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Published: 1/19/2016

SESAC at Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival returns to Park City, UT January 21-31, 2016. We’re proud to have the following SESAC affiliated composers’ films showcased at the festival. Below is SESAC’s Composer Spotlight:
 
Saunder Jurriaans

Christine / U.S.A. (Director: Antonio Campos, Screenwriter: Craig Shilowich) — In 1974, a female TV news reporter aims for high standards in life and love in Sarasota, Florida. Missing her mark is not an option. This story is based on true events. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron. World Premiere
More: https://www.sundance.org/projects/christine
 
Complete Unknown
/ U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Marston, Screenwriters: Joshua Marston, Julian Sheppard) — When Tom and his wife host a dinner party to celebrate his birthday, one of their friends brings a date named Alice. Tom is convinced he knows her, but she’s going by a different name and a different biography—and she’s not acknowledging that she knows him. Cast: Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover, Michael Chernus. World Premiere
More: https://www.sundance.org/projects/complete-unknown
 
The Fits / U.S.A., Italy (Director: Anna Rose Holmer, Screenwriters: Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis, Lisa Kjerulff) — In this psychological portrait, Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy, is assimilating into a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, and her desire for acceptance is twisted. Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da'Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam, Inayah Rodgers. North American Premiere
More: https://www.sundance.org/projects/the-fits
 
Frank & Lola / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matthew Ross) — A psychosexual noir love story—set in Las Vegas and Paris—about love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and, ultimately, the search for redemption. Cast: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Michael Nyqvist, Justin Long, Emmanuelle Devos, Rosanna Arquette. World Premiere
More: https://www.sundance.org/projects/frank-lola
 
About Saunder Jurriaans & Danny Bensi: Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi are contemporary film composers writing together in New York.  They first started playing music together when they formed the unique instrumental rock band Priestbird in 2001.  They recorded 4 acclaimed albums and were invited to tour internationally with many reputable bands including Pearl Jam.  In 2010, they were approached to write their first feature movie score "Two Gates Of Sleep" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival.  The film demanded a unique minimalist orchestral score and quickly garnered the attention of several directors.  Soon after, they were asked to score the critically acclaimed feature "Martha Marcy May Marlene". From Avant-Garde Classical music to sweeping epic orchestral scores, the composer duo then scored an array of award-winning films and documentaries including "Simon Killer", "The One I Love" and Denis Villeneuve’s "Enemy" - winning best Musical Score at the Canadian Screen Awards. Each score they write has its own unique character – laden with vitality and real instruments.  Be it small string ensembles, unlikely percussion groups, or a group of clarinets, the duo love to explore innovative textures, demand stark performances, and interweave beautiful spine-chilling melodies.
 
John Swihart

First Girl I Loved / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kerem Sanga) — Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her L.A. public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend, Clifton—who has always harbored a secret crush on her—he does his best to get in the way. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand, Mateo Arias, Jennifer Prediger, Tim Heidecker, Pamela Adlon. World Premiere
More: https://www.sundance.org/projects/first-girl-i-loved
 
About John Swihart: Grammy Nominated musician composer, John Swihart has written music for over 40 films and 20 Television shows. Raised in Bloomington Indiana, John started his studies  at age 5 at Indiana University.  Swihart would leave Indiana to attend the renowned Berklee College of Music, in Boston, where he majored in composition and production andengineering. He is a multi instrumentalist who performs many of the tracks on his scores. After years of performing in numerous bands, experimental performances such as Blue Man Group, studio session work as a guitar player, and remixer with local DJ's. John moved to Los Angeles and into writing and producing music for picture.
 
Brian McOmber

NUTS! / U.S.A. (Director: Penny Lane) — The mostly true story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire with his goat-testicle impotence cure and a million-watt radio station. Animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and one seriously unreliable narrator trace his rise from poverty to celebrity and influence in 1920s America. World Premiere

*World Documentary Competition (feature film)
 
Jacqueline (Argentine) / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bernardo Britto) — A young French woman hires a man to document her self-imposed political asylum in Argentina after supposedly leaking highly confidential government secrets. Cast: Camille Rutherford, Wyatt Cenac, James Benson, Martin Anderson, Sarah Willis, Enrique Dura. World Premiere
*NEXT (feature film)
 
About Brian McOmber: Brian McOmber is a drummer and composer who uses improvisation and open collaboration with other musicians in his approach towards film scoring.  He was a member of the Grammy nominated band Dirty Projectors (2006-2012), and has performed and/or recorded with Alarm Will Sound, Björk, David Byrne, Doudou N’Diaye Rose, Kurt Ballou (Converge), Tim Kingsbury (Arcade Fire) and St. Vincent.   His score for Trey Shults’ feature film, KRISHA, was described as “bracing and beautiful” by Michael Phillip’s of the Chicago Tribune, and Filmmaker Magazine’s Brandon Harris called Brian’s score for Hannah Fidell’s, A TEACHER, as “subtle and terrifying”.  At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Brian’s music can be heard on Penny Lane’s documentary feature, NUTS!, and Bernardo Britto’s narrative feature, JACQUELINE (ARGENTINE).






 
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