Philly films competing for Sundance honors

Posted: December 02, 2011

THE SUNDANCE Film Festival announced its in-competition films for the 2012 fest and Philly is repped quite nicely (and we're not just talking about "Filly Brown," the story of a Hispanic girl rising through the ranks of the hip-hop elite).

In the U.S. Dramatic Competition is "The Comedy," starring Temple boys Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker (of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job" fame), directed by musician Rick Alverson. Here's the synopsis: Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson whiles away his days with a group of aging Brooklyn, N.Y., hipsters, engaging in small acts of recreational cruelty and pacified boredom.

This looks mighty different from the recently released teaser for Heidecker and Wareheim's "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie."

Also in the U.S. Dramatic Competition is Mark Webber's second film, "The End of Love." Webber, the son of local activist Cheri Honkala, who recently lost her bid to become Philadelphia's next sheriff, is no stranger to Sundance. He took his debut "Explicit Ills" - four interconnecting stories about Philly's working poor, featuring The Roots' Black Thought in a starring role - to the fest in 2008. "The End of Love" also features Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera, Jason Ritter, Amanda Seyfried and Frankie Shaw. Synopsis: A young father unravels following the loss of the mother of his child.

Another set of familiar faces at Sundance is documentary team Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, who previously bought their films "Rock School," about Paul Green and his Philly-based School of Rock, "The Art of the Steal," about the Barnes Foundation's controversial move, to the fest in 2005 and 2009, respectively. (Argott's most recent film, "Last Days Here," was acquired by Sundance Selects for distribution, as well.) For this year's fest, Argott and Joyce entered "The Atomic States of America." Synopsis: In 2010, the United States announced construction of the first new nuclear power plant in more than 32 years. A year later, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan, sparking a debate in the U.S. over the safety and viability of nuclear power. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 19-29 and is generally a barometer for the year in independent film.

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