By Meghan McPherson, features staff writer
Over 8000 films were submitted but only 65 were chosen; this is the Sundance Film Festival. The annual Sundance Film Festival is spread out over 10 days from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27, and is held in Park City, Utah. It consists of film screenings, panels and musical performances.
The focus of the Festival is to introduce audiences to fresh and original stories. The films at Sundance are often known to gain worldwide critical recognition.
Some previous award winners like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “An Inconvenient Truth” quickly gained popularity after recognition at the acclaimed festival. The films shown have ranged from shorts and documentaries to premieres of highly anticipated films.
These films tend to be somewhat unknown and less mainstream despite the participation of extremely well known actors. Some of the actors this year include Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson just to name a few.
McConaughey and Witherspoon both star in the coming of age movie “Mud.” The film had premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and already received great reviews — especially for McConaughey. The movie is coming to local theatres April 26 so that audiences everywhere have the chance to see it.
Gordon-Levitt has gained popularity starring in movies such as “500 Days of Summer” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” but now he is taking on the role of director and screenwriter in “Don Jon’s Addiction.” As well as directing and writing, Gordon-Levitt also stars as a man with a pornography addiction alongside Johansson.
These aren’t the typical blockbuster hits but they are nominated at the festival for their unique plots and exceptional story telling. This year, on Jan. 31, Sundance will also make an extra effort to expand audiences across the country. Ten lucky cities will be chosen to screen 10 unique films from the 2013 festival.