Sundance ’15: doc shorts profile Oksana Baiul, Hilary Knight

Short documentaries about figure skater Oksana Baiul, illustrator Hilary Knight and the oldest woman to run in the New York City Marathon will screen at the Sundance Film Festival next month.
December 9, 2014

Short documentaries about figure skater Oksana Baiul, illustrator Hilary Knight and the oldest woman to run in the New York City marathon will screen at the Sundance Film Festival next month.

This year’s Documentary Short Film program was unveiled on Tuesday (December 9) and includes the latest from Ukraine Is Not A Brothel director Kitty Green, whose The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul profiles the first and only Ukrainian figure skater to win gold at the Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile, Matt Wolf, whose past doc features include Teenage and Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, will screen It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, about American artist and Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight.

loudQUIETloud: A film about the Pixies director Steven Cantor’s The Collectors: Beekeeping looks at the growing problem of dying bees; while director Gabe Spitzer profiles Joy Johnson, the oldest woman to compete in the New York City marathon, in Every Day.

In all, this year’s short film program comprises 60 short films whittled down from 8,061 submissions – slightly down from last year’s submission record of 8,161.

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Last week, organizers revealed the list of U.S. and world competition feature docs and out-of-competition documentary screenings.

Check out the full list of documentary short films, with descriptions provided by the festival, below:

The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers/ U.S. (Director: Michael T. Vollmann) — In 1983, a group of Milwaukee teenagers gained notoriety when they broke into dozens of high-profile computer systems. The ensuing media frenzy terrified a nation previously ignorant of the capabilities of computer interconnectivity.

Abandoned Goods / United Kingdom (Directors: Pia Borg, Edward Lawrenson) — Patients committed to Netherne psychiatric hospital between 1946 and 1981 created an extraordinary collection of artworks in a pioneering studio under artist Edward Adamson. Abandoned Goods is a moving portrait of the little-known history of UK postwar asylum life.

The Collectors: Beekeeping / U.S. (Director: Steven Cantor) — Dennis van Engelsdorp, former state apiarist for Pennsylvania and current entomology professor at the University of Maryland, is worried that bees — a crucial part of humanity’s ecosystem — are dying.

Every Day / U.S. (Director: Gabe Spitzer) — At 86, Joy Johnson was the oldest woman to run the 2013 New York City Marathon. The story of an inspiring athlete with an uncommon passion for her sport, and for life.

The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul / Australia (Director: Kitty Green) — Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of Olympic champion figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.

Hotel 22 / U.S. (Director: Elizabeth Lo) — Each night in Silicon Valley, the Line 22 public bus transforms into an unofficial shelter for the homeless. This film captures one dramatic night on the “Hotel 22″ bus.

It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise / U.S. (Director: Matt Wolf) — This portrait of Hilary Knight, the artist behind the iconic Eloise books, sees him reflecting on his life as an illustrator and his relationship to his most successful work.

Making it in America / U.S. (Director: Joris Debeij) — A Salvadoran immigrant who fled to the United States as a teenager is now a single mother striving to build a future for her family in Los Angeles.

{THE AND} Marcela & Rock / U.S. (Director: Topaz Adizes) — Exploring the intimate spaces of modern-day relationships, THE AND is the best couples therapy session you’ll ever witness.

Midnight Three & Six / U.S. (Director: Joe Callander) — A mother awakens at midnight, 3 a.m., and 6 a.m. every day so her daughter will wake up in the morning.

Object / Poland (Director: Paulina Skibińska) — A creative image of an underwater search in the dimensions of two worlds — ice desert and under water — told from the point of view of the rescue team, of the diver, and of the ordinary people waiting on the shore.

One Year Lease / U.S. (Director: Brian Bolster) — In a story told almost entirely through voicemail messages, Brian, Thomas, and Casper endure a year with Rita, their cat-loving landlady.

Papa Machete / U.S. (Director: Jonathan David Kane) — Two hundred years ago, Haitian slaves defeated Napoleon’s armies with the same tool used to work the land: the machete. Papa Machete explores a martial art evolved from this victory through the practice of one of its few remaining masters.

Pop-Up Porno: f4m / Canada (Director: Stephen Dunn) — Pop-up Porno: f4m tells the story of a breast cancer survivor trying to reclaim her sexuality.

Pop-Up Porno: m4f / Canada (Director: Stephen Dunn) — A painfully ill Dutch Montrealer has to use the bathroom while his date is in the shower.

Pop-Up Porno: m4m / Canada (Director: Stephen Dunn) — A lonely traveler on a business trip to New York finds himself in a heated Grindr chat with his worst nightmare.

Serenity/ U.S. (Director: Jack Dunphy) — An animated memoir recounting first love, addiction, losing one’s virginity, and turning to pizza in times of crisis.

Starting Point/ Poland (Director: Michał Szcześniak) — Aneta rebelled at age 19 and wound up in prison for murder. Nine years later, her daily routine takes her from behind prison walls to a nursing home.

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