Austinites Andrew Bujalski and Yen Tan will screen new films in the Sundance Film Festival's forward-thinking NEXT sidebar, while Dallasite David Lowery will compete in the U.S. Dramatic Competition slate.
Only ten films screen in the NEXT slate, which is devoted to "pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling." Andrew Bujalski's film, his fourth feature-length, is called Computer Chess and is described as an existential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess – back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart." Meanwhile, Yen Tan – who you might remember gracing our cover back in February – will screen Pit Stop, about "two working-class gay men in a small Texas town and a love that isn't quite out of reach."
David Lowery co-scripted Pit Stop, and he'll be repping another film as double-duty writer/director, Ain't Them Bodies Saints – "the tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met" – starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster.
Sundance still has loads more programming announcements to come, including midnight movies and short film programs, so we wouldn't be surprised if more familiar faces drop into the mix. (If we happened to skim over your name – sorry! – give us a good talking to at email@example.com.) And a hearty congrats to all the local folks involved in the films. We're bouncing up and down to see your new movies.
UPDATE: We knew we were gonna miss something. Our friends at the Austin Film Society alerted us to the fact that yet another NEXT selection has Texas ties: Hannah Fidell's A Teacher was shot entirely in the Austin area; it's about "a popular young teacher in a wealthy suburban Texas high school [who] has an affair with one of her students, and her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end." A belated congrats to the Teacher team, too.
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