As Jason Guerrasio notes for Filmmaker, Sundance has added two world premieres and two festival circuit veterans to its lineup.
Predisposed is written and directed by Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner and features Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Ramos and Isiah Whitlock Jr. The Sundance synopsis: "Eli Smith, a piano prodigy, is dealing with his troubled mother and enlisting help from a hapless drug dealer on the day he has an audition for a prestigious music program. Events spiral comically out of control as this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love."
Don Coscarelli's John Dies at the End, featuring Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown and Glynn Turman, is based on a novel by David Wong. Sundance: "On the street they call it Soy Sauce – a drug that allows users to drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Can John and David stop the oncoming horror? No. They can't."
And we've got a roundup for Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31st here, as well as Dan Sallitt's review, and another for Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place here.
More festival news. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will open on January 26 with the world premiere of Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion, starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss and Ayelet Zurer. Synopsis: "Beth (Diane Keaton) saves a bedraggled lost dog from the side of the freeway on a wintry day in Denver. Struggling with her distracted, self-involved husband Joseph (Kevin Kline) and an empty nest at home, Beth forms a special bond with the rescued animal. When Joseph loses the dog after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies, the distraught Beth enlists the help of the few remaining guests and a mysterious young woman (Ayelet Zurer) in a frantic search. Each member of the search party is affected by the adventure, which takes them in unexpected directions — comic, harrowing, and sometimes deeply emotional." SBIFF will also feature a Lawrence Kasdan Retrospective, featuring Body Heat (1981), The Big Chill (1983) and Grand Canyon (1991) as well as a Q&A with the filmmaker.
"Alma Ha'rel and Doug Block are among the filmmakers who will benefit from the 2012 Tribeca Film Institute's Documentary Fund, which distributes $150,000 in grants for 10 documentary projects in various stages of development." Brian Brooks reports for indieWIRE.
Berlinale 2012 has a new poster.
The Marrakech International Film Festival wrapped ten days ago, but a few notable reports are coming in. Ray Pride's features his own photos, more of which you'll find at his terrific new tumblr. Jessica Kiang reports on all the highlights and Filmmaker's collecting dispatches from its far-flung correspondents.