Sundance Institute today announced the lineup of music-themed films and events at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. This year's program offers a celebration of seminal rock and rollers, persecuted musicians risking their lives to be heard, artists creating the pulse of cinema through inventive scores and soundtracks, and a Grammy award-nominated rapper who is by no means “little.” The 25th Sundance Film Festival runs from January 15-25, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. A complete list of films and events is available at www.sundance.org/festival.
Sundance Institute has from its inception recognized the importance of music to independent filmmaking. The Institute is committed to supporting musicians: from its composer’s labs, to presenting titles which showcase musical artists, to recognizing films that feature renowned composers and original soundtracks.
"Each year Sundance Film Festival renews its commitment to exploring the symbiotic relationship of music and film through distinctive live performances, panel discussions, and innovative multimedia presentations and this year is no exception,” said Peter Golub, Director, Sundance Institute Film Program.
The 2009 Festival lineup will feature numerous films showcasing an eclectic cross section of musicians such as When You’re Strange, a documentary following The Doors; Afghan Star, which depicts the complex politics and bravery behind the Afghani version of "American Idol;" It Might Get Loud, an exploration of the sound of the electric guitar as it speaks through rockers Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White, and The Carter, a larger- than-life documentary following rapper and cultural phenom Lil’ Wayne, recently nominated for eight Grammy Awards.
Equally as exciting are the composers whose original music sets the themes and tones of this year's powerful films. Filled with prominent and emerging film composers the Festival includes the works of Michael Bacon (Boy Interrupted), Miriam Cutler (Shouting Fire), Mychael Danna (Pommegranates and Myrrh), Michael Giacchino (Earth Days), David Julyan (Endgame), Alvin Lucier (American Minor), and Clint Mansell (Moon), as well as many others.
Over more than a decade, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has provided stellar music programming to the Festival with its Music Cafe. Sundance Film Festival is excited to announce a new name for this much-celebrated partnership as it unveils the 2009 music line-up for the Sundance ASCAP Music Café presented by Ray-Ban. The 2009 lineup includes Birdmonster, The Gin Blossoms, Lenka, Locksley, Maiysha, John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Phil Vasser, Wynonna, and Rachael Yamagata, among other highly anticipated performers.
The Sundance Institutes partnership with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) now over ten years old, continues with the return of the BMI Sundance Snowball. The Snowball will be an eclectic, interactive party involving audience participation in an experimental exercise in image scoring. This year's BMI-produced Composer Director Roundtable discussion will investigate the relationship between music, film and the creative process with leading industry composers, musicians and directors.
Musical highlights at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival:
SUNDANCE ASCAP MUSIC CAFÉ PRESENTED BY RAY-BAN
This popular Festival locale has long been a place to experience dynamic showcases of live performance by emerging and established artists and in depth panel discussions. The venue has changed for 2009 to Lower Main Street in Park City. This year's lineup includes Dave Barnes, Birdmonster, Chad & Jeremy, Tom Freund, Gin Blossoms, Anwan Glover (of The Backyard Band), Rosi Golan, The Guggenheim Grotto, Katie Herzig, Lenka, Locksley, Maiysha, Chris Mann, The People Speak, Landon Pigg, Damien Rice, John Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls), Angel Taylor, Phil Vassar, Sara Watkins, Dan Wilson, Wynonna, Rachael Yamagata, Youth Speaks, and some very exciting surprise guests. Open to all Festival credential holders.
January 16–23; every day from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Lower Main Street between Seventh and Ninth Streets, Park City
ASCAP FILMMAKER & COMPOSER BREAKFAST
On Monday, January 19th, ASCAP will host a special, invitation-only Filmmaker & Composer Breakfast, sponsored by Avid Technology, Inc., exclusively for Sundance Film Festival Filmmakers and their film composers - as well as other ASCAP composers who will be in Park City for the Festival. ASCAP will present a roundtable discussion about the composer/filmmaker collaboration with Spring Breakdown director Ryan Shiraki, film composer Debbie Lurie and music supervisor Julia Michels.
The comedy will have its World Premiere as part of the Festival’s Park City at Midnight program.
The ASCAP Filmmaker & Composer Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers and music creators to connect in a warm and friendly setting. Festival filmmakers and film composers who are interested in attending may contact Jennifer Harmon at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. Accredited press who are interested in covering may contact email@example.com.
A CELEBRATION OF MUSIC IN FILM
Open to all Festival credential holders. Come join us for a special evening to celebrate music from composers and performers highlighted in this year’s films.
Performances by Stew and the cast of Passing Strange, from the film by Spike Lee based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, and The Boxmasters, electric hillbilly rockers with an upbeat and infectious sound that couples sardonically with their dark lyrics.
Sunday, January 18, 8:00 p.m.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: MUSIC AND FILM, THE CREATIVE PROCESS PRODUCED BY BMI
The roundtable discussion is rooted in the process explored at the Sundance Composers Lab, and will focus on the composer/director relationship and the role music (both score and source) plays in film. The discussion is open to all festival credential holders and by special invitation.
Panelists scheduled to speak include composers George S. Clinton (Austin Powers, Sundance Composer Lab Advisor), Clint Mansell (Moon), Chris Lennertz (Adam), Craig Richey (The September Issue), Duncan Sheik (Dare), Lili Haydn (Over The Hills & Far Away), Michael Bacon (Boy Interrupted), Anton Sanko (When You’re Strange & Against the Current), Marco d’Ambrosio (We Live In Public), T. Griffin (Children of Invention), Peter Golub (Frozen River, Sundance Composer Lab Director), Rolfe Kent (Sideways, Sundance Composers Lab Advisor), David Poe (Dare) and Ben Decter (We Live In Public).
Directors scheduled to speak include Michel Orion Scott (Over The Hills and Far Away), Duncan Jones (Moon), Max Mayer (Adam), R.J. Cutler (The September Issue), Dana Heinz Perry (Boy Interrupted), Dana Heinz Perry (Boy Interrupted), Ondi Timoner (We Live In Public) and Tze Chun (Children of Invention). The discussion will be moderated by Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President, Film/TV Relations at BMI.
Wednesday, January 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sundance House at the Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Avenue
BMI SUNDANCE SNOWBALL
An inventive interactive musical experience celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Sundance Composer Lab featuring DJ Thomas Golubic and composer/musician Rolfe Kent’s “Magnificent Howling Audience Score-Shop.” The “Score-Shop” will include an experimental exercise with the audience in live-image scoring, a first for the festival. Special guests are expected.
Wednesday, January 21st 6 p.m. to 8:30 pm
Sundance House at the Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Avenue
Both the BMI Roundtable Discussion and BMI Sundance Snowball are open to festival credential holders, credentialed press, and by special invitation. For further information or access please contact: Hanna Pantle, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Marlene Meraz, email@example.com.
NEW FRONTIER ON MAIN, THE COMPOSERS LAB EXPERIMENTS: GINGGER
SHANKAR, A.J. LARA, AND ARTHUR HYDE
The third edition of the Composers Lab Experiments at New Frontier features a collaboration between musician extraordinaire Gingger Shankar and filmmakers A.J. Lara and Arthur Hyde. In their multimedia performance, Metamorphoses, Gingger Shankar and special guest musicians elegantly score the walls of time and space. These musicians test the boundaries of organic versus electronic music and find where the two meet. While the musicians uniquely create a hybrid, Lara and Hyde sculpt the visual architecture through a fusion of mind and motion. As the participants play with sight and sound, a live journey through life and dreams unfolds.
Wednesday, January 21 at New Frontier on Main
LIVE MUSIC AT TIMBERS IN THE PARK CITY MARRIOTT
This year's Sundance Film Festival offers another unique gem with its spotlight on local musicians at the Timbers Lounge inside the Park City Marriott. This snug, inviting lounge is the perfect place to escape the crowds, grab a drink between films and warm up by the fire. It is also a wonderful place to experience local artists playing against the pulse and heartbeat of the Sundance Film Festival. The 2009 lineup includes artists Cameron Rafati, Dr. Bob, Gigi Love, Zachary Robert Galanis, Chicago Mike Beck, Christopher Hawley, John Louviere and the Renee Broderick Band.
The Park City Marriott is home to the Sundance Film Festival Headquarters.
FILMS FEATURING MUSIC:
The 2009 Sundance Film Festival includes several previously announced titles that prominently feature musicians and music. Some highlights:
Adventureland(Director and Screenwriter: Greg Mottola)
In 1987, a recent college graduate takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park and discovers the job is perfect preparation for the real world.
Adventureland was scored entirely by popular international recording artists Yo La Tengo.
Afghan Star/ Afghanistan and U.K. (Director: Havana Marking)
After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, "Pop Idol" has come to television in Afghanistan -- and millions are watching and voting for their favorite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing.
An emotional and inspiring documentary filmed only four years after the ban on music and television was lifted in Afghanistan.
American Minor (Director: Charlie White)
A filmic meditation on the isolated world of an American teen, focusing on the external environment and internal state of a fourteen-year-old, upper-middle class girl.
American Minor is scored by noted avant-garde composer Alvin Lucier
Boy Interrupted(Director: Dana Perry) - An intimate look at the life, mental illness and death of a young man told from the point of view of the filmmaker: his mother.
Boy Interrupted features an emotional orchestral score composed by Michael Bacon.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (Director-Screenwriter: John Krasinski)
When her boyfriend leaves with little explanation, a doctoral candidate in anthropology tries to remedy her heartache by interviewing men about their behavior.
Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie appears as an actor in the film.
Carmo, Hit the Road/ Spain (Director-Screenwriter: Murilo Pasta)
A lonely, handicapped smuggler and a beautiful girl embark on a reckless ride through a South American border landscape.
Carmo, Hit the Road features internationally renowned recording artist Seu Jorge as an actor in the film.
The Carter(Director: Adam Bhala Lough)
An in-depth, intimate look at the artist Dwayne "Lil' Wayne" Carter Jr, proclaimed by many as the "greatest rapper alive."
Capping off the recent announcement of his eight Grammy award nominations, the much-buzzed-about new documentary by Adam Lough centers around rapper Lil’ Wayne.
Children of Invention (Director and Screenwriter: Tze Chun)
Two young children are left to fend for themselves when their mother is arrested for unwittingly taking part in an illegal pyramid scheme.
T. Griffin, who was a Sundance '08 composer lab fellow, scored the film. He previously scored the award-winning documentary "A Walk Into The Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory."
Dare(Director: Adam Salky; Screenwriter: David Brind)
Three very different teenagers discover that, even in the safe world of a suburban prep school, no one is who she or he appears.
Dare was scored by Duncan Sheik, noted most recently for his show Spring Awakening, and David Poe. Both successful in their own right, Sheik and Poe worked together to create some very memorable music for the film. They are both members of the band “The I Love You.”
Earth Days(Director: Robert Stone)
The history of our environmental undoing through the eyes of nine Americans whose work and actions launched the modern environmental movement.
Earth Days is scored by composer Michael Giacchino who recently composed the scores for Ratatouille and the upcoming Star Trek film.
Endgame / UK (Director: Pete Travis; Screenwriter: Paula Milne)
A political thriller in which a businessman initiates covert discussions between the African National Congress and white intellectuals to try and find a peaceful solution to the Apartheid regime.
Scored by David Julyan whose past work includes Memento and The Prestige.
Everything Strange and New(Director and Screenwriter: Frazer Bradshaw)
Trapped by a life he never intended, a man struggles to navigate family, sexuality and drug addiction.
Everything Strange and New is scored by Ken Sparling of Lost in Translation and last year's Ballast.
The Glass House (Director: Hamid Rahmanian)
The Glass House follows four teenage girls striving to overcome drug addiction, abandonment and abuse by attending a rehabilitation center in Tehran.
Two of the teenage girls in the film find an outlet for their struggles through rapping in Farsi. Their songs are featured prominently in the film.
HUG(Director: Khary Jones)
Drew is a musician with a contract ready to sign. When Asa, his friend and manager, realizes Drew is off his meds the across-town drive to sign the contract becomes significantly more complicated.
Featuring music by Derick “Drop” Braxton.
It Might Get Loud(Director: Davis Guggenheim)
The history of the electric guitar from the point of view of three legendary rock musicians.
The film focuses on Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White examining how they have used the electric guitar to carve out their own unique sounds.
Lulu and Jim (Lulu und Jimi/Germany (Director: Oskar Roehler)
Bright, garish colors, rock 'n' roll and wild dance numbers mark this road movie about lovers fleeing from the evil powers of a 1950s deeply bigoted German society.
Moon /UK (Director: Duncan Jones; Screenwriter: Nathan Parker)—Before returning to Earth after three years on the moon, things go horribly wrong for astronaut Sam Bell.
Moon features a soundtrack by Clint Mansell from Pop Will Eat Itself.
Once More with Feeling (Director: Jeff Lipsky; Screenwriter: Gina O'Brien)
A comedy about a psychiatrist who undergoes a midlife crisis and pursues his long-lost ambition of becoming a singer through karaoke with Chazz Palminteri and Drea de Matteo.
Out of Our Minds(Director:Tony Stone; Screenwriters: Melissa Auf der Maur,Tony Stone)
A fantasy world spawned from sound. Three time periods and three narratives, one connection-blood. At the center of this life force is the heart.
Out of Our Minds was co-written and stars former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur.
Paper Heart (Director: Nicholas Jasenovec; Screenwriters: Nicholas Jasenovec and Charlyne Yi)
Even though performer Charlyne Yi doesn't believe in love, she bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true nature - a journey that takes on surprising urgency when she meets unlikely fellow traveler, actor Michael Cera.
Charlene Yi and Michael Cera wrote and perform some of the pivotal songs featured in the film.
Passing Strange (Director: Spike Lee; Lyrics: Stew; Music: Stew and Heidi Rodewald)
A musical documentary about the international exploits of a young man from Los Angeles who leaves home to find himself and 'the real'. A theatrical stage production of the original Tony-Award winning book by Stew.
An amazing Sundance Institute success story, writer/composer Stew took Passing Strange through two consecutive theater labs with the Sundance Institute before launching what is now the hugely successful Broadway show. Stew will be performing Sunday, January 18.
Pomegranates and Myrrh (Al Mor wa al Rumman)/ Palestinian Territories (Director and Screenwriter: Najwa Najjar)
The wife of a Palestinian prisoner searches for freedom.
Grammy Nominated composer Mychael Danna is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival winning much acclaim for his score for the films Little Miss Sunshine, Capote, and now Pomegranates and Myrrh
Push (Director: Lee Daniels; Screenwriter: Damien Paul)
Based on the acclaimed best-selling novel by Sapphire, the film is the redemptive story of Precious Jones, a girl in Harlem struggling to overcome tremendous obstacles and discover her own voice.
Push features Mariah Carrey and Lenny Kravitz as actors in the film.
Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech (Director: Liz Garbus)
An exploration of the history and current state of free speech in America narrated by the filmmaker's father, First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus.
Shouting Fire is scored by Miriam Cutler who also composed the music for lauded documentary Lost in Lamancha.
Stay the Same Never Change(Director: Laurel Nakadate)
A mix of visual fact and narrative fiction starring a group of amateur actors in Kansas City. Whether it's a family man looking for beauty or a young woman obsessed with polar bears and Oprah, the characters in this humorous film reveal quiet lives full of sadness and desire.
Stay the Same Never Change was scored by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone a well known synth-rock project that has built a strong underground following.
Stingray Sam (Director: Cory McAbee)
Cory McAbee is a well-known Sundance alumnus having written and directed The American Astronaut, which screened in the Dramatic Competition of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. This year's film Stingray Sam presented at New Frontier on Main reunites Stingray Sam (McAbee's alter ego) on a dangerous mission with his long lost accomplice, The Quasar Kid. Follow these two space-convicts as they earn their freedom in exchange for the rescue of a young girl who is being held captive by the genetically designed figurehead of a very wealthy planet. Featuring music by American Astronaut and narrated by David Hyde Pierce, this musical space-western is a -six part mini series designed for screens of all sizes.
Toe to Toe (Director-Screenwriter: Emily Abt)
The story of an interracial friendship put to the test by the intense pressures of a competitive Washington prep school in DC.
Toe to Toe’s eclectic soundtrack is filled with Indie Rock, Hip Hop, and many burgeoning Go Go artists such as Anwan Glover and The Backyard Band, The Total Control Band, Tabi Bonney, and Thievery Corporation. Go-Go music is a bass-heavy, funky variation of hip-hop originated in the 1970's by Chuck Brown. Over the last 40 years Go-Go has evolved while maintaining popularity throughout the DC area as highlighted in the film.
Tibet in Song (Director: Ngawang Choephel)
Through music, this film depicts the determined efforts of Tibetan people, both in Tibet and in exile, to preserve their unique cultural identity.
Director and Sundance Institute Lab Fellow Ngawang Choephel served six years of an 18-year prison sentence for filming in Tibet but never lost his determination to finish the film.
Unmade Beds/ U.K. (Director-Screenwriter: Alexis Dos Santos)
Two young foreigners find romance in the vibrant, artistic underground of London's East End.
With arguably the most eclectic and subversive underground soundtrack in the festival, Unmade Beds brings a unique sound to filmgoers. Unmade Beds features songs by Kimya Dawson, Jeffrey Lewis, Daniel Johnston, Tindersticks, and many other talented and idiosyncratic musicians.
When You’re Strange
(Director: Tom DiCillo)
The first feature documentary about The Doors enters the dark and dangerous world of one of America's most influential bands, using only footage shot between 1966 and 1971.
2009 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors
The 2009 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors help sustain not only the Festival but also the year-round programs of the non-profit Sundance Institute. Their support is crucial to the Institute's mission of nurturing independent artists, inspiring risk-taking, and encouraging diversity in the arts. This year's Festival Sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors - Entertainment Weekly, HP and Honda; Leadership Sponsors - American Express, Delta Air Lines, DIRECTV, Google, Microsoft Corporation and; Sustaining Sponsors - Blockbuster Inc., the National Milk Mustache "got milk?"® Campaign, Le Tourment Vert Absinthe Francaise, L’Oréal Paris, The New York Times, Ray-Ban, Sony Electronics, Inc., Stella Artois®, Timberland, and Utah Film Commission. Sundance Channel is the Official Television Network of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting 120 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in seven distinct categories, and 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water and Central Station.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don't Cry and Born into Brothels.