The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is a little under a month a way and while the festival’s complete slate is now known, the juries had remained a mystery until today.
As is tradition, the Sundance Institute brought back some former winners this year including Ed Burns (Grand Jury Prize Dramatic for “The Brothers McMullen” in 1995) and Liz Garbus (Grand Jury Prize Documentary “The Farm: Angola” in 1998). The other notable names include former head of 20th Century Fox Tom Rothman and David Guggenheim, director of the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” (which debuted at the 2006 edition of the festival) and “Waiting for Superman.” Burns and Rothman will serve on the U.S. dramatic jury while Grabus and Guggenheim are one half of the U.S. documentary jury.
in regards to the U.S. dramatic jury, Burns and Rothman will be joined by the Boston Globe’s Wesley Morris, the relative unknown Claire Stewart (British Film Institute) and acclaimed cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. It’s a curious group with at least two members having questionable taste. What they decide to embrace or not will be intriguing to say the least.
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah. Look for complete coverage on HitFix during the festival.
The complete list of all of this year’s jury members are as follows:
U.S. DOCUMENTARY JURY
Liz Garbus is a prolific documentary filmmaker. She co-founded Moxie Firecracker, Inc, an independent documentary production company and most recently directed Love, Marilyn, which opened as a Gala Premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Other directing credits include the Academy Award® nominated The Farm: Angola, USA, which won the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, Academy Award® nominated Street Fight; Xiiara”s Song and the Emmy® Award winning Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.
Davis Guggenheim is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award® winning director and producer whose work includes Waiting for “Superman”, It Might Get Loud, the 2009 documentary featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White, and An Inconvenient Truth, featuring former Vice President Al Gore, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2007. In 2008, Davis produced and directed President Barack Obama’s biographical film A Mother”s Promise, and most recently, The Road We”ve Travelled, a short film for Obama’s 2012 campaign. Davis has also directed many television series including Deadwood, NYPD Blue and 24.
Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker based in New York and London. He worked with punk label SST Records in the late-1980s, ran the independent book publishing house Incommunicado Press during the 1990s, and was Vice President of the media website Salon.com in 2000. Hustwit has produced nine documentaries, beginning with I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, the 2002 film about the band Wilco. In 2007 he made his directorial debut with Helvetica, a documentary about graphic design and typography. The film marked the start of a design film trilogy, with Objectified, about product design, following in 2009. Urbanized, about the design of cities, premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Hustwit is a longtime advocate of self-distribution, direct audience engagement, and truly independent filmmaking.
Brett Morgen is a director and writer. His credits include Crossfire Hurricane (2012), 30 for 30: June 17, 1994 (2010), Chicago 10 (2007), Nimrod Nation (2007), The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002), and On the Ropes (1999). He is the recipient of several awards and honors including an Academy Award® nomination, the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, the IDA Award for Best Feature, and two Peabody® Awards. He is currently working on the first authorized documentary about Kurt Cobain and in pre-production on When the Street Lights Go On, which will mark his feature dramatic debut.
Diane Weyermann is Participant Media”s Executive Vice President, Documentary Films, where she oversees such current projects as A Place At the Table and State 194, and earlier releases such as An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., and Waiting for “Superman”. In 1996, she launched the Soros Documentary Fund, which later became the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund. Prior to working at Participant Media, Diane was the Director of the Sundance Institute”s Documentary Film Program and Fund, where she was responsible for the Fund, two annual documentary film labs and worked closely with the Sundance Film Festival programming team on world documentaries.
U.S. DRAMATIC JURY
Ed Burns is an award-winning writer, director and actor. His debut film, The Brothers McMullen, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury prize. The film, made on a budget of $25,000, went on to win “Best First Feature” at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards. Since then he has helped to expand upon the new model of digital distribution by making his film Purple Violet the first feature to premiere exclusively on iTunes and successfully releasing his subsequent films, Nice Guy Johnny and Newlyweds, via Video on Demand. He recently premiered his 11th feature film as a writer, director and star, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. In addition to his work as a director, Burns as starred in such films as Saving Private Ryan and 27 Dresses. He was born in Woodside, Queens, and currently lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Wesley Morris writes about movies, culture, and style in sports for Grantland. He won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his film and culture writing for the Boston Globe.
Rodrigo Prieto is a cinematographer who was born in Mexico City. His feature work includes Sobrenatural, which garnered him Mexico’s Ariel Award in 1996 (Mexico”s Academy Award), and Un Embrujo (Under A Spell) which took the Concha de Plata for best cinematography at the San Sebastian Film Festival, in addition to another Ariel Award. Amores perros brought him to the attention of the world film community. His subsequent films as cinematographer have included Frida, for which he was an ASC Award nominee, 8 Mile, 25th Hour; and the award-winning 21 Grams. For his work on Brokeback Mountain, Rodrigo was nominated for an Academy Award®, a BAFTA Award, and an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award. He also worked on Babel, which earned him his second consecutive BAFTA Award nomination, and Biutiful. After this, he travelled to Hong Kong and Shanghai with Ang Lee to shoot Lust, Caution, which earned a Golden Osella award for Best Cinematography at the Venice Film Festival. This film was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2008. His most recent works include working with director Francis Lawrence on Water for Elephants, Cameron Crowe on We Bought a Zoo, and Ben Affleck on Argo. He is currently working with Martin Scorsese on Wolf of Wall Street.
Tom is one of the most experienced executives in the modern media business. He recently departed as Chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment after eighteen years, second in tenure only to Darryl Zanuck in Fox”s history. Previously, he worked at the Goldwyn Company, Columbia, and as a lawyer and independent producer. In his era, Fox Films earned over $30 billion in box office, more than 150 Oscar nominations, three Best Picture Awards, and include the two highest grossing films ever. He founded Fox Searchlight and has overseen the company throughout its existence. A pioneer in Independent Film, in 1986 he co-produced Jim Jarmusch”s Down by Law and Robert Frank”s Candy Mountain. He is an emeritus director of Sundance Institute and was present at its very first film festival.
Clare Stewart is Head of Exhibition at the BFI (British Film Institute) where she commenced in October 2011. She is responsible for the cultural and commercial performance of BFI Southbank and BFI Festivals including the BFI London Film Festival of which she is Festival Director. Previously, Clare”s 17-year programming career has encompassed leadership roles as Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival (2006-2011) and the inaugural Head of Film Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (2002-2006) as well as various roles at the Australian Film Institute (1996-2001), including Exhibition Manager, and programmer and Committee Member of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (1995-2002).
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY JURY
Sean Farnel specializes in festivals and digital distribution, primarily for creative documentary. Prior to working independently, he was Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, market and conference. He started his career at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he became a staff Programmer specializing in documentary and learning programs. Sean is a graduate of Cinema Studies from one of Canada”s most respected film schools, Concordia University. Upon graduation he received the Motion Picture Foundation of Canada Award for Most Outstanding Achievement.
Robert Hawk is a longtime consultant/advisor to filmmakers and film festivals. He has had his own business, filmhawk.com, for 20 years and been a part of the indie film scene for 30, beginning as a researcher on The Times of Harvey Milk and The Celluloid Closet. He has served on festival juries and panels from Orlando to Oberhausen, curated film programs from the Kennedy Center to the Hanoi Cinematheque, and was on the Sundance Film Festival’s advisory selection committee for its entire existence (1987-1998). He currently serves on advisory boards for Independent Film Week (IFP/NY) and Outfest’s Legacy Project. His producer credits include Ballets Russes, Paul Goodman Changed My Life and Prodigal Sons and his consultant credits (among hundreds) include Common Threads, My Architect and The Laramie Project.
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Enat Sidi is very active as an editor in the American documentary film world. She is a frequent collaborator with directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, having edited most of their nonfiction feature films including the 2005 Emmy® nominee The Boys of Baraka, the 2006 Academy Award nominee Jesus Camp, the HBO Peabody® winner 12th & Delaware and most recently Detropia, for which Enat won the editing award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Enat recently acted as the consulting editor on Bully, the high profile documentary released in 2012 by the Weinstein Company.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC JURY
Anurag Kashyap was born in Gorakhpur, India, and studied zoology at the University of Delhi. His features as director include Paanch (2003), Black Friday (2004), No Smoking (2007), Dev. D (2009), That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010), and the two-part Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), which will play in the Spotlight Section of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. His screenwriting credits include Deepa Mehta’s Genie Award–winning Water (2005). His films have made him a face representing the new wave of Indian Cinema at various prestigious platforms across the globe.
Born in Lebanon, Nadine Labaki is an acclaimed filmmaker and actress. In 2005, she took part in the Cannes Film Festival Residence to write Caramel, her first feature film, which showcases a Beirut that most people are not familiar with. She directed and played a lead role in the film, which premiered at the Directors” Fortnight at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008, Variety included her on their 10 Directors to Watch list. In this year she also received the insignia of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. She directed and starred in her second feature film Where Do We Go Now?, which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard category and won the Cadillac People”s Choice award at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. Where Do We Go Now? also played at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for best foreign film at the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles.
Joana Vicente is an award-winning producer. She has been the Executive Director of the nonprofit IFP – the Independent Filmmaker Project – since December 2009. Prior to this, she produced/executive produced over 40 features by such acclaimed directors as Jim Jarmusch, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Miguel Arteta, Nicole Holofcener, and Todd Solondz. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Made in NY Award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to New York City”s entertainment industry. Vicente has produced 20 films that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, including two Grand Jury Prizewinners: Three Seasons in 1999 and Welcome to the Dollhouse in 1996.
SHORT FILM JURY
Mike Farah is the President of Production for Funny or Die, overseeing the creative day-to-day operations for the premiere comedy site, along with Funny or Die’s television and feature projects. With FOD for nearly five years, Farah produced the award-winning video Prop 8: The Musical, the Ron Howard directed Presidential Reunion, and Marion Cotillard’s Forehead Tittaes, among many others. He is an executive producer of Funny Or Die”s Billy on the Street, airing on Fuse, and also produced the feature film Answer This!, written and directed by his brother, Chris Farah. Mike began his career at UTA, and headed up feature film development for Craig Brewer and Stephanie Allain at their Paramount-based production company. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Farah one of the top 35 Hollywood executives under 35.
Don Hertzfeldt is an Academy Award® nominated American independent filmmaker whose animated films have screened around the world, collectively receiving over 200 awards. He has had six films play in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and in 2007 received the Grand Jury Prize for his animated short film, Everything Will Be OK. He has recently completed his first animated feature film, It’s Such a Beautiful Day.
Magali Simard is a short film programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival and works for Film Programmes at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. She has been with the organization since 2006, working on its New Releases, Canada”s Top Ten, the Student Film Showcase, the Open Vault, and Human Rights Watch. She has hosted film discussions for Ryerson University, the National Screen Institute, the Canadian Film Center, the National Film Board, written for various online publications, and frequently hosts screenings at TIFF”s Film Trivia.