Erik’s Sundance Film Festival ’09 Diary: Day 7

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Aside from stalking the halls at Flavorwire, Erik Davis contributes to Fandango.com and is also the editor-in-chief of AOL Moviefone’s Cinematical.com, one of the longest-running and most popular movie blogs online. He’ll be bringing us his industry reports from Sundance throughout the festival, and can be reached with tips or questions at erik [dot] davis [at] gmail [dot] com.

The beautiful weather has left Park City, as have most of the press, celebs and fest freaks — but for some odd reason I’m still here, watching movies and eating mediocre Chinese while quietly discovering some excellent new talent. Though still a relatively unknown (so much so that she signed with an agency at this year’s Sundance), watch out for the name Carey Mulligan, a delightful new actress who some folks are calling “the new Audrey”, yet I feel she’s more of a British Katie Holmes … except normal and not married to a psycho.

This year Mulligan showed up BIG in two films, The Greatest and An Education, and in both she absolutely stole the show (and our hearts). And speaking of new talent, writer-director Cary Fukunaga has officially arrived on the scene with one of best films I’ve seen in the past five years, Sin Nombre. Talk about a crazy story, Focus Features took one helluva chance bankrolling this flick based on script alone … and still moved forward even though it a) was full Spanish-language, b) was a first time director, and c) none of the actors had ever starred in a film before. Yet, their risk paid off, and Sin Nombre – which follows a couple of teenagers attempting to not only flee dangerous gang members, but also Mexico itself — deserves to win best feature at this year’s festival, at the very least. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the award winners and some final thoughts on the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.