Director: Jon Shear
Screenwriters: Jon Shear

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Charlie is a man deeply wounded by a traumatic event. long suppressed, his memories fester to the surface one day, sending him to the brink of his own destruction. Sadness is an emotion generally linked to stillness, butUrbania is anything but serene. Instead, anger and lust for revenge catalyze Charlie into action.

Jon Shear has developed a highly original, complex style of cinematic storytelling. Charlie's quest unfolds as a riddle: nonlinear. demanding the viewer to feel Charlie's frustration. From the onset, you are launched on a journey. but to where? What is real and what is fantasized? Once engaged, you are compelled to see things through to the end. The stunning camerawork and precise editing are essential to the success of this type of film. As Charlie, Dan Futterman has a sardonic wit born of his smoldering, repressed rage. The tension building in him is palpable. Shear's ingenious device of concealing urban legends in secondary plot lines adds to the surreal nature of the film. It is as if they are there to remind us that some experiences in life are so unbelievable they must be real. Could not urban legends be born of some truth?

In our society, loss can take many forms. You can lose a street to violence, friends to untimely death, spirit to helplessness. Urbania seeks to affirm that sometimes the only path to resurrection is taking back what belongs to you.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]