New Sundance Film Festival Director , John Cooper, is establishing a new and exciting category for the 2010 Festival that is shaking up the festival world. Cooper has established a new section called “NEXT” which will feature anywhere from 6 to 8 narrative features.
As Cooper stated they will be “selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.” He added the idea is “the desire to discover and promote filmmakers forging new ways to tell their stories, limited by resources but uninhibited by creativity.” A festival announcement today said that staffers are referring to the section internally with the symbol: <=>. Cooper calls the icon a bit of an homage to Miranda July. The move by Sundance puts the festival in even greater competition for the sort of smaller films by emerging filmmakers that have become common at other American festivals like CineVegas and longtime rival Slamdance.