Hard to believe that the Sundance Film Festival: London 2016 is just around the corner and the full programme has been announced this week.

Ellen Page in Tallulah

Ellen Page in Tallulah

It doesn't seem five minutes since we were looking at the films that were part of the 2015 festival and picking out the ones that we were most looking forward to... a year on, and the 2016 programme of feature films is just as exciting.

Eleven movies will be screened as part of the feature film programme and we take a closer look at them.

- Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Author: The JT LeRoy Story is one of the documentary features that's not to be missed at Sundance London this year as Jeff Feuerzeig returns to the director's chair.

Feuerzeig has already brought us movies such as Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King and The Devil and Daniel Johnston and this is his first feature since that 2005 movie. It is good to see him returning to big screen feature films.

The definitive look inside the mysterious case of 16-year-old literary sensation JT LeRoy - a creature so perfect for his time that if he didn't exist, someone who have had to invent him. Perhaps someone did.

This is a riveting documentary about Laura Albert, who created JT and felt that she could say things through this persona that she couldn't say has herself.

Author: The JT LeRoy Story really is an intriguing watch and the movie will receive its international premiere at the festival.

Author: The JT LeRoy Story

- The Greasy Strangler

Jim Hosking is making his feature film directorial debut with The Greasy Strangler and will mix elements of comedy, horror, and thriller with this new film.

As well as being in the director's chair, Hosking has teamed up with Toby Harvard to pen the screenplay.

Michael St. Michaels and Sky Elobar take on the central roles of Ronnie and Brayden and are joined on the cast list by Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, and Joe David Walters.

When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie's Disco Walking Tour - the best and only disco walking tour in the city - a fight for Janet's heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Stranger is unleashed.

The Greasy Stranger is another film that will be receiving its international premiere at playing at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The Greasy Strangler

- Goat

2016 is another busy year for James Franco both in front of and behind the camera. Goat will see the actor in front of the camera as he teams up with filmmaker Andrew Neel. Goat is the third feature film for Neel and comes after success with The Feature and King Kelly.

The movie is based on Goat, the memoir by Brad Land and has been adapted for the big screen by David Gordon Green, Mike Roberts, and Neel.

Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother's fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of 'brotherhood, tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways.

Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas are set to take on the central role of Brad and Brett Land - two actors who are continuing to make a name for themselves. Jonas is best known as a musician while Schnetzer has appeared in The Riot Club and Pride in recent years.

Goat has been winning over critics and audiences on the festival circuit so far and its screening at Sundance London will be a UK premiere for the film.


- Indignation

James Schamus is another first-time filmmaker to watch out for at Sundance London as he is set to make his debut with Indignation. The movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Philip Roth and the screenplay has been penned by Schamus.

Logan Lerman is one of the most exciting young actors around - if you have seen The Perks of Being A Wallflower than you should check it out - and he is set to take on the central role of Marcus Messner in this new film.

Sarah Gadon, Pico Alexander, Danny Burstein, and Linda Emond complete the cast list and star alongside Lerman.

It's 1951, and among the new arrivals at Winesburg College in Ohio are the son of a kosher butcher from New Jersey and the beautiful, brilliant daughter of a prominent alum. For a brief moment, their lives converge in this emotionally soaring film.

Indignation received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year and this will be the UK premiere of the film. Indignation has already had some incredibly good reviews and it is one of the films on the programme that I am looking forward to the most.


- The Intervention

Every year we see a number of actors make the leap into the director's chair... and this year it is the turn of Clea DuVall. DuVall is best known for her acting working in the likes of The Faculty and Argo and has now directed and written comedy/drama The Intervention.

The movie follows four couples who set out on a weekend getaway together. But the weekend takes a very different turn when one couple discovers that the whole weekend was designed as an intervention on their marriage.

DuVall is on the cast list and is joined by Cobie Smulders, Natasha Lyonne, Alia Shawkat, Jason Ritter, Melanie Lynskey, and Ben Schwartz.

The Intervention will receive its international premiere at the festival after winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance (Melanie Lynskey) at Sundance earlier this year.

It is always exciting when an actor makes the leap into the director's chair and I can't wait to see what DuVall - who is very experienced in front of the camera - delivers with her debut.

The Intervention

- Life, Animated

Life, Animated was the winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary at Sundance and is another of the documentary films that's not to be missed in London this summer.

The movie was met well by critics and audiences as Roger Ross Williams returns to the director's chair. Life, Animated his is his first feature-length documentary since God Loves Uganda back in 2013.

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.

I found Life, Animated to be a truly captivating and touching documentary that will draw you in and leave you totally hooked from start to finish.

Life, Animated will receive its UK premiere at the festival in London and is set to be one of these most talked about films on this year's programme.

Life, Animated

- Morris from America

Chad Hartigan is on writing and directing duties as he returns with his latest movie Morris from America. This is the third feature film from the filmmaker and comes after Luke and Brie Are on a First Date and This is Martin Bonner in 2008 and 2013.

Morris from America is a movie that is set to mix elements of comedy, romance, and drama and boasts impressive performances from Markees Christmas - in the central role of Morris - and Craig Robinson.

Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszal, and Levin Henning complete the cast list.

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.

Morris from America is a movie that has some very genuine, warm, and funny moments and I just love the central performances from both Christmas and Robinson; the latter went on to win the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Individual Performance. Hartigan was also triumphant at the festival as he scooped the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for his work on the screenplay.

Morris from America

- Other People

Other People is another of the movies that will be receiving its international premiere. The movie has the honour of opening the Sundance Film Festival as Chris Kelly makes his feature film directorial debut.

Kelly is known for his work in shorts with the likes of The Vote-Off and Mob Wives under his belt but Other People will see him make the leap into features for the first time. As well as being in the director's chair, Kelly has also penned the film's screenplay.

The movie follows David, played by Jesse Plemons, a struggling comedy writer who, after breaking up with this boyfriend, returns home to help care for his dying mother. It has been a very busy year or so for Plemons and 2016 is going to be another great year for the actor.

A great cast has been assembled for Other People as Bradley Whitford, June Squibb, Maude Apatow, Molly Shannon, and Zach Woods all-star alongside Plemons.

Other People is a movie that is packed with great observations of everyday life. These are characters and this is a situation that many will be able to relate to and I think that is what makes it even more touching.

Other People is a movie that will make you laugh and cry while Plemons and Shannon deliver wonderful central performances.

Other People

- Tallulah

Sian Heder is one of the female directors to watch out for at the 2016 festival as she is set to make her feature film directorial debut with Tallulah. As well as being in the director's chair, Heder has also penned the film's screenplay.

The movie also sees Page return with another great leading role. We have seen Page star in a range of great indie movies during her career, and Tallulah looks set to be the latest.

Page takes on the role of Tallulah, who is hired by a Beverly Hills housewife that is desperate to be rid of her toddler. Tallulah pretends that this child is hers in a bid to protect her... which leads to the lives of three women being changed forever.

Tallulah promises to explore some interesting themes and ideas and it is one of the best female-driven movies that we are going to see at the festival this year. Page is joined on the cast list by Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard, Evan Jonigkeit, Uzo Aduba, and Zachary Quinto.

For me, Page is one of the most exciting actresses around and she delivered one of the best performances of Sundance Film Festival. I am excited for UK audiences to see her deliver another terrific turn.


- Weiner

Weiner was one of the most acclaimed movies of the Sundance Film Festival as it went on to win the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. Now London audience will get to see this offering from Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg.

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.

Weiner was one of the best documentaries on show at this year's Sundance Film Festival and I am thrilled that this movie is part of the London programme.

From the opening scenes to the closing credits, Weiner is a compelling documentary that takes you deep into a political scandal and takes a closer look at those that were involved.

2016 has already been a terrific year for the documentary movies and Weiner is another film in this genre that is truly not to be missed.


- Wiener-Dog

Wiener-Dog is the eleventh and final film on the feature programme and will bring some comedy to the festival in London in June.

The movie marks the return of Todd Solondz, who has brought us films such as Happiness and Palindromes in recent years. This is the first feature for the filmmaker since Dark Horse back in 2011. It is great to see him back.

The film tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy.

Danny DeVito, Zosia Mamet, Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, and Greta Gerwig make up an impressive and hugely talented cast list.

Screening at Sundance Film Festival: London will be the international premiere for Wiener-Dog.


Sundance Film Festival: London 2016 runs 2-5 June.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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