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Sundance starts today

Since film fests like TIFF and Sundance tend to introduce the “next big thing” to a wider audience (perhaps you remember that little ballet movie, you know the one that premiered at TIFF last year… Black Swan) we thought we’d give you a glimpse at some of the next, great queer films that could be coming your way soon via Park City, Utah.

The indie sure shot: Pariah

Pariah is writer/director Dee Rees’s feature film expansion of the 2008 short by the same name. The creation of Rees’s short film was the result of 2007’s Sundance Screenwriting Lab Fellow. Now, in 2011, Pariah is going to enjoy a warm homecoming.

The Sundance write-up makes big promises:
“… Pariah takes us deep and strong into the world of an intelligent butch teenager trying to find her way into her own. Debut director Dee Rees leads a splendid cast and crafts a pitch-perfect portrait that stands unparalleled in American cinema.”

You can watch the trailer here:

official site

Laughing all the way to the big screen: My Idiot Brother

My Idiot Brother boasts BIG names and big laughs. Paul Rudd is the idiot brother and Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel star as the sisters that benefit from his idiot ways.

The lesbian angle? Zooey Deschanel plays a “flaky, bi, hippy girl” who is dating a nice “stable lesbian lawyer” played by another queer fave, Rashida Jones. Though we’re not sure how much screen time Zooey and Rashida share, the collective star power behind this Jesse Peretz comedy will likely ensure its distribution so that we can all find out for ourselves.

official site

The quirky cult classic to be: Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same is by queer filmmaker Madeleine Olnek; it’s the second film she’s had screened at Sundance (Countertransference was her 2009 selection). CLSASS promises to be a hilarious tale of “a shy greeting-card store employee [who] unknowingly falls for a lesbian space alien while two government agents closely track their romance.”

The coming-of-age drama: Circumstance

Circumstance Film Still

Circumstance is a film by Maryam Keshavarz about a young girl named Atafeh who is exploring her sexuality with her best friend, Shireen. This story takes place against the backdrop of an Iranian underground art scene and the return of her post-rehab brother.

official site

A few other films that sound interesting:

The short: AWOL

AWOL Film Still

With AWOL writer/director Deb Shoval brings us a 14-minute short about a young American soldier who plans to run away to Canada with her girlfriend before being deployed to Afghanistan.

official Facebook page

The reality checks: Miss Representation & Becoming Chaz

Miss Representation is a doc about the media’s representation of women and features some significant female personalities, such as Rachel Maddow.

Miss Representation Poster

official site

Becoming Chaz is a doc about Chaz Bono’s transition. The film’s official Facebook page announced that Oprah Winfrey’s cable network, OWN, recently acquired the rights this doc about Cher’s son.

Becoming Chaz Film Still

official Facebook page

We’ve also got our eye on a pretty awesome interactive project that is helping to highlight all the many amazing women in art.

The future is queer (and or) here: The RAW/WAR project

!WAR doc Poster

The 2010 TIFF premiere of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s doc !WAR (Women Art Revolution) has inspired an interactive, community-curated video archive called  RAW/WAR. This project is being featured as part of the New Frontier Category at Sundance, which celebrates the convergence of film, art and new-media technologies.

official site

* Do any of these films make your must-see list?

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