The selections for this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been revealed. Three Film4-backed films will feature at the festival, including two World Premieres.
John Maclean’s Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, features in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse will feature in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
Both films will receive their World Premieres at the festival.
Also featuring in the festival’s Spotlight selection is Yann Demange’s ’71, which last night won the Best Director award at the British Independent Film Awards.
The festival runs from 22nd January to 1st February in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.
Slow West Dir. John Maclean
A western set in frontier America at the end of the 19th Century, Slow West utilises Colorado’s dramatic landscape as a setting for the unlikely crossing of Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), a wild and dangerous drifter, with guileless adolescent, Jay (Jodi Smit-McPhee). Here, in the dense and feral forests of the American West, where confrontation with a stranger would normally mean a duel to the death, Silas, instead of killing Jay, offers to protect him in exchange for cash. Jay has come to America to be reunited with the love of his life, Rose, a fugitive from their native Scotland. Silas’ true motivation, however, is as enigmatic as Jay’s is true-hearted. It is on his journey with this unlikely saviour, fraught with peril, betrayal and violence, that Jay is forced to question Silas’ loyalty towards him, as he realises all too late that America takes no pity on the innocent.
Dark Horse Dir. Louise Osmond
Dark Horse tells the larger than life true story of how a barmaid in a former mining village in South Wales bred a racehorse on her allotment that went on to become a champion. Jan had successfully bred dogs and birds and believed she could do the same with a different animal – though she knew nothing about racing and had never been on a horse. Convincing a handful of locals to part with ten pound a week for her scheme, she found a thoroughbred mare with a terrible racing record for £300, a stallion past his best, put them together and – against all the odds – bred a winner. It’s an audacious tale of luck and chance and beating the odds; a story of how a gaggle of working class folk from the Welsh Valleys took on the racing elite, broke through class and financial barriers, and brought hope and pride back to their depressed community. Dark Horse is an inspirational, emotional story with as many heart-stopping moments as any ‘jump’ race; it’s a story about dreams coming true.
‘71 Dir. Yann Demange
A young British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a terrifying riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, the raw recruit must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorienting, alien and deadly landscape.