The new film Senna will premiere in the United States this January, as announced today by the Sundance Film Festival. The film has opened to rave reviews in the racing community, with James Allen commenting on the film’s premiere in Brazil:
“It is a powerful film because it reminds you of the visceral nature of the sport, the brutality of the cars, the accidents, the politics at the same time as showing you the beauty of life lived on the limit.”
SPEED’s Will Buxton has also seen the film, and his comment after seeing a premiere in Japan this fall was a good sign for the film’s release in the US:
“…it is a fantastic piece of art and a brilliantly made movie. Racing fan or not, by the end of this movie I have little doubt you will be an Ayrton Senna fan.”
‘Senna’ was one of 12 films chosen for the 2011 World Cinema Documentary category from nearly 800 entries, the same category the film ‘Man on Wire’ ($5.4M gross worldwide) was entered in for the 2008 Sundance Festival. One can only guess with the positive reviews so far that a US distribution deal will happen – but where to show the film in this country?
Map: American F1 groups and venues
One idea which makes a lot of sense is to show the film where groups are gathering to watch Formula 1 races today. Above is a map I’ve built and open sourced showing where groups have been forming to watch the races. There’s plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the sport already in these areas, and no doubt many who would plonk down $5-$10 for a few minutes with their hero on the big screen.
I hope to learn more after the films’ screening at the festival, and will keep American F1 fans updated – follow @F1US for the latest. Meanwhile – where would you like to see it on the silver screen near you?
12/17 Update: The official screening information has been posted, keep me updated if you’re lucky enough to be there!
1/25 Update: The reviews have been flowing in steadily, and all have been very positive from the film’s first handful of US showings at Sundance. (Variety, LA Times) Director Asif Kapadia and Producer Manish Pandey are in Park City and have been tweeting up a storm between screenings and meetings. amd while I have not received word of any interviews they’ve done so far at Sundance, a recent interview with F1 journalist Peter Windsor is over at his blog, The Flying Lap:
Also, another interview can be found here at Formula 1 Blog with director Kapadia.
This interview for the recent Brazilian premiere of the film is very interesting, as Kapadia and Pandey speak to answer questions on Brazilian TV (English):
Also of interest, this tribute to Senna on Top Gear was aired last year with one of his greatest fans taking the wheel behind the McLaren MP4/4:
More news to follow as the awards are handed out at Sundance this Saturday the 29th, from 9pm – 10:30pm EST.