Tens of thousands of cinephiles and countless critics descend on Park City, Utah annually forÂ Sundance Film Festival, the biggest independent film festival in the U.S. It’s almost two weeks of movie lover heaven, as some of the most highly anticipated films of the year get a world premiere to rapt audiences. The festival’s ability to launch big screen success before before most of us even get to see a trailer, like what happened last year with A24’s superb horror film HereditaryÂ and the totally bonkers Nic Cage filmÂ Mandy, makesÂ getting a coveted spot a big deal for filmmakers. Now we know which upcoming movies earned those precious slots this year, as the Sundance Institute announced its 2019 feature film slate on Wednesday.This year’s festival, which runs from Thursday, January 24 through Sunday, February 3, received a record number of submissions (14,259 from 152 countries), so getting accepted was especially tough. The entire slate will include 112 feature films from 33 countries, with 45 first-time filmmakers.
â€œThis yearâ€™s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.â€ – Robert Redford #Sundance
â€” SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) November 28, 2018
There are too many films to list all of them, but a few that caught our attention include:
- Brittany Runs A Marathon from director and screenwriter Paul Downs Colaizzo, starring Jillian Bell and Michaela Watkins â€” “A woman living in New York takes control of her life â€“ one city block at a time.”
- To The Stars from director Martha Stephens â€” “Under small town scrutiny, a withdrawn farmerâ€™s daughter forges an intimate friendship with a worldly but reckless new girl in 1960s Oklahoma.”
- Honey Boy from writer Shia LaBeouf, where he plays his own father. It also stars Lucas Hedges – “A child TV star and his ex-rodeo clown father face their stormy past through time and cinema.”
- Ms. Purple from director Justin Chon – “Kasie, stuck in LAâ€™s Koreatown, works as a karaoke hostess getting paid for her companionship by drunken men. When her dadâ€™s hospice nurse quits she reconnects with her estranged brother, Carey, forcing them to enter a period of intense self-reflection as their single father who raised them nears death.”
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile from director Joe Berlinger and starring Haley Joel Osment, John Malkovich, and Zac Efron – “A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of Liz, his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.”
- Troupe Zero from directors Bert & Bertie – “In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to be recorded on NASAâ€™s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troupe of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond.”
- Where’s My Roy Cohn? (documentary) from director Matt Tyrnauer â€” “Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues â€“ from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald J. Trump. This thriller-like exposÃ© connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current American nightmare.”
By the time January rolls around our list of must-see films at Sundance will probably be all of them.If you’re interested in attending any screenings at this year’s show, you can get more information on when and how to purchase them at the Sundance Institute’s official page.Which movie announced for this year’s event are you most excited about? You have a free ticket to our comments section below to share which film you can’t wait to see.
Featured Image: Sundance Institute