2 Minnesota-made movies heading to Sundance Film Festival


The Minnesota-made independent movies "Dear White People" and "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" are among the 67 films selected to compete in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival's U.S. Dramatic Competition, the Star Tribune reported.

A social satire, "Dear White People" centers around a group of black students at an Ivy League school. Filmmaker Justin Simien makes his directing debut with the flick, which stars Tessa Thompson and Tyler Williams.

According to the Star Tribune, "Dear White People" was shot a few months ago at Twin Cities locations including the University of Minnesota, the Woman's Club of Minneapolis and Summit Ave. in St. Paul.

"Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" is based on a debated story of a Japanese woman who came to Minnesota believing the fictional film "Fargo" was real — and conducted a search for the $1 million that Steve Buscemi's character, Carl Showalter, buried at the end of Joel and Ethan Coen's crime caper.

A writer with U.K.'s The Guardian said the story was true, but a production staffer on the film told the South Washington County Bulletin that it's an urban legend.

"Kumiko" stars Rinko Kikuchi, the "Babel" Oscar nominee who most recently starred in the sci-fi creature feature "Pacific Rim."

Filmmaker brothers David and Nathan Zellner shot the movie at the Afton Alps ski resort in Afton, and at a farm field in Cottage Grove. One of the producers on the film is Edina native Jim Burke ("The Descendants").

"Kumiko" has already caught the attention of the popular movie websites Ain't It Cool News and SlashFilm.

A snippet in the "Fargo" movie trailer shows Showalter burying a suitcase full of the loot. Showalter, of course, met his fate in the film's infamous wood chipper scene.

The Star Tribune said more than 4,000 films submitted for consideration to be screened at Sundance, and 67 of them will compete in festival's four categories.

Sundance will screen 117 films in all during the festival, which is set for Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Utah.

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