Remember that whole pact the Sundance programmers made to de-glitz this year's line-up? It looks like what the films might lack in terms of big-name headliners, the juries will pick up the slack. Thomas Vinterberg, Lars Von Trier's founding partner in Dogme 95 and the director of Dear Wendy, one of the most revilied films at last year's fest, will lead a World Cinema jury also including chinese filmmaker Lu Chan, and Locarno Film Festival head Irene Bignardi. Alexander Payne, who won an Oscar last year for writing Sideways, will sit at the center of this year's Documentary jury, flanked by fellow Oscar winner Zana "Born into Brothels" Briski, editor/frequent Werner Herzog collaborator Joe Bini, and producer Heather Rae. The Dramatic Competition jury is equally noteworthy: Good Girl director Miguel Arteta will join Terrence Howard, whose work in Hustle and Flow was last year's Sundance sensation and will very likely earn the actor his first Oscar nomination, and Alan Rudolph, the Robert Altman protege who has unfortunately not graced us with a picture since 2003's very good The Secret Lives of Dentists. Less familiar names on the same list include cinematographer Nancy Schreiber (whose most notable IMDB feature credit is Blair Witch 2) and Audrey Wells, a screenwriter-for-hire and the director of Under the Tuscan Sun.
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