Sundance London (Picturehouse Central, 2-5 June)


After a year away, and having clearly decided the East London O2 wasn't working out as a venue for a major film festival (maybe due to the fact that it really can't be called a centrally-located spot) Sundance London is back for 2016. Sundance London isn't a replay of the more famous and bigger US indie film festival, more a culled selection of highlights. This time the Sundance team are making use of the conveniently central and newly-ready Picturehouse Central space to host the entire festival.

Sadly, when it comes to what films made it over, there are a couple of notable absences, including The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker’s film about the Nat Turner slave revolt, bought by Fox Searchlight for a record  $17.5 million after it won the Grand Jury Prize.

Highlights include:

Life, Animated (Director: Roger Ross Williams).

Awards its already picked up: Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary

Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who could not speak for years, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in Disney animated movies. Using these films as a roadmap, he reconnects with his loving family and the wider world in this emotional coming-of-age story. (Documentary)

Morris From America (Director: Chad Hartigan.)

Awards its already picked up:  Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic; U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance (Craig Robinson)

Thirteen-year-old Morris, a hip-hop loving American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father. In this completely foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl, befriends his German tutor-turned- confidant, and attempts to navigate the unique trials and tribulations of adolescence.

Weiner (Directors: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg.)

Awards its already picked up:  Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

With unrestricted access to Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign, this film reveals the human story behind the scenes of a high-profile political scandal as it unfolds, and it offers an unfiltered look at how much today’s politics are driven by an appetite for spectacle. (Documentary)

Register for Festival and VIP Passes today. Priority booking for Picturehouse Members opens on Friday 6 May and general sales open on Monday 9 May. Visit picturehouses.com/sundance for more information.