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Briefs

Sundance to include indie films for children

The Sundance Film Festival will soon become more child friendly.

Organizers announced plans Thursday to debut a program of independent films aimed at young audiences at the festival next month.

The Sundance Kids program will feature the world premiere of “Ernest and Celestine,” a film about a mouse who forms an unlikely bond with a bear, and the U.S. premiere of “Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang,” a movie about twin brothers who uncover a hidden secret at school.

Festival director John Cooper told The Salt Lake Tribune the new program is designed to give children 8 and older an appreciation for independent film.

Sundance already conducts outreach programs for high school and college students.

The 2014 Sundance festival runs Jan. 16-24 with films, documentaries and shorts in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and at the Sundance Resort.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ planned for 2016

The “X-Men” franchise will get another boost in 2016 with the release of “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Veteran “X-Men” director and producer Bryan Singer hinted at the next installment via Twitter on Thursday when he wrote, “#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!”

Fox confirmed the film will open in wide release Memorial Day weekend, on May 27, 2016.

Apocalypse is a major villain from the “X-Men” comics who appeared in the 1980s.

Singer has worked on all the Marvel mutant-focused films since the first “X-Men” was released in 2000.

He’s also directing the next movie in the franchise, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

Scheduled for a May 23, 2014, release, the film will star Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Shawn Ashmore and Nicholas Hoult.

‘Potter’ actors up for stage awards

Former “Harry Potter” stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are both prize contenders for performances on the London stage.

Ex-boy wizard Radcliffe is a best-actor finalist at the WhatsOnStage awards for “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” Grint, who played Ron Weasley, is nominated as newcomer of the year for his stage debut as a gangland flunky in “Mojo.”

Other acting nominees announced Friday include Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, James McAvoy and Helen Mirren – for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s “The Audience.”

“The Audience” is up for best new play, along with David Greig’s “The Events,” John Logan’s “Peter and Alice,” Rory Kinnear’s “The Herd” and “Chimerica” by Lucy Kirkwood.

The awards, run by website whatsonstage.com, are decided by public vote.

Winners will be announced Feb. 23.

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