Sundance to premiere Stephen Frears, Spike Lee films

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 17:39 EDT
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LOS ANGELES — New movies by Stephen Frears and Spike Lee are among a star-studded line-up of world premieres scheduled for the Sundance Film Festival next month, organizers announced.

The big-name movies will appear in the Premieres section at the Jan 19-29 festival, the annual gathering of independent filmmakers founded by Robert Redford and hosted in the Utah mountain resort of Park City.

The official competition will include over 30 US films and 26 foreign features and documentaries from around the world.

Frears’ “Lay the Favorite,” starring Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones, will feature in the out-of-competition section, as will Lee’s “Red Hook Summer,” about a boy spending a summer in Brooklyn with his grandfather.

“Featuring one of the most influential directors of all time returning to his Brooklyn roots as well as emerging filmmakers tackling big issues with sophistication beyond their experience, our Premieres section has much to offer,” Trevor Groth, the festival’s head of programming, said Monday.

Others premieres on offer — all as yet without distribution deals — include wedding movie “Bachelorette” starring Kirsten Dunst, and Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon in a Wall Street saga “Arbitrage,” by Nicholas Jarecki.

Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro star in Rodrigo Cortes’ thriller “Red Lights”; and Chris Rock will co-star in “2 Days in New York,” by Julie Delpy, a follow-up to her 2007 movie “2 Days in Paris.”

“Thelma and Louise” star Sarandon will also appear in the comedy “Robot and Frank” by director Jake Schreier, alongside James Marsden and Liv Tyler.

British director Frears, whose movies range from “My Beautiful Laundrette” to “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Queen,” will be gambling on his Las Vegas casino caper movie “Lay the Favorite” to entice festival-goers.

Lee, director of films including “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X,” tells the story in his new movie of a young Atlanta boy spending the summer in Brooklyn with his grandfather.

The official competition line-up for Sundance, announced last week, includes 16 US narrative feature films, 16 US documentaries, 14 non-US narrative movies and 12 non-US documentaries.

The foreign features include films from Japan, Brazil, Turkey, India, Australia, Britain and France, among others, while the documentaries include Danish, Israeli and Canadian movies.

In all, 112 feature-length films were selected for the 2012 Sundance festival, representing 29 countries and 44 first-time filmmakers, including 24 in competition.

Photo credit: Angela George

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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