Category Archives: Sundance
After a deluge of amazing independent film and snow, the 2017 Sundance Film Festival came to an end this past weekend and handed out awards to some of the top features, documentaries, and shorts at the fest. Macon Blair’s I don’t feel at home in this world anymore. won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize while Matt Ruskin’s drama Crown Heights took the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic competition.
There was no shortage of amazing films at this year’s Sundance, making the discovery of breakout actors, filmmakers, and writers exciting. Here are 17 names — some familiar faces, others new — that made a considerable impression with their films at this year’s fest.
Director-writer Matt Ruskin, along with standout performances by Lakeith Stanfield and Nnamdi Asomugha, brings the the gripping and heartbreaking story of a wrongfully accused man in prison and the country’s fractured justice system into the spotlight.
The endearing, yet scathingly funny family dramedy reunites the Obvious Child director Gillian Robespierre with star Jenny Slate for story about sisterhood and family dysfunction set to the backdrop of Discmans, dial-up modems, and bodysuits.
One would think that a film titled The Polka King would be celebratory and bouncy like the music and the Maya Forbes-directed biopic about Jan “King of Pennsylvania Polka” Lewan definitely has a lot of that. Even so, the true story of the rise and fall of Lewan is quite tragic, but Jack Black drapes it in so much charismatic Polka charm that you hardly even notice.
Director Craig Johnson serves up some major inappropriateness through the vessel that is the great Woody Harrelson, but above all, the indie comedy manages to balance heart and horrible with comedic charm.
While most of the Hollywood contingent at Sundance has already left Park City, there are still plenty of festival deals being made, chief among them one for Dee Rees’ acclaimed drama Mudbound, which is the hottest acquisition title left on the board.
From pioneering rap artists to moms letting loose, this year’s Sundance is filled with projects starring, written, and/or directed by some of the industry’s up-and-coming female talent — but some of the films are more worth your time than others.
Golden Globe-nominated writer Taylor Sheridan (and possibly Oscar-nominated by the time you read this) also sits in the director’s chair as he tells murder mystery set in a snowy Native American reservation in Wyoming. The writer’s signature intensity is ever present and feels too safe — which only leaves room for Sheridan’s directing chops to grow.
The Sundance Film Festival has reached its halfway point and the sales market has been brisk thanks to streaming giants like Amazon and Netflix, who as expected, have been as active as anyone in Park City.
The kaiju dramedy Colossal; the conceptual horror-ish pic Bitch, and the war mystery The Yellow Birds all made a premiere at this year’s fest and left some good, boring, and fascinating impressions.
Amazon Studios lands festival favorite The Big Sick at this year’s Sundance. The romantic comedy has received plenty of praise since premiering on Friday and sold to Amazon in one of the festival’s biggest deals to date.
Although a major bullet point in the story, director Dee Rees thoughtfully, yet firmly controls the divisive nature of the story and avoids the same rhetoric of predictable racist tropes often seen in films of this ilk to tell a story about the American Dream that is as devastating as it is hopeful.
Written by Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon and directed by Michael Showalter, the indie rom-com has become the talk of Sundance — and with good reason. Based on the real-life relationship of Nanjiani and Gordon, the film is infected with laughs but at the same time, it will deliver a gut punch of intense emotions that will tear your soul apart — in a good way, of course.
Stocked with captivating performances, Maggie Betts’ feature film debut is a merciless, yet beautifully composed story that is, contrary to the title, less about religion and more about the meaning of love and coming-of-age.
There is a specific “I knew about her before you did” pleasure Jessica Williams fans get when people discover just how funny she is — and with her starring role in The Incredible Jessica James, her funny will spread across the country like wildfire making her the comedic movie star she deserves to be.
When it comes to films about nuns, director/writer John Baena may have created the most entertaining one since Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. With The Little Hours, the Joshy director subverts what you would expect from a medieval time-based movie about nuns with characters by using modern vernacular and a whole lot of naughty, crass, and, of course, outrageously funny behavior.
The robust follow-up to 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth gives more facts and footage about climate change to make Liberals mobilize and Republicans roll their eyes and scoff the loudest scoff you could imagine.
I’ve been attending the Sundance Film Festival since 2011 and it truly is one of the most magical times of the year for movie fans. So take some friendly advice from a Sundance veteran who has lived both the highs and lows of the festival — there are plenty of Do’s and Don’ts in Park City.
Headed to Sundance? You’ll need our Exclusive Party and Event Grid, VIP parties & RSVP details. We’ll continue to update the list as we get closer to the big event, so you’ll have everything you need to keep the party going the whole time!
Updated 01.16.17. Headed to Sundance? You’ll need our Exclusive Party and Event Grid, VIP parties & RSVP details. We’ll continue to update the list as we get closer to the big event, so you’ll have everything you need to keep the party going the whole time!
Updated 01.17.17. Headed to Sundance? You’ll need our Exclusive Party and Event Grid, VIP parties & RSVP details. We’ll continue to update the list as we get closer to the big event, so you’ll have everything you need to keep the party going the whole time!
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival is less than a week away and, as expected, the fest boasts an impressive lineup from talented filmmakers and actors. From Sundance favorites to up-and-coming names there is a long list of films in various categories, but we’ve sorted out through the lists and picked 17 that caught our eye (even though all the films seem pretty amazing).
The Sundance Film Festival is less than a week away, but films are already starting to sell in the days leading up to the highly anticipated Park City fest. The latest to be acquired is the Cate Shortland-directed psychological thriller Berlin Syndrome starring Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt. Vertical Entertainment secured the North American theatrical rights, while Netflix nabbed the streaming rights.
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival has rounded out their programming with a robust and enriching slate of Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight, Kids and Special Events. The Park City-based festival will see the world premiere of Salma Hayek’s Beatriz at Dinner as well as the Jan Lewan biopic The Polka King starring Jack Black.
While awards season is underway and moving towards next year’s Academy Awards, the Sundance Film Festival has their eyes the next set of critical darlings as they announced their competition lineup.
Last night at the Sundance Night Before Next event at the Ace Hotel, Nate Parker announced that the cast, crew, and producers of his upcoming film Birth of a Nation will be starting a fellowship with the Sundance Institute.
Another Sundance Film Festival has been logged in the books and there were some record-breaking deals, some polarizing films, some VERY early Oscar buzz, and a movie that was dubbed the “farting corpse movie”.
Grand Jury Prizes and Audience Awards were handed out to the top films and three more big deals were made as the Sundance Film Festival of 2016 came to a close.
Two more big deals for movies with Nick Jonas and Kim Jong-il (yes, that Kim Jong-il) have been made as the Sundance Film Festival enters its final days.