At 3:59 pm this afternoon, one of my colleagues yelled out, "Sundance is up." Four of us, sitting in a row, frantically turned to IndieWire, where, although momentarily distracted by the fact that the photo of Howl shows the guy who plays Tripp on Gossip Girl, I perused the line-up in the Competitions of one of the world's most important film festivals. Altogether, a very strong program of lots of non-fiction and narrative indie heavyweights. However, we at IFP are most delighted to see our own alumni make such a strong showing in the line-up.
According to Rose Vincelli, IFP Program Manager and one of our master archivists, they are the following:
In the US Dramatic Competition, Blue Valentine, (Director: Derek Cianfrance; Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis) won our 2006 Chrysler Prize and was previously a 2003 No Borders selection. The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, (Director and screenwriter: Zeina Durra; Producer: Vanessa Hope) is our first IFP Narrative Independent Filmmaker Lab alumni (2009) to be in Sundance competition. While Howl (Directors: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; Screenwriters: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman)—which apparently features the guy who plays Tripp on Gossip Girl and, more importantly, James Franco - was a No Borders selection in 2008. Also in this competition is Night Catches Us, produced by Jason Orans, one of our two producers selected to attend the Rotterdam Lab this year.
In the US Documentary Competition, we have My Perestroika, (Director: Robin Hessman), which won the IFP/Anthony Radziwill documentary development grant in 2005, and
The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras), a selection of Spotlight on Docs in 2008. Finally, A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold), was in Spotlight on Docs this past September.
Indcidentally, 19% of the Sundance US Competition are IFP alumni. Congrats to them all!