A ‘Triple A,’ more diverse Sundance Film Festival
Premieres include Canadian documentary Anthropocene and a making-of doc about Alien
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival will take moviegoers from the Earth to the moon and to the deepest part of space where no one can hear you scream.
Robert Redford’s annual independent film showcase in Park City, Utah, running Jan. 24 to Feb. 3, could be called a “Triple A” event for three of its most anticipated offerings: the Canadian-made environmental exposé Anthropocene, a 50th-anniversary revisiting of the Apollo 11 lunar achievement and a making-of documentary on the horror classic Alien.
They’re among the 112 features announced this week for Sundance, which has gathered films from 33 countries representing what is quite likely the fest’s most diverse slate ever: An image from the Canadian documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, showing a stack of elephant tusks set ablaze. 40 per cent of the films were directed by women; 36 per cent by filmmakers of colour and 11 per cent by people who identify as LGBTQ.
“Society relies on storytellers,” Redford said in a news release. “The choices they make, and the risks they take, define our collective experience.
“This year’s festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.”
Sundance 2019 will host the international premiere of Memory: The Origins of Alien will examine the influential 1979 sci-fi horror film starring Sigourney Weaver.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, the acclaimed Canadian environmental documentary by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, which magnificently depicts the almost artful devastation being wrought on the planet by rapacious humans. (The other Canadian feature Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin suits up in Apollo 11, a 50th anniversary documentary headed to Sundance 2019.
headed for Sundance, the coproduction Midnight Traveler by Hassan Fazili that will world premiere there, documents the suffering of an Afghan filmmaker and his family through Taliban persecution.)