
3 1/2 MINUTES
THE WOLFPACK (pictured)
World Cinema Documentary Competition
THE AMINA PROFILE
THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER (pictured)
BEAVER TRILOGY PART IV
FRESH DRESSED (pictured)
Park City at Midnight
THE ROYAL ROAD
SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE (pictured)
From the Collection
New to VOD this week: EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL
Darius Clark Monroe’s attempt to seek redemption for past mistakes debuted at SXSW last year. It went on to screen at New Orleans, Full Frame, Dallas, Los Angeles, BlackStar, and BAMcinemaFest, among others. It now comes to iTunes with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program.
I previously wrote about the film upon its theatrical release here.
Sofian Khan and Andres Caballero’s study of Latin American shepherds in Idaho has its world premiere on PBS. Its first festival screening will follow next month at Big Sky.
A study in economic disparity in microcosm, Khan and Caballero’s observational portrait focuses on the personal sacrifices made by two shepherd guest workers, one from Chile, the other from Peru, as they seek better economic opportunities in the United States. As the film begins, Chilean Eraldo prepares to leave his Patagonian home to take on a three-year contract in Idaho to earn money for his children’s education, recognizing, with anxiety, that he may not see his aged parents again. In Salt Lake City UT, a younger worker, Jhonny, arrives with other migrants, sharing the same motivation for the family he left behind in Peru. Their labor – tending sheep, protecting them from predators – used to be done by Native American workers, but has in recent decades been the province of Latin Americans. With sensitivity, and aided by impressive lensing, Khan and Caballero capture the dilemma of family men forced to separate from their loved ones due to forces beyond their control. Isolated aside from their animal companions, and preoccupied with thoughts of family faraway, will each man be able to withstand the pressure?
New to VOD this week: SWEET DREAMS
Rob and Lisa Fruchtman’s look at a industrious group of Rwandan women made its debut at Silverdocs in 2012. Screenings followed at DOC NYC, Mill Valley, IDFA, Margaret Mead, DocPoint, Big Sky, Thessaloniki Doc, Ashland, and DOXA, among others. It now comes to VOD with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program.
I previously wrote about the film out of Thessaloniki Doc here.
Roberta Grossman’s chronicle of the secret history of the Israeli Air Force made its debut at Jerusalem last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Palm Springs, Sedona, Heartland, and at Jewish fests in San Francisco, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Boston, Nashville, Hong Kong, Cleveland, and Vancouver, among several others.
The foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 was met with immediate anxiety. As the countdown to the British withdrawal from Palestine commenced, so too did the preparation for invasion from the fledgling, would-be nation’s neighboring Arab countries. In the absence of a military infrastructure – or trained pilots – Jewish leaders sought planes, ammunitions, and the expertise of war-tested veterans in the US, Canada, South Africa, and elsewhere. This unlikely, motley crew, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, formed a skeletal, but surprisingly effective, air squadron that, as argued in Grossman’s film, meant all the difference in ensuring the survival of the Zionist dream of statehood. A project initiated by producer Nancy Spielberg, the well-crafted film tracks down survivors to recount the untold and often electrifying story of the 101 squadron – so named as to suggest that Israel actually had 100 other squadrons at the ready – and the sacrifices they made to secretly fight for the Jewish people, risking citizenship in defiance of America’s Neutrality Act, and potential death in the sky.
New to VOD this week: CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO
Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson’s experimental performance hybrid doc debuted at Sundance in 2013. It also went on to screen at the New York Film Festival, DocPoint, AFI Fest, CPH:DOX, and Hamptons, among others. It now comes to iTunes with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program, with more VOD platforms to follow.
My pre-Sundance profile of the film may be found here.