Daniel Radcliffe, Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara join big-name stars heading to Utah for next year's festival, which boasts record number of female directors
It may be world famous for independent film-making, but – judging by its lineup for 2013 – the Sundance flick festival is not short on grand ambition when it comes to blockbuster idols and award-season darlings.
Organisers revealed yesterday that Daniel Radcliffe, Octavia Spencer, Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Jessica Biel will all feature in next year's haul at the event founded and made famous by Robert Redford.
Radcliffe appears as the poet Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, set in the aftermath of the 1944 murder of David Kammerer by beat crowd alumnus Lucien Carr, who claimed Kammerer had been stalking him.
John Krokidas's flick also stars Ben Foster as William Burroughs, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Naomi Ginsberg, Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker and Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac.
Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar for Tate Taylor's southern period drama The Help earlier this year, plays a supporting role in Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale, billed as the true story of the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a San Francisco man who was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009.
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara will play Bonnie and Clyde-style lovers on the run in David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, while Biel plays a mysterious new neighbour who bears a striking resemblance to the dead mother of a troubled girl in Francesca Gregorini's Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes.
Encouragingly, half of the dramatic competition titles are directed by women.
Elsewhere, controversy is likely to surround Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's documentary After Tiller, which centres on the 2009 assassination of George Tiller, one of the last US doctors to practise late-term abortions.
Citizen Koch is about the US Republican party's ongoing state of flux, while Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish centres on a notorious killer whale responsible for three human deaths.
"Every great flick starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year," said Redford, president and founder of the Sundance Institute.
Last year's Sundance hits included the Oscar-tipped Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Sessions (then titled The Surrogate), starring John Hawkes as a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity via a professional "sex surrogate" (played by Helen Hunt).
In all, 113 feature flicks have been picked to screen at the 11-day festival, which runs from 17 to 27 January in the ski resort of Park City, Utah.
They were chosen from a high submission of 12,146 features and shorts.
Ninety-eight flicks will be world premieres.
Sundance flick festivalRobert RedfordDaniel RadcliffeRooney MaraDramaDocumentaryFestivalsAwards and prizesBen Childguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
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