We’re still many months away from Sundance 2021, but rather than delay the inevitable, the Sundance Film Festival has already begun planning for how they’re going to handle the fest in the age of COVID-19. There was a time not so long ago when we were hoping that the coronavirus would be a distant memory when 2021 rolled around, but that’s clearly not going to happen. With that in mind, Sundance 2021 will host online screenings and also expand to theaters outside of Utah.
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It’s easy to look at a Sundance lineup with rose-colored glasses and think that there’s going to be some major breakout hits. We do it every year because, after all, hope springs eternal! 2020’s edition looks like the rare slate to premiere in Park City that will truly earn all of the pre-festival drooling.
A glance at the directors unveiling their new films at the first Sundance of the new decade looks like a veritable “who’s who” of filmmakers who were just on the cusp of breakthrough in the 2010s: Eliza Hittman, Josephine Decker, Janicza Bravo, and countless others. It’s also a welcome return for many directors who have been dormant for far too long: Miranda July, Julie Taymor, Benh Zeitlin. Many other names that, unfortunately, barely register upon scanning the lineup may leave Utah with a million-dollar distribution deal for their film and a star on the rise.
But none of them came from nowhere. Even if their feature directing debut nabbed a spot in the Sundance lineup, they all have some prior work that portends – or at least contextualizes – their ascendancy. If you’re not attending the festival, here’s how you can get in on the ground floor of some of these directors on the rise without even leaving the comfort of your home cinema.
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This week, three members of the /Film crew are heading to Park City, Utah for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. We’ll have reviews and reactions galore from the year’s first major film festival, a place where major movies debut, hidden gems are discovered, and the basic shape of the entire year in film begins to take form. If this Sundance is like every other Sundance, we will see some of the best movies of 2019 and discover some incredible new talent over the next week. It’s our job to put them on your radar.
The festival officially kicks off on Thursday. Before it gets underway, we’re writing about our 12 most anticipated 2019 Sundance movies, the films that we have high hopes for and are going out of our way to make sure we see, no matter what. Here they are, in no particular order. Read More »
December is nearly upon us, and I can almost see the 2018 Sundance Film Festival peeking its way up over the holiday season horizon. /Film will be on the ground in Park City, Utah in January to bring you coverage of all of the biggest and best in the world of independent film, including movies from filmmakers like Reed Morano, Gun Van Sant, Debra Granik, Idris Elba, Ethan Hawke, David Wain, and many more. The festival runs from January 18-28, 2018.
Below, read about the 10 notable movies we’re looking forward to, and see the full list of what’ll be playing at the festival.
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We’ve been covering the Sundance Film Festival for years, watching and reviewing dozens of independent films, most of which are playing for audiences for the first time anywhere. Personally, I’ve been to the annual cinematic showcase in Park City, Utah seven years in a row, and even though it’s always exhausting, it never gets old. But not everyone is as lucky in their experience at Sundance, as a new documentary short illustrates.
Filmmaker John Wilson (aka “Johns Movies”) was hired to “uncover some of the festival’s secrets” for Vimeo while crashing on their couch during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Titled Escape from Park City, this short is a truly unique look at the festival that takes away all the glitz and glamor and shows you what it’s really like to be at Sundance. Read More »
Today the 2016 Sundance Film Festival is coming to a close, and Saturday night, the awards for feature filmmaking were handed out to the movies that played in Park City, Utah. The big prizes from the festival are the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, one given by a select group of jurors and the other chosen by the festival attendees themselves. In 2014, Whiplash took both awards, and this year we have another film taking the two honors as Nate Parker‘s slave rebellion tale The Birth of a Nation was announced to receive both.
Find out the full list of other 2016 Sundance Film Festival awards winners below. Read More »
NOTE: We ran this article in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and have updated it for 2015.
The Sundance Film Festival is the best known film festival in the United States. Say the word “Sundance” to anyone, film lover or not, and chances are they’ve heard of the festival. As a movie blog though, the problem with covering Sundance is that virtually all of the movies are brand new. We haven’t heard of them, you haven’t heard of them, so why would you even care about them?
More than any of the casting news, trailers or film stills that we post on a daily basis, what happens in that small corner of Utah for a little over a week in January is probably the most important movie event of the year. Even so, talk to the most seasoned movie fan and they don’t spend half as much time focusing on what’s going on at Sundance as they do bitching about movies that came out three years ago. Plain and simple, the best films that you will see in theaters for the next 12 months are being shown at Sundance over the next week and a half. And while you probably haven’t heard of them in January, you’ll definitely have heard of them by December. Don’t you want in on the ground floor?
For the next 7 days myself, Russ Fischer and Peter Sciretta will be in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival. And while you might not be eager to click and read about a movie you haven’t heard of yet, we urge you to do so. Some of the films that people hadn’t heard of when they played Sundance in the past are films like Saw, The Blair Witch Project, Donnie Darko, 28 Days Later, Napoleon Dynamite, Memento, Bottle Rocket, Clerks, Reservoir Dogs and The Usual Suspects. Think of all the movies that have been made since because filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and Bryan Singer broke out at the Sundance Film Festival. Who is the breakout star this year? You’ll have to follow our coverage to find out.
Still not convinced? We’ve compiled even more films that you know and love that got their start at Sundance after the jump. Read More »
The 2011 Sundance Film Festival is fast approaching and if you can’t make it to Utah yourself, the festival is bringing some of its highest profile films to a city near you.
The largest and most important U.S. film festival will take place from January 20-30 in and around Park City, Utah and the selection of films this year is nothing short of remarkable. In competition there are films like Michael Rapaport’s Tribe Called Quest documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life, and Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, out of competition there are films like Kevin Smith’s Red State and Morgan Spurlock’s documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and even the short film selections have films with stars like Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Julia Stiles and Isabella Rossellini. And that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface. All in all, over 200 brand new movies will be screening at the festival and, if you are a film fan, you owe it to yourself to get up to Utah at some point for this momentous annual event.
If you can’t, though, there are two options. The first is to keep you browser locked onto /Film because we’ll have extensive coverage. Or, if you live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brookline, Massachusetts, Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, Madison, Wisconsin, Nashville, Tennessee, San Francisco, California or Seattle, Washington, just head to your local theater. On January 27, those cities are going to host special screenings of high profile films will be premiering at Sundance. It’s the Sundance Film Festival USA program. Get all the specifics after the break. Read More »
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The 2011 Sundance Film Festival is shaping up quite nicely. The films in competition, and out of competition, have already been announced and each has some incredibly exciting entries. Monday brought the announcement of the 81 short films, chosen out of 6,467 entries, that will play in Park City, Utah this January. And while the majority of them are by currently unknown filmmakers, there are a few that jump out featuring names like Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black. Actually, those guys are all in the same short. Other notables include Neil LaBute, Tim & Eric and Isabella Rossellini. After the jump, we’ll highlight those films and show you the full list. Read More »
“…and it’s really that easy.”
Chances are you haven’t yet seen the Spanish science-fiction film, Time Crimes (aka Timecrimes; Los Cronocrimenes), but if you check out the early reviews, prepare to flip on your monitor’s praise-wipers. Tom Cruise’s United Artists just purchased the remake rights, marking the studio’s first deal since cutting a deal with the WGA. Writer-Producer Steve Zallian (American Gangster) will produce the film. Time Crimes is currently at the Sundance Film Festival, where it continues to pick up a far amount of the aforementioned praise stuff.
The film, from writer-director Nacho Vigalondo, centers on a middle-aged man who views a naked lady in the woods one day, decides to investigate and soon finds himself in a time machine. And as you probably know from personal experience, this leads to a string of crimes.
If you are wondering about the fate of more adult, brainier sci-fi these days in lieu of action-filled PG-13 popcorn stuffers like Next and Jumper, the genre seems to be festering nicely on the indie circuit. Low budget flicks like Time Crimes, Primer, A Scanner Darkly and the granddaddy, Pi, continue to grow in frequency and popularity, replacing loud spectacle with thrilling internal dissonance, paranoia and eternal questions. Are there any other movies that fit into this promising niche that you’ve enjoyed or loathed?