Festival also adds multi-part nonfiction music project from EP's Robert Redford, T. Bone Burnett and Jack White
A documentary on the late director Mike Nichols is among the major last-minute additions to the Sundance Film Festival program.
Becoming Mike Nichols, directed by Douglas McGrath [Emma, Infamous], is based on a series of interviews Nichols did with his friend, theater director Jack O'Brien, just months before Nichols' death last year at age 83.
The film covers the early part of his career, including his comedy collaboration with Elaine May, his acclaimed Broadway productions of Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple, and his first two films, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  and The Graduate . It debuts on HBO February 22nd.
McGrath told the New York Times, "It’s not a gossipy piece. It doesn’t have celebrities giving personal anecdotes. I wasn’t interested in doing a film about anything other than his work as an artist.”
He added, "By not covering his whole career, we were able to give him the time to discuss in-depth the work that he thought was his best."
Sundance is an appropriate place for the film to premiere, because it was festival founder Robert Redford who starred in Barefoot in the Park, that early Broadway hit of Nichols' [Redford also starred in the film version with Jane Fonda, but the movie was directed by Gene Saks].
Redford is behind one of the other late additions to the festival, the three-part music documentary American Epic, which will air later in 2016 on PBS. Redford executive-produced the series, alongside T. Bone Burnett and Jack White.
British filmmakers Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty directed the series, which PBS describes as an "extraordinary story set in the late 1920s when record companies toured America with a recording machine and for the first time captured the raw expression of an emerging culture. It democratized music and gave a voice to the poorest in the nation."
Among the musical talents involved in the project are Merle Haggard, Elton John, Bettye LaVette, Los Lobos, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Nas, Willie Nelson, and Raphael Saadiq.
The third documentary just added to the Sundance lineup is Tickled, directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve. According to the festival, it's about "A journalist [who] stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition. As he delves deeper into the event, he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him from getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.