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Sundance Film Festival USA 2013

For the fourth year in a row, the Sundance Institute has chosen the Michigan Theater as an official venue of the Sundance Film Festival USA program. This special event will happen at only ten theaters across the country. “We are very pleased to be screening The East as part of Sundance Film Festival USA,” said Russ Collins, Executive Director of the Michigan Theater. “The Michigan Theater always has the best-attended screenings.” Other screenings will occur in Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, and Tucson.

On Thursday, January 31, at 8:00 pm, the Michigan Theater will premiere The East, starring Ellen Page, Brit Marling, and Alexander Skarsgård, about an operative for an elite private intelligence firm who goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations. Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group’s charismatic leader.

As in previous years, key players in independent film will participate in the event, including:

Zal Batmanglij, co-writer and director of The East. Batmanglij premiered his first feature length film, Sound of My Voice, at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. This collaboration with fellow Georgetown University alum Brit Marling was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Fun Fact: Batmanglij’s brother is in the indie rock band Vampire Weekend.

Brit Marling, co-writer and star of The East. Marling co-wrote, co-produced, and acted in Another Earth and the aforementioned Sound of My Voice. Both of these films were featured at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival. Groth leads the programming team that is responsible for curating the Festival’s on-screen and off-screen events and has championed such films as Hard Eight, Pi, Memento, and Napoleon Dynamite. Under his direction as head programmer for the Festival’s Short Film Section, Groth was among the first to showcase the shorts of Todd Field, Spike Jonze, and Peter Sollett.

Attendees of the premiere will also help celebrate the Michigan Theater’s 85th anniversary and Collins’s 30th anniversary as Executive Director. The Michigan Theater opened in January 1928 as a grand movies palace, which in the “Roaring 20s” was the grandest and most elaborate of the Michigan-based Butterfield theater chain. The theater was saved by a community-based non-profit organization in 1979 and Collins has managed the theater’s restoration and institutional growth since 1983. During his tenure, Collins has developed the ongoing relationship with Sundance, has been knighted by the Republic of Italy for the Michigan Theater’s promotion of Italian film culture, and has won the Outstanding Historic Theater in North America award from the League of Historic American Theatres.

Russ Collins attended the world premiere of The East at Sundance and had this to say:
“Michigan Theater patrons will love Brit Marling, she is a film star (and writing star) sure to break through to the big time!  They will also like the movie, which is much different than the romantic comedies we have so far screened as part of Sundance Film Festival USA.  Our patrons will also like Sundance Film Festival Program Director Trevor Groth, who has family in Michigan and is also excited to come Ann Arbor with his family.”

clever, involving spy drama…” –Variety

…as a filmmaker, Batmanglij is still at the head of the class of up-and-coming directors.” – The Playlist

To round out the Sundance experience, the Michigan Theater will screen Sundance Shorts, a collection of the best shorts from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, on Friday, February 1, at 7:00 pm.

Reserved seats on sale now. Prices are $15 for the film, $15 for the shorts, and $25 for the package. Tickets are available at and all Ticketmaster outlets, including Briarwood Mall and all Walmart stores. Charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.



Sundance Film Festival USA
Thursday, January 31
8:00 PM
Tickets at »

2012 Sundance Shorts Program
Friday, February 1
7:00 PM
Tickets at »

Sundance Film Festival USA and Shorts Package
Thursday, January 31 & Friday, February 1
Tickets at »