A huge hit and award winner at Fantastic Fest 2010, Bedevilled, as well as the inspiring tale of a deaf MMA fighter, Hamill are among the audience award winners at the 2010 AFI Fest in Hollywood, CA.

Bedevilled, directed by Cheol-soo Jang, won the award in the New Auteurs section while Hamill, directed by Oren Kaplan, won in the Breakthrough category. Other audience award winners include Boy, directed by Taika Waititi, in the World Cinema category as well as Littlerock, directed by Mike Ott, in the Young Americans category. Read more about the films after the jump. Read More »

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Taiki Waititi's Boy

Taika Waititi‘s Boy is another film that I had high expectations for. Waititi’s indie comedy Eagle vs. Shark (which featured a pre-Conchords Jemaine Clement) was one of my favorite films from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (I was even quoted on the international DVD cover). That film had been criticized for being too quirky in the wake of Napoleon Dynamite. After the jump you can find my mini-review, along with a video blog I recorded with Alex Billington from FirstShowing.

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Sundance Film Festival

Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.

So these predictions are in now way definitive. They are very subjective, films that caught my interest. I usually stick to more narrative films (over documentaries) and often see more English language films. I have my little sub genres which I always feel drawn to, for instance, I usually love coming of age stories. And if they are set in the 1970′s or 1980′s, all the better. Minimalistic one-room thrillers also interest me.

This year doesn’t have many obvious breakout choices, but had a lot of solid looking films. If you’ve been actively reading the site over the last month, then you’ve probably checked out a bunch of the Sundance photo and trailer previews and you might recognize a bunch of these films. The following 18 selections are also in no particular order. Lets take a look at my choices for this year’s festival (and it might be fun to revisit this list at the conclusion of the festival, to see how right or wrong I was).

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Taiki Waititi's Boy

Taiki Waititi‘s indie comedy Eagle vs. Shark (which featured a pre-Conchords Jemaine Clement) was one of my favorite films from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (I was even quoted on the international DVD cover). Waititi returns to Sundance in 2010 with Boy, which will screen in competition as one of this year’s 14 films were selected from 1,022 international narrative feature submissions.

The  Te-Whanau-a-Apanu filmmaker’s new film tells the story of an 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky who must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination after their father returns home after many years away. Originally titled Volcano, the film stars Taika Waititi, James Rolleston, and Te Aho Eketone. Check out photos from the film, and the trailer, embedded after the jump.

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