LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ladies will continue to drive the feature lineup at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as Robert Redford's independent-cinema fair celebrates its 30th anniversary next month in Park City, Utah.
At the 2013 festival, female directors dominated the competition and for 2014, women once again reign supreme — only this time, comedians eclipse the layout.
Actresses like Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Sedaris and Jenny Slate all appear in features playing at the upcoming fest, according to a list released Wednesday. And In the case of Wiig, Shannon and Plaza, we have funny gals turning serious.
Following her dramatic turn in the upcoming "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," Wiig will play the twin sister of fellow SNL alum Bill Hader in "The Skeleton Twins." In the film, which also stars Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell, the siblings coincidentally cheat death on the same day.
Shannon and Plaza will star in "Life After Beth," which focuses on a mysterious second chance at love after death.
"Comedians are big this year, especially with what we are calling 'Funny ladies,'" said Sundance Director John Cooper. "A lot of these roles are setting up typical comedic actresses in roles that are a little deeper. In general a lot of actors are being drawn to independent film because of the quality of interesting roles that they can play."
Altogether, 117 feature-length films, selected out of 12,218 titles submitted (72 more than for 2013), are scheduled for Sundance 2014. Some 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers will be represented.
Sundance films typically offer the ideal fabric and draw for performers who are departing from their usual Hollywood formulas.
"Girls" sitcom creator Lena Dunham, whose debut movie "Tiny Furniture" won best narrative feature when it premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in 2010, will appear in writer/director Joe Swanberg's "Happy Christmas," also starring Anna Kendrick.
In her first feature since "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2," Kristen Stewart plays a guard stationed at Guantanamo Bay in budding writer/director Peter Sattler's "Camp X-Ray."