The Words

Institute History


When aspiring writer Rory Jansen finds another man's haunting memories in a collection of lost stories in a dusty flea-market purchase, he cannot resist claiming them. The work, now with his name on it, propels him to literary stardom before he has had the chance to reflect fully on the impact of his decision.

Fame and adulation come quickly on the heels of his first success, but with it comes the inevitable guilt, and an internal battle for ownership of his own undeveloped talent, now buried beneath the work of another. It is in this state that an old man finds Rory in a park and reveals that he is the true author of the stories with the recollections of the painful memories that led to their creation. Seeing that another man has paid the price for the stories' truth and vision, Rory is faced with the loss of everything he has built and become.

Written as a story within a story, Rory's life is itself an invention, and behind it all is a literary lion who cannot help hinting at a tantalizing connection to his own secret part. As the author of his own creation he has made decisions about worth, truth, morality, and the price to be paid for building one's life on the soul of another.

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]