Films and Celebs Debut at Sundance Film Festival 2012

For 11 days every January, Sundance Film Festival is the hub for  independent film as established directors and stars mix with up-and-coming talent during the search for the next indie hit film.

The festival also serves as a launch pad for films that already have distributors, who show off their films hoping to build buzz among audiences and cinema writers who attend the festival.

Among the more established filmmakers showcasing their work at the festival are Spike Lee with his urban drama “Red Hook Summer,”; Stephen Frears with his sports-wagering caper “Lay the Favorite,” starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rebecca Hall; documentary veteran Joe Berlinger with his Paul Simon portrait “Under African Skies”; and Julie Delpy with her relationship comedy “2 Days in New York,” in which she stars with Chris Rock.

The competitions, a midnight film program and Sundance’s star-laden lineup of non-competition premieres have produced various hits over the years, including ”Precious” and ”Winter’s Bone.”

Highlights thus far have included:

  • This weekend, audiences were moved by Richard Gere‘s first attendance to the festival to premiere “Arbitrage” in his first actual visit to the state of Utah beyond once seeing the state from horseback on a cattle-moving trip with friends.
  • Drake was a reported three hours late for his concert performance at the Bing Bar in Park City, Utah on Saturday.
  • Sean Penn says he relates to his character in Sundance showcase film “This Must Be the Place,” where he has often thought of ducking out of the limelight like the film’s former rock star who turns his back on stardom and goes into exile overseas.

The Sundance Film Festival continues through January 29.

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