The 2013 Sundance Film Festival lands at the O2 in April – here's all you need to know about the four-day indie spectacular
- Five ways to get involved
- The men behind Sundance
- Win a VIP package
- Sundance London FAQs
- Review: 'The Look of Love'
After last year's success, the Sundance Film Festival returns to London's O2 for Sundance London, a weekend of new independent feature films, documentaries, shorts and live events, including appearances from music legends The Eagles and Peaches (though not together, sadly). There's a full list of films below – we'll be updating it with reviews as they come in – or you can click on our FAQs page to find out how to buy tickets.
Sundance London 2013 line-up
You might not know his name, but if you were a teenage boy any time from the 1970s to the ’90s you may have fond memories of his magazines – Men Only, Escort and Mayfair. He is Paul Raymond, the man who opened Britain’s first strip club in 1958, and this is a comical biopic from the '24 Hour Party People' team of Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan.
Should killer whales be kept in captivity? This documentary aims to answer that question through a study of Tilikum, an orca kept at SeaWorld in Orlando who turned on his captors and caused the deaths of three people. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses Tilikum’s story to explore the very notion of using wild animals for human entertainment.
A documentary about the thousands of Indian children living with HIV. It’s a tough topic, but reviews from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival suggest that the film walks the line between informative, uplifting and devastating with remarkable poise. It’s the tale of Rocky Braat, an American backpacker who became involved in a treatment centre for young Aids victims.
This second feature from writer-director Francesca Gregorini may be a coming-of-age movie about a teenage girl, but don’t expect ‘Twilight’-style boy-chasing or high-school antics. Instead, this is the haunting, mysterious tale of Emanuel, an adolescent struggling to come to terms with the death of her mum.
‘God Loves Uganda’ looks at the presence of American Evangelical Christian organisations in the country. Uganda’s record on human rights is notorious: homosexuality is punishable by death, condoms are banned and vigilantism is rife. Into this brutal state comes the International House of Prayer, a Christan sect based in Kansas City.
After Abbey Road and Sun, Alabama’s Muscle Shoals might be the world’s most storied recording studio, playing host to everyone from soul stars Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to rock ’n’ rollers like The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Lynyrd Skynyrd. This documentary tracks the story of the studio.
Mariel Hemingway is most famous for playing Tracy, the teenage girl romanced by Woody Allen in his classic ‘Manhattan’. But she’s also the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and one of the last in a long line of troubled American artistic aristocrats. ‘Running From Crazy’ is Mariel’s portrait of her family.
‘Primer’ director Shane Carruth returns with ‘Upstream Color’. We’re not entirely sure what the film is exactly. Science fiction? Romance? Or just a random psychedelic mess? But it does sound fascinating, dealing with a woman whose abduction by a small-time thief brings her into contact with a mysterious being.
In the manner of last year’s Rolling Stones doc ‘Crossfire Hurricane’, ‘History of the Eagles Part One’ covers the band in their own words, from the outlaw chic of ‘Desperado’, through the mega-stardom which followed their multi-platinum ‘Hotel California’ through to their first split in 1980.
The directorial debut from controversy-baiting electro-pop beast Peaches, titled with customary tastefulness ‘Peaches Does Herself’, is an oddball rock-operatic self-portrait fictionalising the singer’s rise to stardom and her relationship with ‘a beautiful she-male’.
US stand-up comedian and actor Mike Birbiglia makes his debut as a writer-director. Adapted from his autobiographical one-man show, the film stars Birbiglia as a loosely fictionalised version of himself, here renamed Matt, a young comedian suffering from a bizarre sleep disorder.
‘In Fear’ marks the directorial debut of TV veteran Jeremy Lovering. Set on the back roads of Northern Ireland, the low budget film stars Iain de Caestecker and Alice Englert as a pair of strangers travelling together to a music festival whose journey becomes a nightmare when they’re stalked by a group of masked locals.
One of the more high-profile films to screen at the 2013 Sundance London festival, this US indie was directed by George Tillman Jr, the man behind moderate hits like ‘Men of Honor’ and ‘Notorious’. It’s the tale of two young boys in the Brooklyn projects who are left to fend for themselves one long, hot summer.
The writer-director of ‘Humpday’ and ‘My Sister’s Sister’ returns with another semi-improvised family drama. She plays a massage therapist whose happy existence is shaken when her brother’s dental practice takes off. This hardly sounds like the most riveting setup imaginable but trust Shelton to give her characters depth and her story resonance.
In 2008, 24 experienced climbers convened on the summit of K2 in the Himalayas. Only 13 of them made it back down. This documentary blends archive footage of the expedition with spectacular landscape shots of the mountain to tell the story of what happened that fateful day.
The title stands for ‘Adult Children of Divorce’, and the film tells the story of a successful man in his mid-30s whose parents have been divorced since his ninth birthday but still haven’t managed to stow away all their marital baggage. Reports peg ‘ACOD’ as a likeable film which succeeds better as a quirky psychological study than as a laugh-out-loud comedy.
British writer-director Sean Ellis ups stumps to the Philippines for ‘Metro Manila’, a fast-paced action thriller set in that country’s sprawling, poverty-stricken capital. It’s the story of a peasant farmer who heads for the city to look for work and gets involved with a local coke dealer.
Drawing on a rich tradition of classical American storytelling that runs from Mark Twain to ‘Shane’ and ‘Stand By Me’, writer-director Jeff Nichols adopts a 14-year-old boy’s perspective for this affecting tale of innocence lost and grace gained over one woozy Arkansas summer.
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