A record number of female directors and a roster of A-list celebrities populate films vying for honors at the 2013 Sundance film festival.
Of the 16 films announced today that will compete for the US Dramatic Competition, eight are directed by women.
That many women behind the camera are a record for the Utah-based independent festival, and a first time they have equaled men, The Associated Press reported.
The AP said organizers are sifting through their 33-year history to confirm the record totals.
Sundance runs for 10 days beginning January 17 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
Sundance Institute also announced films selected for the World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT section for up-and-coming filmmakers.
“Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year,” festival founder Robert Redford said on the Sundance website.
“We look forward to hearing from these artists not just through their words and images on screen, but also through the larger dialogue they create with audiences at our Festival and beyond.”
The Sundance Institute selected 113 feature-length films representing 32 countries and 51 first-time filmmakers, including 27 in competition. These films were selected from 12,146 submissions (429 more than for 2012), including 4,044 feature-length films and 8,102 short films.
Of the feature film submissions, 2,070 are American and 1,974 international. Nearly 100 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.
Among the notable names this year are Jane Lynch (“Afternoon Delight”), Casey Affleck (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), Jessica Biel (“Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes”), Daniel Radcliffe (“Kill Your Darlings”), Bill Pullman (“May in the Summer”), Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Spectacular Now”) and Kristen Bell (“The Lifeguard”).
“It’s a reflection of the landscape,” festival director John Cooper told The Hollywood Reporter. “We notice that there’s a very, very vital community of actors taking roles in independent films — well-known actors in particular.”
Among the more controversial entries promises to be documentary "After Tiller" about American doctors that perform late-term abortions.
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