Sundance announces first titles

UK films join competition.

by Amber Wilkinson

Olly Alexander, Emily Browning and Hannah Murray in Stuart Murdoch's God Help The Girl
Olly Alexander, Emily Browning and Hannah Murray in Stuart Murdoch's God Help The Girl Photo: Neil Davidson
Sundance Institute has announced the films selected for its competition sections, Next, Spotlight, New Frontier and Park City at Midnight strands for the 30th edition of the festival.

Two UK films will compete in the World Dramatic Competition - God Help The Girl, helmed by Belle and Sebastian star Stuart Murdoch and Lilting, written and directed by Hong Khaou.

The country also has a strong showing in the World Documentary Competition, with Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard's 20,000 Days On Earth and Nadav Schirman's UK co-production The Green Prince vying for the prize. For the first time a UK production has also made it into the low-budget Next <=> section, with Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behavior joining the line-up. Meanwhile, the Spotlight section, which plays host to films that have been causing waves on the festival circuit, will feature British films The Double (directed by Richard Ayoade) and Locke (directed by Steven Knight).

Festival founder Robert Redford said, “That the Festival has evolved and grown as it has over the past 30 years is a credit to both our audiences and our artists, who continue to find ways to take risks and open our minds to the power of story. This year's films and artists promise to do the same.”

The festival has also announced a new section aimed at younger audiences, Sundance Kids, programmed in co-operation with Utah children's festival Tumbleweeds.

Director of programming Trevor Groth said: “The addition of Sundance Kids allows us to engage younger audiences around the power of independent film.”

For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

Festival director John Cooper said, “The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.”

Read the full line-up of:

US Dramatic Competition
World Dramatic Competition
US Documentary Competition
World Documentary Competition
Park City at Midnight
Next <=>
Spotlight
Sundance Kids
New Frontier

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