Netflix and Amazon acquisitions join Sundance London line-up
James R | On 20, Apr 2016
Netflix and Amazon’s acquisitions from this year’s Sundance Film Festival are coming to London.
Sundance London, the UK follow-up to the annual Utah event, will see 11 films from this year’s festival premiere in London.
Continuing the focus of the three previous London editions on presenting new work by emerging and established independent filmmakers, the 2016 festival will also include a short film programme with 15 shorts, including a strand dedicated to UK shorts screened at Sundance in January.
The festival was a big one for both VOD giants, as they led the charge to snap up the rights to the hottest new indie flicks. Three of those will feature in the London event, which runs from 2nd to 5th June at Picturehouse Central: Tallulah, which Netflix has secured the worldwide streaming rights for, and Wiener-Dog and Author: The JT LeRoy Story, both of which Amazon holds the US streaming rights for. (The latter will be distributed by Dogwoof in the UK.)
Tallulah stars Elliot Page as a young drifter who takes a baby from a negligent mother, with Allison Janney playing a woman who thinks she’s the baby’s grandmother. Todd Solondz’s comedy, Weiner-Dog, stars Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Kieran Culkin and Julie Delpy, tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund. And Author: The JT Leroy Story is stranger-than-fiction documentary from Jeff Feuerzeig, which follows the story behind literary persona JT LeRoy, a fictional writer created by American author Laura Albert, complete with a made-up back-story of prostitution, drugs and vagrancy.
Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, says: “I have long believed that the quality and originality of the independent films we show would be of interest to global audiences. Our Sundance Film Festival: London allows us to further help these new independent films get out into the world, starting with engaged audiences in the UK.”
In addition to celebrating the best new independent films, the line-up includes Sundance Film Festival: Road to Stardom, a programme showcasing notable films discovered by Sundance over its three-decade history, including Blood Simple, The Usual Suspects and Winter’s Bone.
Festival Passes (£150) and VIP Passes for the event – including 10 free tickets and Picturehouse members’ rates for additional films – go on sale from Thursday 5th May, with priority booking for both Picturehouse Members and pass-holders open on Friday 6th May. General ticket booking opens from Monday 9th May, with individual feature tickets costing £15 each (£12 for members).
For more information on the event, visit www.sundance.org/london.
Here’s the full line-up of films at the event:
Author: The JT LeRoy Story
The definitive look inside the mysterious case of 16-year-old literary sensation JT LeRoy – a creature so perfect for his time that if he didn’t exist, someone would have had to invent him. Perhaps someone did?
The Greasy Strangler
When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie’s Disco Walking Tour—the best and only disco walking tour in the city — a fight for Janet’s heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Strangler is unleashed.
Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-yearold boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood,” tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways.
It’s 1951, and among the new arrivals at Winesburg College in Ohio are the son of a kosher butcher from New Jersey and the beautiful, brilliant daughter of a prominent alum. For a brief moment, their lives converge in this emotionally soaring film based on the novel by Philip Roth.
A weekend getaway for four couples takes a sharp turn when one of the couples discovers the entire trip was orchestrated to host an intervention on their marriage.
Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who could not speak for years, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in Disney animated movies. Using these films as a roadmap, he reconnects with his loving family and the wider world in this emotional coming-of-age story.
Morris from America
Thirteen-year-old Morris, a hip-hop loving American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father. In this completely foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl, befriends his German tutor-turned- confidant, and attempts to navigate the unique trials and tribulations of adolescence.
A struggling comedy writer, fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and younger sisters, David feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother worsens, he tries to convince everyone (including himself) he’s “doing okay.”
A rootless young woman takes a toddler from a wealthy, negligent mother and passes the baby off as her own in an effort to protect her. This decision connects and transforms the lives of three very different women.
With unrestricted access to Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign, this film reveals the human story behind the scenes of a high-profile political scandal as it unfolds, and it offers an unfiltered look at how much today’s politics are driven by an appetite for spectacle.
This film tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy.