Continuing its commitment to short film, Sundance has expanded its short film section - so we've split our coverage. The 2008 selection of 42 films is up from 28 last year and split into dramatic, documentary, animation and a new experiemental/mixed media category. They represent 16 different countries.
Soft and I Love Sarah Jane
(Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: Sean Byrne; Writer: Rob Beamish; Stars: Shelly Lauman, Mark Winter)
A young couple stumble home after a big night out. Their frisky interlude at a suburban tennis club lands them a role in a far more sinister, supernatural game and their opponents have a distinct home court advantage.
(Country: China; Year: 2008; Director: Xuan Jiang; Writer: Xuan Jiang; Stars: Meng Tingyi, Qu Shaoshi, Zhao Xinxi, Bian Tao, Cai Lu)
Based on a real-life event, a young Chinese woman boards a bus with her boyfriend to head home to meet his parents. What was supposed to be a joyful holiday turns unpredictable when a pair of countryside crooks hijack their bus. Traveling through China's dangerous mountain passes, the passengers must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own safety.
(Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: Tom Harper; Writer: Fiona Kissane; Stars: Neil Dudgeon, Sam Spruell, Omari Carter, Alfie Allen, Thomas Arnold, Jared Garfield, Alex Matten)
A class of teenage schoolboys are oblivious to their teacher's attempts to question them about the wider world. They are about to get a lesson they will never forget... one that will change their lives forever.
(Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: David Michôd; Writer: David Michôd; Stars: Cy Standen, Lisa Chappell, Joel Edgerton, David Michôd, Mirrah Foulkes, Dan Roche, Luke Doolan, Brenton Fielder, Tim Roberts, Jack Staniford, Zlatko Arambasic)
A kid. His Mum and Dad. The sex and drugs. And the boy next door who watched the whole thing unravel.
(Country: Denmark; Year: 2007; Director: Mads Matthiesen; Writer: Mads Matthiesen, Martin Zandvliet; Stars: Kim Kold, Elsebeth Steentoft, Lykke Sand Michelsen)
When Dennis, an introverted bodybuilder, invites a local girl out on a date his mother is hurt and disappointed. Despite the pressure she puts on him to cancel the date, Dennis ventures into a night that he will never forget.
Spider and Crossbow
(Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: Erin White; Writer: Erin White; Stars: Anya Beyersdorf, Luke Elliot)
In an effort to repair the past, a loner returns home with his dog on the day of his brother's wedding, but learns that in order to make amends he must leave a piece of himself behind.
(Country: Canada; Year: 2007; Director: Sara St Onge; Writer: Sara St Onge, Bob Kerr; Stars: Inessa Frantowski, Bob Kerr, Rebecca Addelman, Holly Prazoff)
A dark comedy about a young woman in her early thirties becomes aware of her own mortality and reacts by meticulously planning her own funeral. Possibly due to a lack of other big days in her life so far, such as a wedding, this becomes her moment to shine.
(Country: Finland; Year: 2007; Director: Sami Korjus; Writer: Sami Korjus, Jussi Syrjä; Stars: Kaija Pakarinen, Antti Litja, Juuso Hirvikangas, Jukka Peltola, Elias Rautiainen, Julius Leinonen)
For so long, farmhouse lady Anja Huovinen has gritted her teeth and put up with her lazy husband's drinking habits and idle talk, focusing instead on her work. But there is a limit to everything.
I Love Sarah Jane
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Spencer Susser; Writer: David Michôd, Spencer Susser; Stars: Brad Ashby, Mia Wasikowska, Vladimir Matovic, Beau South, Peter Yacoub, Richard Mueck, Anton Enus), Official Site
A 13-year-old will stop at nothing to win the heart of the girl of his dreams.
(Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: China Moo-Young; Writer: Glenn Doherty; Stars: Louis Sheridan Cordice, Glenn Doherty, Sophie Shaw-Foucher)
A single parent's relationship with his teenage daughter, on the day she brings home her new boyfriend.
The Wrestling and The Object
(Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: Leslie Ali; Writer: Leslie Ali, Paul Calozzo, Nathan Frank; Stars: Morgan James, Ken Collard, Victoria Wicks, Geraldine O'Reilly, Archie Nutley, Frankie Markham)
Two hunters spot a flying object. Soon after, one of them is struck by the object as it falls to earth, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately reveals mankind's stupidity and greed.
(Country: Canada; Year: 2007; Director: Julia Kwan; Writer: Julia Kwan)
A subtle look at the fractures that bond a Chinese immigrant family on the day they use their cut-out Sears coupon for a free family portrait.
(Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: Simon Ellis; Writer: Simon Ellis; Stars: Jonny Phillips, Matthew O'Shea, Michael Socha), Official Site
Youth Gang Terrorises Suburbia. Winner of European Film Academy Short Film Prix UIP.
The Sound of People
(Country: Ireland; Year: 2007; Director: Simon Fitzmaurice; Writer: Simon Fitzmaurice; Stars: Séamus Hanly, Conrad Kemp, Martin McCann, Kevin O'Dwyer, Eimear O'Grady, Jayne Stynes, Aidan Turner)
An 18-year-old boy stands in a moment on the brink of death.
(Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: Nash Edgerton; Writer: Nash Edgerton, David Michôd; Stars: Nash Edgerton, Mirrah Foulkes, Chum Ehelepola, Bruno Xavier)
When practical jokes go bad...
(Country: Romania; Year: 2007; Director: Adrian Sitaru; Writer: Adrian Sitaru; Stars: Sergiu Costache, Adrian Titieni, Karen Wallet, Clara Voda, Roberto Bors, Vlad Voda)
A beautiful Western woman asks a Gypsy to watch her four-year-old child while she is taught how to swim by a flirtatious married man, before she disappears into the sea.
(Country: Germany; Year: 2007; Director: The Vikings)
A social outcast describes how he finally found his place in the world.
Wind, Ten Years Old (Baad, Dah Saleh)
(Country: Iran; Year: 2007; Director: Marzieh Vafamehr; Writer: Marzieh Vafamehr; Stars: Shaaf Noori, Parisa Kani, Mehdi Moghaddam, Maryam Abedi, Marzieh Vafamehr)
A day in the life of a 10-year-old Iranian girl highlights the Iran-Iraq war and the national/educational propaganda that informs the tumult, fear, infatuation and mindset of a generation.
(Country: Iceland; Year: 2007; Director: Grimur Hakonarson; Writer: Grimur Hakonarson; Stars: Halldor Gylfason, Bjorn Ingi Hilmarsson, Helga Braga Jonsdottir, Maria Gudmundsdottir)
A love story about two gay wrestlers living in rural Iceland who must keep their relationship a secret from the inner world of Iceland's national and very macho sport.