2008 Sundance Film Festival Lineup

Published 7 years ago by

Here’s the lineup of movies to be shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. It includes both documentaries and dramas both domestic and international.

I’ll be taking a look at the offerings in a future post to see what stands out or might be interesting and worthwhile since there are 121 movies listed here. icon smile 2008 Sundance Film Festival Lineup

DRAMATIC COMPETITION

AMERICAN SON (Director: Neil Abramson; Screenwriter: Eric Schmid) — Before being deployed
for active duty, a young Marine takes a four-day Thanksgiving leave to return home to Bakersfield,
California. There he meets a young woman, tries to connect with old friends, and confronts his
volatile home life. Cast: Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz, Matt O’Leary, Jay Hernandez, Tom Sizemore,
Chi McBride. World Premiere

ANYWHERE, U.S.A. (Director: Anthony (Chusy) Haney-Jardine; Screenwriters: Anthony (Chusy)
Haney-Jardine, Jennifer Macdonald) — Told in three segments ranging from satirical to tragic, the
film is a wildly original look at American manners, prejudices, and family dynamics. Cast: Perla
Haney-Jardine. World Premiere

BALLAST (Director and Screenwriter: Lance Hammer) — A riveting, lyrical portrait of an
emotionally frayed family whose lives are torn asunder by a tragic act in a small Mississippi Delta
town. Cast: Michael J. Smith Sr., Jim Myron Ross, Tarra Riggs, Johnny McPhail. World Premiere

CHOKE (Director and Screenwriter: Clark Gregg)— An adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s (Fight
Club) novel, CHOKE is the sardonic story about mother and son relationship, fear of aging, sexual
addiction, and the dark side of historical theme parks. Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly
MacDonald, Brad Henke. World Premiere


DOWNLOADING NANCY (Director: Johan Renck; Screenwriters: Pamela Cuming, Lee Ross) —The
tale of an unhappy wife whose online search for someone to put her out of her misery results in a
torturous love affair. Cast: Maria Bello, Jason Patric, Rufus Sewell, Amy Brenneman. World
Premiere

FROZEN RIVER (Director and Screenwriter: Courtney Hunt) —Set in rural upstate New York on a
Mohawk Reservation bordering Canada, a mother left to care for her teenage son finds herself lured
into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling. Cast: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott,
Michael O’Keefe, Mark Boone, Jr. World Premiere

GOOD DICK (Director and Screenwriter: Marianna Palka) —The tale of a lonely girl drawn from her
isolated life and solitary apartment by a doting young video store clerk who strives to capture her
affections. Cast: Jason Ritter, Marianna Palka, Tom Arnold, Mark Webber, Martin Starr, Eric
Edelstein. World Premiere

THE LAST WORD (Director and Screenwriter: Geoff Haley) —An off-beat romantic comedy about a
solitary writer who makes his living composing other people’s suicide notes. After meeting the sister
of a recently deceased client, he finds his reclusive life and secret career upended by an unusual
romance. Cast: Winona Ryder, Wes Bentley, Ray Romano. World Premiere

THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH (Director and Screenwriter: Rawson Marshall Thurber) —
Based on Michael Chabon’s novel, the film chronicles the defining summer of a recent college
graduate who crosses his gangster father and explores love, sexuality, and the enigmas surrounding
his life and his city. Cast: Jon Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Sienna Miller,
Mena Suvari, Nick Nolte. World Premiere

NORTH STARR (Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Stanton) —After witnessing the brutal
murder of his best friend, a young African American man flees the badlands of Houston and finds
himself in Trublin, a backward, racially intolerant town where he meets an unlikely kindred spirit
who takes him under his wing. Cast: Jerome Hawkins, Matthew Stanton, Chris Sullivan, Isaac Lamb,
Zach Johnson, Wayne Campbell. World Premiere

PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND (Director and Screenwriter: Daniel Barnz) — Confounded by her
clashes with the seemingly rule-obsessed world, a little girl takes her already dysfunctional family
down the rabbit hole when she seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman, Campbell Scott, Peter Gerety.
World Premiere

PRETTY BIRD (Director and Screenwriter: Paul Schneider) — A comic tale of three would-be
entrepreneurs who set out to invent a rocket belt. The clash of their mismatched personalities soon dissolves the business into a morass of recriminations, retaliations, kidnapping, and murder in this
parable of American dreams and delusions. Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Kristen Wiig, David
Hornsby. World Premiere

SLEEP DEALER (Director: Alex Rivera; Screenwriters: Alex Rivera, David Riker) — Set in a nearfuture,
militarized world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that
joins minds and experiences, three strangers risk their lives to connect with each other and break
the barriers of technology. Cast: Luis Fernando Peña, Leonor Varela, Jacob Vargas. World Premiere

SUGAR (Directors and Screenwriters: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck) —Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who
last teamed up for HALF NELSON, chronicle the journey of Dominican baseball star Miguel “Sugar”
Santos recruited from his native country to play in the U.S. minor leagues. Cast: Algenis Perez Soto.
World Premiere

SUNSHINE CLEANING (Director: Christine Jeffs; Screenwriter: Megan Holley) — ) —Struck by
financial hardship, an ambitiousmother and her unmotivated sister become entrepreneurs in the
field of biohazard removal and crime scene clean-up. Cast: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn,
Alan Arkin. World Premiere

THE WACKNESS (Director and Screenwriter: Jonathan Levine) — During a sweltering New York
summer, a troubled teenage drug dealer trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug-addled
psychiatrist, and in the process falls for the doctor’s daughter. Cast: Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Famke
Janssen, Olivia Thirlby, Mary Kate Olsen, Method Man. World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

ABSURDISTAN/ Germany (Director: Veit Helmer; Screenwriters: Veit Helmer, Zaza Buadze,
Gordan Mihic, Ahmet Golbol) — This inventive and allegorical comedy centers on two childhood
sweethearts who seem destined for one another until the women of their isolated village, angered by
male indifference toward the water shortage, go on a sex strike that threatens the young couple’s first
night of love. Cast: Maximilian Mauff, Kristyna Mlérova. World Premiere

BLUE EYELIDS (PÁRPADOS AZULES)/ Mexico (Director: Ernesto Contreras; Screenwriter: Carlos
Contreras)– When Marina wins a beach getaway trip for two, her desperate search for someone to
take with her leads to a complicated relationship and the revelation that she might be better off on
her own. Cast: Cecilia Suàrez, Enrique Arreola, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Tiaré Scanda, Luisa Huertas.
U.S. Premiere

CAPTAIN ABU RAED/ Jordan (Director and Screenwriter: Amin Matalqa) — An aging airport
janitor who is mistaken for an airline pilot by a group of poor neighborhood children weaves
fantastical stories to offer hope for a sad, and sometimes unchangeable, reality. Cast: Nadim
Sawalha, Hussein Al-Sous, Rana Sultan, Uday Al-Qiddissi, Ghandi Saber . North American Premiere

THE DRUMMER (JIN. GWU)/ Hong Kong/ Taiwan/ Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Kenneth
Bi) — A young man transforms from a reckless youth and gangster into a mature adult through the
inspiration of Zen drumming. Cast: Jaycee Chan, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Josie Ho, Roy Cheung, Lee
Sinje, Kenneth Tsang.

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A GANGSTER (J’AI TOUJOURS RÊVÉ D’ÊTRE UN GANGSTER)/
France (Director and Screenwriter: Samuel Benchetrit) — Told in four vignettes, this existential
comedy relates the exploits of four aspiring criminals who hope to improve their lot, but find that
they might not have what it takes for a life of crime. Cast: Sergi López, Jean Rochefort, Alain
Bashung, Anna Mouglalis. North American Premiere

JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY (KÆRLIGHED PÅ FILM)/ Denmark (Director and Screenwriter:
Ole Borendal) —Jonas’s quiet life as a suburban family man takes an unexpected twist when he
causes a car crash that leaves a young woman with amnesia. When he is mistaken for her boyfriend,
Jonas’s decision to play the role gradually unravels his life. Cast: Anders W. Berthelsen, Nikolaj Lie
Kaas, Charlotte Fich, Dejan Cukic, Ewa Fröling. North American Premiere

KING OF PING PONG (PING PONGKINGEN)/ Sweden (Director: Jens Jonsson; Screenwriters:
Jens Jonsson, Hans Gunnarson) An ostracized and bullied teenage boy who excels only in ping pong
descends into an acrimonious struggle with his younger, more popular brother when the truth about
their family history and their father surfaces over the course of their spring break. Cast: Georgi
Staykov, Ann-Sofie Normi, Frederik Nilsson, Jerry Johansson. International Premiere

MÁNCORA/ Spain/Peru (Director: Ricardo de Montreuil; Screenwriter: Oscar Torres)– A young
man mourning the death of his father sets out with his estranged stepsister and her arrogant
husband for adventures in the lush, picturesque beach town of Máncora, Peru. World Premiere.
World Premiere

MEGANE (GLASSES)/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Naoko Ogigami)–Taeko’s southern
vacation becomes a life-changing experience when she discovers a unique beach community unified
by surprising and perhaps odd traditions in this comedic film. Cast: Satomi Kobayashi, Mikako
Ichikawa, Ryo Kase, Ken Mitsuishi, Masako Motai. North American Premiere

MERMAID (RUSALKA)/ Russia (Director and Screenwriter: Anna Melikyan) – The fanciful tale of
an introverted little girl who grows up believing she has the power to make wishes come true. She
must reconcile this belief with reality when, as a young woman, she journeys to Moscow and grapples
with love, modernity and materialism. Cast: Masha Shalaeva, Evgeniy Ciganov, Maria Sokolova,
Nastya Doncova. International Premiere

PERRO COME PERRO (DOG EAT DOG)/ Colombia (Director: Carlos Moreno; Screenwriters:
Alonso Torres, Carlos Moreno) – In the crime world of Colombia, there is an unwritten code. When
Víctor and Eusebio, two hoods who bungle a shake-down job, break that code, they unwittingly sign
their own death sentence. Cast: Marlon Moreno, Oscar Borda, Alvaro Rodríguez, Blas Jaramillo,
Paulina Rivas. World Premiere

RIPRENDIMI (GOOD MORNING HEARTACHE)/ Italy (Director: Anna Negri; Screenwriters:
Anna Negri, Giovanna Mori) – A modern young couple with a new baby are forced to deal with the
almost comedic pain of breaking up while being the subject of a documentary that quickly crosses
professional lines into their private lives. Cast: Alba Rohrwacher, Marco Foschi, Valentina
Lodovini, Stefano Fresi, Alessandro Averone. World Premiere

STRANGERS/ Israel (Directors and Screenwriters: Erez Tadmor, Guy Nattiv)— An Israeli man and
a Palestinian woman meet serendipitously during the carefree atmosphere of the World Cup finals in
Germany, drawing them out of the stark reality of their lives and into a passionate affair. Cast: Liron
Levo, Lubna Azabal, Dominique Lollia, Patrick Albenque, Abdallah el Akal, Roger Dumas.
International Premiere

UNDER THE BOMBS (SOUS LES BOMBES)/ Lebanon (Director: Philippe Aractingi;
Screenwriters: Philippe Aractingi,Michel Léviant)— In the wake of Israel’s 2006 bombardment of
Lebanon, a determined woman finds her way into the country convincing a taxi cab driver to take a
risky journey through the scarred region in search of her sister and her son. Cast: Nada Abou Farhat,
Georges Khabbaz, Bshara Atallah, and Rawia Elchab. North American Premiere

THE WAVE (DIE WELLE)/ Germany (Director: Dennis Gansel; Screenwriters: Dennis Gansel and
Peter Thorwarth) —A high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what
life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of
its own. Cast: Juergen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich, Christiane Paul. World
Premiere

THE WIND AND THE WATER (BURWA DII EBO)/ Panama (Directors and Screenwriters: A
collective collaboration)– A young indigenous teen seeking his fortune in Panama City struggles to
acclimate to chaotic urban life, where he becomes enamored with a girl from a wealthy, assimilated
family. Later, he encounters his crush once again–but this time the landscape and tradition define
their interaction. World Premiere

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

AN AMERICAN SOLDIER (Director and Screenwriter: Edet Belzberg) —Uncle Sam really wants you! A compelling exploration of army recruitment in the United States told through the story of Louisiana Sergeant, First Class Clay Usie, one of the most successful recruiters in the history of the U.S. Army. World Premiere.

AMERICAN TEEN (Director and Screenwriter: Nanette Burstein) — This irreverent cinema vérité
chronicles four seniors at an Indiana high school and yields a surprising snapshot of Midwestern
life. World Premiere

BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER* (Director: Christopher Bell; Screenwriters: Christopher Bell,
Alexander Buono, Tamsin Rawady) —A filmmaker explores America’s win-at-all-cost culture by
examining his two brothers’ steroids use…and his own. World Premiere

FIELDS OF FUEL (Director and Screenwriter: Josh Tickell) — America is addicted to oil and it is
time for an intervention. Enter Josh Tickell, a man with a plan and a Veggie Van, who is taking on big
oil, big government, and big soy to find solutions in places few people have looked. World Premiere

FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER (Director: Irena Salina) — Water is the very essence of life,
sustaining every being on the planet. FLOW confronts the disturbing reality that our crucial resource
is dwindling and greed just may be the cause. World Premiere

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON (Director: Alex Gibney) —
Fueled by a raging libido, Wild Turkey, and superhuman doses of drugs, Thompson was a true “free
lance,” goring sacred cows with impunity, hilarity, and a steel-eyed conviction for writing wrongs.
Focusing on the good doctor’s heyday, 1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen
(nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts. World
Premiere

THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO (Director and Screenwriter: Lisa F. Jackson) —
Jackson travels to remote villages in the war zones of the Congo to meet rape survivors, providing a
piercing, intimate look into the struggle of their lives. World Premiere

I.O.U.S.A. (Director: Patrick Creadon) —Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a
financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country’s shocking current fiscal condition and ways to
avoid a national economic disaster. World Premiere

NERAKHOON (THE BETRAYAL) (Director: Ellen Kuras; Co-Director: Thavisouk Phrasavath;
Screenwriters: Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath)— The epic story of a family forced to emigrate
from Laos after the chaos of the secret air war waged by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Kuras has
spent the last 23 years chronicling the family’s extraordinary journey in this deeply personal, poetic,
and emotional film. World Premiere

THE ORDER OF MYTHS (Director: Margaret Brown) — In 2007 Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras is
celebrated…and complicated. Following a cast of characters, parades, and parties across an enduring
2008 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FILMS IN COMPETITION
11/28/07 page 3 of 10
color line, we see that beneath the surface of pageantry lies something else altogether. World
Premiere

PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE (Director and Screenwriter: Steven Sebring) — An intimate
portrait of music icon Patti Smith that mirrors the essence of the artist herself. World Premiere

ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED (Director: Marina Zenovich; Screenwriters:
Marina Zenovich, Joe Bini, P.G. Morgan) — Marina Zenovich’s new documentary examines the
public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary director Roman Polanski’s sudden flight
from the United States. World Premiere

SECRECY (Directors: Peter Galison, Robb Moss) — Amidst the American hunger for instantaneous
news and up-to-date “facts,” this unflinching film uncovers the vast, invisible world of government
secrecy. World Premiere

SLINGSHOT HIP HOP (Director: Jackie Reem Salloum) —The voice of a new generation rocks and
rhymes as Palestinian rappers form alternative voices of resistance within the Israeli-Palestinian
struggle. World Premiere

TRACES OF THE TRADE: A STORY FROM THE DEEP NORTH (Director: Katrina Browne; C0-
Directors: Alla Kovgan, Jude Ray; Screenwriters: Katrina Browne, Alla Kovgan)— History finally gets
rewritten as descendants of the largest slave-trading family in early America face their past, and
present, as they explore their violent heritage across oceans and continents. World Premiere

TROUBLE THE WATER (Directors: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal) — An aspiring rap artist and her
streetwise husband, armed with a video camera, show what survival is all about when they are
trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, and seize a chance for a new beginning. World
Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

ALONE IN FOUR WALLS (ALLEIN IN VIER WÄNDEN)/ Germany (Director and Screenwriter:
Alexandra Westmeier) — Adolescent boys struggle to grow up in a home for delinquents in rural
Russia where life behind bars may be better than the release to freedom. North American Premiere

THE ART STAR AND THE SUDANESE TWINS/ New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Pietra
Brettkelly) — Vanessa Beecroft is obsessively determined to adopt Sudanese twin orphans. Her
consuming passion drives her marriage to a breaking point and fuels her controversial art, raising
troubling questions about exploitation, culture clash, and the imposition of the West on Africa.
World Premiere

BE LIKE OTHERS/ United Kingdom (Director: Tanaz Eshaghian) — An intimate and unflinching
look at life in Iran, seen through the lens of those living at its fringes, BE LIKE OTHERS is a
provocative look at a generation of young Iranian men choosing to undergo sex change surgery.
World Premiere

A COMPLETE HISTORY OF MY SEXUAL FAILURES/ United Kingdom (Director: Chris Waitt;
Screenwriters: Chris Waitt and Henry Trotter)–Chris is a useless boyfriend. Determined to find out
why, he consults his ex-girlfriends, medical practitioners, producers, and mother to find out how women really see him. Has this journey made him potential boyfriend material or is he staring a life
of loneliness square in the face? World Premiere

DEREK/ United Kingdom (Director: Isaac Julien)— A film involving two courageous and innovative
artists —one the subject and one the filmmaker —provides a cinematic journey that illuminates the
work and enduring importance of the late Derek Jarman. World Premiere

DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT/Pakistan (Directors and Screenwriters: Sabiha Sumar and
Sachithanandam Sathananthan) — From on-the-street interviews to audiences with religious
leaders to dinner with the President of Pakistan, the film takes the temperature of a culture on issues
from politics to women’s rights. U.S. Premiere

DURAKOVO: THE VILLAGE OF FOOLS (DURAKOVO: LE VILLAGE DES FOUS)/ France
(Director and Screenwriter: Nino Kirtadze) — Russian nationalism percolates in a castle outside
Moscow, where Mikhail Morozov rules autonomously over young initiates, laying the groundwork for
a rapidly growing right-wing movement. North American Premiere

IN PRISON MY WHOLE LIFE/ United Kingdom (Director: Marc Evans; Screenwriters: Marc Evans,
William Francome) — A curious young filmmaker attempts to understand the true story behind
award-winning journalist Mumia Abu Jamal’s death row sentence, and comes to startling
realizations about American history and its justice system. With William Francome, Noam Chomsky,
Alice Walker, Mos Def, Smoof , Snoop Dogg, Angela Davis . North American Premiere

MAN ON WIRE/ United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: James Marsh)— In 1974, Philippe
Petit, a young Frenchman, dances on a wire suspended between New York’s Twin Towers.
Consequently, Philippe is arrested and thrown into jail for what would become known as “the artistic
crime of the century.” World Premiere

pUUJEE/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Kazuya Yamada) — Against the backdrop of a
magnificent but harsh natural landscape, a Japanese photojournalist encounters puujee, a young girl
who tames wild horses on the Mongolian plains. North American Premiere

RECYCLE/ Jordan (Director and Screenwriter: Al Massad) — A Jordanian family man living in the
hometown of Muslim leader Al-Zarqawi struggles to support his family and define his identity in a
tense political climate. World Premiere

STRANDED: I’VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS/ France
(Director and Screenwriter: Gonzalo Arijon) — For the first time ever, survivors of the famous 1974
Andes plane crash tell in their own words their harrowing story of survival. North American
Premiere

TRIAGE: DR. JAMES ORBINSKI’S HUMANITARIAN DILEMMA/ Canada (Director: Patrick
Reed) — Acclaimed doctor James Orbinski, former head of Doctors Without Borders, returns to
Africa to confront the harsh reality of conditions there and explores what it means to be a
humanitarian. North American Premiere

UP THE YANGTZE/ Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Yung Chang) —At the edge of the Yangtze
River, not far from the Three Gorges Dam, young men and women take up employment on a cruise
ship, where they confront rising waters and a radically changing China. U.S. Premiere

THE WOMEN OF BRUKMAN (LES FEMMES DE LA BRUKMAN)/ Canada (Director and
Screenwriter: Isaac Isitan) —Amidst Argentina’s financial collapse, workers take over a Buenos
Aires men’s clothing factory and continue producing clothing on a self-management model. As the
formerly poor become business managers, their lives are changed forever. U.S. Premiere

YASUKUNI/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Li Ying) —Controversy abounds as Japanese officials
honor the deceased at the legendary Yasukuni shrine, where swords used to kill Chinese soldiers
were famously forged. Few know about the shrine’s eerie past and the mysterious sword inside. Cast: Kariya Naoji, Sugawara Ryuken,Gaojin Sumei. North American Premiere

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: sundance

5 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. cant wait for choke!

  2. Wow! Anywhere USA ! What a film ! It’s great to see it in competition !

  3. Look out for ‘Ballast’. A fantastic film.

  4. I am really looking forward to seeing the film IOUSA. I just read about it in a Daily Reckoning article on http://www.dailyreckoning.com/IOUSA.html . Addison Wiggin from Empire of Debt and Financial Reckoning Day is listed as the executive producer. Both of these books were amazing. Hopefully they will be screening IOUSA in NYC soon.