Sundance Video Clip: The Winning Season

James C. Strouse’s second feature film The Winning Season stars Sam Rockwell as an adult alcoholic misfit brought on to coach his local girl’s high school basketball team. Rockwell has described the movie as Bad News Bears meets Half Nelson meets Hoosiers. Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry, Shareeka Epps and Emily Rios co star. Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore calls the film “a completely gratifying cinematic drama marked by sharp dialogue and perfectly toned performances.” Watch the first clip from the film after the jump.
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The Winning Season Added to Sundance 2009 Line-Up

It’s not unusual for last minute selections to be added to the Sundance Film Festival line-up in the weeks leading up to the Park City Festival. Last year it was Hamlet 2, and this year it is screenwriter turned director James C. Strouse‘s second feature film The Winning Season (note: this news has been rumored elsewhere, but this is the first time Sundance has officially confirmed the report).

The film stars Sam Rockwell as an adult alcoholic misfit brought on to coach his local girl’s high school basketball team. Rockwell has described the movie as Bad News Bears meets Half Nelson meets Hoosiers. It’s worth mentioning that Strouse’s semi-autobiographical first screenplay Lonesome Jim involved a story line where Jim (played by Casey Affleck) has to take over his brother’s girls youth basketball team.

The film’s cast also includes Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry, Shareeka Epps and Emily Rios. Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore calls the film “a completely gratifying cinematic drama marked by sharp dialogue and perfectly toned performances.”

Rockwell’s Sci-fi Thriller Moon also premieres at the festival. Roberts’ Lymelife is also screening at the festival. The Strouse penned Lonesome Jim premiered at Sundance in 2005, and his directorial debut Grace is Gone played at the 2007 festival.

2007 Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine won the top prize at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, a day before the underdog indie comedy competes for Best Picture at the 2007 Academy Awards. Could the little indie that could win an Oscar? Check out the full list of winners after the jump.

Best Feature: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Female Lead: Shareeka Epps for Half Nelson
Best Male Lead: Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Best Supporting Female: Frances McDormand for Friends with Money
Best Supporting Male: Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman for Thank You for Smoking
Best First Screenplay: Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Best First Feature: Sweet Land
Best Foreign Film: Leben der Anderen, Das
Best Documentary: The Road to Guantanamo
John Cassavetes Award: Quincea�era
Truer Than Fiction Award: P.O.V.: The Tailenders (#19.5)

I’m glad to see Quincea�era get an award, but I’m surprised that Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t win best feature.

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