Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, a popular choice during the Toronto International Film Festival, has earned a spot at next year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Programmers at Sundance, the most important U.S. festival for independent film, have selected Stories We Tell for the Spotlight program, which gathers favourite films that premiered at other festivals.

The documentary, produced by the National Film Board, features Polley unraveling the secrets of her own conception.

The Toronto actor-turned-director digs for the truth surrounding her late mother Diane — who died of cancer when Polley was 11 — via stories and memories shared by her father Michael Polley, her siblings and friends of her mom. The catalyst was discovering, in 2006, that the man who raised her was not her biological father but that she is the product of an affair her mother had in the 1970s.

Two other Canadian films have also scored berths at Sundance, which can give a boost to independent filmmakers.

Hobo with a Shotgun director

Jason Eisener, the East Coast director behind horror flick Hobo with a Shotgun, is back at Sundance with a crew of fellow directors and a new Midnight at Park City entry , S-VHS. Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto and Gareth Huw Evans collaborated with Eisener to write and direct S-VHS.

The story follows private investigators looking into the disappearance of a student who find a cache of VHS tapes in an abandoned house. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.


Quebec film Meteor will screen at Sundance. (Films 53/12)

The Sundance Park City at Midnight program is devoted to films that shock or dazzle.

Quebec filmmaker François Delisle’s film Meteor will screen in the New Frontiers program for experimental films. Meteor is a drama about a man, his mother and his wife who are linked by crime, guilt and loneliness.

The Sundance Film Festival  has booked a record slate of women directors for its main competition. It runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah.