What Have You Done For Me Lately? The Ascent of Jennifer Lawrence and Other Sundance Alumni Updates
The sheer volume of projects that pass through the programs of Sundance Institute can leave even the most tested indie film buff or Sundance staffer botching artist names and film titles. As we touched on in our last alumni updates blog, the Sundance family tree is as convoluted as it is vast—like a cruel game of ‘six degrees of separation.’ What am I getting at? That while, in principle, both Sylvester Stallone (Death Race 2000) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) are Sundance alumni, we’re slightly more disposed to touting the latter’s most recent work as opposed to the former’s (Expendables 2 ). Besides, we don’t think the Stallone’s of the world will be too agitated.
Here are some recent highlights and tidbits from the ever-expanding world of Sundance alumni.
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
You’ll remember Joost and Schulman for their mystery doc Catfish, which caused quite the stir at the 2010 Festival and goaded audiences into spirited discussion regarding the film’s veracity. Schulman’s brother Nev, who is also the lead subject in the film, has been working with MTV on a new reality series aimed at documenting the first real-life encounters between online lovers. There’s more on the new series here.
Winter’s Bone (2010), Like Crazy (2011)
The rapid ascension of Jennifer Lawrence’s career is quite the spectacle. It was only two years ago that the up-and-comer was starring in a shoestring-budget film that was opening on four screens nationally—though we all know how that story ended. A mere two years later and Lawrence is perhaps the hottest industry commodity, and she’s just signed on for two Hunger Games sequels. Read more from Indiewire.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Sean Durkin, the Borderline Films director who helmed the 2011 thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, has signed on to yet another television project. This time it’s a four-part drama series called Southcliffe, which is being financed by the British public-service station Channel 4. Earlier this year Durkin agreed to a direct a 10-episode television adaptation of The Exorcist.
The Kids Are All Right (2010), High Art (1998)
Cholodenko is among our more versatile alumni, having directed three films that screened at the Festival in addition to lending her creative palate as both a Festival juror and an Advisor at the Screenwriters Lab. She’s most recently signed on with Indian Paintbrush to direct a mystery drama titled November Criminals. Details from The Wrap here.
Ben Zeitlin, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Dwight Henry
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Director Benh Zeitlin and his two lead actors are up to their old antics as they continue to endear themselves to the world. It appears that Oprah is the latest victim, as she welcomed the trio for a full episode interview that aired on her network last Sunday. Check it out here. Wallis and Henry are also both slotted for roles in Steve McQueen’s (Shame) upcoming film, 12 Years a Slave.