Over 20 years after her sexual harassment testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee, Anita Hill received a standing ovation on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The law professor was in Park City for the premiere of Frieda Mock’s Anita, a documentary about her and her testimony during Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. After the 85-minute film had screened to a packed house at Park City’s MARC Theater, the Oscar winning director told the crowd that her intention with Anita was “to tell a story most of us had not heard” about the once “maligned” Hill. “What I love about this film is we’re looking at the next generation of people, looking at the next generation of issues and getting it right,” Hill told the crowd, Hill also noted how far America has come in dealing with topics like sexual harassment and gender inequality but how much more still need to be done. Anita screens three more times during this year’s Sundance – they’re all sold out.
Related: Sundance: Five Directors To Watch
If the Sundance Film Festival is about anything, it’s about the directors. Careers are made in Park City with the right combination of talent, content, context and reception. Look at what happened in 2012 with Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Benh Zeitlin’s feature directorial debut seemed to come out of nowhere to win the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic films. Now the fantasy drama is nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. No predictions of course, but here’s five directors worth watching at Sundance this year.
Related: Mike Fleming’s Sundance 2013 Preview
David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Lowery is actually a triple threat this Sundance. The Texan has the outlaw Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck starrer, which he directed and wrote, at the festival; Pit Stop, which he co-wrote, in the NEXT sidebar; and Upstream Color, on which he was one of the editors. Not bad for a guy who’s directorial feature debut St. Nick got rejected by Sundance back in 2009. Then again, Lowery’s short Pioneer won the Grand Jury Prize in 2011, so 2013 could really be his year.
Lake Bell, In A World…: The UTA-repped actress made her Sundance debut back in 2011 with her short Worst Enemy. This year she’s back and bigger and in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Bell, who has been a regular on shows such as Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital, HBO’s How To Make It In America and Boston Legal, directed, wrote, co-produced and stars in the comedy about a stymied vocal coach. In this age, that’s a noise worth listening to. Read More »