As per Winston’s Tweet, his newest film NINE DAYS is heading to the Utah Film Festival. Congratulations Winston. Looking forward to seeing this film.
Utah provides desolate backdrops for two movies at Sundance 2020
Writer-director Edson Oda’s movie, “Nine Days,” he said, “happens in this reality that’s different from ours.”
So, naturally, Oda chose the Bonneville Salt Flats to film.
“The salt flats give you the sense that you’re not really on Earth, but you’re somewhere else,” Oda said Wednesday, the day the Sundance Institute announced that “Nine Days” would be one of 118 movies to screen at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
“Nine Days,” which will screen in the prestigious U.S. Dramatic competition, is one of two movies filmed in Utah to be picked for the festival, which runs Jan. 23 to Feb. 2 in Park City and venues in Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort.
The other — “The Killing of Two Lovers,” a domestic drama written and directed by Brigham Young University associate professor Robert Machoian — will screen in the festival’s Next program, dedicated to lower-budget and more offbeat films.
Both Oda and Machoian got the call from Sundance’s programming team just before Thanksgiving — a long-standing tradition for the festival, which showcases the best of American independent film along with a slate of international movies.
“I wasn’t expecting the call,” said Oda, who was born in Brazil to Japanese parents and educated at the University of Southern California. “They said it was so unique and so original.”
“It’s a very offbeat story, an alternate reality, a purgatory of sorts,” said John Cooper, the festival’s director. Cooper then joked, “When I think of purgatory, I think of Utah — there’s your quote.”
Machoian, who teaches photography in BYU’s design school, was just back from Denmark, where he was working on his film’s sound mix. “My parents picked me up from the airport, and on the drive back, they called,” Machoian said. “They were very complimentary. They said it was something they hadn’t seen before.”
Kim Yutani, the festival’s program director, called Machoian “an exciting filmmaker. … He’s a filmmaker who always uses his own kids. They have a special quality. They’ve grown up being in their dad’s movies.” Yutani called it “a gritty film,” and praised “the performances, and the intimacy he captures in the film.”
Oda’s film, “Nine Days,” centers on an interviewer — played by Winston Duke, who played the dad in Jordan Peele’s thriller “Us” — who talks to souls, who are embodied by such actors as Zazie Beets (“Joker”), Bill Skarsgård (“It”) and Benedict Wong (“Doctor Strange”). “He has to choose one to be born,” Oda said.
Though the premise is ethereal, he said, “the movie is very grounded. The souls, they look like regular people like us. We already have a hint of their personality.”
Machoian’s movie, “The Killing of Two Lovers,” focuses on a couple whose marriage is falling apart. The husband, played by Clayne Crawford, tries to keep himself together for the sake of their children — played by Machoian’s own kids — but has trouble accepting that his wife (Sepideh Moafi) has begun a relationship with another man (Chris Coy).
“These are two people who make this commitment to each other when they’re very young,” Machoian said. “You grow as a person. In ways, you grow together, and you grow not together. … I put it all into this one couple.”
SOURCE: THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE