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Film London-produced Lilting to open Sundance Film Festival

Date posted: 06.12.2013

Hong Khaou's debut feature Lilting will have its World Premiere at the opening night of the 30th Sundance Film Festival. Produced with Film London's Microwave scheme, the film was announced as a runner in the Festival's World Cinema dramatic competition on Wednesday.

With striking performances from a star-studded cast led by Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas) and Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Lilting offers a touching exploration of love across a language divide. It is the eighth feature from Film London Microwave, joining critically acclaimed Ill Manors, BAFTA-nominated Shifty, and the recent Borrowed Time, awarded Best of the Fest at the 2012 Edinburgh Film Festival.

Thirty years of Sundance

In 2014 Robert Redford's annual showcase of independent cinema celebrates its 30th anniversary. Across three decades it has become an influential player on the Festival scene, often setting the tone for the year in cinema and famously offering a strong indication of the awards season ahead.

Lilting is one of 117 features screening between from 16-26 January 2014, selected from over 12,200 submissions. It is one of four opening films, each representing one of the Festival competitions. The others are:

  • US Dramatic Whiplash (dir. Damien Chazelle)
  • US Documentary Dinosaur 13 (dir. Todd Miller)
  • World Cinema documentary The Green Prince (dir. Nadav Schirman)

Read more about the Sundance 2014 programme

How it happened: Film London Microwave and Lilting

Film London Microwave is no ordinary funding scheme. It offers training and development from script to screen and beyond. And, by gaining support from Microwave, both Khaou and Lilting producer Dominic Buchanan were given mentors.

Award-winning film-makers Michael Winterbottom and Clio Barnard became writer/director Khaou's mentors, with Barnard coming on board following an introduction at Microschool, Film London's four day developmental programme for film-makers shortlisted for Microwave.

Buchanan received guidance and support from Ken Marshall, producer of London to Brighton, Filth and Song for Marion.

Lilting, a modern-day drama with a universal theme

Set in contemporary London, Lilting tells the story of a Cambodian Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son when her world is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger.

Through a translator they piece together memories of a man they both loved dearly, and realise that while they may not share a language, they are connected in their grief.

Lilting is a touching, intimate film about finding the things which bring us together. It is, Khauo suggests: "A modern-day London drama with universal themes - love and grief".

The film stars Peter Bowles (Blow-Up, The Bank Job), Morven Christie (House of 9, The Young Victoria) and Andrew Leung (The List) alongside Whishaw and Pei Pei.

Find out more about Lilting

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