Ground-Breaking, Award-Winning Directors Steven Soderbergh and Wendell B. Harris Return with their Debut Works to Celebrate Independent Film, Call Attention to Film Preservation

Park City, UT (RushPRNews)12/11/08-—Sundance Institute announced today that Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape (1989 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner) and Wendell B. Harris’s Chameleon Street (1990 Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize Winner) have been selected for the Festival’s From the Collection screenings. Each year the Festival presents two retrospective screenings of influential feature-length films from the Sundance Collection at UCLA, paying tribute to significant works in the history of independent film. The series reflects Sundance Institute’s commitment to collect and preserve independent films for contemporary and future audiences. Celebrating its 25th year, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival runs January 15-25, 2009 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.

Sundance Institute joined with the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1997 to create The Sundance Collection at UCLA (The Collection) to preserve and restore documentaries, narratives, shorts, festival films, and commercially released independent films. The Collection broke new ground by becoming the first archive devoted specifically to the preservation of independent cinema.

“Sundance is thrilled to welcome back directors Steven Soderbergh and Wendell B. Harris with their first features,” said John Nein, Programmer, Sundance Film Festival and From The Collection. “Screening breakout films like sex, lies, and videotape and rarely-shown gems like Chameleon Street serves the dual purpose of bringing new audiences to these works and raising visibility for the need to preserve independent cinema.”

sex, lies, and videotape / U.S.A. 1989 (Director/Screenwriter: Steven Soderbergh)—Steven Soderbergh’s ground-breaking debut film about a man who films women discussing their sexuality, and his impact on the relationship of a troubled married couple. The Oscar-nominated film won the Audience Award at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is credited for its pivotal role in revolutionizing the independent film movement in the early 1990s. In 2006, sex, lies, and videotape was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Cast: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Chameleon Street / U.S.A. 1989 (Director/Screenwriter: Wendell B. Harris, Jr.)—A biting satire based on the true confessions of Detroit con artist and high school drop-out William Douglas Street, Jr. who successfully impersonated professional reporters, lawyers, athletes, extortionists, and surgeons. (In this last “role” he performed more than 36 successful hysterectomies.) One of the first films to examine how mellifluously race, class, and role-playing morph into the social fabric of America, Chameleon Street won the Grand Jury Prize at 1990 Sundance Film Festival. Cast: Wendell B. Harris, Jr., Angela Leslie, Amina Fakir, Coleman Young

Sundance Institute Archive Project Exhibit
New this year, the Sundance Institute Archive Project presents a gallery exhibit at Sundance House, free to Festival badge holders. Drawing from the extensive archive holdings, this exhibit presents a selection of materials that represents the films, people, and stories from the Sundance Film Festival over the past 25 years. Archival photographs, posters, memorabilia and footage will be on display. Highlights include a selection of archival photographs of filmmakers accepting their Festival awards, such as Todd Haynes (Poison), Parker Posey (House of Yes), Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves), Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies, and videotape), Wendell B. Harris, Jr. (Chameleon Street), Jennie Livingston (Paris is Burning), Karyn Kusama (Girl Fight), John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch); and archival posters, including The Times of Harvey Milk, Full Monty, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Girlfight, Smoke Signals, Donnie Darko, Children Underground, Bottle Rocket, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, American Astronaut, Real Women Have Curves, Derrida, Pumpkin, Tarnation and Riding Giants.

The Sundance Collection at UCLA has grown to nearly 600 titles, generously donated by individual filmmakers and eight founding donors: Fine Line Features, Gramercy Pictures, Miramax, New Line Cinema, October Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Strand Releasing, and Trimark Pictures. To supplement its growing library of films, the Collection also features a rare assemblage of data on the history of independent cinema. Filmmakers can visit to learn more about donating their work to the Sundance Collection at UCLA.

2009 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors
The 2009 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors help sustain not only the Festival but also the year-round programs of the non-profit Sundance Institute. Their support is crucial to the Institute’s mission of nurturing independent artists, inspiring risk-taking, and encouraging diversity in the arts. This year’s Festival Sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Entertainment Weekly, HP and Honda; Leadership Sponsors – American Express, Delta Air Lines, DIRECTV, Google, Microsoft Corporation and; Sustaining Sponsors – Blockbuster Inc., the National Milk Mustache “got milk?”® Campaign, Le Tourment Vert Absinthe Francaise, L’Oréal Paris, The New York Times, Ray-Ban, Sony Electronics, Inc., Stella Artois®, Timberland, and Utah Film Commission. Sundance Channel is the Official Television Network of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting 120 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in seven distinct categories, and 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water and Central Station.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don’t Cry and Born into Brothels.

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