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SUNDANCE NOW: SEPTEMBER FILMSSUNDANCE NOW
SEPTEMBER FILMS
By Sammi Turano

September 1
 
The Company (2007) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
Real-life figures from the Cold War era mix with a fictional story based on a group of CIA operatives and their counterparts in the KGB, MI6, and the Mossad.
• Director: Mikael Salomon
• Cast: Chris O’Donnell, Alfred Molina, Michael Keaton, Rory Cochrane, Alessandro Nivola
• Awards: Golden Globe (nominee), Primetime Emmy Awards, Writers Guild
 
September 5
 
Paydirt (1981) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
A based-on-a-true-story crime thriller full of verve and looming ironies. In an iridescent Garden of Eden in Oregon’s wine country, ex-hippie would-be vintners work hard and live well, making their profit off of cash crop marijuana. When violent gangsters invade, the growers organize and fight back for their land, and the resulting action marries comedy to social commentary via prima photography.
• Director: Penny Allen
• Cast: Eric Silverstein, Lola Desmond, Daniel Odell, Melody Bates
 
Property (1979) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
Allen’s Sundance-winning first feature concerns a group of likable marginals and eccentrics (artists, gays, blacks, a dwarf clown, an ex-con and his sometime-hooker girlfriend, etc.) in a quixotic quest to buy up their block from developers, only to then wrestle with the financial regularity that most of them naturally reject. A light-hearted, affectionate, and unsentimental film set in the afterglow of the counterculture makes an emotionally valid case for the necessity of society honoring its outsiders.
• Director: Penny Allen
• Cast: Walt Curtis, Lola Desmond, Nathaniel Haynes, Christopher Hershey
• Awards: (the first) Sundance Film Festival
 
Shifty (2008) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
Shifty, a young crack cocaine dealer in London, sees his life quickly spiral out of control when his best friend returns home. Stalked by a customer desperate to score at all costs, and with his family about to turn their back on him for good, Shifty must outrun and outsmart a rival drug dealer, intent on setting him up for a big fall. As his longtime friend Chris, confronts the dark past he left behind him, Shifty is forced to face up to the violent future he's hurtling towards.
• Director: Eran Creevy
• Cast: Riz Ahmed, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng, Nitin Ganatra
• Awards: BAFTA (nominee), Geneva International Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival
• Promotional Angle: Riz Ahmed’s first (feature) starring role; never available on SVOD
 
September 7
New Collection: Spies Like Us
 
The Crimson Petal & The White (2011) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
Based on Michel Faber’s international bestseller. Enter a Victorian England you’ve never seen: gritty, dark, and unsettling. Follow the fortunes of Sugar, a notorious prostitute who longs for a better life. Sexually adept, ambitious, and clever, she casts a spell on William Rackham, feckless heir to a perfume business and husband to a wife slipping slowly into insanity. As their lives intertwine, events are set in motion that will change them forever.
• Director: Marc Munden
• Cast: Romola Garai, Chris O’Dowd, Amanda Hale, Shirley Henderson
• Awards: BAFTA
 
Fingersmith (2005)
Susan "Sue" Trinder is a fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives in the slums of London with a baby farmer (person who looks after unwanted babies) Mrs.Sucksby. When a once rich man, who gambled all his money away, presents them with a scam that has a payout of 40,000 pounds, Sue signs on to swindle rich Maud Lilly. Maud is an orphan who lives with her uncle, but what exactly is going on in the Lilly house? Sue will pose as Maud's maid so that Mr. Rivers (the gentleman) can get close to and eventually marry her. Their plan is to put Maud in the madhouse and take the money for themselves. All goes astray though when Sue falls in love with Maud. And the question is: Who can you trust?
• Director: Aisling Walsh
• Cast: Sally Hawkins, Imelda Staunton, Rupert Evans, Charles Dance, Stephen Wright, Elaine Cassidy, Polly Hemingway
• Awards: BAFTA (nominee)
• Promotional Angle: Sally Hawkins (The Shape Of Water releases 12/8); Rupert Evans (The Man In The High Castle Season 3 expected to release fourth quarter 2017)
 
September 11
 
Art & Craft (2014) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
When one of the most prolific art forgers in US history is finally exposed, he must confront the legacy of his 30-year con.
• Director: Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman
• Cast: Mark Landis, Lester Sullivan, Irwin Lakov
• Awards: Cinema Eye Honors, National Board of Review
 
I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (2014) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
On the first day of shooting, James Franco, David Shields and Caleb Powell throw out the script when a real life argument breaks out between the three of them about what can and can't be used in the film. Shields and Franco browbeat Powell to sacrifice everything for the sake of the film; Powell threatens to leave; Shields feels guilty about betraying Powell and Franco hopes for all this to be resolve and focus in the film. A debate, nearly to the death, about life and art.
• Director: James Franco
• Cast: James Franco, Caleb Powell, David Shields
• Promotional Angle: James Franco (The Deuce premieres 9/10 + The Disaster Artist releases 12/8)
 
Late For My Mother’s Funeral (2013) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
The intimate portrait of a Moroccan family in Algeria left adrift following the death of their mother Zineb, a towering force and a notorious smuggler. One after the other her offspring don her dress and portray her, resulting in a storm front of conflicted feelings. Bringing to life cross-border identities, the film finds its space between the past and the present, fiction and documentary, Paris and the Maghreb, grief and playfulness, while always inhabited by the presence of the deceased.
• Director: Penny Allen
• Cast: Abdeljalil Zouhri, Samira Zouhri, Souaad Zouhri
 
September 12
 
Pickle (2016) - SUNDANCE NOW SHORTS  
An ode to man's capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted existence until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate demise.
• Director: Amy Nicholson
• Awards: Full Frame, Sidewalk Film Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest
 
September 14
 
Riviera - Season 1 (2017) - A SUNDANCE NOW ORIGINAL   
After newlywed Georgina's billionaire husband Constantine is killed in a yacht explosion, she is shocked to discover the fortune and lifestyle he maintained was surrounded by violence, lies, secrets and murder. She soon must step out of her comfort zone to protect the family and herself.
• Creator: Neil Jordan, based on an idea by Paul McGuinness
• Director: Hans Herbots, Philipp Kadelbach, Damon Thomas, Adrian Lester, Paul Walker
• Cast: Julia Stiles, Lena Olin, Adrian Lester, Iwan Rheon
• Promotional Angle: THE BIG SUNDANCE NOW SERIES
 
September 18
 
Charlie’s Country (2013)
Displeased with the intervention of whitefella laws, Charlie takes off to live the old way and sets off a chain reaction of enlightening difficulties.
• Director: Rolf de Heer
• Cast: David Gulpilil, Peter Djigirr, Luke Ford
• Awards: Cannes, AACTA Awards (Australia)
 
The Eclipse (2009) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
In a seaside Irish town, a widower sparks with a visiting horror novelist while he also begins to believe he is seeing ghosts.
• Director: Conor McPherson
• Cast: Ciaran Hinds, Billy Roche, Eanna Hardwicke, Hannah Lynch, Aidan Quinn, Iben Hjejle
• Awards: Tribeca Film Festival, Sitges, Irish Film & Television Awards
• Promotional Angle: Ciaran Hinds (Justice League releases 11/17 + Woman Walks Ahead premieres at TIFF 2017)
 
Four Lions (2010)
Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.
• Director: Christopher Morris
• Cast: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis
• Awards: BAFTA, Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, San Diego Film Critics
 
The Soldier’s Tale (2007)
A deeply personal documentary about the Iraq War that takes us places no mere journalistic inquiry could go. Sergeant R. approaches director Allen on a plane headed for the U.S. carrying a laptop full of electronic memories shot by fellow soldiers—the digital “war porn” they capture on smart phones and trade like baseball cards. After the soldier mails her a CD with all his images, the two meet in a motel somewhere in the U.S. and he narrates the war for Allen—before trudging back to the battlefield.
• Director: Penny Allen
• Cast: Penny Allen
 
September 25
Guest Curator: Christopher Doyle
 
Buzzard (2014)
Paranoia forces small-time scam artist Marty to flee his hometown and hide out in a dangerous Detroit. With nothing but a pocket full of bogus checks, his Power Glove, and a bad temper, the horror metal slacker lashes out.
• Director: Joel Potrykus
• Cast: Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus, Teri Ann Nelson, Jason Roth
• Awards: Locarno, Ljubljana International Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival
 
The Double (2013)
A clerk in a government agency finds his unenviable life takes a turn for the horrific with the arrival of a new co-worker who is both his exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and seductive with women.
• Director: Richard Ayoade
• Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, J. Mascis
• Promotional Angle: Jesse Eisenberg (Justice League releases 11/17); Noah Taylor (Preacher will air through 9/11)
 
Transfatty Lives (2015) - ONLY ON SUNDANCE NOW
At 30, Patrick O'Brien was TransFatty: NYC DJ, Internet personality, filmmaker. Then he was diagnosed with ALS. Given 2-5 years to live, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. Forcefully lacking self-pity, he captures the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life as he makes art, gets political, falls in love, and fathers a son.
• Director: Patrick O’Brien
• Cast: Patrick O’Brien, Michele Dupree, Darin Hallinan, Steve Saling
• Awards: Tribeca Film Festival
 
September 28
 
Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled, Preoccupied, Preposterous (2015) - A SUNDANCE NOW EXCLUSIVE
A story of Hong Kong told by three generations of real people: 'preschooled' children, 'preoccupied' young people, and 'preposterous' senior citizens.
• Director: Christopher Doyle
• Cast: Pui Kit Chung, Kevin Lau, Ching Man Lip
• Promotional Angle: Filmmaker Christopher Doyle is available for interviews; Metrograph in New York will be giving the film a theatrical release starting September 22

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