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Sundance London 2018: Hereditary and Yardie among line-up


Preview by Jack Foley

HORROR hit Hereditary and Idris Elba’s Yardie are two of the films that have been announced as part of this year’s Sundance London – the UK leg of the Sundance Film Festival.

Hereditary became something of a horror sensation at this year’s event in Utah. It stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne as a couple who, after their reclusive grandmother passes away, attempt to escape the dark fate they’ve inherited.

Yardie, meanwhile, is set in Jamaica, 1973. When a young boy witnesses his brother’s assassination, a powerful Don gives him a home. Ten years later he is sent on a mission to London, where he reunites with his girlfriend and their daughter… until the past catches up with them.

The film is based on Victor Headley’s novel and directed by Idris Elba.

Taking place from May 31 until June 3 at Picturehouse Central, general ticket sales open at 9.30am on Monday, April 30, with priority booking for Picturehouse Members opening on 9.30am on Monday, April 23.

All in all, this year’s festival will present 12 feature films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, selected for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse.

The festival will open with the UK premiere of Jennifer Fox’s The Tale, starring Laura Dern and Elizabeth Debicki, which paves the way for a weekend of bold female-focused stories.

The festival will close four days later with the UK premiere of Leave No Trace, Debra Granik’s highly anticipated follow-up to the Academy Award®-nominated Winter’s Bone.

Amid the film industry’s current period of dramatic change and intense reflection, this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London will provide an exciting opportunity for the US and UK film industries to connect and discuss our past, present and future. As movements such as Time’s Up and #MeToo continue to highlight inequality in the film industry, we ask #WhatNext?

With seven out of the 12 films showcased at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London directed by women, along with a thrilling array of female leads on screen, the selection champions female voices and highlights some of the broad and excellent women-led work direct from Sundance Utah.

Among the special guests and filmmakers attending the weekend is Toni Collette, star of this year’s Time Out gala film, Hereditary, who will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

In addition to the opening film The Tale, the festival will feature the UK premiere of Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the winner of the US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at January’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah; Skate Kitchen, an original tale of female skateboarders and the narrative debut of Crystal Moselle; and Augustine Frizzel’s debut, comedy Never Goin’ Back.

Aubrey Plaza stars alongside Emile Hirsch and Jermaine Clement in Jim Hosking’s (The Greasy Strangler) comedy, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn.

The festival will also continue its tradition of supporting local British talent with the UK premiere of Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie.

The festival’s documentary features comprise Amy Adrion’s timely work, Half The Picture, which turns a critical eye on the dismal number of female directors working in Hollywood, and Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield’s follow-up to the acclaimed Queen of Versailles.

Alongside the inspiring films on offer, the festival will also celebrate the work of diverse industry pioneers with a series of panel discussions, Q&As, and special guest appearances.

In keeping with the What Next theme, the year’s special events programme will coalesce around the idea of creating a culture of inclusion for our film industry, whilst providing audiences an invaluable insight into the filmmaking process.

Major UK film funders will join Half the Picture director Amy Adrion for ‘The Big Culture Shift’ panel to examine what is next for the film industry and the steps needed to create a fairer and more inclusive film future.

Triple Threat: Three major filmmakers in conversation will see Jennifer Fox (The Tale), Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace) and Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behaviour) discuss their careers and approach to their craft, while filmmakers Jennifer Fox, Lauren Greenfield (Generation Wealth, Queen of Versailles) and Crystal Moselle (Skate Kitchen, The Wolfpack) will consider the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction filmmaking in ‘Art of the Real – the intersection between Documentary and Fiction’.

The 2018 festival continues the Sundance tradition of celebrating fresh work from both emerging and established independent filmmakers through two short film programmes, including a branch dedicated to UK shorts.

Following on from last year’s first Surprise Film, the programme will again include an unannounced screening which gives audiences an special chance to catch an audience hit from this year’s festival in Park City – last year’s choice was Patti Cake$.

Additionally, Sundance Film Festival: London 2018 will continue last year’s inaugural Audience Favourite award – which was presented to the Academy Award®-winning documentary Icarus – giving festivalgoers the opportunity to vote for their favourite features, with the winner announced at the close of the festival.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, said: “The work of independent storytellers can challenge and possibly change culture, illuminating our world’s imperfections and possibilities. The programme we’re bringing to London this year is full of artfully told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience.”

More about this year’s films…

An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (Director: Jim Hosking, Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, David Wike) – Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only’.

Principal cast: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson

UK premiere

Eighth Grade (Director/Screenwriter: Bo Burnham) – Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school.

Principal cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton

International premiere

Generation Wealth (Director: Lauren Greenfield) – Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism and greed.

Principal cast:* Florian Homm, Tiffany Masters, Jaqueline Siegel

UK premiere

Half the Picture (Director: Amy Adrion) – At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally.

Principal cast: Rosanna Arquette, Jamie Babbit, Emily Best

International premiere

Leave No Trace (Director: Debra Granik, Screenwriters: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini) – A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.

Principal cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey

UK premiere

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Director: Desiree Akhavan, Screenwriters: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele) – 1993: after being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel.

Principal cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle.

UK premiere

Never Goin’ Back (Director/Screenwriter: Augustine Frizzell) – Jessie and Angela, high school dropout BFFs, are taking a week off to chill at the beach. Too bad their house got robbed, rent’s due, they’re about to get fired and they’re broke. Now they’ve gotta avoid eviction, stay out of jail and get to the beach, no matter what!!!

Principal cast: Maia Mitchell, Cami Morrone, Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith, Matthew Holcomb

International premiere

Skate Kitchen (Director: Crystal Moselle, Screenwriters: Crystal Moselle, Ashlihan Unaldi) – Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.

Principal cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Kabrina Adams

UK premiere

The Tale (Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Fox) – An investigation into one woman’s memory as she’s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story.

Principal cast: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common

UK premiere

SURPRISE FILM! – Following on from last year’s first ever surprise film, the hit rap story Patti Cake$, Sundance Film Festival: London will again feature a surprise showing. We can’t reveal any details, but it was a favourite among audiences in Utah, and with just one screening this will be among the hottest of the hot tickets. The title will be revealed only when the opening credits roll. Don’t miss out.