Sundance Film Festival returns to London for its 7th outing, a strong stable on London’s cultural landscape. For film trade, film fanatics and the public alike Londoners get a taste of exciting new film titles. The 2019 festival line-up has a diverse array of films. The Opening night film on May 30 is ‘Late Night’, written by Mindy Kaling who co-stars with Emma Thompson. Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women”, she puts affirmative action on the to-do list and – presto! – Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. But Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalising her show and career – and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time. Cast: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy Ryan. Image credit: Director Nisha Ganatra
Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat co-star in Time Out’s gala screening of ‘Animals” which is adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth’s 2014 novel, a film about female friendship. Would-be writer Laura (Grainger) and her free-spirited bestie Tyler (Shawkat) share a messy Dublin apartment and a hearty appetite for booze, Molly and one-night stands. Yet when Laura falls for Jim (Fra Fee), a charming but straitlaced classical pianist, Tyler worries that the party may soon be over.
Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree sees Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage, enjoy a happy childhood in Lincolnshire, where he’s raised by doting foster mother Mary and surrounded by a tight-knit group of friends – until his real mum reclaims him and deposits him into a very different life in her small inner-London flat. With little emotional bond to his mother and no remembrance of their cultural heritage, Femi struggles to adapt. As he gets used to his new environment, Femi hardens himself, pulling away from the wishes of both of his ‘mothers’ and forging ahead in a brazen attempt to build his own identity. Writer/director Amoo (short Dear Mr Shakespeare screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival)
Lee Daniels’ blistering first feature Precious which stars Gabourey Sidibe as a mixed-up teen who finds a way out of drudgery and abuse will also screen at the festival.
The festival closes with on Sunday, June 2 with ‘Hail Satan?’
What kind of religious expression should be permitted in a secular nation? Holy hell, something is brewing! Just a few years old, the Satanic Temple has risen from the depths to become one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. Hail Satan? bears witness as the temple evolves from a small-scale media stunt to an internationally recognised religion with hundreds of thousands of adherents.
Sundance Film Festival: London runs May 30-Jun 2. To find out more go to: http://www.picturehouses.com/sundance.