Edge of America

Director: Chris Eyre
Screenwriters: Willy Holtzman

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


Chris Eyre is a clear, original voice in American cinema. In Edge of America, he ventures into the heartland and returns with a tale that tugs at your heartstrings but is never sentimental.

Mr. William is a new face on the Three Nations Reservation. This new English teacher catches the locals unaware. Not only is he not from around there, but he is black. He faces an uphill battle to gain acceptance in the tight-knit community until he begrudgingly agrees to coach the girls high-school basketball team. The team has a lot to learn to break out of its infamous losing streak, but the ultimate question is, who will be teaching whom?

Edge of America is a sweet, endearing film that will inspire and provoke you with its unique approach to race and prejudice. It can best be described as a struggle to overcome diversity. Loosely based on a true story, the film follows in the classic tradition of sports films, right down to the exciting climax.

The Utah location and cast of locals give the film a genuine feel. James McDaniel is wonderfully enigmatic as the coach who drives the team, and the young actresses who play that motley group of misfits are talented, unaffected, and completely charming. Chris Eyre's strength as a filmmaker has always been his authenticity, and Edge of America stays true to that tradition.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

  • Section: Premiere - Opening Night in Salt Lake City
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 106 min.


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]