Sundance 2015: Titles That Have Buyer Attention

Here are the films that seem to have Sundance Film Festival buyers most excited coming into tonight’s premiere of The Bronze, a film that is squarely on that list.

THE BRONZE – Director: Bryan Buckley. Cast: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Cecily Strong. Rauch co-wrote this and stars as Hope Ann Greggory, who in 2004 became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women’s gymnastics team. Cut to now, and she’s stuck in the past and washed up and bitter, and oh yeah, a promising young gymnast comes along threatens to drive the final nail in the coffin of her local celebrity status. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Thursday, January 22nd, 9:30 PM – Eccles

KNOCK KNOCK – Director: Eli Roth. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleeen Camp. Two beauties screw with a married man and turn fantasy into nightmare. Midnight Section. 1st Screening: Friday, January 23rd, 11:45 PM – Library

Sleeping With Other PeopleSLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE – Director: Leslye Headland, Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne. A womanizer forms a platonic bond with a serial cheater. Each reforms, but a mutual attraction results. Premieres Section. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 24th, 9:45 PM – Eccles

MISSISSIPPI GRIND – Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Alfre Woodard, Robin Weigart. A gambler in debt sets off on a road trip through the Southern U.S. with a young gambling addict in an attempt to change his luck. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 3:30 PM – Eccles

A WALK IN THE WOODS – Director: Ken Kwapis. Cast: Nick Nolte, Nick Offerman, Robert Redford, Emma Thompson. After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson returns to the U.S., where he connects with his homeland by teaming with a pal to hike the Appalachian Trail. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Friday, January 23rd, 11:30 AM – MARC

3 ½ MINUTES – Director: Marc Silver. An unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael David Dunn in late 2012 and 3½ Minutes explores the aftermath of the tragedy, the unseen effects of racism and the contradictions of the American criminal justice system. Most timely tale. U.S. Documentary Competition. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 6 PM – Temple

BrooklynBROOKLYN – Director: John Crowley. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent. The Nick Hornby-scripted tale takes place in 1950s Ireland where a young woman uproots and heads to Brooklyn, trying to forge a new life and finding work and first love. Family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, where she is forced to confront a terrible dilemma. She must make a heartbreaking choice between two men and two countries. Premieres Section. 1st Screening:Monday, January 26th, 6:30 PM – Eccles

COP CAR – Director: Jon Watts. Cast: Kevin Bacon, Shea Whigham, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Camryn Manheim. The fulcrum of this tale is the two 10-year-old boys who steal an abandoned cop car. Midnight Section. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 11:45 PM – Library

THE D TRAIN – Director: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel. Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, Kyle Bornheimer. Insecure guy faces 20th high school reunion and rekindles relationship with the popular guy from school. They have a wild night that takes an unexpected turn. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Friday, January 23rd, 8:45 PM – Library

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL – Director: Marielle Heller. Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig. 15-year-old aspiring comic-book artist comes of age in 1970s San Francisco. In the free love era, she sleeps with her mom’s boyfriend. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 12:30 PM – Eccles

DIGGING FOR FIRE – Director: Joe Swanberg. Cast: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie Dewitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick. A bone and a gun are discovered and spur a husband and wife on separate adventures over a weekend. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Monday, January 26th, 9:45 PM – Eccles

DOPE – Director: Rick Famuyiwa. Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky. Young man surviving in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews and SATs gets invited to an underground bash and goes from geek to dope. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 5:30 PM – Library

THE HALLOW – Director: Corin Hardy. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley. London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey for construction an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground. The locals aren’t wrong and horror ensues. The filmmaker is hot stuff. Midnight Section. 1st Screening: Sunday, January 25th, 11:59 PM – Egyptian

LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT – Director: Rodrigo Garcia. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Claran Hinds, Ayelet Zurer, Tye Sheridan. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Sunday, January 25th, 6:30 PM – Eccles

Being EvelBEING EVEL – Director: Daniel Junge. Johnny Knoxville produced and is a key voice in telling the unbelievable story of outlaw turned self-made American daredevil icon Evel Knievel. He gets warts and all treatment, but there is a lot of respect for what the motorcycle driver accomplished based on moxie and a lot of courage and mending ability. U.S. Documentary Competition Section. 1st Screening: Sunday, 5:30 PM -The Marc

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL – Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon. A guy with high school senioritis makes bizarre films with his only friend. All that changes when his mother forces him to make friends with a classmate stricken with leukemia. U.S. Dramatic Competition Section. 1st Screening: Sunday, January 25th, 12:15 PM – Eccles

THE OVERNIGHT – Director: Patrick Brice. Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godrèche. A family and their son move to L.A. and a chance meeting at a park leads to a family playdate that gets crazy. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Friday, January 23rd, 3:15 PM – Eccles

RACING EXTINCTION – D: Louie Psiohoyos, W: Mark Monroe, P: Olivia Ahnemann, Fisher Stevens: A unique team shows the world never-before-seen images that expose issues surrounding endangered species and mass extinction. U.S. Documentary Competition. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 11:30 AM – MARC

TEN THOUSAND SAINTS – Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch. Set in New York City in the late 1980s, the son of diehard hippies embarks on an odyssey to the extremities of late 20th century youth culture. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Friday, January 23rd, 9:45 PM – Eccles

THE WITCH – Director: Robert Eggers. Cast: Kate Dickie, Ralph Ineson, Anya Taylor Joy. New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Thursday, January 22nd, 6:30 PM – Prospector – Private

GrandmaGRANDMA – Director: Paul Weitz. Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Sam Elliott.  Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Monday, January 26th, 12:00 PM – Yarrow – P&I

I AM MICHAEL – Director: Justin Kelly. Cast: James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts. The controversial true story of a gay activist who rejects his homosexuality and becomes a Christian pastor. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Saturday, January 24th, 12:00 PM – Yarrow – P&I

I SMILE BACK – Director: Adam Salky. Cast: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles. Silverman is a wife and mother on the edge who stopped taking her meds, substituting it with recreational drugs and the wrong men. You know Silverman is going to pop sooner or later. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Sunday, January 25th, 8:30 PM – Library

THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT – Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Cast: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby. I’m mentioning it because so many futile attempts were made to chronicle the infamous experiment that took place in 1971 when Stanford professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo created a social experiment that turned into Lord of the Flies. U.S. Dramatic Competition. 1st Screening: Monday, January 26th, 3:15 PM – Eccles

ZipperZIPPER – Director: Mora Stephens. Cast: Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Richard Dreyfuss, Ray Winstone, John Cho, Dianna Agron. In this Darren Aronofsky-produced thriller, a prosecutor jeopardizes a bright political future getting addicted to high-end escorts. Premieres Section. 1st Screening: Tuesday, January 27th, 9:45 PM – Eccles

Slamdance Special Mention

BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD – Director: Dana Nachman. Cast: Miles Scott, Natalie Scott, Nick Scott, Patricia Wilson, Eric Johnston, Mike Jutan, Jen Wilson, Teresa Clovicko. Given the booming business of faith-building fare, how can you not love the story of 5-year-old Miles Scott. After battling leukemia half his life, his crime fighting wish to be Batman got San Francisco to drop everything and turn itself into Gotham City for a day.

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