With the Sundance Film Festival currently in full swing, audiences are getting first looks at many of this year’s potential indie darlings and breakout hits. Since being founded in 1985, the festival has given much-deserved exposure to hundreds of small films and this year we can add Before Midnight, Don Jon’s Addiction jOBS and Zal Batmanglij’s latest, The East to that list.

Anticipation for Batmanglij’s follow-up to his critically well-received 2011 debut feature Sound of My Voice is only beginning to ramp up after the film’s premiere at Sundance and the release of its first trailer, which you can check out above.

The trailer packs a wealth of dark imagery into its minute-long run-time, depicting an extreme and possibly violent environmental group planning some sort of attack against select corporate conglomerates. The music and the voice-over add another layer of foreboding dread to the film’s debut clip.

Much like with Batmanglij’s previous film, The East has slowly garnered some attention with an excellent and youthful cast–headlined by Ellen Page (Juno), Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) and Sound of My Voice star Brit Marling–as well as an intriguing premise. Here’s the official synopsis and poster for the film:

In THE EAST, Sarah Moss (Marling) is a brilliant operative for an elite private intelligence firm whose top objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele. She is assigned to go undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Living amongst them in an effort to get closer to their members, Sarah finds herself unexpectedly torn between two worlds as she starts to fall in love with the group’s charismatic leader, finding her life and her priorities irrevocably changed.

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The East seems similar to Sound of My Voice in many respects–most notably the cult theme and visual style–and although it’s received strong early reviews so far, some critics have noted that The East is more of a genre film than his first effort – serving as more of a tightly-wound political thriller than art house film – which isn’t necessarily a knock on it at all. In fact, a more conventional-style telling could serve the film well, since Sound of My Voice‘s ending was a bit controversial in terms of its unconventional approach to closure.

Either way, the short trailer has definitely achieved what a trailer sets out to; It’s hooked us with mystery, intrigue, a talented cast – and best of all, it hasn’t given too much away.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers