2011 Sundance Film Festival goes back to its off-kilter roots

Festival programmers announced Wednesday that 58 features and documentaries are included on the Sundance schedule, although the festival lacks a previously quintessential element: movie stars.

The films were culled from 3,812 submissions, and feature mostly unrecognizable performers with lesser known filmmakers, the New York Times reported.

The lineup for the narrative films includes Demi Moore, Liv Tyler, John C. Reilly and some indie darlings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last year's competition showed well-known actors like Natalie Portman, James Franco, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Orlando Bloom and James Gandolfini, The New York Times reported.

"For whatever reason, there aren't as many big stars doing an independent turn as in past years, and that's perfectly fine with us," said John Cooper, who is in his second year as festival director.

Cooper hopes to steer the festival back to its original, off-kilter character, avoiding the grandiose influence of Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I felt audiences wanted us to stick with it," Cooper said. "Not that that's what the industry wanted us to do."

On the same note, the Utah gathering will forgo the previously traditional gala in Park City, and instead will start the competition when Sundance begins Jan.20, which concludes 10 days later, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The festival has awards for best American drama and documentary, along with contests for top international drama and documentary, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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