Indie time: Sundance sets focus on low-budget film

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 9:40 am •  Published: January 16, 2013

There's also a reunion for two "Little Miss Sunshine" stars: Steve Carell and Toni Collette co-star in Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's Sundance premiere "The Way, Way Back."

Redford has insisted on giving documentaries equal time with dramatic features, and this year's festival has a wild range of nonfiction topics, including Barbara Kopple's "Running from Crazy," a study of Mariel Hemingway and her family's history of mental illness and suicide, including that of grandfather Ernest Hemingway; Alison Ellwood's "History of the Eagles Part 1," a portrait of the pop super-group; Alex Gibney's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks"; Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl's "Sound City," a look at a venerable recording studio; Freida Mock's "Anita," a portrait of Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment; and R.J. Cutler and Greg Finton's "The World According to Dick Cheney," an examination of the former vice president.

"The company is such good company. The programmers at Sundance, their taste is impeccable," said Lucy Walker, who premiered her 2010 documentaries "Countdown to Zero" and "Waste Land" and returns this year with "The Crash Reel," chronicling the recovery of snowboarder Kevin Pearce from a traumatic brain injury. "I feel like right now, the documentary field at Sundance, it's just such a remarkable collection of top-quality films."

Actress and filmmaker Lake Bell, who directed a short film that premiered at Sundance in 2011 and co-starred in last year's festival feature "Black Rock," said coming to Park City in January reminds her of going back to college.

There's a campus spirit among festival organizers, audiences and especially the filmmakers, said Bell, who returns this time with her feature directing debut, "In a World ...", in which she plays a woman struggling to follow in her father's career as a voice-over star.

Festival organizers even like to call the year's group of filmmakers the "Class of 2013."

Like college, Sundance is a safe haven, a place of camaraderie and mentoring before graduates have to head into the real world — in the case of filmmakers, before they have to cope with the business side of show business.

"Sundance is right before the scary stuff starts. The judgment and the reviews and the forums, all that silly stuff," Bell said. "It's the purity before the storm."

Festival director John Cooper jokes that he would not mind a real storm — something to maintain that purity and keep the real world from intruding on the little bubble of creative expression that is Sundance.

"I hope we all do get snowed in," Cooper said.



Trending Now


  1. 1
    911 Dispatcher Handles Call About Her Choking Son
  2. 2
    Cops: Woman Faked Drowning to Avoid Court
  3. 3
    Brazilians Listened to the Song ‘Happy’ a Lot More After Their World Cup Disaster Against...
  4. 4
    Dorman blasts "Fal-esi" education program
  5. 5
    These Two Desks Could Help You Live Longer
+ show more