This Thursday, the Sundance Film Festival, one of the premiere showcases for indie, art and world film, kicks off in snowy Park City, Utah. This video toasts the occasion by putting the spotlight on five of the best films to emerge from Sundance that also happen to be available on Fandor. These selections are just the tip of the iceberg; we’ve got many more titles from Sundance Film Festivals past, including Bryan Singer’s first feature, Public Access, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. (See below for the one-week free pass to viewing them on Fandor.)
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1. Old Joy (dir. Kelly Reichardt) Bolstered by a Yo La Tengo soundtrack, Kelly Reichardt’s second feature brings us inside a short camping trip by two old friends to the Bagby Hot Springs, in Oregon’s lush Cascade Mountains. A Cain-and-Abel story unfolds with life-stalled Kurt (folk-punk rocker Will Oldham) and papa-to-be Mark (Daniel London) looking back to a past he’s eager to move beyond.
3. Iraq in Fragments (dir. James Longley) James Longley spent more than two years capturing gorgeous footage and three unforgettable stories: a pre-teen orphan surviving within a Baghdad automotive garage; Sadr followers in powder-keg Shiite cities; Kurdish farmers friendly to the American “project” in Iraq. It won “Best Director (Documentary),” “Best Cinematography” and “Best Editing” awards in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival documentary competition and went on to secure many other accolades.
4. Momma’s Man (dir. Azazel Jacobs) Writer-director Azazel Jacobs cast his real life parents, artist Flo Jacobs and underground film legend Ken Jacobs, in this story of of a young man on the brink of adulthood temporarily stranded in his family of origin’s home, discovering the pleasures and perils of nostalgia.
Kevin B. Lee is a film critic and video essayist who contributes to Roger Ebert.com and IndieWire’s PressPlay Video Blog. Follow him on Twitter.