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The Miami Film Festival announced on Tuesday the line up for its 32nd edition, which will run March 6–15 featuring 125 films from 40 countries, including 14 world premieres.The festival will take place at its traditional venue, the historic Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center, plus six additional cinemas scattered across Miami.“Today’s film festival experience has become a major platform for thought-provoking subjects and has truly transcended into a powerful educational vehicle,” said María Muñoz-Blanco, Miami Dade College’s MDCulture executive director.Curated by executive director Jaie Laplante and a team formed by Thom Powers, Andres Castillo, Orlando Rojas, Carol Coombes and culinary cinema specialist Lee Brian Schrager, the festival will open on the March 7 with a gala screening of Damian Szifron’s Oscar nominated comedy Wild Tales, while Álvaro Fernández Armero’s Sidetracked, starring Inma Cuesta and Raúl Arévalo will close the festival on the March 14.Read More Sundance 2015: Which Movies Have Sold (So Far)This year’s recipient of the Festival’s Artist Tribute Award was presented as The Independent Cuban Filmmaker, which translates into a collective homage to independent cinema in Cuba. The section comes right after the US announced the reopening of diplomatic relations and trade between the country and the USA after 53 years –a challenge for the isolated Cuban filmmaking scene.The tribute program will include the North American premiere of The Project of the Century, presented by Cuban filmmaker Carlos Machado Quintela, and the Emerging Cuban Independent Film & Video Artists Program, presented by The Related Group. The film professionals selected by the program are Machado Quintela, producer Claudia Calviño (Juan of the Dead) and directors Jessica Rodriguez (Dark Glasses) and Marcel Beltrán. The four latter will have retrospective screenings of their earlier works in the week preceding the Festival.The full line-up of Miami fest’s Knight Competition, which grants a $40,000 cash prize, is:- Aurora (Chile – Rodrigo Sepúlveda)- Blue Blood (Brazil – Lírio Ferreira)- Butterfly (Argentina – Marco Berger)- Invasion (Panama – Abner Benahim)- Life is Sacred (Denmark / Ireland / Norway / Colombia – Andreas Dalsgaard, Viviana Gómez, and Nicolás Servide)- Los Hongos (Colombia / France – Oscar Ruiz Navia)- The Obscure Spring (Mexico – Ernesto Contreras)- The Project of the Century (Cuba / Argentina / Germany – Carlos Machado Quintela)- The Strongest Man (USA – Kenny Riches)- Sunstrokes (Argentina – Gustavo Taretto)- Voice Over (Chile – Cristián Jiménez)The documentary competition, presented by The James L. & John S. Knight Foundation, will give a $10,000 cash award to one of the following nominees:- 13 Million Voices (USA, directed by Janelle Gueits)- Being Evel (USA, directed by Daniel Junge)- Before We are Forgotten (Mexico, directed by Matías Gueilburt)- Best of Enemies (USA, directed by Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville)- City of Gold (USA, directed by Laura Gabbert)- Dawg Fight (USA, directed by Billy Corben)- Finding Gastón (Peru, directed by Patricia Perez)- The Holders (USA, directed by Carla Forte)- Hot Girls Wanted (USA, directed by Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus)- Invasion (Panama, Argentina, directed by Abner Benahim)- Iris (USA, directed by Albert Maysles)- Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (USA, directed by Brett Morgan)- The Land of Many Palaces (China, UK, directed by Ting Song, Adam James Smith)- Life is Sacred (Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Colombia, directed by Andreas Dalsgaard, Viviana Gomez, Nicolas Servide)- The Lost Aviator (Australia, directed by Andrew Lancaster)- The Muses of Bashevis Singer (Israel, directed by Shaul Betser, Asaf Galay)- Paco de Lucía: A Journey (Spain, directed by Curro Sánchez Varela)- Playing Lecuona (Spain, Colombia, directed by Pavel Giroud, Juan Manuel Villar)- The Record Man (USA, directed by Mark Moorman)- The Salt of the Earth (Brazil / Italy / France, directed by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado & Wim Wenders)- Sweet Micky for President (USA, Haiti, Canada, directed by Ben Patterson)- Tea Time (Chile, USA, directed by Maite Alberdi)- This Is My Land (France, Israel, Palestine, Poland, directed by Tamara Erde)- This Is What It Is (France, directed by Léa Rinaldi)The Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition will give a $10,000 cash award presented to one of the following directorial debuts:- 3 Beauties (Venezuela, directed by Carlos Caridad Montero)- Easy Sex, Sad Movies (Argentina / Spain, directed by Alejo Flah)- In the Grayscale (Chile, directed by Claudio Marcone)- On the Road, Somewhere (Dominican Republic, directed by Guillermo Zouain)- They are All Dead (Spain, Germany, Mexico, directed by Beatriz Sanchís)
‘Cop Car': Sundance Review – The Hollywood Reporter
The best scene might well be the opening, as two 10-year-olds, Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford), make their way across beautiful prairie land with one saying every dirty word he can think of and challenging his marginally more reserved pal to repeat it. The exchanges are amusing and stand in vulgar contrast to the serene landscapes and strong widescreen compositions.
Read more Critic’s Notebook: Fifty Shades of Sex at Sundance
In a little glade, they come across a parked police car. There’s no one in it and nobody nearby. They dare each other to touch it, then to get in it, then to start it up with the key that’s been left behind. “This is our car now,” one of them declares and they’re off, sirens blaring, even though neither knows how to drive.
The sheriff whose car it is, Mitch Kretzer (Kevin Bacon), is an old school bad boy type who, in an oddly timed flashback, is seen dragging a body from the car’s trunk and then dumping it down a hole. But wait, little do the kids know that there’s something else in the trunk and that Kretzer, desperate that he’s lost possession of his car with all its armaments, is on his way to track them down no matter what.
The script by director Jon Watts and Christopher Ford gets serious way too soon. There’s a bit of whimsy as the boy take turns behind the wheel speeding, lurching and veering across the center dividing line on roads virtually devoid of traffic. But instead of coming up with more vehicular hijinks and roadside escapades, the writers quickly park the boys roadside, pop a surprise passenger (Shea Whigham) out of the trunk and wait for Kretzer to catch up with them.
Read more Critic’s Notebook: At Sundance 2015, Ladies First
Scenes of the boys goofing around with the heavy artillery are misguided and no fun at all and the surprise passenger could have been far more imaginatively conceived than as just another low-down criminal type. Better use could also have been made of a curious woman (the only female in the story) who involves herself in the incident, especially when you have the always engaging Camryn Manheim playing her.
Despite all the spare time, there’s precious little discussion of the kids’ backgrounds, what they’re running away from (you just infer the usual messed up family dynamics). Another cliché not avoided has at least one character who seems as dead as flattened road kill ridiculously springing back to life, and Bacon’s malignant small town cop is given no fresh wrinkles to distinguish him from a hundred previous such movie characters. A thorough script revision with the single aim of subverting expectations and inventing a half-dozen twists big and small could have made a big difference.
The two kids are good until their characters run out of things to say and are just stuck in the car waiting for the nasty grown-ups to try to knock each other off.
Production: Dark Arts, Park Pictures
Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Camryn Manheim, Shea Whigham
Director: Jon Watts
Screenwriter: Jon Watts, Christopher Ford
Producers: Cody Ryder, Alicia Van Couvering, Sam Bisbee, Andrew Kortschak, Jon Watts
Executive producers: Walter Kortschak, Lance Acord, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Frank Brenner, Bill Perry, Tom Valerio, Bill Perry, Kevin Bacon
Directors of photography: Matthew J. Lloyd, Larkin Seiple
Production designer: Michael Powsner
Costume designer: Ruby Katilius
Editors: Megan Brooks, Andrew Hasse
Music: Phil Mossman
Sundance Film Festival
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Sundance: Jason Sudeikis, Winona Ryder Pick Their “Last Meals”
The Scene at Sundance Film Festival 2015 (Photos)
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