NEW YORK — December 3, 2012 — Sundance Channel today announced that two of their highly anticipated original scripted series, “Top of the Lake” and “Rectify” will debut during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival taking place in Park City Utah in January. “Top of the Lake” will screen in the premiere category, marking the first time the Sundance Film Festival has included a scripted long form series in their lineup. The seven-part series will screen in its entirety on Sunday, January 20th at the Egyptian Theater in Park City and will be followed by a Q&A with the creators and cast. Campion will also participate in a discussion of the creative appeal of working in long-form episodic narrative as part of a Festival panel titled “Power of Story: The New Face of Independent Voice” on January 19.
Sundance Channel’s first wholly owned scripted series “Rectify” will be showcased in a private screening on January 19 in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with the creators and cast members. “Rectify” is a six-part series created and written by acclaimed actor and filmmaker Ray McKinnon (The Accountant, That Evening Sun, Chrystal) and produced by the producers of “Breaking Bad” Gran Via’s Mark Johnson (Rain Man, The Notebook, The Chronicles of Narnia) and Melissa Bernstein.
“We’re so thrilled to bring two of our scripted projects to the Sundance Film Festival this year and to have a Sundance Channel original series as the first scripted television series to screen as an official selection,” commented Sarah Barnett. “It really shows the captivating quality of these two shows and proves how creators with a brilliant vision can successfully move between the worlds of both television and film.”
“I am excited to be returning to the Sundance Film Festival with ‘Top of the Lake’,” remarked director Jane Campion. “I love crime mysteries and I wanted to write one that had room to expand like a true novel so the idea of doing a six hour long story was very exciting to me. To be able to screen the series in its entirety for the film community is a fantastic opportunity.”
“My feature film Chrystal screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and I really enjoyed the experience,” commented “Rectify” director Ray McKinnon. “This is such a personal project for me and I’m very much looking forward to showing ‘Rectify’ to the festival audiences.”
“Top of the Lake,” a seven-part series, is directed by Academy Award® winner Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait of a Lady) and Australian director Garth Davis, and written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (Sweetie). The project stars SAG® Award winner and three time Emmy® Award nominated actress Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” On the Road). Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Academy Award® for her performance in Campion’s The Piano, also stars alongside BAFTA® nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting) and AFI Award winning actor David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Australia). Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Spartacus: Vengeance”) also has a cameo role as Caroline, the estranged wife of Bob, a real estate agent who crosses drug lord Matt Mitcham.
Executive produced by Academy Award® winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) of See-Saw Films, and produced by Philippa Campbell (No. 2) of Escapade Pictures, “Top of the Lake” is a powerful and haunting mystery about the search for happiness in a paradise where honest work is hard to find. Set in the remote mountains of New Zealand, the story follows the disappearance of a twelve-year-old, five months pregnant, who was last seen standing chest deep in a frozen lake. Robin Griffin (Moss) is a gutsy but inexperienced detective called in to investigate Tui’s case. During the investigation, she collides with Matt Mitcham (Mullan), the missing girl’s father and local drug lord, and GJ (Hunter), a guru at a local women’s camp. Robin will find this the case that tests her limits and sends her on a journey of self-discovery. “Top of the Lake” Executive Producer for Sundance Channel is Christian Vesper. The series is co-produced by Sundance Channel, BBC TWO, and UKTV in Australia and New Zealand. BBC Worldwide distributes the television series internationally.
“Rectify,” Sundance Channel’s first wholly owned scripted series, was created and written by acclaimed actor and filmmaker Ray McKinnon (The Accountant, That Evening Sun, Mud). When Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is suddenly released from prison after 19 years on Death Row, it reopens a mystery that defined a small town. Having spent his adult life waiting to die, Daniel must now learn how to live in a world, a community, and a family he no longer knows. His return divides the small Georgia town and the man who became a State Senator on the heels of his conviction is dead set on putting him back behind bars. Daniel’s release reignites the mystery, the power plays and the questionable justice that condemned him.
“Rectify” presents a talented ensemble cast of established and rising stars including the celebrated Australian actor Aden Young (Killer Elite, “The Starter Wife”), Abigail Spencer (Cowboys and Aliens), J. Smith-Cameron (“True Blood”), Luke Kirby (“Slings and Arrows”), Clayne Crawford (“24”), Adelaide Clemens (No One Lives), Bruce McKinnon (The Way Home), Jake Austin Walker (The Chaperone), Michael O’Neill (Transformers) and Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild). “Rectify” also features six directors, each known for their groundbreaking independent films and television series including Keith Gordon (“The Killing,” Waking the Dead); Billy Gierhart (“Sons of Anarchy,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Shield”); Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman, “The Closer”); Jim McKay (“Boss,” “Breaking Bad,” “Treme,” Our Song); Romeo Tirone (“True Blood,” “Dexter”); and Raymond McKinnon.
Ray McKinnon also serves as an executive producer alongside Gran Via’s Mark Johnson (Rain Man, The Notebook, The Chronicles of Narnia) and Melissa Bernstein. This marks the second AMC Networks project for Johnson and Bernstein — the first being the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “Breaking Bad” for AMC. Also producing is Don Kurt (“Justified”). Executive Producer for Sundance Channel is Christian Vesper.
About Sundance Channel
Sundance Channel is the destination for What’s Next, Now. Showcasing both today’s creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow, Sundance Channel tells bold stories with a fresh point of view. In addition to award winning films, Sundance Channel is home to daring new original programming. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel provides perspectives dedicated to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.
About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates AMC/Sundance Channel Global, an international programming business, and AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, a full-service network programming feed origination and distribution company.
# # #