SUNDANCE: days 9-11

The Sundance Film Festival officially ends today, and awards were given out last night.  I’m encouraged that so many women received such international recognition for their films — see below for the list of winning films by women (as directors and writers).

Days 9-11


Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic & Excellence in Cinematography – U.S. Dramatic

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (co-writer Lucy Alibar)*

U.S. Directing Award: Documentary

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (director Lauren Greenfield)*

U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (writer-director Ava DuVernay)*

World Cinema Screenwriting Award

YOUNG & WILD (director & co-writer Marialy Rivas)

U.S. Documentary Editing Award

DETROPIA (directors Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady)

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE (directors & editors Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky)*

World Cinema: Documentary Special Jury Prize

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY (director Alison Klayman)

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic

MY BROTHER THE DEVIL (writer-director Sally El Hosaini; cinematographer David Raedeker)

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing

NOBODY WALKS (director & co-writer Ry Russo-Young; co-writer Lena Dunham; producers Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, Alicia Van Couvering)*

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary

PUTIN’S KISS (director Lise Birk Pedersen; cinematographer Lars Skree)*

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing

SMASHED (co-writer Susan Burke; producers Jennifer Cochis, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrew Sperling)

See the slideshow of all winning titles on the Sundance Channel website.

*Films have been picked up during the festival for theatrical or VOD distribution, except Indie Game which will be adapted into a fictional half-hour series for HBO.


Writer-director Julie Delpy’s film 2 Days in New York has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures.  Delpy also stars in the film opposite Chris Rock.  Magnolia will release the film via VOD (Video On Demand) as well as in theatres.  No word yet on which territories this covers (I’m assuming at least North America), or a firm release date.  Read the story over at Nikkie Finke’s Deadline Hollywood.

Magnolia has also picked up director & co-writer Ry Russo-Young’s feature film Nobody Walks which she co-wrote with Lena Dunham (most well-known for her film Tiny Furniture and her upcoming HBO series “Girls” which will premiere at SXSW in March, then on HBO in April).  Check out the story over at Reuters (incl. information on 2 Days in New York).

Check out all the distributors that picked up films at Sundance this year in this indieWIRE story.

I’m expecting more acquisitions to happen in the next few days and weeks and will try to update the Sundance film acquisitions list to include those titles.



Day 4

Aurora Guerrero’s first feature film Mosquita y Mari premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.  Guerrero writes and directs.  Check out the article about the premiere over at ColorLines magazine and an article on Guerrero’s influences, including Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherrie Moraga, over at the Tribeca Film Institute. Mosquita y Mari was filmed by cinematographer Magela Crosignani.

Logline:  In a fast-paced Immigrant community where dreams are often lost to economic survival, two young Chicanas contemplate life when they stir sexual desires in each other.

Twitter: @mosquitaymari

Watch the trailer for Mosquita y Mari on Vimeo.

Sally El Hosaini makes her feature film debut as writer-director with her film My Brother the Devil.  Check out a narrative piece she wrote for Filmmaker Magazine on her love of film.

I’m particularly excited that directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush have their documentary Finding North at Sundance.  The film is about hunger in the U.S.  I think hunger is probably the most ignored crisis plaguing vast numbers of Americans.  I can’t wait to see this film.  Check out the trailer below!


Among the films by women screened at Sundance on day four were the following titles.  Check out the trailers for the films by clicking on the highlighted links below.  Sorry, not many trailers are out yet.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (director, cinematographer Alison Klayman)

Corpo Celeste (writer-director Alice Rohrwacher, cinematographer Hélène Louvart)

Finding North (directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, co-cinematographer Kirsten Johnson)

For a Good Time, Call… (writers Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller)

Mosquita y Mari (writer-director Aurora Guerrero, cinematographer Magela Crosignani)

My Brother the Devil (writer-director Sally El Hosaini)

Nobody Walks (director, co-writer Ry Russo-Young, co-writer Lena Dunham)

Save the Date (cinematographer Elisha Christian)

Smashed (co-writer Susan Burke)

V/H/S (co-cinematographer Victoria K. Warren)

Also Middle of Nowhere (dir. Ava DuVernay) and The Invisible War (co-cinematographer Kirsten Johnson) got subsequent screenings.


It’s been reported in Variety that the cash shelled out for Katie Aselton’s feature Black Rock exceeded $1M.  The film was picked up by LD Distribution as I wrote in yesterday’s update to Sundance: days 1-3.  I’m keeping an eye on Sundance acquisitions, but have read many places that the speed and volume at which films are being picked up is slow and low.  Looks like buyers are exercising some caution, but there’s definitely some heat on Celeste and Jesse Forever (co-written by and starring Rashida Jones), Beasts of the Southern Wild (co-written by Lucy Alibar) — Fox Searchlight may nab this one — and For a Good Time, Call… (written by Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller).


Writer-director Leslye Headland’s film Bachelorette will be picked up for distribution either during or quickly following Sundance.  It has some heavyweight involvement and reliable
backup: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and the lauded Aussie newcomer, Rebel Wilson, and is produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay of Funny or Die.  Headland’s off-broadway play
of the same name had a good run, so there’s some knowledge of the story out there already, and, though I hate to say this, I think it may be able to ride the coattails of last year’s hit Bridesmaids.  (I think there are too many wedding comedies out there.) The film premieres at Sundance tonight.  Check out The Carpetbagger blog from the New York Times for a piece on the film.