Sundance Film Festival Coverage Begins Today!

It’s that time of year again. The Sundance Film Festival is upon us, and of course, The Sundance Channel has exclusive “Festival Dailies” coverage of the events as well as plenty of movies, documentaries and shorts.For a channel lineup of airings, plus a skiing adventure with founder Robert Redford,ski ahead…

If you like thought provoking film, then you’ll love the Sundance Channel. Loyal readers will no doubt remember my positive review and coverage of their excellent The Staircase criminal trial documentary series. That show was expertly crafted and shot and I’m sure that what they have lined up is just as interesting and provocative.Lineup of Airings for January 20th through the 29th -JANUARY 20: 9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTThree Seasons (Sundance Channel Premiere) – Directed by Tony Bui. The first American film to be shot in Vietnam since the end of the U.S. embargo, Bui’s award-winning debut is a ravishing ode to his native country (Bui was two when he left the country with his parents). Set in Saigon, the film reveals a culture in transition as it follows the interwoven paths of several characters, including a young woman (Nguyen Ngoc Hiep) who sells lotus flowers; a cyclo driver (Don Duong) and the prostitute (Zoe Bui) he sometimes chauffeurs; a young boy (Nguyen Huu Duoc) who ekes out a living as a street peddler; and an ex-G.I. (Harvey Keitel) hoping to find the daughter he fathered during the war. Winner of three awards at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, including Grand Jury Prize, Cinematography Award and Audience Award/Dramatic. 11:15pm ET/PTVictoria Para Chino (Television Premiere) – Directed by Cary *censored*anaga. A journey inside utter terror, this dramatic short is based on the true story of over 80 undocumented immigrants smuggled across the Mexican border inside an unventilated truck trailer. Honorable Mention in Short Filmmaking at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. JANUARY 21: 9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTThe Singing Detective – Directed by Keith Gordon. Robert Downey Jr. stars in this new version of the late Dennis Potter’s classic Freudian musical mystery. Potter wrote the screenplay shortly before his death, choosing America as the new setting for his tale of a pulp novelist (Downey) wrestling with a debilitating illness and a troubled past. Screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. 11:20pm ET/PTThe Act – Directed by Susan Kraker, Pi Ware. Debra Jo Rupp (“That 70s Show”) stars as Rosy Marconi, a comedian whose standup act conceals a surprising secret. Screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. JANUARY 22: 9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTThe Talent Given Us (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Andrew Wagner. Truth and fiction blur in unexpected ways in this sharp comedy/drama which stars the filmmaker’s parents, Judy and Alan Wagner, as an aging New York couple named Judy and Alan Wagner. Family history comes in for an airing as the Wagners drive across country with their two adult daughters, who play themselves. Their destination: the home of their filmmaker son, Andrew. Screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. 11:15pm ET/PTThe Youth in Us – Directed by Joshua Leonard. Lukas Haas (Last Days) and Kelli Garner (Thumbsucker) star as young lovers who confront the future by looking to the past. Screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. JANUARY 23: 9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTSuper Size Me – Directed by Morgan Spurlock. By turns hilarious and hair-raising, Spurlock’s hit documentary chronicles the thirty days he spent eating three meals a day (or more) at McDonalds. While tracking the filmmaker’s progress – or decline, as the case may be – the film offers loads of intriguing information about our fast food nation. Winner of the Director’s Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival; 2005 Academy® Award nominee for Best Documentary. 11:15pm ET/PT2 + 2 – Directed by Clayton Hemmert, Benita Raphan. A fascinating portrait of Nobel Prize winner John F. Nash, Jr., who was the subject of A Beautiful Mind. Screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Airs at 11:15pm.JANUARY 24:9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTManito (Sundance Channel Premiere) – Directed by Eric Eason. Filmed on location in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan and starring a largely nonprofessional cast, this heartfelt slice-of-life drama follows two brothers and their extended family during a pivotal 48 hour period. Junior Moreno (Franky G.) is a charming but volatile ex-con determined to stay on the straight-and-narrow. Like all the Morenos, Junior highest hopes are pinned on his younger brother Manny (Leo Minaya), an honors student soon to become the first in the family to attend college. Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Performance at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. 10:50pm ET/PTD.E.B.S. – Directed by Angela Robinson. Four cute prep school girls make up a clique … of kick-ass crime-fighters! Screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Airs at 10:50pm. JANUARY 25: 9:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTPolice Beat (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Robinson Devor. Devor creates a dreamlike world around Z (charismatic newcomer Pape Sidy Niang), a West African immigrant who is a bicycle cop in Seattle. As Z patrols the city’s green and urban spaces, his thoughts turn often to his girlfriend, who is on a camping trip with another man. The screenplay’s co-writer is Zimbabwe-born journalist Charles Mudede, whose “Police Beat” column for a Seattle weekly inspired many of the incidents depicted in the film. Screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. 11:00pm ET/PTSangam – Directed by Prashant Bhargava. A newly arrived Indian émigré crosses paths with a disillusioned Indian-American on a New York subway train. Screened at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. JANUARY 269:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTFace (U.S. Television Premiere) – Directed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan. Moving between late 1970s Queens and contemporary New York, this exceptionally well-acted drama follows the conflicts that play out among three generations of Chinese/American mothers and daughters. Ling Bai (The Beautiful Country) stars as Kim, whose hopes for a career are dashed when she becomes pregnant and is forced to marry. But Kim cannot abide life in a terrible marriage and flees, leaving her infant daughter with her ultra-traditional mother (Kieu Chinh, The Joy Luck Club). Years later, Kim’s desire for personal fulfillment will be mirrored by the daughter (Kristy Wu, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) she left behind. Screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. 11:00pm ET/PTSlo-Mo – Directed by John Krokidas. A man wakes up to discover that all of New York City is moving at hyper-speed … except for him. Screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. JANUARY 279:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTPieces of April – Directed by Peter Hedges. Screenwriter Hedges (About a Boy, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) makes his directorial debut with this moving comedy about a family misfit (Katie Holmes) who invites her estranged clan to her cramped New York apartment for Thanksgiving. Holmes’ April has no clue about cooking a turkey (or anything else), but the holiday may be her last chance to make peace with her formidable, cancer-stricken mother (Patricia Clarkson, in an Academy Award®-nominated performance). The supporting cast includes Derek Luke (Friday Night Lights), Oliver Platt (Kinsey) and Sean Hayes (“Will and Grace”). Screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. 10:50pm ET/PTParking – Directed by Bill Plympton. A parking lot attendant battles a tenacious blade of grass in this typically twisted tale from animator Plympton. JANUARY 289:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTPi – Directed by Darren Aronofsky. Aronfsky’s award-winning debut is a study of genius, obsession, and madness. A reclusive mathematician (Sean Gullette) begins a downward spiral when his work on chaos theory attracts the competing attentions of Wall Street brokers and Kabbalist scholars. Winner of the Director’s Award, Dramatic at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. 11:00pm ET/PTRyan – Directed by Chris Landreth. With imagination and empathy, Landreth animates a conversation between himself and Ryan Larkin, a brilliant Canadian animator brought low by emotional demons and substance abuse. Honorable Mention in Short Filmmaking at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival; 2005 Academy® Award winner for Best Animated Short. JANUARY 299:00pm ET/PT“Festival Dailies” (Original Program) – A half-hour report from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, produced onsite in Park City, Utah. 9:30pm ET/PTIt’s All About Love – Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Vinterberg, co-creator of the austere Dogme protocols, embraces lush artifice with his first English-language feature, a romantic thriller set in a dystopian future. Claire Danes is a celebrity figure skater and Joaquin Phoenix is her estranged husband; a meeting to finalize their divorce turns into a wild chase as the couple realizes that Danes’ inner circle is plotting against her. With Sean Penn as Phoenix’s philosophical brother. Screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. 11:30pm ET/PTAre You the Favorite Person of Anybody? – Directed by Miguel Arteta. Festival veteran Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck and Buck) collaborated with writer/director/actress Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) on this droll short, which also features John C. Reilly (The Good Girl) and Chuck and Buck writer/star Mike White. Screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For a taste of what to expect during coverage here are a few short clips, including one featuring Sundance founder Robert Redford –– Robert Redford on Sundance– Festival Dailies Promo– Sundance Channel: Festival Dailies Site

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