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Film With Local Ties Gets Prolonged Standing Ovation At Sundance This Weekend

The film The Case Against 8 gets a standing ovation at Sundance
Southern Documentary Fund via Facebook

The Case Against 8 premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The film is directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White, and was supported by the Southern Documentary Fund. The film received an emotional response from the audience, with a standing ovation that lasted through the credits, SDF and other media outlets report.

The Salt Lake Tribune describes the film this way:

In the absorbing documentary "The Case Against 8," inside access illuminates the high drama within the case that overturned California’s anti-gay-marriage law, Prop. 8.

The Hollywood Reporter indicated that 50 gay marriage lawyers planned to attend the premiere:

At the heart of the large entourage are rivals lawyers-turned-bosom buddies Ted Olson and David Boies, who first became household names after squaring off during the George W. Bush-Al Gore presidential recount legal battle in 2000 (Olson repped Bush, Boies handled Gore). Case Against 8, making its worldwide premiere in competition on Saturday before airing on HBO in June, is an intimate behind-the-scenes chronicle of Boies and Olson's landmark legal fight to overturn California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage.

The Case Against 8 production team describes the heart of their legal drama:

With unparalleled access to the main players involved in the lawsuit and fly-on-the-wall coverage of the three years of legal work that have gone into the case, this documentary will be the most thorough, intimate, and accurate portrayal of the federal fight for gay marriage. Following the top litigators in the country, it will also offer unprecedented insight into the justice system and the often mysterious process of taking a case to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Another Local Film Premieres At Sundance

Private Violence is directed and produced by Cynthia Hill, and also premieres this weekend:

Private Violence is reveals a simple, but deeply disturbing, fact of American life: the most dangerous place for women in America is their own home. Every day in the US, at least 4 women are murdered by abusive partners or, most often, ex-partners. The reflexive response to victims is: "why don't you just leave?" Private Violence follows the story of two survivors, Deanna Walters, as she seeks justice for the violence committed against her by her ex-husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate through whom we meet other survivors from a cross-section of society, who have left their abusers only to face systems that fail, judge, marginalize and blame them for the violence to which they have been subjected.

Private Violence Trailer (3 minutes) from Cynthia Hill on Vimeo. Premieres on HBO in 2014.

"We're proud to support these two documentaries, both made by long time SDF filmmakers," says SDF Executive Director Rachel Raney.  "Sundance can shine a well deserved spotlight on these two inspiring films that tackle tough but important American issues."

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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