Gibney’s “Scientology,” Garbus’s “Simone” set for Sundance

Alex Gibney's anticipated documentary on the Church of Scientology is set to world premiere in Park City in January, while Liz Garbus's Nina Simone doc has been tapped to open the festival.
December 8, 2014

Alex Gibney, Andrew Jarecki, Liz Garbus, Amy Berg and Greg Whiteley are among the filmmakers set to debut new work at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Gibney and Jarecki will both premiere forthcoming HBO titles in Park City, with the former debuting his Church of Scientology doc, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, and the latter premiering his long-in-the-works production The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

The news comes as the festival today (December 8) unveiled its Documentary Premieres line-up, consisting of 13 docs that will play out of competition, along with its Special Events line-up.

Elsewhere, Garbus’s Netflix Original documentary on jazz chanteuse Nina Simone, What Happened, Miss Simone?, has been added to the festival and tapped to be the Day One U.S. documentary, becoming one of four films opening the festival on January 22.

Sundance has also confirmed that Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Kirby Dick’s documentary on sexual assaults on U.S. campuses – which now has a title and is called The Hunting Ground – will both premiere at the festival, as previously revealed by realscreen.

Among the other Documentary premieres, Most Likely to Succeed comes from Mitt director Greg Whiteley and focuses on the U.S. education system; Prophet’s Prey comes from West of Memphis director Amy Berg and looks at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and Tig comes from director Kristina Goolsby and looks at the life of comedian Tig Notaro.

Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper said in a statement: “Filmmakers in the Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, many of whom are returning to the Festival, do not shy away from controversial, challenging and provocative subject matter.

“Their work enrages, engages and entertains audiences, shining a light on issues and people we thought we knew.”

About The Author