Sundance 1997 Festival Program Press Release

Park City, Utah, December 2, 1996

The Sundance Institute today announced the roster of films that will be featured in the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. This year's event will take place January 16-26, 1997 in Park City, Utah. The Festival's line-up will again highlight the Independent Feature Film Competition, premieres, international cinema, tributes, retrospective programs, and panel discussions with leading figures from the film industry. The 1997 Sundance Film Festival will open on January 16 in Salt Lake City with the U.S. Premiere of BRASSED OFF, by Mark Herman.

Over the eleven-day festival, 127 feature films, including 71 World Premieres and 34 U.S. Premieres, as well as approximately 55 shorts will be screened. The 1997 Festival will present a special tribute to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, sponsored by Bank of America, screening his classic films newly- restored by MOMA and the Fassbinder Foundation. The sixth Piper-Heidsieck Tribute to Independent Vision will recognize Tim Robbins for his artistic contribution to independent cinema.

Commenting on this year's program, Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said "The nearly 800 films submitted for competition at the Sundance Film Festival this year emphatically demonstrates the vibrant health of the independent film community which made our task of selecting thirty-four films for this year's competition an especially difficult and daunting one. Nevertheless, we are exceptionally pleased with this year's festival which we anticipate will be a remarkable and special year."

The Independent Feature Film Competition is being sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of North America. Michael Basserman, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz of North America said, "We are pleased to increase our role this year at the Sundance Film Festival to the level of presenting sponsor. We hope that our additional support will help fulfill the Festival's mission to provide opportunities for the work of the next generation of filmmakers to be seen and appreciated."

For the first time, the Sundance Film Festival will present the Directing Award for outstanding
achievement in directing to a filmmaker in the Documentary and Dramatic Competitions. This award is sponsored by the Directors Guild of America. "The Directors Guild of America is proud to expand its support of the Sundance Film Festival through the establishment of the new Directing Award," said Guild President Gene Reynolds. "As the home of American filmmakers for the past six decades, it is appropriate for the DGA to help put the spotlight on the next generation of talented filmmakers."

The Sundance Film Festival will present American Spectrum for the second year, sponsored by Absolut Vodka. American Spectrum is a non-competitive program spotlighting independent dramatic and documentary films.

As part of the Sundance Film Festival's continuing effort to promote international filmmaking, 35 films will be presented as part of World Cinema. Special emphasis will be placed on new films from Latin America, Asia, and Europe. A special jury prize will be given to a filmmaker from Latin America. The World Cinema program is sponsored by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, AT&T, and Sacis International.

Other special events and programs will include: the 25th Anniversary screening of PINK FLAMINGOS, by John Waters; two programs of films from Native filmmakers, sponsored by Turner Original Productions and Educational Foundation of America; and the Shorts program, sponsored by GAP, consisting of numerous short films chosen from 1,200-plus submitted for their intellect, artistry, and charm. The New Media Center, sponsored by Apple, will feature a series of special presentations emphasizing content and creativity by artists working in the field.

Entertainment Weekly, Mercedes-Benz and Hugo Boss are the presenting sponsors of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Apple is the exclusive technology sponsor of the Festival. Official 1997 sponsors include: AT&T; Absolut Vodka; Adobe; GAP; KTVX - Channel 4; Piper-Heidsieck Champagne; Sundance Channel; TCI Cablevision of Utah; and the Utah Film Commission.

The Sundance Film Festival is a program of the Utah-based Sundance Institute founded by Robert Redford in 1981. The Festival is regarded by many as the preeminent expression of American independent cinema. Attracting over 12,000 people to Park City, Utah, the Festival is a celebrated cultural event for all those who understand the importance of the filmmaker in our society. Recent Festival award recipients have included: WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE; HOOP DREAMS; SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE; TROUBLESOME CREEK: A MIDWESTERN; THE SPITFIRE GRILL; SPANKING THE MONKEY; SILVERLAKE LIFE; THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN; CRUMB; LIVING IN OBLIVION; and UNZIPPED.

The Sundance Institute is a non-profit arts organization, whose mission is to serve screenwriters, directors, playwrights, and other film and theater artists. The Institute has initiated numerous international programs to promote exchange of ideas, freedom of expression, and shared resources.

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