U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

892

Living in a cheap motel in Atlanta and separated from his wife and child, former U.S. Marine veteran Brian Easley is desperate. Driven to the brink by forces beyond his control, the soft-spoken, kind man decides to rob a bank and hold hostages with a bomb. As police, media, and family members descend on the bank and Brian, it becomes clear he’s not after money — he wants to tell his story and have what is rightfully his, even if it costs him his life.

Director and Screenwriter: Abi Damaris Corbin, Screenwriter: Kwame Kwei-Armah
Cast: John Boyega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, Selenis Leyva
103 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Alice

Alice (Keke Palmer) spends her days enslaved on a rural Georgia plantation restlessly yearning for freedom. After a violent clash with plantation owner Paul (Jonny Lee Miller), Alice flees through the neighboring woods and stumbles onto the unfamiliar sight of a highway, soon discovering that the year is actually 1973. Rescued on the roadside by a disillusioned Black activist named Frank (Common), Alice uncovers the lies that have kept her enslaved and the promise of Black liberation.

Director and Screenwriter: Krystin Ver Linden
Cast: Keke Palmer, Common, Jonny Lee Miller, Gaius Charles
98 min /World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

blood

Widow Chloe (Carla Juri) travels to Japan for work where she is welcomed by an old friend, Toshi (Takashi Ueno). Sliding between the melancholy of loss and the awe of perspectives changed, Chloe wanders an unfamiliar landscape where love has carved all the guiding grooves. blood explores the site where fragile love can emerge from immovable pain. With quiet restraint, fresh rhythm, and unforgettably rich performances, this subtle study of togetherness and apartness captures the vibrancy of internal life. Writer-director-producer Bradley Rust Gray observes the resilience of life and love, the surprise of desire, the barriers of language, and the staggering impact of relationship.

Director and Screenwriter: Bradley Rust
Cast: Carla Juri, Takashi Ueno, Gustaf Skarsgård, Futaba Okazaki, Issey Ogata
111 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Fresh out of college — but now what? Higher education failed to provide 22-year-old Andrew with a clear life path going forward, so he’s stuck back at home with his family in New Jersey. But if college did teach him one thing, it’s drinking and partying — skills that make him the perfect candidate for a job party-starting at the bar and bat mitzvahs of his younger brother’s classmates. When Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants, even if it might not be his own.

Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann
107 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Dual

Recently diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease, Sarah is unsure how to process the news. To help ease her friends’ and family’s impending loss, she is encouraged to participate in a simple futuristic cloning procedure called “Replacement,” after which Sarah’s last days will be spent teaching the clone how to live on as Sarah once she’s gone. But while it takes only an hour for a clone to be made, things become significantly more challenging when that double is no longer wanted.

Director and Screenwriter: Riley Stearns
Cast: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale
95 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Emergency

Straight-A college student Kunle and his laid-back best friend, Sean, are about to have the most epic night of their lives. Determined to be the first Black students to complete their school’s frat party legendary tour, the friends strap in for their ultimate assignment, Solo cups in hand. But a quick pit stop at home alters their plans when they find a white girl passed out on the living room floor. Faced with the risks of calling the police under life-threatening optics, Kunle, Sean, and their Latino roommate, Carlos, must find a way to de-escalate the situation before it’s too late.

Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriter: KD Davila
Cast: RJ Cyler, Donald Watkins, Sebastian Chacon, Sabrina Carpenter
105 min / World Premiere | DAY ONE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Master

At an elite New England university built on the site of a Salem-era gallows hill, three women strive to find their place. Gail Bishop (Regina Hall), just instated as “Master,” a dean of students, discovers what lies behind the school’s immaculate facade; first-year student Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee) confronts a new home that is cold and unwelcoming; and literature professor Liv Beckman (Amber Gray) collides with colleagues who question her right to belong. Navigating politics and privilege, they encounter increasingly terrifying manifestations of the school’s haunted past… and present.

Director and Screenwriter: Mariama Diallo
Cast: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder, Talia Balsam, Amber Gray
91 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Nanny

Aisha, an undocumented Senegalese immigrant, lands a job as a nanny of a wealthy Manhattan couple. While she easily wins the affection of their young daughter Rose, she becomes a pawn in the couple’s facade of a marriage. The mother is as controlling as the dad is disillusioned and woke. Haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind in Senegal, Aisha hopes her new job will afford her the chance to bring him to the U.S. and share in the life she is piecing together. But as his arrival approaches, a supernatural presence begins to invade both her dreams and her reality.

Director and Screenwriter: Nikyatu Jusu
Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams
97 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Palm Trees and Power Lines

Increasingly dissociated from lazy, drunken hangouts and perfunctory hookups with her immature peers, bored, aimless 17-year-old Lea is intrigued by older-man Tom after he rescues her following a reluctant dine-and-dash at a local diner. Initially wary (he’s twice her age!), Lea finds that Tom’s focused attention fills a deep, unspoken need, and Lea’s investment in their relationship quickly supplants her already tenuous ties to her distracted single mom and loose-knit friend group. But Tom’s initial patience and willingness to let Lea take the lead gradually gives way to a dynamic in which his awareness of the power he holds is distressingly clear.

Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Dack, Screenwriter: Audrey Findlay
Cast: Lily McInerny, Jonathan Tucker, Gretchen Mol
114 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Watcher

Julia joins her husband when he relocates to his family’s native Romania for a new job. Having recently abandoned her acting career, she finds herself frequently alone and unoccupied. One night, people-watching from her picture window, she spots a vague figure in an adjacent building, who seems to be looking back at her. Soon after, while alone at a local movie theater, Julia’s sense of being watched intensifies, and she becomes certain she’s being followed — could it be the same unknown neighbor? Meanwhile, a serial killer known as The Spider stalks the city.

Director: Chloe Okuno, Screenwriter: Zack Ford
Cast: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Ciubuciu Bogdan Alexandru
91 min / World Premiere

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Aftershock

An alarmingly disproportionate number of Black women are failed every year by the U.S. maternal health system. Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac were vibrant, excited mothers-to-be whose deaths due to childbirth complications were preventable. Now, their partners and families are determined to sound a rallying cry around this chilling yet largely ignored crisis.

Directors and Producers: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee
86 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Descendant

History exists beyond what is written. The Africatown residents in Mobile, Alabama, have shared stories about their origins for generations. Their community was founded by enslaved ancestors who were transported in 1860 aboard the last known and illegal slave ship, Clotilda. Though the ship was intentionally destroyed upon arrival, its memory and legacy weren’t. Now, the long-awaited discovery of the Clotilda’s remains offers this community a tangible link to their ancestors and validation of a history so many tried to bury.

Director: Margaret Brown
109 min /World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Exiles

Brash and opinionated, Christine Choy is a documentarian, cinematographer, professor, and quintessential New Yorker whose films and teaching have influenced a generation of artists. In 1989 she started to film the leaders of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests who escaped to political exile following the June 4 massacre. Though Choy never finished that project, she now travels with the old footage to Taiwan, Maryland, and Paris in order to share it with the dissidents who have never been able to return home.

Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus
95 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Fire Of Love

Katia and Maurice Krafft loved two things — each other and volcanoes. For two decades, the daring French volcanologist couple were seduced by the thrill and danger of this elemental love triangle. They roamed the planet, chasing eruptions and their aftermath, documenting their discoveries in stunning photographs and breathtaking film to share with an increasingly curious public in media appearances and lecture tours. Ultimately, Katia and Maurice would lose their lives during a 1991 volcanic explosion on Japan’s Mount Unzen, but they would leave a legacy that would forever enrich our knowledge of the natural world.

Directors: Julie Ha, Eugene Yi
92 min / World Premiere | DAY ONE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Free Chol Soo Lee

On June 3, 1973, a man was murdered in a busy intersection of San Francisco’s Chinatown as part of an ongoing gang war. Chol Soo Lee, a 20-year-old Korean immigrant who had previous run-ins with the law, was arrested and convicted based on flimsy evidence and the eyewitness accounts of white tourists who couldn’t distinguish between Asian features. Sentenced to life in prison, Chol Soo Lee would spend years fighting to survive behind bars before journalist K.W. Lee took an interest in his case. The intrepid reporter’s investigation would galvanize a first-of-its-kind pan-Asian American grassroots movement to fight for Chol Soo Lee’s freedom, ultimately inspiring a new generation of social justice activists.

Director and Screenwriter: Riley Stearns
Cast: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale
83 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

I Didn’t See You There

As a visibly disabled person, filmmaker Reid Davenport is often either the subject of an unwanted gaze — gawked at by strangers — or paradoxically rendered invisible, ignored or dismissed by society. The arrival of a circus tent just outside his apartment prompts him to consider the history and legacy of the freak show, in which individuals who were deemed atypical were put on display for the amusement and shock of a paying public. Contemplating how this relates to his own filmmaking practice, which explicitly foregrounds disability, Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world from his wheelchair without having to be seen himself.

Director: Reid Davenport
76 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Janes

In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago. Seven women were arrested and charged. The accused were part of a clandestine network. Using code names, blindfolds, and safe houses to protect their identities and their work, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves Jane. Facing off against the mafia, the church, and the state, the Janes exhibited unparalleled bravery and compassion for those most in need.

Directors: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
101 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Jihad Rehab

Twenty years after the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was established by the U.S. military in the wake of 9/11, its legacy continues to cast a long shadow. This film focuses on several men — detained in Guantanamo for years without charge by the United States — after they are placed in what’s billed as the world’s first rehabilitation center for extremists. There, they undergo the center’s “deradicalization” program, which includes therapy sessions and life skills classes, before they are permitted to be released into an unfamiliar society where they will face new challenges. In the process, the four men illuminate their individual understanding of what the term “jihad” has meant in their own lives, and express the anguish and complexities of their personal journeys.

Director: Meg Smaker
108 min / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

TikTok, Boom.

Dissecting one of the most influential platforms of the contemporary social media landscape, TikTok, Boom. examines the algorithmic, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural influences and impact of the history-making app. This rigorous exploration balances a genuine interest in the TikTok community and its innovative mechanics with a healthy skepticism around the security issues, global political challenges, and racial biases behind the platform. A cast of Gen Z subjects, helmed by influencer Feroza Aziz, remains at its center, making this one of the most needed and empathetic films exploring what it means to be a digital native.

Director: Shalini Kantayya
90 min / World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Brian And Charles

An endearing outlier, Brian lives alone in a Welsh valley, inventing oddball contraptions that seldom work. After finding a discarded mannequin head, Brian gets an idea. Three days, a washing machine, and sundry spare parts later, he’s invented Charles, an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and proves a charming, cheeky companion. Before long, however, Charles also develops autonomy. Intrigued by the wider world — or whatever lies beyond the cottage where Brian has hidden him away — Charles craves adventure.

Director: Jim Archer, Screenwriters: David Earl, Chris Hayward
Cast: David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie, Lowri Izzard, Mari Izzard
90 min / U.K. / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future

In a river in the south of Chile, fish are dying due to pollution from the nearby cellulose factory. Amid their floating bodies, long-deceased Magdalena bubbles up to the surface gasping for air, bringing with her old wounds and a wave of family secrets. The shocking sight of Magdalena sends her widowed husband into turmoil and prompts their daughter, Cecilia, to return home to the family’s dairy farm. There, Magdalena’s presence reverberates among her family, instigating fits of laughter and despair in equal measure with everyone but Cecilia’s eldest child, who seeks her grandmother’s love and unconditional understanding during a time of transition.

Director and Screenwriter: Francisca Alegría, Screenwriters: Fernanda Urrejola, Manuela Infante
Cast: Leonor Varela, Mia Maestro, Alfredo Castro, Marcial Tagle, Enzo Ferrada, Luis Dubó
98 min /Chile/France/U.S.A/Germany / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Dos Estaciones

Amid picturesque red dirt, blue sky, and green agave fields stands Dos Estaciones, a once-majestic tequila factory struggling to stay afloat. At the helm of the plant reigns Maria Garcia, heir to the family business and beacon to the townspeople she employs. To help oversee the company’s administration, Maria appoints an eager woman named Rafaela, whose vibrant presence generates much-needed hope in a home thirsty for a miracle. When a persistent plague and an unexpected flood cause irreversible damage, Maria is forced to do everything she can to save her community’s main source of economy and pride.

Director and Screenwriter: Juan Pablo González, Screenwriters: Ana Isabel Fernández, Ilana Coleman
Cast: Teresa Sánchez, Tatín Vera, Rafaela Fuentes, Manuel García-Rulfo
95 min / Mexico / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Gentle

Once the spray tan and stage makeup are washed away after her latest bodybuilding competition, Edina is immediately back at the gym. World championships are quickly approaching, and there’s more pressure riding on her proportionately built shoulders than ever. Adam, her partner and trainer, and former bodybuilding champion himself, closely monitors her food and supplement intake, criticizing any small misstep. As the financial, emotional, and physical burden of maintaining her lifestyle increases, Edina finds spiritual release in the unlikeliest of places — working as a specialty escort.

Directors: Anna Eszter Nemes, László Csuja, Screenwriters: László Csuja, Anna Eszter Nemes
Cast: Eszter Csonka, György Turós, Csaba Krisztik
93min / Hungary / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Girl Picture

Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö work after school at a food court smoothie kiosk, frankly swapping stories of their frustrations and expectations regarding love and sex. Volatile misfit Mimmi, unexpectedly swept up in the thrill of a new romance with Emma (a driven skater training for the European championships), struggles to adjust to the trust and compromise required by a lasting relationship. Meanwhile, the offbeat, indefatigable Rönkkö hits the teen party scene, stumbling through a series of awkward encounters with members of the opposite sex while hoping to find her own version of satisfaction.

Director: Alli Haapasalo, Screenwriters: Ilona Ahti, Daniela Hakulinen
Cast: Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino
100 min / Finland / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Klondike

July 2014. Expectant parents Irka and Tolik live in the Donetsk district of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, disputed territory in the early days of the Donbas war. Their nervous anticipation of their first child’s birth is violently disrupted as the vicinal crash of flight MH17 elevates the forbidding tension enveloping their village. The looming wreckage of the downed airliner and an incoming parade of mourners emphasize the surreal trauma of the moment.

As Tolik’s separatist friends expect him to join their efforts, Irka’s brother is enraged by suspicions that the couple has betrayed Ukraine. Irka refuses to be evacuated even as the village gets captured by armed forces, and she tries to make peace between her husband and brother by asking them to repair their bombed house.

Director and Screenwriter: Maryna Er Gorbach
Cast: Oxana Cherkashyna, Sergey Shadrin, Oleg Scherbina, Oleg Shevchuk, Artur Aramyan, Evgenij Efremov
100 min / Ukraine/Turkey / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Leonor Will Never Die

Leonor Reyes was once a major player in the Filipino film industry after creating a string of successful action films, but now her household struggles to pay the bills. When she reads an advertisement looking for screenplays, Leonor begins tinkering with an unfinished script about the quest of young, noble Ronwaldo, forced to avenge his brother’s murder at the hand of thugs. While her imagination provides some escape from reality, she goes all-in after an accident involving a television knocks her out, sends her into a coma, and transports her inside the incomplete movie. Now Leonor can play out her wildest dreams firsthand and discover the perfect ending to her story.

Director and Screenwriter: Martika Ramirez Escobar
Cast: Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon
101 min / Philippines / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Marte Um (Mars One)

The Martins family are optimistic dreamers, quietly leading their lives in the margins of a major Brazilian city following the disappointing inauguration of a far-right extremist president. A lower-middle-class Black family, they feel the strain of their new reality as the political dust settles. Tércia, the mother, reinterprets her world after an unexpected encounter leaves her wondering if she’s cursed. Her husband, Wellington, puts all of his hopes into the soccer career of their son, Deivinho, who reluctantly follows his father’s ambitions despite secretly aspiring to study astrophysics and colonize Mars. Meanwhile, their older daughter, Eunice, falls in love with a free-spirited young woman and ponders whether it’s time to leave home.

Director and Screenwriter: Gabriel Martins
Cast: Rejane Faria, Carlos Francisco, Camilla Souza, Cícero Lucas
115 min / Brazil / World Premiere | DAY ONE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Utama

Time seems to move slowly far out on the cracked, dry land of the Bolivian Altiplano, where an elderly Quechua couple, Virginio and Sisa, carry on a humble routine. When their grandson Clever shows up, Virginio quickly sniffs out that he is there just to convince them to move to the city. The fact that the drought has left them without water doesn’t help their case for staying. All the while, Virginio’s heavy breathing betrays his ability to hide what’s ailing him. Suddenly the slow pace of time becomes precious. Will they follow in the steps of other Quechuas and leave their home for the city?

Director and Screenwriter: Alejandro Loayza Grisi
Cast: Jose Calcina, Luisa Quispe, Santos Choque
87 min / Bolivia/Uruguay/France / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

You Won’t Be Alone

In an isolated mountain village in 19th-century Macedonia, a young girl is taken from her mother and transformed into a witch by an ancient, shape-shifting spirit. Left to wander feral, the young witch beholds the natural world with curiosity and wonder. After inadvertently killing a villager and assuming her body, she continues to inhabit different people, living among the villagers for years, observing and mimicking their behavior until the ancient spirit returns, bringing them full circle.

Director and Screenwriter: Goran Stolevski
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Anamaria Marinca, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, Félix Maritaud, Sara Klimoska
108 min / Australia / World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

All That Breathes

Brothers Saud and Nadeem were raised looking at a sky speckled with black kites, watching as relatives tossed meat up to these birds of prey. Muslim belief held that feeding the kites would expel troubles. Now, birds are falling from the polluted, opaque skies of New Delhi and the two brothers have made it their life’s work to care for the injured black kites.

Director and Producer: Shaunak Sen
97 min / India, U.K / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Calendar Girls

Whether they’re performing at an animal rescue center benefit, a church fundraiser, or a shrimp parade, the Calendar Girls give it all they’ve got. And they have a lot to give — impressive makeup; handmade costumes; elaborate dance routines; and, most notably, their unparalleled enthusiasm and sparkling personalities. They are a group of hardworking senior volunteer dancers in Florida, determined to prove that age is just a number.

Directors, Screenwriters and Producers: Maria Loohufvud, Love Martinsen
83 min /Sweden / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

A House Made of Splinters

This place is not what you think of when you hear the word “orphanage.” A temporary house for abandoned children near the front line in eastern Ukraine is run by a small group of social workers determined to provide comfort and safety. It may be humble and somewhat run-down, but this house is filled with love and offers up to nine months of refuge to kids whose fate will be determined by the system. During this short time, the caretakers try to nurture within them a sense of stability and normalcy.

Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont
87 min / Denmark / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Midwives

Hla and Nyo Nyo live in a country torn by conflict. Hla is a Buddhist and the owner of a makeshift medical clinic in western Myanmar, where the Rohingya (a Muslim minority community) are persecuted and denied basic rights. Nyo Nyo is a Muslim and an apprentice midwife who acts as an assistant and translator at the clinic. Her family has lived in the area for generations, yet they are still considered intruders. Encouraged and challenged by Hla, who risks her own safety daily by helping Muslim patients, Nyo Nyo is determined to become a steady health care provider for her community.

Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
91 min / Myanmar / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Mission

Offering an unprecedented level of access into the journeys of missionaries, The Mission follows four American teens as they embark on one of the most religiously significant, ideologically challenging, and culturally unifying experiences in their community: their mission to Finland. As these young people reckon with the weight of their ambassador status, the film explores the varying ways in which their work shapes how they view themselves, the world, and their theology. Steadfast in its commitment to their perspectives, this film reveals the individuals behind the suits and nametags that have come to signify the work of Mormon missionaries globally. Through snubs on street corners, difficult Finnish lessons, triumphant baptisms, tearful goodbyes, and riotous welcomes home, The Mission is a full-bodied, complex presentation of missionary life.

Director and Screenwriter: Tania Anderson
95 min / Finland / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Nothing Compares

Since the beginning of her career, Sinéad O’Connor has used her powerful voice to challenge the narratives she was surrounded by while growing up in predominantly Roman Catholic Ireland. Despite her agency, depth, and perspective, O’Connor’s unflinching refusal to conform means that she has often been patronized and unfairly dismissed as an attention-seeking pop star.

In this accomplished debut feature, Kathryn Ferguson navigates O’Connor’s rocky path to stardom with great clarity. The director makes a conscious choice to focus on the late 1980s and early 1990s, when O’Connor was establishing herself as an artist while fighting an onslaught of misogyny and prejudice in the male-dominated music industry and beyond.

Director: Kathryn Ferguson
105 min / Ireland, U.K. / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sirens

True to their name, Slave to Sirens — the first and only all-woman thrash metal band in the Middle East — are utterly magnetic. Amid a backdrop of political unrest and the heartbreaking unraveling of Beirut, five bandmates form a beacon of expression, resistance, and independence. Director Rita Baghdadi follows founders and guitarists Lilas Mayassi and Shery Bechara as their tenderness, and sometimes bitterness, for one another grows in ways both unexpected and deeply moving. Joined by vocalist Maya Khairallah, bassist Alma Doumani, and drummer Tatyana Boughaba, these women negotiate their emotional journeys through young adulthood in tumultuous circumstances with grace, raw passion, and a ferocious commitment to their art. Their grit is tested as they grapple with the complexities of friendship, sexuality, and the destruction around them.

Director, Screenwriter and Producer: Rita Baghdadi
78 min / U.S.A., Lebanon / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Tantura

The tape-recorded words “erase it” take on new weight in the context of history and war. When the state of Israel was established in 1948, war broke out and hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated in its aftermath. Israelis know this as the War of Independence. Palestinians call it “Nakba” (the Catastrophe). In the late 1990s, graduate student Teddy Katz conducted research into a large-scale massacre that had allegedly occurred in the village of Tantura in 1948. His work later came under attack and his reputation was ruined, but 140 hours of audio testimonies remain.

Director and Screenwriter: Alon Schwarz, Screenwriter and Producer: Shaul Schwarz
95 min / Israel / World Premiere | DAY ONE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Territory

The Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people have seen their population dwindle and their culture threatened since coming into contact with non-Native Brazilians. Though promised dominion over their own rainforest territory, they have faced illegal incursions from environmentally destructive logging and mining, and, most recently, land-grabbing invasions spurred on by right-wing politicians like President Jair Bolsonaro. With deforestation escalating as a result, the stakes have become global.

Director: Alex Pritz
83 min / Brazil/Denmark/United States / World Premiere

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

We Met in Virtual Reality

Virtual reality for many is as far away a place as can be imagined. In his groundbreaking work, first-time feature director Joe Hunting examines this new frontier for human engagement with surprising tenderness. Following a number of couples who met in VR during the pandemic, Hunting leads with romance but opens an exploration of technology, borders, and imagination. One of the most visually singular and formally exciting documents of the COVID-19 lockdown, We Met in Virtual Reality is a powerful testament to the new paths to connection that creativity can forge. Everything from belly dancing, sign language lessons, and hotly contested billiards games bring an unexpected familiarity to these never-before-seen spaces.

Director, Screenwriter and Producer: Joe Hunting
91 min / U.K. / World Premiere

NEXT

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Cathedral

An unseen narrator unfolds the constellation of familial relationships of Jesse Damrosh, born in 1987, chronicling the dissolution of his parents’ marriage and the feuds, money concerns, and deaths that define a typical middle-class American existence. Yet in this impressionistic account of one life, what penetrates the most are not events but incidents. The beautiful yet quotidian moments of the shoulder-padded jacket of an aunt, the certain print of a rug, an ad for Kodak film, or the light in a room one afternoon from years before.

Director and Screenwriter: Ricky D’Ambrose
Cast: Brian d’Arcy James, Monica Barbaro, Mark Zeisler, Geraldine Singer, William Bednar-Carter
87 min / Italy, U.S.A. / North American Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Every Day In Kaimukī

Naz, a cynical and charismatic 20-something, has spent his entire life in tranquil O’ahu, Hawaiʻi, skateboarding with his friends and hosting a nightly radio show where he spotlights emerging musicians. When his girlfriend, Sloane, nabs the chance to move to bustling New York, Naz begins preparing for their big move, planning every detail down to his cat’s absurd flight plan. Even when dreaming about what life outside the island might look like, however, Naz wonders whether uprooting his world is the right decision, and if anywhere will ever really feel like home when he’s always been an eternal outsider.

Director: Alika Tengan, Screenwriters: Naz Kawakami, Alika Tengan
Cast: Naz Kawakami, Rina White, Holden Mandrial-Santos
81 min /U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Framing Agnes

Agnes, the pioneering, pseudonymized transgender woman who participated in Harold Garfinkel’s gender health research at UCLA in the 1960s, has long stood as a figurehead of trans history. In this rigorous cinematic exercise that blends fiction and nonfiction, director Chase Joynt explores where and how her platform has become a pigeonhole. Framing Agnes endeavors to widen the frame through which trans history is viewed — one that has remained too narrow to capture the multiplicity of experiences eclipsed by Agnes’s. Through a collaborative practice of reimagination, an impressive lineup of trans stars (Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Max Wolf Valerio, Silas Howard, and Stephen Ira) take on vividly rendered, impeccably vintage reenactments, bringing to life groundbreaking artifacts of trans health care.

Director: Chase Joynt
75 min / Canada, U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

A Love Song

After unhitching her camper at a lakeside in the mountains, Faye finds her rhythm cooking meals, retrieving crawfish from a trap, and scanning her old box radio for a station. She looks expectantly at the approach of a car or the mailman, explaining to neighboring campers that she’s waiting for a childhood sweetheart she hasn’t seen in decades. When he does arrive, Lito and Faye, both widowed, spend an evening reminiscing about their lives, losses, and loneliness.

Director and Screenwriter: Max Walker-Silverman
Cast: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis
81 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere | DAY ONE
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Mija

Doris Muñoz desperately longed for better representation in the indie music she listened to as a teenager. At 23, she took matters into her own hands and began a career in music talent management, passionately advocating for rising Latinx artists. Her swift success transformed her into a pillar for a community of first- and second-generation Americans seeking collective acceptance and healing through song. When Doris receives news that forces her to reconsider working in music, she finds Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer eager to break out of her parent’s home in Dallas, Texas. Beyond the sweet moments of joy, glitter, and hope, Doris and Jacks share the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families. For them, the pressure of financial success is heightened because it facilitates green card processing and family reunification.

Director: Isabel Castro
85 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

RIOTSVILLE, USA

RIOTSVILLE, USA is a poetic and furious reflection on the reaction of a nation’s citizens and institutions to the rebellions of the late 1960s. This artful, riveting documentary consists entirely of archival footage that was shot by the United States military or appeared on broadcast television.

Director: Sierra Pettengill
91 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Something In The Dirt

Levi has snagged a no-lease apartment sight unseen in the Hollywood Hills to crash at while he ties up loose ends for his exodus from Los Angeles. He quickly strikes up a rapport with his new neighbor John, swapping stories like old friends under the glowing, smoke-filled skies of the city. One day, Levi and John witness something impossible in one of their apartments. Terrified at first, they soon realize that this could change their lives and give them a purpose. With dollar signs in their eyes, these two random dudes will attempt to prove the supernatural.

Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
116 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

PREMIERES

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

2nd Chance

In 1969, bankrupt pizzeria owner Richard Davis invented the modern-day bulletproof vest. To prove that it worked, he shot himself — point-blank — 192 times. Davis then launched Second Chance, which became one of the largest body armor companies in the world. Charming and brash, he directed sensational marketing films, earning him celebrity status among police and gun owners across the country. But the death of a police officer wearing a Second Chance vest catalyzes Davis’s fall, revealing a man full of contradictions cultivated over decades of reckless lies. Equally as questionable as he was captivating, Davis saved thousands of lives while endangering exponentially more.

Director and Screenwriter: Ramin Bahrani
89 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

AM I OK?

Lucy and Jane are the best of friends. They finish each other’s sentences, predict every detail of each other’s food order, and pretty much know everything about each other. But when Jane is promoted at work and agrees to move to London for her new position, Lucy confesses her deepest, long-held secret: She likes women, she has for a long time, and she’s terrified by this later-in-life realization. Suddenly, their friendship is thrown into chaos as the two choose different routes by which to navigate the unexpected changes in their lives.

Directors: Stephanie Allynne, Tig Notaro, Screenwriter: Lauren Pomerantz
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Jermaine Fowler, Kiersey Clemons, Molly Gordon, Sean Hayes
86 min /U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power

Building on her influential cinematic talk, Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Cinema, film director Nina Menkes takes us on an eye-opening journey through the gendered politics of shot design. Using more than 175 film clips from canonical Hollywood favorites and cult classics as well as interviews with filmmakers and scholars, Brainwashed reveals a sinister framework of misogyny and paternalism that, from early cinema to the present day, infiltrates some of our favorite movies.

Director and Producer: Nina Menkes
105 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Call Jane

Chicago, 1968. As a city and the nation are poised on the brink of violent political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening condition, she must navigate a medical establishment unwilling to help. Her journey to find a solution to an impossible situation leads her to the “Janes,” a clandestine organization of women who provide Joy with a safer alternative — and in the process, change her life.

Director: Phyllis Nagy, Screenwriters: Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, Wunmi Mosaku, Cory Michael Smith
121 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing

Many of us take for granted that commercial air travel is safe. In 2018, with some 10,000 aircraft in service in more than 150 countries, industry leader Boeing had built its reputation on a dogged commitment to safety. But after 346 passengers are killed when two Boeing 737 MAX jets crash less than five months apart, dedicated journalists, surviving family members, and the United States Congress fight to reveal a culture of concealment and deceit within the venerated company.

Director: Rory Kennedy, Screenwriters: Mark Bailey, Keven McAlester
89 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Emily the Criminal

Emily (Aubrey Plaza) is saddled with student debt and locked out of the job market due to a minor criminal record. Desperate for income, she takes a shady gig as a “dummy shopper,” buying goods with stolen credit cards supplied by a middleman named Youcef (Theo Rossi). Faced with a series of dead-end job interviews, Emily soon finds herself seduced not only by the quick cash and illicit thrills of black market capitalism, but also by her ardent mentor Youcef.

Director and Screenwriter: John Patton Ford
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Gina Gershon
95 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

FINAL CUT

In an abandoned building, a low-budget zombie horror film is falling apart on set. The abusive director (Romain Duris) is already pushing the cast and crew to the brink with his obnoxious behavior when he reveals his plan to inject energy and excitement into the project: unlocking a real-life ancient zombie curse. In a frenetic one-shot where body parts and fluids are flying, the actors fight the undead and their director for their lives before the film comes to a shocking conclusion and the credits roll… but is that the whole story?

Director and Screenwriter: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Lutz, Raphaël Quenard
91 min / France / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

God’s Country

Sandra (Thandiwe Newton) is very tired. It’s been years of trying (and failing) to please her recently deceased mother, while also navigating the challenging politics and power dynamics at the college where she teaches. And then there is the racism, sexism, and toxic masculinity she encounters wherever she goes. But it’s a confrontation with two hunters trespassing on her property that ultimately tests Sandra’s self-restraint, pushing her grief and mounting anger to their limits. God’s Country examines one woman’s grieving process and determination to be taken seriously amid her refusal to surrender to the confines of society.

Director: Julian Higgins, Screenwriters: Shaye Ogbonna, Julian Higgins
Cast: Thandiwe Newton, Jeremy Bobb, Joris Jarsky, Jefferson White, Kai Lennox, Tanaya Beatty
102 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson) doesn’t know good sex. Whatever it may be, Nancy, a retired schoolteacher, is pretty sure she has never had it, but she is determined to finally do something about that. She even has a plan: It involves an anonymous hotel room, and a young sex worker who calls himself Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack). Leo is confident, dapper, and takes pride in being good at his job. He also appears to be intrigued by Nancy — one of many things to surprise her during their time together.

Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenwriter: Katy Brand
Cast: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack
97 min / U.K / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul

As the proud first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch, Trinitie Childs carries immense responsibility on her shoulders. Her church, Wander To Greater Paths, once served a congregation in the tens of thousands, but after a scandal involving her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs, forced the church to close temporarily, Trinitie is struggling to manage the aftermath. Now Trinitie and Lee-Curtis must rebuild their congregation and reconcile their faith by all means necessary to make the biggest comeback that commodified religion has ever seen.

Director and Screenwriter: Adamma Ebo
Cast: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown
102 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

One fateful night at Jermaine Dupri’s birthday party in 1998, Coodie, a Chicago public access TV host, first interviewed 21-year-old up-and-coming hip-hop producer Kanye West. Inspired by the film Hoop Dreams, Coodie started to document West’s life to see how far his dreams would take him. When West moved to New York City to land a record deal, Coodie followed with camera in hand. He recorded West for years, from the hustle of his budding producer days through his rise to global icon. You think you know Kanye West, but you really don’t.

Directors: Clarence “Coodie” Simmons, Chike Ozah
270 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

La Guerra Civil

For Mexican and Mexican American communities, boxing is more than a sport. From ring walk-ins to trunks, opponents take full advantage of the theatrical spectacle, narrating their histories and the stories of their individual fanbases. In 1996, Oscar De La Hoya, the charismatic golden boy from East LA, challenged Mexican-born boxing legend Julio César Chávez in what was billed as the “ultimate glory” fight. Mexicans on both sides of the border were forced to choose their favorite champ: the record-holding immigrant from humble beginnings, or the younger and more marketable Olympian born in the U.S. These rivals felt the pressure to prove their athletic superiority, while the fans’ choice of champion revealed the type of Mexican they aspired to be.

Director: Eva Longoria Bastón
102 min / U.K / World Premiere | DAY ONE
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Living

A veteran civil servant and bureaucratic cog in the rebuilding of Britain post-WWII, Williams (Bill Nighy) expertly pushes paperwork around a government office only to reckon with his existence when he’s diagnosed with a fatal illness. A widower, he conceals the condition from his grown son, spends an evening of debauchery with a bohemian writer in Brighton, and uncharacteristically avoids his office. But after a vivacious former co-worker, Margaret, inspires him to find meaning in his remaining days, Williams attempts to salvage a modest building project from bureaucratic purgatory.

Director: Oliver Hermanus, Screenwriter: Kazuo Ishiguro
Cast: Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke
102 min / U.K / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Lucy and Des

One day in 1940, two budding stars met for the first time in the RKO Pictures commissary, unaware that together they would change the face of pop culture. After surviving a tumultuous upbringing, a teenage Lucille Ball left her family for New York City, where she first found success as a model before moving to Hollywood to begin working in movies. Hailing from Santiago de Cuba, Desi Arnaz was a paid musician by 16 and quickly broke out as a multitalented entertainer. The two would go on to consistently challenge the status quo in entertainment both in front of and behind the camera.

Director: Amy Poehler
105 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

My Old School

In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years would become the stuff of legend. Brandon had been privately tutored in Canada while he accompanied his mother, an opera diva, on tour before her tragic death. The preternaturally bright student surprised teachers by blazing toward his goal of entering medical school, displaying a wealth of knowledge beyond his years. Brandon found friends despite his initial awkwardness. He took bullied students under his wing, introduced classmates to seminal retro bands, and even starred in the school’s production of South Pacific. But then his unbelievable secret was revealed.

Director: Jono McLeod
Cast: Alan Cumming
104 min / U.K / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Princess

Decades after her untimely death, Princess Diana continues to evoke mystery, glamour, and the quintessential modern fairy tale gone wrong. As a symbol of both the widening fissures weakening the British monarchy and the destructive machinery of the press, the Princess of Wales navigated an unparalleled rise to fame and the corrosive challenges that came alongside it. Crafted entirely from immersive archival footage and free from the distraction of retrospective voices, this hypnotic and audaciously revealing documentary takes a distinctive formal approach, allowing the story of the People’s Princess to unfold before us like never before.

Director: Ed Perkins
104 min / U.K / World Premiere | DAY ONE
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Resurrection

Margaret (Rebecca Hall) leads a successful and orderly life, perfectly balancing the demands of her busy career and single parenthood to her fiercely independent daughter Abbie. But that careful balance is upended when she glimpses a man she instantly recognizes, an unwelcome shadow from her past. A short time later, she encounters him again. Before long, Margaret starts seeing David (Tim Roth) everywhere — and their meetings appear to be far from an unlucky coincidence. Battling her rising fear, Margaret must confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades who has come to conclude their unfinished business.

Director and Screenwriter: Andrew Semans
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman, Michael Esper, Angela Wong Carbone
103 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sharp Stick

Sensitive and naive 26-year-old Sarah Jo lives in a Los Angeles apartment complex with her influencer sister and her disillusioned mother. She is also a wonderful caregiver to Zach, a child with an intellectual disability. Eager to lose her virginity, Sarah Jo embarks on an exhilarating affair with Zach’s dense but affable father, Josh. In the wake of the doomed relationship, Sarah Jo grapples with heartbreak by dedicating herself to unlocking every aspect of the sexual experience that she feels she’s missed out on for so long.

Director and Screenwriter: Lena Dunham
Cast: Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, Lena Dunham, Taylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh
86 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

To The End

The world is in crisis as it misses target after target to stop climate change. The Green New Deal has captured the imagination of millions with its visionary promise for systemic economic and environmental change that will build a better and more just world. In this moment of political upheaval with clashes in the streets and the halls of Congress, climate policy is taking center stage for the first time in American history, and the fight is on.

Director: Rachel Lears
103 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

We Need to Talk About Cosby

During his nearly 50 years in show business, Bill Cosby became one of the most recognizable Black celebrities in America. With a career that included an astronomical rise on television in the mid-1960s; work in children’s programming and education; legendary stand-up performances and albums; and an epoch-defining hit sitcom, The Cosby Show, Cosby was a model of Black excellence for millions of Americans. But now, thanks to the brave and painful testimonies of dozens of women, we know there was a sinister reality to the man once extolled as “America’s Dad.”

Director: W. Kamau Bell
240 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

When You Finish Saving the World

From his bedroom home studio, high school student Ziggy performs original folk-rock songs for an adoring online fan base. This concept mystifies his formal and uptight mother, Evelyn, who runs a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse. While Ziggy is busy trying to impress his socially engaged classmate Lila by making his music less bubblegum and more political, Evelyn meets Angie and her teen son, Kyle, when they seek refuge at her facility. She observes a bond between the two that she’s missing with her own son, and decides to take Kyle under her wing against her better instincts.

Director and Screenwriter: Jesse Eisenberg
Cast: Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard
88 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere | DAY ONE
FICTION

MIDNIGHT

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Babysitter

Middle-aged sexist Cédric (Patrick Hivon) gets suspended from work after drunkenly kissing a female reporter during a prank on live TV. Stuck at home with his long-suffering girlfriend, Nadine (director Monia Chokri), and their incessantly crying baby, Cédric teams up with his sensitive brother, Jean-Michel (Steve Laplante), to co-author a confessional book apologizing for their past misogyny. Enter Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz): a mysterious and provocative young babysitter, who, like a Mary Poppins of the libido, forces the trio to face their sexual anxieties while turning their lives upside down.

Director: Monia Chokri, Screenwriter: Catherine Léger
Cast: Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewcz, Steve Laplante, Hubert Proulx
87 min / Canada / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

FRESH

Frustrated by scrolling dating apps only to end up on lame, tedious dates, Noa takes a chance by giving her number to the awkwardly charming Steve after a produce-section meet-cute at the grocery store. During a subsequent date at a local bar, sassy banter gives way to a chemistry-laden hookup, and a smitten Noa dares to hope that she might have actually found a real connection with the dashing cosmetic surgeon. She accepts Steve’s invitation to an impromptu weekend getaway, only to find that her new paramour has been hiding some unusual appetites.

Director: Mimi Cave, Screenwriter: Lauryn Kahn
Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs, Charlotte Le Bon, Andrea Bang, Dayo Okeniyi
117 min /U.S.A. / World Premiere | DAY ONE
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Hatching

Tinja’s mother showcases their family’s existence on her popular blog “Lovely Everyday Life” as a brightly hued domestic idyll set amid manicured suburban perfection. Beneath the impeccable veneer, though, friendless tween gymnast Tinja is struggling, spending most of her time striving to please her image-obsessed mom and appease her shrilly obnoxious little brother. After finding a wounded bird in the woods, she brings its strange egg home, nestles it in her bed, and nurtures it until it hatches. The creature that emerges, christened Alli, becomes Tinja’s closest friend, surrogate child, and living nightmare in this tremendously twisted coming-of-age body horror film.

Director: Hanna Bergholm
Cast: Jani Volanen, Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Saija Lentonen, Reino Nordin, Oiva Ollila
86 min / Finland / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Meet Me In The Bathroom

Welcome to pre-9/11 New York City, when the world was unaware of the profound political and cultural shifts about to occur, and an entire generation was thirsty for more than the post–alternative pop rock plaguing MTV. In the cafés, clubs, and bars of the Lower East Side there convened a group of outsiders and misfits full of ambition and rock star dreams. When The Strokes secured a residency at the Mercury Lounge in 2000, the scene that had previously been ignored by record labels and music magazines took off.

Directors: Dylan Southern, Will Lovelace
105 min / U.K / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

PIGGY

With the summer sun beating down on her rural Spanish town, Sara hides away in her parent’s butcher shop. A teenager whose excess weight makes her the target of incessant bullying, she flees a clique of capricious girls who torment her at the town pool, only to stumble upon them being brutally kidnapped by a stranger, who drives off with them in his van. When the police begin asking questions, Sara keeps quiet. Intrigued by the stranger — an interest that’s mutual — she’s torn between revealing the truth and protecting the man who saved her.

Director and Screenwriter: Carlota Pereda
Cast: Laura Galán
90 min / Spain / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Speak No Evil

While on holiday in Tuscany, a Danish family becomes fast friends with a fellow traveling family from the Netherlands. Months later, when an invitation arrives encouraging the Danish family to visit the Dutch in their countryside home, they don’t hesitate to plan a quick getaway. Free-spirited and adventurous, the Dutch welcome the Danes for the weekend, channeling an energy that rouses their visitors as drinks flow and they start to let loose. But what begins as an idyllic reunion soon takes a turn as the hosts increasingly test the limits of their houseguests. Now the Danes find themselves caught in a web of their own politeness, trying to understand whether their new friends are merely eccentric… or hiding something more sinister.

Director and Screenwriter: Christian Tafdrup, Screenwriter: Mads Tafdrup
Cast: Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg, Marius Damslev
97 min / Denmark / World Premiere
FICTION

SPOTLIGHT

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

After Yang

When Yang — a lifelike, artificially intelligent android that Jake and Kyra buy as a companion for their adopted daughter — abruptly stops functioning, Jake just wants him repaired quickly and cheaply. But having purchased Yang “certified refurbished” from a now-defunct store, he’s led first to a conspiracy theorist technician and then a technology museum curator, who discovers that Yang was actually recording memories. Jake’s quest eventually becomes one of existential introspection and contemplating his own life, as it passes him by.

Director and Screenwriter: Kogonada
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith. Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson
103 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Happening

In 1963 France, Anne, a promising young university student, is devastated to learn she’s pregnant. She immediately insists on termination, but her physician warns of the unsparing laws against either seeking or aiding abortions, and her tentative attempts to reach out to her closest friends are nervously rebuffed. As weeks pass, without support or clear access, an increasingly desperate Anne unwaveringly persists in seeking any possible means of ending the pregnancy in hopes of reclaiming her hard-fought future.

Director and Screenwriter: Audrey Diwan, Screenwriter: Alice Girard
Cast: Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Luana Bajrami, Louise Chevillotte, Pio Marmai
100 min /France / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Neptune Frost

If today’s world is fueled by technology, obsessed with the future, and articulated by a language that erases the power of Black people, then this poetic masterpiece of Afrofuturism invents a language that is vibrant and capacious enough to tell the complex story of how African miners digging for the rare earth minerals make up the digital network we currently depend on.

Directors: Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams, Screenwriter: Saul Williams
Cast: Cheryl Isheja, Elvis Ngabo “Bobo”, Bertrand Ninteretse “Kaya Free”, Eliane Umuhire, Rebecca Muciyo, Trésor Niyongabo
105 min / U.S.A./Rwanda / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Three Minutes – A Lengthening

In 2009, Glenn Kurtz discovered a crumbling 16mm color home movie in his parents’ closet — amateur footage his grandfather David shot in 1938 on a vacation to Europe. In addition to familiar tourist attractions, the film included three minutes of what would turn out to be the only known footage of the predominantly Jewish town of Nasielsk, Poland — David Kurtz’s birthplace — just one year before the Nazi occupation would destroy the community, leaving fewer than 100 survivors of the Holocaust.

Director and Screenwriter: Bianca Stigter
69 min / Netherlands / World Premiere
DOCUMENTARY

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Worst Person in the World

Julie is young, beautiful, smart, and not exactly sure what she desires in a career or partner. One night she meets Aksel, a well-known graphic novelist 15 years her senior, and they quickly fall in love. Wondering if this will be the rest of her life, she meets a coffee barista, Eivind, who is also in a relationship. Julie has to decide, not just between two men but also who she is and who she wants to be.

Director: Joachim Trier, Screenwriter: Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
Cast: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum
127 min / Norway / DAY ONE
FICTION

KIDS

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Maika

Things could be better for 8-year-old Hung, who is grieving the loss of his mother, who died a year ago. His relationship with his father is strained, his best friend is moving away, and to top it all off, a greedy landlord is bullying his father to force them out of their apartment. He finds solace by watching the night sky from the roof of his apartment building. One night, he witnesses a meteor shower and an errant falling star that lands in the nearby countryside. He investigates, but instead of finding a fallen star, he meets a new friend, and he decides to do everything he can to help her.

Director and Screenwriter: Ham Tran
Cast: Phu Truong, Diep Anh Tru, Tin Tin, Ngoc Tuong, Kim Nha
105 min / Vietnam / World Premiere
FICTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Summering

It’s the waning days of summer for four friends Dina, Lola, Daisy, and Mari, who will soon be going their separate ways when they all start middle school. While planning how to spend their last weekend together, they stumble across a mystery that takes them on a life-changing adventure. The friends make a series of discoveries that are as much about solving the mystery as they are about learning the hard truths of growing up.

Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Benjamin Percy, James Ponsoldt
87 min /U.S.A. / World Premiere
FICTION

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

LAST FLIGHT HOME

Eli Timoner, a dedicated husband, father, and entrepreneur who founded the airline Air Florida in the 1970s, decides to medically terminate his life. During the 15-day waiting period, the bedridden but sharp-witted Eli says goodbye to those closest to him and helps them prepare for his departure. While his loved ones look back on Eli’s successes and devastating blows, they struggle to reconcile his choice.

Director: Ondi Timoner
101 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere

FROM THE COLLECTION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.

Chantal has plans. She’s going places. She’s on track to graduate early, go to college, become a doctor, and get out of the Brooklyn projects where she’s grown up. Life for Chantal swirls with teenage emotions — she is brash, bold, self-possessed, and irrepressibly spirited, traits that inevitably clash with the world around her. Whether it’s her feisty resistance to the whiteness of her educational curriculum or her confrontations with the wealthy white patrons of the upscale gourmet food store where she works, her complexity and energetic sense of purpose are balanced by a hazy self-awareness of adolescence.

Director and Screenwriter: Leslie Harris
Cast: William Badget, Chequita Jackson, Ebony Jerido, Ariyan Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Jerad Washington
92 min / U.S.A. / World Premiere

INDIE EPISODIC PROGRAM

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Bring on the Dancing Horses

A modern-day western drama that tells the story of an assassin (Kate Bosworth) who is out to complete her list of targets and exact her own brand of poetic justice.

Director and Screenwriter: Michael Polish
Cast: Kate Bosworth, Jasper Polish, Lance Henriksen, Happ