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SUNDANCE 2016

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Sundance announces several European titles in competition

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- The 2016 Sundance selection includes several European productions and co-productions across its different sections

Sundance announces several European titles in competition
The Lure by Agnieszka Smoczynska

The Sundance Institute has just revealed its selection for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, including 120 feature-length films from 37 different countries, with a huge number of directorial debuts and almost 100 world premieres set to be screened. Among this highly anticipated list of independent films, selected from a total of 12,793 submissions across all of the different categories, we find a strong European presence in terms of both fiction and documentary projects, as is usual at the gathering.

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The World Cinema Dramatic section includes a total of 12 films by “emerging filmmaking talents around the world”, which “offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles”. Amongst them, we find several European productions and co-productions such as Belgica [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Artemio Benki, Sylvie Leray
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
film profile
]
by award-winning director and screenwriter Felix van Groeningen, which follows two brothers in the midst of Belgium’s nightlife; Halal Love (and Sex) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a co-production between Lebanon, Germany and the United Arab Emirates by Assad Fouladkar, depicting four interconnected stories about devout Muslim people trying to combine their love lives and religious lives; Rebecca Daly’s Mammal [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, co-produced by Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, a strong drama about loss, violence and unorthodox love; and Polish title The Lure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
by Agnieszka Smoczynska, winner of the Best Feature Debut Award at the Gdynia Film Festival, which unfolds against a backdrop of Warsaw dance parties during the 1980s. Also featuring in this section are Mirjana Karanovic’s A Good Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, co-produced by Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, which revolves around a 50-year-old woman finding out the terrible past of her seemingly perfect husband; Wild [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by German director Nicolette Krebitz, about a young anarchist who breaks her bonds with civilisation and decides to live her life away from social rules and conventions; UK-Indian production Brahman Naman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, an unconventional type of cross-country movie directed by controversial Indian filmmaker Q; Much Ado About Nothing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a Chilean-French co-production by Alejandro Fernández Almendras, a drama about the consequences of a car accident in which a young reveller runs over a passer-by, and the French-Israeli co-production Sand Storm [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Elite Zexer.

Six out of the 11 announced documentaries (with the last one due to be unveiled in the coming weeks) in the World Cinema Documentary section also have European backing, such as All These Sleepless Nights [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Polish director Michal Marczak, a reflection on life set in the streets of Warsaw; the Belgian production The Land of the Enlightened [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Pieter-Jan De Pue, about a group of Kuchi children in Afghanistan working in the old Soviet mines; and Sonita [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a co-production between Germany, Iran and Switzerland directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (world-premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), which follows 18-year-old Sonita and her dream of becoming a famous rapper. Rounding off this list we have British filmmakers Robert Cannan and Ross Adam’s The Lovers and the Despot [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a sensational romance-thriller documentary about a famous director and his actress/ex-wife, who are kidnapped by movie-obsessed dictator Kim Jong-il; The Settlers [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Shimon Dotan, co-produced between France, Canada, Israel and Germany, which gives a historical overview of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; and US-British-Japanese feature We Are X [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Stephen Kijak, which follows the members of a revolutionary rock band in Japan 20 years after their tragic dissolution. Among the US Documentary Competition titles we also find a couple of European names: Kiki [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Swedish director Sara Jordenö and Uncle Howard [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a US-British production directed by Aaron Brookner.

Robert Redford, president and founder of the Sundance Institute, said that all of these movies and directors “are united by the power of their stories and visions”; they will soon be unleashed upon the world, “beginning their journeys through our culture”. The 2016 Sundance Film Festival will take place from 21-31 January in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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