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Justin Simien’s 5 Sundance iTunes Picks
One Hour Photo
Justin Simien’s 5 Sundance iTunes Picks
Sin Nombre

Justin Simien's 5 Sundance Picks Available On iTunes

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In the spirit of Sundance Film Festival's upcoming 30th Anniversary, Sundance Institute's #ArtistServices program partnered with iTunes to promote classics from the past 30 years. New alum Justin Simien, whose debut feature film "Dear White People" is premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival's, picks five of his favorites. All titles can be found at itunes.com/sundance .

Sin Nombre
No one tells a story quite the way Cary Fukunaga does. At times gut-wrenching, with true to life performances, Sin Nombre manages to stay grounded in reality while at the same time employing breathtaking imagery. The result is a haunting and powerful statement on the human condition that takes root in your subconscious. 

How to Survive a Plague
Still so hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago, HIV, one of the greatest threats of our time was being virtually ignored because it first affected people the establishment considered "undesirable." This amazingly well-crafted, dire but ultimately hopeful documentary serves as a rally cry for the ignored and underserved. 

One Hour Photo
Somehow the genius behind Michael Jackson's "Scream," Jay Z's "99 Problems" and Madonna's "Bedtime Stories" (to name a few) manages to be one of the most underrated of feature filmmakers. Romaneks storytelling here borders on Kubrickian and at its center is one of Robin William's most interesting and surprising performances ever - I'm just not sure what else I need in a movie!

Love and Basketball
One of the great love stories from the renaissance of quality Black films in the early 90's. It's also one of my favorite debuts from a favorite filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood. It's a sexy confident classic with a strong female voice not heard enough, and features one of Sanaa Lathan's most iconic performances.

Squid and the Whale
A funny and heartbreaking tale of navigating the wounds, idiosyncrasies, and even the gifts our parents inadvertently impress upon us. The storytelling is true to life and yet totally fresh and original no matter how often I revisit it.