Sundance Film Festival announces short film roster


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Getting a short film into the Sundance Film Festival is harder than getting accepted to Harvard, Yale or UC Berkeley with a C average.

The statistics are spectacularly daunting. For January’s festival, 4,083 American shorts were submitted for 32 narrative, documentary and animated slots, with 3,592 international films were submitted for 26 narrative, documentary and animated openings, according to the list of accepted shorts released Tuesday.


If you’re doing the math, that’s 58 out of 7,675 — about 0.75%.

“This is the first year in a while where every section was up,” says lead festival programmer Trevor Groth, who said that in addition to the growth of feature-length productions, about 1,000 more short films were sent in for the 2012 festival, which runs Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah.

While most of the movies were made by unknown filmmakers, a few recognizable names turned up in the select list.

Actress Brie Larson (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) co-directed “The Arm”; Universal Pictures executive Rick Finkelstein is featured prominently in “The Movement: One Man Joins an Uprising”; Don Hertzfeldt, nominated for an Oscar for his 2000 short “Rejected,” made “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”; and Nash Edgerton, a music video director and the brother of actor Joel Edgerton, helmed “Bear.”

Sundance shorts can often yield bigger opportunities down the road. Director Ryan Fleck turned his 2004 Sundance short “Gowanus, Brooklyn” into the Oscar-nominated “Half Nelson,” while screenwriter David Koepp launched his directing career (“Secret Window”) with the 1994 Sundance short “Suspicious.”


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-- John Horn