Sundance to Show Films About Addiction

By Shawn Dwyer 12/06/13

The premiere indie film festival unveiled a lineup that includes three films – one narrative drama and pair of documentaries – that tackle issues of addiction.

The festival runs Jan. 16-26, 2014
Photo via Sundance

As it does every year at this time, the Sundance Film Festival has just revealed its slate of films for their upcoming 30th annual event in Park City, UT.

Among the many entries that will make their debuts are three movies that deal with addiction issues. The most high-profile film is Low Down from director Jeff Preiss, a heart-wrenching drama based on the memoir of the same name by Amy Jo Albany. Both the book and film detail her troubled childhood being raised by her father, Joe Albany, a bebop pianist who played with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, but who struggled with heroin addiction and routine incarceration. The film stars John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, and Peter Dinklage, and will be slated for the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

The festival also includes two harrowing documentaries about web addiction. Love Child, directed by Valerie Veatch, focuses on a young South Korean couple who allowed their infant daughter to starve to death while they raised a virtual child online. The film covers the 2010 trial and sentencing, while exposing the dark underbelly of gaming addiction. The other film is Web Junkie, a documentary from Israel that investigates a rehabilitation center in China – the first country to label Internet addiction a clinical disorder – where three teenagers are deprogrammed to kick their online habit. Both films will be shown in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.