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Canadian films head to Sundance

09 December 2015

Montreal, December 9, 2015 – Telefilm Canada is proud to announce that three Canadian feature films, four virtual reality works and eight short films will be included in the official selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 21 to 31 in Park City, Utah.

“What’s impressive about this selection is that the three directors whose feature films are being screened at the festival have already won awards or have been otherwise recognized at Sundance,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “We’re also very proud to see that Canadian short films account for more than 10 percent of the shorts in the Sundance lineup. Furthermore, virtual reality artists heading off to Utah will once again put Canada in the spotlight with their remarkable work.”

Sundance Kids

Snowtime!, which has been breaking box-office records since its release across Canada, will have its international premiere screening at the festival. The movie is one of the three standouts of Sundance Kids, a program aimed at young film fans that launched in 2015.

The animated version of the 1980s cult movie, was directed by ace animator François Brisson along with Jean-François Pouliot, director of La Grande Séduction—winner of the Audience Award (World Cinema–Dramatic) at Sundance in 2004.

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Operation Avalanche (United States, Canada), a thriller from Toronto director Matt Johnson, will have its world premiere screening at Sundance. Johnson made a splash in 2013 with his feature The Dirties, which picked up two major awards at the Slamdance Film Festival, held in Park City at the same time as Sundance.

World Cinema Documentary Competition

The director Shimon Dotan is returning to Sundance with the world premiere of his documentary, The Settlers (France-Canada-Israel-Germany), which looks at Jewish settlements in the West Bank. This marks a return to Sundance for Dotan, who won a Special Jury Prize in the Word Cinema Documentary section for his film Hot House in 2007.

New Frontier – Virtual-reality works

Nomads: Maasai and Nomads: Sea Gypsies
Felix & Paul Studios, founded by artists Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, returns to Sundance this year with two immersive works that look at the Maasai and Bajau tribes in Africa.

The Unknown Photographer
This virtual reality project by Loïc Suty, Osman Zeki and Claudine Matte was screened at this year’s Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal. The documentary offers photographs of the First World War that were found in an abandoned building in the Laurentians. Narration is by actors Julian Casey and François Papineau.

Cardboard Crash
In this work, artists Vincent McCurley and Loc Dao question the ethics of artificial-intelligence algorithms in self-driving cars when the vehicles are faced with an unavoidable crash event.

Short films

Canada is making its mark this year with eight short films in competition, selected from among the record 8000 shorts submitted to the festival. The Canadian shorts are included in the lineup of 72 short films invited to the festival from around the world.

The selected shorts are:
Bacon & God’s Wrath, directed by Sol Friedman (included in this year’s The Shortest Day program);
The Chickening, directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force;
The Grandfather Drum, directed by Michelle Derosier;
Her Friend Adam, directed by Ben Petrie;
It’s Not You, directed by Don McKellar;
Mobilize, directed by Caroline Monnet (included in this year’s The Shortest Day program);
Voyagers, directed by Santiago Menghini; and
A Woman and Her Car, directed by Loïc Darses.

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Media enquiries:
Françoise Lapointe, Advisor, External Communications, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838, ext. 2028 or 1-800-567-0890