Shailene Woodley in a scene from "White Bird in a Blizzard."
Shailene Woodley in a scene from “White Bird in a Blizzard.”

PARK CITY, Utah — Director/screenwriter Gregg Araki’s latest feature, “White Bird in a Blizzard,” had its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival with screenings on Jan. 20, 21, 24 and 25.

The festival gave the following description of the film:

“It’s 1988. On the surface, Kat’s home life seems perfect. A normal, college-bound teenager, she listens to Depeche Mode, hangs out with her tragically hip pals, and is critical of her parents. She’s also having her first romance with, literally, the boy next door and is starting to feel comfortable in her own skin — all under the watchful eye of her glamorous, but disturbed, homemaker mother.

Gregg Araki
Gregg Araki

“When her mother mysteriously vanishes, Kat and her father suppress their emotions and try to resume their lives. Years later, Kat’s subconscious is consumed by images of her mother, whose peculiar disappearance she can’t fully comprehend.

“Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ tells the story of a girl coming of age under unusual and traumatic circumstances. Shailene Woodley, as Kat, commands the screen with the allure of a young woman embracing her sexuality and beginning to understand the power that accompanies it.

“Veteran filmmaker Gregg Araki uses a carefully curated soundtrack to build a tantalizing dream world and contrasts it with the stark reality of the characters who inhabit it, indicating all is not right beneath this placid façade of American suburbia.”

Woodley was a regular on the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and appeared in such films as “The Descendants.” “White Bird in a Blizzard” also stars Eva Green (“Casino Royale”), Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Shiloh Fernandez (“Evil Dead”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) and Thomas Jane (“Hung”).

Born in Los Angeles, Araki earned an MFA in cinema production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and a BA in film studies from UC Santa Barbara. His films have screened at the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, and New York.

Araki has made 10 independent features, including “Kaboom” (2011), “Smiley Face” (2007), “Mysterious Skin” (2005), “Splendor” (1999), “Nowhere” (1997), “The Doom Generation” (1995), “Totally F***ed Up” (1994), and “The Living End” (1992). All of them have screened at Sundance.

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