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SUNDANCE PREVIEW: Competition Drama 'Middle of Nowhere' (Exclusive Video)

Writer-director Ava DuVernay's second feature explores how a woman's love is changed when her husband is sent to prison.

Middle of Nowhere Poster Art - P 2012

“It’s a love story about love as choice.”

This is how filmmaker Ava DuVernay describes her new film Middle of Nowhere, which will screen as part of the U.S. dramatic competition program at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival this month.

“I wanted to explore a love story where the balance had shifted,” DuVernay says. “You know, when you’re in a relationship and you look up and wonder, How did I get here? How am I now this person I don't recognize?

The relationship in Middle of Nowhere is defined by forced separation, and how Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) adapts when her husband Derek (Omari Hardwick) is sentenced to eight years in prison. Dropping out of medical school to manage her strained marriage is merely the beginning of a new life and new identity molded by hardship.

DuVernay, Howard Barish and Paul Garnes produced the drama, which will have its world premiere Friday, Jan. 20, at the Library Center Theatre at 2:30 pm. (That screening is already booked to waitlist only, but there are three more Park City screenings during the week.)

THR here exclusively hosts the film’s Kustom Creative-designed poster and freshly cut teaser, which DuVernay hopes “offers a taste of the imagery and vibe of the film.”

“Our cinematographer Bradford Young and I wanted to dive into the edge of the image and play with contrast and shadow with brown skin,” she says. “How far could we push and stay true to the narrative? The music was similar. What's on the edge? Our music supervisor Morgan Rhodes dug through the crates for songs and sounds outside of traditional R&B and hip hop, but still soulful. Me'Shell Nedegeocello, Goapele, Ra-Re Valverde, Fink, Jimi James — artists I've been listening to forever and whom I love. Just beautiful music by brave musicians who are pushing the genre.”

“Perfect Darkness" by Fink plays over the teaser.