U.S. Documentary Competition
“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, Kickstarter page, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, official site, Facebook, Twitter, trailer)
Directed by: Alison Klayman
Renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has garnered international attention as much for his ambitious artwork as his political provocations and increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government.
“The Atomic States of America” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, Sundance Meet the Artists video, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, Facebook)
Directed by: Don Argott (Twitter) and Sheena M. Joyce
In 2010, the United States announced construction of the first new nuclear power plant in more than 32 years. A year later, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima power plant in Japan, sparking a fierce debate in the U.S. over the safety and viability of nuclear power.
Science, spectacle and human passion mix in this stunningly cinematic portrait as National Geographic photographer James Balog captures time-lapse photography of glaciers over several years, providing tangible visual evidence of climate change.
“Detropia” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, trailer, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile)
Directed by: Heidi Ewing (Twitter) and Rachel Grady
The woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. This is the dramatic story of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising.
“Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, IndieGoGo campaign, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, Facebook, trailer)
Directed by: Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke
What can be done to save our broken medical system? Powerful forces are trying to maintain the status quo in a profit-driven medical industry, but a movement to bring innovative methods of prevention and healing is finally gaining ground — potentially saving the health of a nation.
“Finding North” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, Sundance Meet the Artists video, Producers’ site, official site, Facebook, Twitter)
Directed by: Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson
A crisis of hunger looms in America and is not limited to the poverty stricken and uneducated. Can a return to policies of the 1970s save our future?
For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what is the path toward healing?
The untold story of the intensive efforts that turned AIDS into a manageable condition — and the improbable group of (mostly HIV-positive) young men and women whose amazing resilience broke through a time of rampant death and political indifference.
An investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.
“Love Free or Die: How the Bishop of New Hampshire is Changing the World” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, iW Meet the Filmmaker profile, Sundance Meet the Artist video)
Directed by: Macky Alston (Twitter, official site)
One man whose two defining passions are in conflict: An openly gay bishop refuses to leave the church or the man he loves.
“Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, Facebook, Twitter, official site, Sundance Meet the Artist video, iW Meet the Filmmaker profile, trailer)
Directed by: Matthew Akers
Marina Abramović prepares for a major retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, hoping to finally silence four decades of skeptics who proclaim: ‘But why is this art?’
With 270 million hits to date, Chris Crocker, an uncanny young video blogger from small-town Tennessee, is considered the Internet’s first rebel folk hero and at the same time one of its most controversial personalities.
The 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team went from the clutches of communism to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona — a testament to the powerful role of sports as a catalyst for cultural identity.
Jackie and David were triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America – a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot palace inspired by Versailles – when their timeshare empire falters due to the economic crisis. Their rags-to-riches-to-rags story reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream.
“Slavery by Another Name” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, PBS official site and trailer, Sundance Meet the Artist video, Facebook, LAT feature)
Directed by: Sam Pollard
As slavery came to an end with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a new system of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force, brutalizing, terrorizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans well into the 20th century.
“We’re Not Broke” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, Facebook, Twitter, Sundance Meet the Artists video, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, Annapolis Capital interview with Bruce)
Directed by: Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce
As American lawmakers slash budgets and lay off employees, leaving many people scrambling to survive, multibillion-dollar corporations are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax. Fed-up Americans are taking their frustration to the streets.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
“1/2 Revolution” (Denmark, Egypt) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, CPH: DOX Synopsis, Facebook, Twitter, official site, iW Meet the Filmmaker profile, trailer)
Directed by: Omar Shargawi and Karim El Hakim
In January 2011, two filmmakers captured the reality of the Egyptian revolution as it occurred out of view from the world’s media in the alleyways and streets away from the square — and in the process were arrested by the secret police.
“5 Broken Cameras” (Palestine, Israel, France) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, IDFA Synopsis, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, THR review, trailer)
Directed by: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
A Palestinian journalist chronicles his village’s resistance to a separation barrier being erected on their land and in the process captures his young son’s lens on the world.
What happens when a very white European man buys his way into being a diplomat in one of Central Africa’s most failed nations? Welcome to the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free.
“Big Boys Gone Bananas!” (Sweden) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, Facebook, Twitter, official site, Kickstarter campaign, trailer)
Directed by: Fredrik Gertten (Twitter)
The behind-the-scenes story of a full-scale attack on freedom of speech. When Dole set its sights on the WG Film production Bananas!* in May 2009, confusion was the method, aggression was the tactic and media control was the story.
In central China, where a coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions,the top students face dramatic choices as they graduate — should they fight for the collective good or for themselves? A metaphor for the choices everyone in the New China faces now.
“Gypsy Davy” (Israel, U.S., Spain) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, Facebook, Twitter, iW Meet the Filmmaker profile, trailer)
Directed by: Rachel Leah Jones
How does a white boy with Alabama roots become a Flamenco guitarist in Andalusian boots? A tale of self-invention and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the cost to others.
In 1994, a 13-year-old boy disappears from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in Spain with a shocking story of kidnap and torture. But all is not what it seems in this tale that is truly stranger than fiction.
“Indie Game: The Movie” (Canada) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, iW Meet the Filmmakers profile, Mashable interview, Kickstarter page, Twitter, Facebook, trailer, clips)
Directed by: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
Follow the dramatic journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.
“The Law in These Parts” (Israel) (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, Twitter, Facebook, iW Meet the Filmmaker profile, Newsweek feature, trailer)
Directed by: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
Israel’s 43-year military legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories unfolds through provocative interviews with the system’s architects and historical footage showing the enactment of these laws upon the Palestinian population.
Based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling book, Payback explores how debt is a central organizing principle in our lives — influencing relationships, societies, governing structures and the very fate of this planet.
19-year-old Marsha is a model spokeswoman in a strongly nationalistic Russian youth movement that aims to protect the country from its enemies. When she starts recognizing the organization’s flaws, she must take a stand for or against it.
Known as Rodriguez, he was the greatest ’70s U.S rock icon who never was. Hailed as the greatest recording artist of his generation, he disappeared into oblivion — rising again from the ashes in a completely different context many miles away.
An exploration of beauty and aging through the stories of the original supermodels. Participants including Isabella Rossellini, Christie Brinkley, Beverly Johnson, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Paulina Porizkova, Jerry Hall and Christy Turlington weigh in on the fashion industry and how they reassess and redefine their own sense of beauty as their careers progress.
When six teenage boys came together as a skateboarding team in the 1980s, they reinvented not only their chosen sport but themselves too – as they evolved from insecure outsiders to the most influential athletes in the field.
While following a Dyslexic high school senior struggling to achieve his dream of getting into a competitive college, “The D Word” exposes myths about Dyslexia and reveals cutting edge research to elucidate this widely misunderstood condition.
This intimate, surprising portrait of Ethel Kennedy provides an insider’s view of a political dynasty, including Ethel’s life with Robert F. Kennedy and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own.
A definitive history of one of the most important movements of the 20th century, “A Fierce Green Fire” chronicles the environmental movement’s fascinating evolution from the 1960s to the present.
Through conversations with Rap’s most influential artists – among them Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, MC Lyte, Mos Def, and Kanye West – Ice-T explores the roots and history of Rap and reveals the creative process behind this now dominant art form.
Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he sparked for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa, designed to end Apartheid.
“West of Memphis” (IMDb, Sundance Film Listing and Schedule, Sundance press page, official site, trailer, AICN interviews with Damien Echols and Lorri Davis and Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens)
Directed by: Amy Berg
Three teenage boys are incarcerated for the murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. 19 years later, new evidence calls into question the convictions and raises issues of judicial, prosecutorial and jury misconduct – showing that the first casualty of a corrupt justice system is the truth.