Once again Robert Redford brings twelve of the best indie feature films that premiered in Utah this January, with opportunities to talk to the filmmakers and cast in a jamboree that kicks off on the long weekend of 31 May until 3 June.
Desiree Akhavan picked up the Grand Jury Prize for her comedy drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post in the original US festival, and seven films are directed by women along with a thrilling array of female leads on screen, and this year’s festival champions their voices with Toni Collette (Hereditary) amongst the stars to grace this glittering occasion taking place in Picturehouse Central, Leicester Square. Robert Redford will also be in attendance.
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (Director: Jim Hosking,
Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, David Wike) – Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only’.
Principal cast: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson
Eighth Grade (Director/Screenwriter: Bo Burnham) – Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school.
Principal cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton
Generation Wealth (Director: Lauren Greenfield) – Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism and greed.
Principal cast: Florian Homm, Tiffany Masters, Jaqueline Siegel
Half the Picture (Director: Amy Adrion) – At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally.
Principal cast: Rosanna Arquette, Jamie Babbit, Emily Best
Hereditary (Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster) – After their reclusive grandmother passes away, the Graham family tries to escape the dark fate they’ve inherited.
Principal cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro
Leave No Trace (Director: Debra Granik, Screenwriters: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini) – A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.
Principal cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Director: Desiree Akhavan, Screenwriters: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele) –1993: after being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel.
Principal cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle.
Never Goin’ Back (Director/Screenwriter: Augustine Frizzell) –Jessie and Angela, high school dropout BFFs, are taking a week off to chill at the beach. Too bad their house got robbed, rent’s due, they’re about to get fired and they’re broke. Now they’ve gotta avoid eviction, stay out of jail and get to the beach, no matter what!!!
Principal cast: Maia Mitchell, Cami Morrone, Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith, Matthew Holcomb
Skate Kitchen (Director: Crystal Moselle, Screenwriters: Crystal Moselle, Ashlihan Unaldi) – Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.
Principal cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Kabrina Adams
The Tale (Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Fox) – An investigation into one woman’s memory as she’s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story.
Principal cast: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common
Yardie (Director: Idris Elba, Screenwriters: Brock Norman Brock, Martin Stellman) – Jamaica, 1973. When a young boy witnesses his brother’s assassination, a powerful Don gives him a home. Ten years later he is sent on a mission to London. He reunites with his girlfriend and their daughter, but then the past catches up with them. Based on Victor Headley’s novel.
Principal cast: Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Cleary
SURPRISE FILM! – Following on from last year’s first ever surprise film, the hit rap story Patti Cake$, Sundance Film Festival: London will again feature a surprise showing. No details as yet, but it was a favourite among audiences in Utah, and with just one screening this will be among the hottest of the hot tickets. The title will be revealed only when the opening credits roll. My bets are on Gustav Möller’s The Guilty, which picked up the World Cinema Audience Award back in January; or possibly Rudy Valdez’ drug documentary The Sentence, or it could even be Burden, which took the US Dramatic Audience Award for its story of a love affair between a villain and a woman who saves his soul.
SUNDANCE LONDON RUNS FROM 31 MAY – 3 JUNE 2018 | TICKETS