This month, Sundance Film Festival joins Miami International Film Festival in the “30” club, as Robert Redford’s annual snowy gathering celebrates the same anniversary that MIFF celebrated last March. As always, there is growing excitement and buzz about the new films and the filmmakers that will be in attendance. Numerous past MIFF attendees and friends are featured in the official selection this year; here are some of the films we’ll be checking out when Park City opens for film business on January 16th:
Two MIFF alumni are finalists in Sundance’s prestigious competitions this year. In the U.S. Documentary Competition, we are cheering on Andrew Rossi, who visited MIFF in 2011 when he was part of MIFF’s Knight Documentary Competition with Page One: Inside the New York Times. His new film is Ivory Tower, which takes Rossi’s behind-the-scenes insights to the world of higher education and asks the question: is the cost of college worth it? And in Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition, another MIFF 2011 alumnus, Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, in MIFF’s DOC-YOU-UP section) is back with Concerning Violence, bringing his bold, original style on black history to bear on the African liberation struggles of the 1960s and 1970s.
|Göran Hugo Olsson & MIFF’s Senior Program Consultant (Documentary Cinema) Thom Powers at MIFF 2011 / The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 image, Göran Hugo Olsson at MIFF 2011
Another past attendee of MIFF is also gearing up for a world premiere of a significant new work. Steve James
, who won Miami’s 2011 Knight Documentary Competition with The Interrupters
, will unveil his new film Life Itself
, a look at the life of Roger Ebert, probably the nation’s most famous film critic, based on Ebert’s own autobiography. Life Itself
will debut in Sundance’s Documentary Premieres section.
|Steve James & Thom Powers at MIFF 2011, The Interrupters poster
Other MIFF alumni directors who will be at Sundance’s 30th anniversary edition include:
- Mark Jackson (Without, MIFF 2012 America the Beautiful program): War Story
- Michael Winterbottom (Everyday, MIFF 2013 Cinema 360° presented by Viendomovies program): The Trip to Italy
- Alex Gibney (Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place, MIFF 2011 Knight Documentary Competition program): Finding Fela
- Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, MIFF 2011 World Issues/World Films program): Freedom Summer
- Joe Berlinger (Under African Skies, MIFF 2012 Knight Documentary Competition program): Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
- Pawel Pawlikowski (The Woman in the Fifth, MIFF 2012 Cinema 360° program): Ida
— Jaie Laplante
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