Belfast Telegraph

Fassbender film heads for Sundance

Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor's new movies are set to compete at the Sundance Film Festival.

Festival organisers have revealed the slate of films by American and international directors that will be in competition at the independent film showcase, which runs from January 22 to 31.

X-Men star Michael plays Silas in John Maclean's Western thriller Slow West, while Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel shares the big screen alongside Chris Pine in Z For Zachariah.

Australian film Strangerland, which stars Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving, will play on the festival's opening day.

Other familiar faces among the 16 narrative films in the US competition include Jack Black, Saoirse Ronan, Cobie Smulders, Cynthia Nixon, Alexander Skarsgard and Sarah Silverman.

The festival's director John Cooper said: "There's a real intensity that is permeating independent filmmaking these days. Whether it's the pure entertainment, the comedies and romances being so engaging; whether it's documentaries that will enrage you and sometimes call to action. Even in the deep dramatic films, we've found there's a real concerted effort to look at empathy for dark subjects and the characters in them."

American documentaries in competition explore such subjects as the amateur porn industry, Mexican drug cartels, endangered animals, Evel Knievel and the 2012 shooting of unarmed black teenager Jordan Russell Davis.

The organiser said he expects viewers are "going to have a very wild ride of emotional extremes".

Other festival events including a discussion of filmmaking between Robert Redford and George Lucas, and a panel featuring TV show-runners Lena Dunham, Jenji Kohan and Mindy Kaling will be streamed on the Sundance website.

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