“Joonam” Sets World Premiere In U.S. Documentary Competition

Sundance 2023 Documentary Joonam Sets World Premiere“Joonam”, the documentary from director, editor, cinematographer Sierra Urich is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Urich is a Persian-American interdisciplinary visual artist and filmmaker based in Vermont. The film features Behjat Samimi, Mitra Samimi-Urich, and Sierra Urich.

Named for a Farsi term of endearment, Joonam is infused with humor and heart like only a film about family could be.

Official film synopsis:
Spurred by a provocative family memory and a lifetime of separation from the country her mother left behind, a young filmmaker delves into her mother and grandmother’s complicated pasts, and her own fractured Iranian identity.

For screening times, go to programs list at festival.sundance.org.

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“The Unsettling” Trailer Debut And Release Date Announced

The Unsettling Trailer Debut And Release Date AnnouncedDark Sky Films is set to bring the release of thriller film “The Unsettling” to theaters and VOD/digital on February 10th.

Written and directed by Harry Owens, the film stars Zephani Idoko, Bambadjan Bamba, Libby Munro, Benedikt Sebastian, Chloë Caro, Rojawn Khoshnam.

The film tells the story of Abena and Kwame, a Ghanaian couple, whho are struggling to recover from a devastating tragedy. They travel to Los Angeles for a vacation that they hope will help them find their way back to one another.

Instead, during an awkward dinner with estranged friends, Vivian and Anthony, Abena is increasingly terrorized by an evil possessing the house. The house that was meant to provide refuge slowly stalks her, consuming her sorrow and trapping her in a nightmare. As her terror grows, it ultimately engulfs all four with horrifying consequences.

See the trailer below for “The Unsettling”.

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Sundance to honor Luca Guadagnino with International Icon Award

Sundance to honor Luca Guadagnino with International Icon AwardToday the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced that Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Luca Guadagnino will receive the International Icon Award at Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance presented by IMDbPro on January 19 in Park City. Guadagnino will join previously announced honorees of the evening, Ryan Coogler, W. Kamau Bell, and Nikyatu Jusu. The 2023 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 19–29, 2023, in person in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Resort, along with a selection of films available online across the country January 24–29, 2023.

The Award recognizes an international auteur who creates distinctive cinematic universes and has made a lasting impact on filmmaking, most notably through a commitment to storytelling and an unwavering creative vision. Guadagnino is the writer, director, and producer of several celebrated films who most recently directed Bones and All. He has strong roots in the Sundance community going back over a decade.

He made his Sundance debut at the 2010 Festival with his film I Am Love, which he wrote, directed, and produced. In 2017, Guadagnino made his return to the Festival with the premiere of his Academy Award-winning film, Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothée Chalamet. Guadagnino also produced the documentary The Truffle Hunters, which played at the Festival in 2020. He has won and been nominated for several awards, including Venice Film Festival, Golden Lion BAFTA Award for Best Direction, and Nastro d’Argento for Best Director.
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Dark Sky’s Sci-Fi Thriller “Landlocked” Sets Release

Dark Sky Sci-Fi Thriller Landlocked Sets ReleaseDirected by Paul Owens, “Landlocked” is set for release in select theaters, VOD and digital platforms on January 6, 2023.

The sci-fi thriller is the directorial debut of Owens, who also served as writer and producer.

The film incorporates actual found footage in the form of childhood home movies, and features a cast of real life family members playing fictionalized versions of themselves.

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

Summoned to his soon-to-be demolished childhood home, Mason discovers an old VHS camera that can see into the past, driving him to record as many memories as possible before the doomed house is destroyed. Utilizing the director’s own home movies, filming in the actual locations where he spent his youth and casting real-life family members to play fictionalized versions of themselves, LandLocked combines narrative and documentary with horror and sci-fi to create a movie unlike any other…

Taking ten years to complete, LANDLOCKED is the feature directorial debut of Paul Owens. Owens creatively incorporates actual footage in the form of childhood home movies and delivered a unique film that has been adored adored by critics on the festival circuit. Hailed as, “…one of the most intriguing films to come out of Nightstream 2021” by the Daily Dead and a “remarkable lo-fi creeper…” by Fangoria, LANDLOCKED is among the many highly anticipated genre releases of 2023.

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Festival Hit “Night Of The Bastard” Release Date And Trailer Released

Night Of The Bastard Release Date And Trailer ReleasedDark Sky is set to release the festival fan favorite “Night of the Bastard” on January 13th, 2023.

The savage cultist siege film is directed by Erik Boccio (Funny or Die’s Weirdfellas, Brutal Realty, Inc. Blood Bath) and starring London May (The Dark Knight Rises, Verotika).

Also in the horror thriller are Mya Hudson (A Wall Away, upcoming F*ck, Kill Mary), Hannah Pierce (Flock of Dudes, The Hunted), Henry Mortensen (Crimson Tide)

“Night of the Bastard” is set for releasee to select theaters, digital & VOD on January 13, 2023.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

Disgruntled hermit Reed lives a solitary life in the desert. After chasing away a group of youths trying to party near his home, Reed’s peaceful life is violently upheaved when a goup of savage cultists lay siege to his house.

Forced to partner up with one of the party-goers, Reed and his newfound colleague must defend themselves into the night, all while long-buried and disturbing secrets are revealed to him as part of the cult’s evil plan.

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Oscar Contender “Hidden Letters” Sets US Release

Oscar Contender Hidden Letters Release SetOscar contender “Hidden Letters” is set to open this Friday, December 9 in select U.S. theaters.

The film is directed by Violet Du Feng and Zhao Qin.

Spanning between past and present, Hidden Letters follows two millennial Chinese women who are connected by their fascination with a secret language of sisterhood, and their desire to protect it against a perpetually patriarchal society.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
For centuries in China, the once-secret written language of Nüshu was calligraphed on folded fans and handkerchiefs as hidden letters so women could share stories and express solidarity in a repressive era when many women were denied literacy. Confronting patriarchy, two modern women find solace in Nüshu, rediscovering connections between traditional Chinese womanhood and contemporary feminism.

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“I Didn’t See You There” Acclaimed Docu Debuts Jan. 9 On POV

I Didn't See You There Debuts Jan 9Gotham & Independent Spirit Award nominee and Sundance winner, “I Didn’t See You There” documentary from director Reid Davenport, is set to debut on Jan. 9 on POV.

The award-winning documentary feature will have its national broadcast premiere on PBS television series POV on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 10:00 pmET (check local listings) and will be available to stream with no PBS Passport membership necessary until February 9, 2023 at pbs.org, and the PBS Video app.

Shot entirely from the filmmaker’s literal physical perspective, both from his wheelchair and his two feet, I Didn’t See You There is a groundbreaking work of documentary cinema by first-time feature director Reid Davenport.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
As a visibly disabled person, filmmaker Reid Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world, from either his wheelchair or his two feet, without having to be seen himself. The unexpected arrival of a circus tent outside his apartment in Oakland, CA leads him to consider the history and legacy of P.T. Barnum’s Freak Show and its lingering presence in his daily life in the form of gawking, lack of access, and other forms of ableism. Informed by his position in space, lower to the ground, Davenport captures indelible images, often abstracted into shapes and patterns separate from their meaning. But the circus tent looms in the background, and is reverberated by tangible on-screen interruptions, from unsolicited offers of help to careless blocking of ramps. Personal and unflinching, I Didn’t See You There forces the viewer to confront the spectacle and invisibility of disability. Offering both a perspective and stylistic approach that are rarely seen, Reid brings an urgently needed storytelling eye to filmmaking with a documentary that is powerful and emotional, thoughtful and raw, intimate and political.

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“Everything Everywhere All at Once” Lead Independent Spirit Awards Film Nominations

A24 Films

The film categories of 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations were revealed on Tuesday morning, Nov, 22, 2022.

“Everything, Everywhere All At Once” leads the list with 8 nominations. “TAR” followed closely with 7 nominations, while “Aftersun” and “Women Talking” received 5 and 4 nominations respectively.

For the acting categories, the nominees were Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Mia Goth (Pearl), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Cate Blanchett (TÁR), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Taylor Russell (Bones And All), Dale Dickey (A Love Song), Regina Hall (Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.), and Aubrey Plaza (Emily The Criminal).

This year, the awards ceremony will use gender-neutral acting categories in lead and supporting across film and television.

“We’re thrilled to join the other festivals and award shows that are already moving to celebrate great acting without reference to gender. We’re also happy to welcome non-binary performers into the Spirit Awards without forcing them to choose to identify as male or female,” Film Independent president Josh Welsh said at the time.

For a full list of nominees, go to filmindependent.org.

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Zac Locke’s “#FLOAT” Comes To Digital and VOD 12/9 from XYZ Films

Zac Locke FLOAT Comes To Digital and VODA survivor horror film about a lazy river trip gone wrong, #FLOAT is the directorial debut of writer-director Zac Locke.

The horror film from XYZ Films is set for release in VOD and digital platforms on December 9, 2022.

#FLOAT skillfully plays on classic tropes of ’80s slasher films – beautiful young, selfish people blithely ignore warnings about the dangers awaiting them and then get gruesomely killed off – while employing a modern sensibility.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Young, beautiful and full of life, vlogger Kali and her friends are heading to the river for their annual float, but it’s the first time since their friend overdosed and drowned last year. Their partying turns deadly as a sinister paranormal force plunges them into a life and death struggle forcing them to face their own fears as they turn on each other – and proceed to die one by one.

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“I Am DB Cooper” Sets Release In Theaters And On-Demand

I Am DB CooperThe documentary “I Am DB Cooper”, directed by TJ Regan, has set its release on December 9th, 2022 in theaters and on demand.

In the documentary, two bounty hunter brothers encounter an ailing old man named Rodney Bonnifield while coordinating his bail after a violent encounter on a dairy farm involving a machete.

Close to his sentencing, he reveals to the bondsmen that he is in fact the infamous DB Cooper, the man responsible for the 1971 plane hijacking in the Pacific Northwest, and the ransom cash is still buried along the Columbia River.

Up against the clock with Rodney’s prison sentence looming, the group sets out on a modern-day treasure hunt to recover the money he buried near the river 50 years ago, uncovering bizarre truths about Rodney Bonnifield and his connection to the only unsolved plane hijacking in U.S. history.

A Slow Grind Media production, the film is co-written by Regan and Sharmila Sahni. Produced by Regan, Sahni, Corey Molina, and John Miller, and executive produced by Regan, Isaiah Thomas, Mike Rocha, and Carlos Rocha.

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