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Sundance Film Festival to screen film written by ASU professor

December 13, 2018

The Sundance Film Festival announced its selection of films for 2019, and one of the feature films includes a screenwriting credit for Greg Bernstein, associate professor in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Greg Bernstein.

Bernstein and his wife, Sara Bernstein, wrote the screenplay for “Official Secrets,” which will have its world premiere at the festival in late January.

Official Secrets” tells the true story of British intelligence whistleblower Katharine Gun, who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the U.N. Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The movie is directed by Gavin Hood, who is also listed as writer, and stars Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans.

"I am so fortunate and thankful to have a film with such a great cast premiering at Sundance,” Bernstein said. “Most importantly, the film will enable people to learn about a remarkable woman, Katharine Gun, and the very courageous action she took in an attempt to stop the Iraq War from ever happening."

In addition to Bernstein, two other Sun Devils will have projects screening at Sundance. ASU alums and ASU Film Spark  board members Michael Helfant and Alex Witherill are producers for two selected films. Helfant is a producer for “Them That Follow,” and Witherill is an executive producer for “Give Me Liberty.”

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival received a record-breaking 14,259 submissions from 152 countries. The 112 feature-length films selected represent 33 counties. The festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, all in Utah, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3, 2019.

samccar5@asu.edu