Heads Up: Sundance London
It looks like the US indie film fest is here to stay – hooray!
Saturday 30 March 2013
What are we talking about? The British replication of the prestigious American indie film festival. Now in its second year, the four-day event will play host to a wide selection of films from the original festival in Utah, which took place in January.
Elevator pitch The Sundance kid takes aim at London … indie movies blast into the capital.
Prime movers It's presented by Oscar-winning actor and Sundance Festival founder Robert Redford. The festival director is John Cooper and director of programming is Trevor Groth.
The stars As with any film fest, the main stars here are the films themselves. Blood Brother, an inspirational true story about an American tourist who gave up everything to stay in India and care for orphaned children suffering from HIV, won a Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for best documentary, in January. Other highlights include Peaches Does Herself, an electro rock opera by the eccentric Canadian singer, featuring simultaneous on- and off-screen activity from Peaches herself. Esteemed director Michael Winterbottom's The Look of Love tells the true story of entrepreneur Paul Raymond's troubled rise to prosperity, with a cast including Steve Coogan, Anna Friel and Tamsin Egerton. And Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon feature in the coming-of-age drama Mud, in which two young boys help a fugitive killer's love life.
The early buzz Art-house film website Filmuforia anticipates that it will be "worth the hike to see a terrific slew of indie dramas and documentaries that have only just premiered in snowbound, sunny Utah", while the LondonCalling website praises the "intoxicating blend of sight and sound exploring the intersection of film and music" that can be expected.
Insider knowledge Keep an eye out for Upstream Color – Cooper cites it as a personal highlight.
It's great that … after almost 30 years of Sundance success across the Atlantic, it looks like the London version of the festival is here to stay.
It's a shame that … due to the trimmed programme – four days in London compared with 10 days in Utah – some great films have to be left out.
Hit potential Practically guaranteed. Last year's debut festival was welcomed with open arms and this year's looks set to exceed it.
The details The Sundance London festival is at the O2 Arena in London, SE10 (theo2.co.uk), 25 to 28 April.
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