A ‘Triple A,’ more di­verse Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val

Pre­mieres in­clude Cana­dian doc­u­men­tary An­thro­pocene and a mak­ing-of doc about Alien

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - Peter How­ell COUR­TESY OF SUN­DANCE IN­STI­TUTE

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.)

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