Sundance Announces the 2012 Film Lineup



In this mythological tale inspired by the coastal erosion crisis facing the communities of southern Louisiana, a 6-year-old Bayou Don Quixote sets out to find her long-lost mother when her father is beset by a mysterious illness. Director: Benh Zeitlin. Screenwriters: Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar. Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry.

An aging hipster looks for a sense of purpose and meaning in a world which seems to value status, popularity and good looks above art and substance. Director: Rick Alverson. Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Robert Donne, Colm O’Leary. Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rassmusen, Gregg Turkington.

A young father unravels following the loss of the mother of his child. Director and screenwriter: Mark Webber. Cast: Mark Webber, Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera, Jason Ritter, Amanda Seyfried, Frankie Shaw.

A hip-hop-driven drama about a Mexican girl who rises to fame and consciousness as she copes with the incarceration of her mother through music. Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos. Screenwriter: Youssef Delara. Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera, Edward James Olmos.

Two high-schoolers meet at a party. Over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated and funny, as they discover what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. Director and screenwriter: Jonathan Kasdan. Cast: Brittany Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts, James Frecheville, Victoria Justice.

A struggling musician takes an overnight long-distance drive in order to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter. Director and screenwriter: So Yong Kim. Cast: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Shay Mandigo.

Divorced, childless, demoralized and condemned to move back in with her parents at the age of 35, Amy Minsky’s prospects look bleak — until the unexpected attention of a teenage boy changes everything. Director: Todd Louiso. Screenwriter: Sarah Koskoff. Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott, John Rubinstein, Julie White.

An autobiographically inspired story of a passionate long-term relationship between two men driven by addiction and secrets but bound by love and hopefulness. Director: Ira Sachs. Screenwriters: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias. Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane, Paprika Steen.

An orphaned 11-year-old boy is forced to face the unpleasant truth about his beloved uncle during one harrowing day on the streets of Baltimore. Director: Sheldon Candis. Screenwriters: Sheldon Candis, Justin Wilson. Cast: Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton.

When her husband is incarcerated, an African American woman struggles to maintain her marriage and her identity. Director and screenwriter: Ava DuVernay. Cast: Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Touissant, Edwina Findley.

Martine, a young artist from New York, is invited into the home of a hip, liberal L.A. family for a week. Her presence unravels the family’s carefully maintained status quo, and a mess of sexual and emotional entanglements ensues. Director: Ry Russo-Young. Screenwriters: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young. Cast: John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, India Ennenga, Justin Kirk.

A trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner behind the ad and seeks to discover what he’s really up to. Director: Colin Trevorrow. Screenwriter: Derek Connolly. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni.

As her sister gears up to get married, Sarah finds herself engrossed in an intense post-breakup rebound. The two fumble through the redefined emotional landscape of modern-day relationships, forced to relearn how to love and be loved. Director: Michael Mohan. Screenwriters: Jeffrey Brown, Egan Reich, Michael Mohan. Cast: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber.

A recent college graduate goes to Paris after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years. Once there, he falls in love with a young prostitute and their fateful journey begins. Director and screenwriter: Antonio Campos. Cast: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Constance Rousseau, Michael Abiteboul, Solo.

Kate and Charlie are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and … drinking. When Kate decides to get sober, her new lifestyle brings troubling issues to the surface and calls into question her relationship with Charlie. Director: James Ponsoldt. Screenwriter: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt. Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally.

Mark O’Brien, a 36-year-old poet and journalist with an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and the guidance of his priest, he contacts a professional sex surrogate to take him on a journey to manhood. Director and screenwriter: Ben Lewin. Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy.


Renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has garnered international attention as much for his ambitious artwork as his political provocations and increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government. Director: Alison Klayman.

In 2010, the United States announced construction of the first new nuclear power plant in more than 32 years. A year later, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima power plant in Japan, sparking a fierce debate in the U.S. over the safety and viability of nuclear power. Directors: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce.

Science, spectacle and human passion mix in this stunningly cinematic portrait as National Geographic photographer James Balog captures time-lapse photography of glaciers over several years, providing tangible visual evidence of climate change. Director: Jeff Orlowski.

The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. This is the dramatic story of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising. Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady.

What can be done to save our broken medical system? Powerful forces are trying to maintain the status quo in a profit-driven medical industry, but a movement to bring innovative methods of prevention and healing is finally gaining ground — potentially saving the health of a nation. Directors: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke.

A crisis of hunger looms in America and is not limited to the poverty stricken and uneducated. Can a return to policies of the 1970s save our future? Director: Lori Silverbush, Kristi Jacobson.

For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what is the path toward healing? Director: Eugene Jarecki.

The untold story of the intensive efforts that turned AIDS into a manageable condition — and the improbable group of (mostly HIV-positive) young men and women whose amazing resilience broke through a time of rampant death and political indifference. Director: David France.

An investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it. Director: Kirby Dick.

Marina Abramović prepares for a major retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, hoping to finally silence four decades of skeptics who proclaim: ‘But why is this art?’ Director: Matthew Akers.

With 270 million hits to date, Chris Crocker, an uncanny young video blogger from small-town Tennessee, is considered the Internet’s first rebel folk hero and at the same time one of its most controversial personalities. Director: Chris Moukarbel, Valerie Veatch.

The 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team went from the clutches of communism to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona — a testament to the powerful role of sports as a catalyst for cultural identity. Director: Marius Markevicius.

Jackie and David were triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America — a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot palace inspired by Versailles — when their timeshare empire falters due to the economic crisis. Their rags-to-riches-to-rags story reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. Director: Lauren Greenfield.

As slavery came to an end with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a new system of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force, brutalizing, terrorizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans well into the 20th century. Director: Sam Pollard.

One man whose two defining passions are in conflict: An openly gay bishop refuses to leave the church or the man he loves. Director: Macky Alston.

As American lawmakers slash budgets and lay off employees, leaving many people scrambling to survive, multibillion-dollar corporations are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax. Fed-up Americans are taking their frustration to the streets. Directors: Karin Hayes, Victoria Bruce.


4 SUNS (Czech Republic)
Immature Fogi attempts to straighten up and accept his responsibilities as a new husband and father, as well as role model to his troubled son from a previous relationship, but finds himself unable to change his nature, leaving him to watch haplessly as his family begins to crumble. Director and screenwriter: Bohdan Sláma. Cast: Jaroslav Plesl, Aňa Geislerová, Karel Roden, Jiří Mádl, Klára Melíšková.

A high-school girl finds a wallet full of money and tracks down its owner, leading to unexpected consequences for the girl and her friends. Director and screenwriter: Keiichi Kobayashi. Cast: Ai Ikeda, Ena Koshino, Reiko Fujiwara, Tsubasa Takayama, Hakusyu Togetsuan.

A young married couple live happily in Istanbul, but their decision to illegally procure a child threatens their future together. Director and screenwriter: Rasit Celikezer. Cast: Selen Ucer, Serdar Orcin, Berkan Demirbag, Erkan Avci.

Following the trail of his runaway teen son, Theo confronts his own identity as a son, a father and a man along the way. Director: Luciano Moura. Screenwriters: Elena Soarez, Luciano Moura. Cast: Wagner Moura, Lima Duarte, Mariana Lima.

L (Greece)
A man who lives in his car gets caught up in the undeclared war between motorcycle riders and car drivers. Director: Babis Makridis. Screenwriters: Babis Makridis, Efthymis Filippou. Cast: Aris Servetalis, Makis Papadimitriou, Lefteris Mathaios, Nota Tserniafski, Stavros Raptis.

() (Argentina)
A Buenos Aires Elvis impersonator who believes that he is the reincarnation of the King struggles to shake free from reality and live his musical dream. Director: Armando Bo. Screenwriters: Nicolás Giacobone and Armando Bo. Cast: John McInerny, Griselda Siciliani, Margarita Lopez. World premiere

MADRID, 1987 (Spain)
The balance of power and desire constantly shifts during the meeting of an older journalist and a young student, of two generations completely foreign to one another. Director and screenwriter: David Trueba. Cast: José Sacristán, María Valverde, Ramon Fontserè.

(United Kingdom)
A pair of British Arab brothers trying to get by in gangland London learn the extraordinary courage it takes to be yourself. Director and screenwriter: Sally El Hosaini. Cast: James Floyd, Saïd Taghmaoui, Fady Elsayed.

Dennis, a painfully shy 38-year-old bodybuilder who lives with his mother, sets off to Thailand in search of love. Director: Mads Matthiesen. Screenwriters: Mads Matthiesen, Martin Pieter Zandvliet. Cast: Kim Kold, Elsebeth Steentoft, Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard, David Winters, Allan Mogensen.

Gulzar plans to run away from the war and poverty surrounding his village in Kashmir with his best friend, but a beautiful young woman researching the dying lake leads him to contemplate a different future. Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed. Cast: Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, Mohammed Afzal Sofi, Neelofar Hamid.

() (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Spain)
A portrait of famed Chilean singer and folklorist Violeta Parra filled with her musical work, her memories, her loves and her hopes. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenwriters: Eliseo Altunaga, Rodrigo Bazaes, Guillermo Calderón, Andrés Wood. Cast: Francisca Gavilán, Thomas Durand, Luis Machín, Gabriela Aguilera, Roberto Farías.

Four friends embark on a carefree holiday, but only three return home. Who knows what happened on that fateful night? Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith. Screenwriters: Felicity Price, Kieran Darcy-Smith. Cast: Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price, Antony Starr.

WRONG (France)
Dolph searches for his lost dog, but through encounters with a nympho pizza-delivery girl, a jogging neighbor seeking the absolute, and a mysterious righter of wrongs, he may eventually lose his mind … and his identity. Director and screenwriter: Quentin Dupieux. Cast: Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Steve Little, William Fichtner.

YOUNG & WILD (Chile)
17-year-old Daniela, raised in the bosom of a strict Evangelical family and recentlyunmasked as a fornicator by her shocked parents, struggles to find her own path to spiritual harmony. Director: Marialy Rivas. Screenwriters: Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutiérrez, Pedro Peirano. Cast: Alicia Rodríguez, Aline Kuppenheim, María Gracia Omegna, Felipe Pinto. World premiere


1/2 REVOLUTION (Denmark, Egypt)
In January 2011, two filmmakers captured the reality of the Egyptian revolution as it occurred out of view from the world’s media in the alleyways and streets away from the square — and in the process were arrested by the secret police. Directors: Omar Shargawi, Karim El Hakim.

(Palestine, Israel, France)
A Palestinian journalist chronicles his village’s resistance to a separation barrier being erected on their land and in the process captures his young son’s lens on the world. Directors: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi. Screenwriters: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi.

What happens when a very white European man buys his way into being a diplomat in one of Central Africa’s most failed nations? Welcome to the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free. Director: Mads Brügger.

The behind-the-scenes story of a full-scale attack on freedom of speech. When Dole set its sights on the WG Bananas!* in May 2009, confusion was the method, aggression was the tactic and media control was the story. Director: Fredrik Gertten.

(Canada, China)
In central China, where a coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions, the top students face dramatic choices as they graduate — should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the choices everyone in the New China faces now. Director: Yung Chang.

(Israel, U.S., Spain)
How does a white boy with Alabama roots become a Flamenco guitarist in Andalusian boots? A tale of self-invention and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the cost to others. Director: Rachel Leah Jones

(United Kingdom)
In 1994, a 13-year-old boy disappears from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in Spain with a shocking story of kidnap and torture. But all is not what it seems in this tale that is truly stranger than fiction. Director: Bart Layton.

Follow the dramatic journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world. Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky.

Israel’s 43-year military legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories unfolds through provocative interviews with the system’s architects and historical footage showing the enactment of these laws upon the Palestinian population. Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling book, Payback explores how debt is a central organizing principle in our lives — influencing relationships, societies, governing structures and the very fate of this planet. Director: Jennifer Baichwal.

PUTIN’S KISS (Denmark)
19-year-old Marsha is a model spokeswoman in a strongly nationalistic Russian youth movement that aims to protect the country from its enemies. When she starts recognizing the organization’s flaws, she must take a stand for or against it. Director: Lise Birk Pedersen.

(Denmark, United Kingdom)
Known as Rodriguez, he was the greatest ’70s U.S. rock icon who never was. Hailed as the greatest recording artist of his generation, he disappeared into oblivion — rising again from the ashes in a completely different context many miles away. Director: Malik Bendjelloul.


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