Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 by Angie Han
January doesn’t tend to be a great month for movies if you’re surveying the options at your local multiplex, but it’s one of the best times of the year for film lovers lucky enough to attend the Sundance Film Festival. This year, three of us — Peter Sciretta, Ethan Anderton, and myself — will be on the scene for /Film, taking in some of the best of this year’s independent cinema. Highlights from last year included Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Dope, The End of the Tour, Slow West, The Witch, and Cop Car. So what will this year’s slate hold? Join us after the jump for a preview of 30 films we can’t wait to see at the 2016 Sundance film festival.
Ali & Nino: Fresh off of an Oscar nomination for Amy, director Asif Kapadia delivers a romance between two teenagers — one Muslim, one Christian — in 1920s Azerbaijan.
Antibirth: Danny Perez‘s Midnight entry follows a hard-living stoner (Natasha Lyonne) who wakes up after a night of partying to inexplicable symptoms and strange visions.
Becoming Mike Nichols: This documentary about Mike Nichols, director of The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and many other classics, features some of the last interviews he did before his death at age 83 in 2014.
Belgica: Two very different brothers find their relationships unraveling after they open a bar together. What really makes this a must-see is that it’s from the director of Felix van Groeningen, who last helmed the heart-wrenching (and Oscar-nominated) grief drama The Broken Circle Breakdown.
The Birth of a Nation: Nate Parker wrote, directed, and stars in this ironically titled biopic of Nat Turner, the slave who led a historical rebellion in 1830s Virginia.
Certain Women: Kelly Reichardt lines up an all-star cast including Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams for three intersecting stories about women struggling in small-town Montana.
Christine: Rebecca Hall plays Christine Chubbuck, a reporter who in 1974 (spoiler alert) committed suicide on-air. Christine, from director Antonio Campos (Afterschool) is one of two films at this year’s festival about Chubbuck. The other is Robert Greene‘s documentary Kate Plays Christine, which follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play Chubbuck in a “stylized cheap ’70s soap opera”-style version of the story.
Complete Unknown: Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) enlists Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz for a drama about a man at a crossroads who runs into an old flame.
Dark Night: Inspired by the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, Tim Sutton‘s drama weaves together the stories of several characters on a summer day that would end in tragedy.
Goat: Nick Jonas leads director Andrew Neel‘s drama about a college kid who pledges a fraternity, and gets pulled into brutal hazing rituals in the name of “brotherhood.”