Sundance Film Festival Announces its Full 2021 Program
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Wild Indian

The Sundance Institute today announced the full program – all categories! – for the Sundance Film Festival 2021. From January 28th to February 3rd, the festival will be broadcast both online via a “feature-rich online platform created by Sundance” and, if public health and safety requirements permit, in person on satellite screens take place in venues across the country. 72 feature films from 29 countries with 38 first-time feature filmmakers will be selected. Fourteen of the films and projects received some kind of support from the Sundance Institute, and 66 feature films are world premieres. These films were selected from 14,092 submissions, including 3,500 feature films. Of the films submitted, 1,377 came from the USA and 2,132 from abroad.

"Togetherness has been an enlivening principle here at the Sundance Institute as we have worked to redesign the festival for 2021 because there is no Sundance without our community," said Sundance Institute Founder and President Robert Redford in a press release . "Under the leadership of Tabitha (Jackson), we have developed a new collective vision: one that honors the spirit and tradition of these invigorating annual gatherings in Utah while creating space for imaginative new opportunities in a new online format."

"Of course, the pandemic year required an adjustment," said Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute. “At a deeper level, we also recognize the urgency of supporting independent storytellers in a time of great upheaval in film and media. We pride ourselves that this edition of the festival is completely independent and will reach people everywhere to celebrate both the theater experience on our satellite screens and the streaming on our platform. "

“This festival is a unique response to a unique year – both in terms of design and curation – and we are excited to see the new dimensions of possibilities that will arise. But in essence, there is something to be said for our most enduring values, ”said Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Film Festival. “For thousands of years people have gathered to tell stories and make sense. In this pandemic year, we gather to celebrate a constellation of artists with unique perspectives who express this current moment and together say: “We exist. This is us. And we see that. "

"The work in this year's program is groundbreaking, imaginative and formally daring," said Kim Yutani, program director of the festival. “With more than half of the programming created by first-time directors, we at Sundance remain loyal to a sense of discovery. This year's festival is irrefutable proof that despite the challenges, the independent voice is stronger than ever. "

As previously mentioned, Sundance's New Frontier, along with other program and format news from Sundance 2021, will be a "bespoke spatial platform developed in collaboration with the Digital Experience Agency Active Theory and accessible through computer and VR headsets." made available to worldwide audiences. “In 2020 the whole world has changed and humanity has been left in a completely new state of being. When we stand on the brink of a new era, we need our artists and visionaries to light the way forward, ”said Shari Frilot, Senior Programmer and New Frontier Chief Curator. “The new media lineup this year challenges what we once knew to be true. Her work shines with world-forming wisdom and offers time machines that extract the cancer of colonial narratives that are deeply anchored in our biology. "

Frilot added, “More than ever, we need to bring our community together in meaningful ways. For this reason, New Frontier built three spatial digital venues that orbit the earth right next to the International Space Station. And festival goers can say goodbye to the mothership at any time to visit the astronauts on board the station, in the fascinating Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, co-directed by Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, or to spend a night on Earth and bar hop in Amsterdam via IDFA DocLab & # 39; s do {not} play.

This year, 50 short films will be playing at Sundance, selected from 9,963 submissions from 27 countries. “In a year like no other, short films are still strong with arts and crafts that are unique to their form. We're excited to introduce our audiences, wherever you are, to a series with a variety of characters, styles, ideas and emotions, ”said Mike Plante, Senior Programmer, Short Film.

Read the films and projects of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival below

The Dramatic Competition presents the world premieres of 10 narrative feature films and offers festival-goers a first glimpse into groundbreaking new voices in American independent film. Films that premiered in this category in recent years include Minari, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Farewell, Honey Boy, Clemency, Eighth Grade, and Sorry to Bother You.

CODA / USA (director and screenwriter: Siân Heder, producers: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger) – As CODA – child of deaf adult – Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family's fishing business is threatened, Ruby is torn between pursuing her love for music and her fear of leaving her parents. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant and Marlee Matlin. World premiere. DAY ONE

I was a simple man / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Christopher Makoto Yogi, Producers: Sarah S. Kim, Christopher Makoto Yogi, Matthew Petock, Yamato Cibulka) – As a family in Hawaii stands the death of their eldest, who haunt the ghosts of the past Landscape. Cast: Steve Iwamoto, Konstanz Wu, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai, Tim Chiou, Boonyanudh Jiyarom. World premiere

Jockey / USA (Directors: Clint Bentley, Scriptwriters: Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar, Producers: Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar, Nancy Schafer) – An aging jockey is determined to win one final championship, but his dream is complicated when one young rookie shows claim to be his son. Starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias. World premiere

John and the Hole / USA (Director: Pascual Sisto, Screenwriter: Nicolás Giacobone, Producer: Elika Portnoy, Alex Orlovsky, Mike Bowes) – A non-traditional coming-of-age story set in the unsettling reality of John a child who keeps his family trapped in a hole in the ground. Starring: Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Ehle, and Taissa Farmiga. World premiere

Mayday / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Karen Cinorre, Producer: Jonah Disend, Lucas Joaquin, Karen Cinorre, Sam Levy) – Ana is taken to a dreamy and dangerous country, where she joins a team of female soldiers who join in an endless War are on a rugged coastline. Although she finds strength in this exciting world, she realizes that she is not the killer she is supposed to have. Actors: Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Rose Liu from Havana, Soko, Théodore Pellerin, Juliette Lewis. World premiere

On the Count of Three / USA (Directors: Jerrod Carmichael, Scriptwriters: Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, Producers: David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, Tom Werner, Jake Densen, Ari Katcher, Jimmy Price) – Two weapons. Two best friends. And a pact to end her life when the day is over. Starring: Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Tiffany Haddish, J. B. Smoove, Lavell Crawford, Henry Winkler. World premiere

Passing / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rebecca Hall, Producers: Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall) – Two African American women who can “fit” as white, live in one on opposite sides of the color line 1929 New York Research into racial and gender identity, achievement, obsession and oppression. Based on the novella by Nella Larsen. Actors: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Alexander Skarsgård, Bill Camp. World premiere

Superior / USA (Director: Erin Vassilopoulos, Scriptwriters: Erin Vassilopoulos, Alessandra Mesa, Producers: Benjamin Cohen, Grant Curatola, Patrick Donovan) – On the run, Marian returns to her hometown in New York State to meet her estranged identical twin to hide sister Vivian. Marian struggles to leave the past behind and lies about the reason for her return. She leaves her sister in the dark until their two worlds begin to collide. Cast: Alessandra Mesa, Ani Mesa, Pico Alexander, Jake Hoffman and Stanley Simons. World premiere

Together Together / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Nikole Beckwith, Producer: Anthony Brandonisio, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Tim Headington) – When the young loner Anna is hired to replace Matt, a single man in his forties, the two strangers become clear This unexpected relationship will quickly challenge your perceptions of the connection, limits, and details of love. Actors: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Tig Notaro, Julio Torres and Anna Konkle. World premiere

Wild Indian / USA (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., Producer: Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., Thomas Mahoney, Eric Tavitian) – Two men are inextricably linked after covering up the wild murder of a schoolmate. After years of separating in very different ways, they finally have to grapple with how their traumatic secret has irrevocably shaped their lives. Cast: Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Jesse Eisenberg, Kate Bosworth, Phoenix Wilson and Julian Gopal. World premiere

Ten American world premiere documentaries that shed light on the ideas, people and events that shape the present. Films that premiered in this category in recent years include Boys State, Crip Camp: A Disabled Revolution, APOLLO 11, Knock Down The House, One Child Nation, The American Factory, Three Identical Strangers, and On Her Shoulders .

Ailey / USA (Director: Jamila Wignot, Producer: Lauren DeFilippo) – Alvin Ailey was a visionary artist who found salvation through dance. In his own words and by creating a dance inspired by his life, this haunting portrait tells a man who, when faced with a world that refuses to embrace him, is determined to build one that would . World premiere

All Light, Everywhere / USA (Director: Theo Anthony, Producer: Riel Roch-Decter, Sebastian Pardo, Jonna McKone) – An investigation into the common history of cameras, weapons, police and justice. As surveillance technologies become an integral part of everyday life, the film questions the complexity of an objective point of view and examines the prejudices inherent in both human perception and the lens. World premiere

In the Ready / USA (Directed by Maisie Crow, Producers: Hillary Pierce, Maisie Crow, Abbie Perrault) – Home to one of the largest law enforcement education programs in the region. Students at Horizon High School in El Paso are trained to become police officers and border guards. Patrol agents who discover the reality of their dream jobs may contradict the truths and people they care about. World premiere

Cusp / USA (Director: Parker Hill, Isabel Bethencourt, Producer: Zachary Luke Kislevitz, Parker Hill, Isabel Bethencourt) – In a Texas military town, three teenage girls stand in front of the dark corners of youth at the end of a feverish dream summer. World premiere

Homeroom / USA (Director: Peter Nicks, Producer: Peter Nicks, Sean Havey) – After class of 2020 at Oakland High School in a year marked by seismic changes, you will explore the emotional world of teenagers against the backdrop of rapid development grow up changing world. World premiere

Rebel Hearts / USA (Director: Pedro Kos, Producer: Kira Carstensen, Shawnee Isaac-Smith, Judy Korin) – A group of pioneering nuns bravely stand up against the patriarchy of the Catholic Church and fight for their livelihood, their convictions and their equality against all mighty cardinal. From the march in Selma in 1965 to the women's march in 2018, these women changed our society with their courageous acts of defiance. World premiere

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Chose / USA (Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera, Producers: Brent Miller, Mariem Pérez Riera, Ilia J. Vélez-Dávila) – Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and her relentless upbringing Racism one of a select group that has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. In her seventy year career, she paved the way for Hispanic-American artists by refusing to be categorized into one-dimensional stereotypes. World premiere

Summer Of Soul (… or when the revolution couldn't be televised) / USA (Direction: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Producers: David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Joseph Patel) – In the same summer as Woodstock, over 300,000 people visited Harlem Cultural Festival celebrating African American music and culture and promoting black pride and unity. The festival footage was in a basement that has not been seen in over 50 years and has made this incredible event in American history lost – until now. World premiere. DAY ONE

Try harder! / USA (Director: Debbie Lum, Producer: Debbie Lum, Lou Nakasako, Nico Opper) – In a universe where cool kids are nerds, the orchestra is world class and Asian Americans are the norm. Lowell High School seniors compete for the grand prize: admission to the college of their dreams. World premiere

User / USA, Mexico (Director: Natalia Almada, Producer: Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Josh Penn) – A mother wonders if my kids love their perfect machines more than me, their imperfect mother? She turns on a smart crib that lulls her crying baby to sleep. That perfect mother is everywhere. She watches over us, takes care of us. We listen to her. We trust her. World premiere

Ten films from aspiring filmmakers around the world offer new perspectives and inventive styles. Films that premiered in this category in recent years include The Souvenir, The Guilty, Monos, Yardie, The Nile Hilton Incident, and Second Mother.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet / Argentina (Directors: Ana Katz, Scriptwriters: Ana Katz, Gonzalo Delgado, Producers: Laura Huberman, Ana Katz) – Sebastian, a man in his thirties, works in a number of temporary jobs and loves to hug at every opportunity. He transforms through a series of brief encounters as the world flirts with a possible apocalypse. Actors: Daniel Katz, Julia Zylberberg, Valeria Lois, Mirella Pascual, Carlos Portaluppi. World premiere

El Planeta / USA, Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Amalia Ulman, Producer: Amalia Ulman, Kathleen Heffernan, Kweku Mandela) – In the midst of post-crisis post-crisis Spain devastation, mother and daughter are bluffing to maintain the lifestyle they deem worthy of bond about shared tragedy and an impending eviction. Cast: Amalia Ulman, Ale Ulman, Nacho Vigalondo, Zhou Chen and Saoirse Bertram. World premiere

Fire in the mountains / India (Director and screenwriter: Ajitpal Singh, producers: Ajay Rai, Alan McAlex) – A mother tries to save money to build a road in a Himalayan village to give her wheelchair-bound son to physiotherapy but her husband, who believes that an expensive religious ritual is the cure, steals her savings. Cast: Vinamrata Rai, Chandan Bisht, Mayank Singh Jaira, Harshita Tewari and Sonal Jha. World premiere

Hive / Kosovo, Switzerland, Macedonia, Albania (director and screenwriter: Blerta Basholli, producers: Yll Uka, Valon Bajgora, Agon Uka) – Fahrije's husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She starts her own small business to care for her children, but when she battles a patriarchal society that doesn't support her, she faces a crucial decision: wait for his return or hold out. Actors: Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi and Kaona Sylejmani. World premiere

Human Factors / Germany, Italy, Denmark (director and screenwriter: Ronny Trocker, producers: Susanne Mann, Paul Zischler, Martin Rehbock) – a mysterious break-in reveals the agony of an exemplary middle-class family. Actors: Sabine Timoteo, Mark Waschke, Jule Hermann, Wanja Valentin Kube, Hannes Perkmann, Daniel Séjourné. World premiere

Luzzu / Malta (director and screenwriter: Alex Camilleri, producers: Rebecca Anastasi, Ramin Bahrani, Alex Camilleri, Oliver Mallia) – Jesmark, a fighting fisherman on the island of Malta, is forced to turn his back on generations of traditions and risk everything by entering the world of black market fishing to care for his girlfriend and newborn baby. Actors: Jesmark Scicluna, Michela Farrugia, David Scicluna. World premiere

One for the Road / China, Hongkong, Thailand (Director: Baz Poonpiriya, Scriptwriters: Baz Poonpiriya, Nottapon Boonprakob, Puangsoi Aksornsawang, Producer: Wong Kar Wai) – Boss is a consummate woman, a free spirit and a bar owner in NYC. One day he receives a surprise call from Aood, an estranged friend who has returned to Thailand. Aood dies of cancer and asks Boss for help making a bucket list – but both of them are hiding something. Cast: Tor Thanapob, Ice Natara, Violette Wautier, Aokbab Chutimon, Ploi Horwang and Noon Siraphun. World premiere. DAY ONE

The Pink Cloud / Brazil (Director and Screenwriter: Iuli Gerbase, Producer: Patricia Barbieri) – A mysterious and deadly pink cloud appears around the world, forcing everyone to stay home. In the beginning, strangers, Giovana and Yago, try to invent each other as a couple, as a year-long lockdown pass. While Yago lives in his own utopia, Giovana feels trapped inside. Actors: Renata de Lélis, Eduardo Mendonça. World premiere

Pleasure / Sweden, Netherlands, France (Director and Screenwriter: Ninja Thyberg, Producer: Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå, Erik Hemmendorff) – A 20-year-old girl moves from her small Swedish town to LA to begin a career in the adult film industry. Cast: Sofia Kappel, Revika Anne Reustle, Evelyn Claire, Chris Cock, Dana DeArmond and Kendra Spade. World premiere

Prime Time / Poland (director: Jakub Piątek, scriptwriters: Jakub Piątek, Łukasz Czapski, producer: Jakub Razowski) – On the last day of 1999, 20-year-old Sebastian locked himself in a television studio. He has two hostages, a weapon and an important message for the world. The story of the attack examines the extreme measures and last resort of a rebel. Actors: Bartosz Bielenia, Magdalena Popławska, Andrzej Kłak, Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Dobromir Dymecki, Monika Frajczyk. World premiere

Ten documentaries from some of the most daring filmmakers working around the world today. Films that premiered in this category in recent years include Honeyland, Sea of ​​Shadows, Shirkers, This is Home, Last Men in Aleppo, and Hooligan Sparrow.

Faya Dayi / Ethiopia, USA (director, screenwriter and producer: Jessica Beshir) – A spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar, immersed in the rituals of khat, a leaf that Sufi Muslims have chewed for centuries for religious meditations – and Ethiopia's most lucrative Harvest today. A tapestry with intimate stories offers a glimpse into the dreams of youth under a repressive regime. World premiere

Escape / Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway (Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Producer: Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen) – Amin came to Denmark from Afghanistan as an unaccompanied minor. Today he is a successful academic and marries his longtime friend. A secret he's been hiding for 20 years threatens to ruin the life he's built. World premiere. DAY ONE

Inconvenient Indian / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Michelle Latimer, Producers: Stuart Henderson, Justine Pimlott, Jesse Wente) – An investigation into Thomas King's brilliant breakdown of the North American colonial narrative, refreshing history with the powerful voices of those who carry on the tradition of Indigenous resistance. International premiere

Mischa and the Wolves / United Kingdom, Belgium (Director and Screenwriter: Sam Hobkinson, Producers: Poppy Dixon, Al Morrow, Matthew Wells, Gregory Zalcman, Jürgen Buedts) – A woman's Holocaust memoir is taking the world by storm, but a fallout with her, the publisher turned detective reveals her story as a bold deception created to hide a darker truth. World premiere

The Most Beautiful Boy in the World / Sweden (Director: Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri, Producer: Stina Gardell) – The life of Swedish actor / musician Björn Andresen was changed forever at the age of 15 when he played Tadzio, the object of Dirk Bogarde Obsession in Death in Venice – a role that led the Italian maestro Luchino Visconti to call him "the most beautiful boy in the world". World premiere

Playing with Sharks / Australia (director and screenwriter: Sally Aitken, producer: Bettina Dalton) – Valerie Taylor is a shark fanatic and an Australian icon – a maritime outsider who has established herself as a fearless diver, cameraman and conservationist. She filmed the real sharks for Jaws and was known to wear a chain mail suit that used itself as shark bait and forever changed our scientific understanding of sharks. World premiere

President / Denmark, USA, Norway (Director: Camilla Nielsson, Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barnes) – Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. Opposition MDC party leader Nelson Chamisa challenges the old guard ZANU-PF, led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as "The Crocodile". The elections test both the ruling party and the opposition – how do they interpret the principles of democracy in discourse and in practice? World premiere

Sabaya / Sweden (director and screenwriter: Hogir Hirori, producers: Antonio Russo Merenda, Hogir Hirori) – With just a cell phone and a gun, Mahmud, Ziyad and their group risk their lives to save Yazidi women and girls detained by ISIS are used as sabaya (kidnapped sex slaves) in the Middle East's most dangerous camp, Al-Hol in Syria. World premiere

Taming the garden / Switzerland, Germany, Georgia (director Salomé Jashi, producers: Vadim Jendreyko, Erik Winker, Martin Roelly, Salomé Jashi) – a poetic ode to the rivalry between man and nature. World premiere

Writing with Fire / India (Directors and Producers: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh) – India's only newspaper operated by Dalit women is being produced in a male-dominated, overcrowded news landscape. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists are breaking traditions on the front lines of India's biggest problems and within the confines of their own homes and redefining what it means to be powerful. World premiere

Pure, bold works, characterized by an innovative, forward-looking approach to storytelling, populate this program. Films that premiered in this category in recent years include The Infiltrators, Searching, Skate Kitchen, A Ghost Story, and Tangerine. NEXT presented by Adobe.

The Blazing World / USA (Directors: Carlson Young, Scriptwriters: Carlson Young, Pierce Brown, Producers: Brinton Bryan, Elizabeth Avellán) – Decades after her twin sister accidentally drowned, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home. She is drawn to another dimension where her sister may still be living. Actors: Udo Kier, Carlson Young, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, John Karna, Soko. World premiere

Cryptozoo / USA (director and screenwriter: Dash Shaw, producers: Kyle Martin, Jane Samborski, Bill Way, Tyler Davidson) these rare animals within the confines of a cryptozoo, or whether these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown. Cast: Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Angeliki Papoulia, Zoe Kazan, Peter Stormare and Grace Zabriskie. World premiere

First Date / USA (Directors and Scriptwriters: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp, Producers: Brandon Kraus, Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp, Lucky McKee, Charles Horak) – Linked to the purchase of a seedy & # 39; 65 Chrysler, Mike's first date with next girl Kelsey implodes when he is attacked by criminals, cops, and a crazy cat lady. A night of desire, balls, and burning rubber makes any other first date seem like a stroll in the park. Cast: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Ryan Quinn Adams and Brandon Kraus. World premiere

Ma Belle, My Beauty / USA, France (director and screenwriter: Marion Hill, producers: Ben Matheny, Kelsey Scult, Marion Hill) – A surprising reunion in the south of France arouses passions and jealousy between two women who were once polyamorous lovers. Cast: Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guignard and Sivan Noam Shimon. World premiere

R # J / USA (Directors: Carey Williams, Scriptwriters: Carey Williams, Rickie Castaneda, Alex Sobolev, Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Igor Tsay, John J. Kelly, Alex Sobolev, Anna Soboleva) – A reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet You will find via their cell phones in a mash-up of the Shakespeare dialogue with the current social media communication. Cast: Camaron Engels, Francesca Noel, David Zayas, Diego Tinoco, Siddiq Saunderson and Russell Hornsby. World premiere

Searchers / USA (Direction: Pacho Velez, Producers: Pacho Velez, Joe Poletto, Cathy Tankosic, Sam Roseme) – In encounters that are alternately humorous and touching, various New Yorkers navigate their favorite dating apps in search of their special one Person premiere

Son of monarchs / Mexico, USA (director and screenwriter: Alexis Gambis, producers: Abraham Dayan, Maria Altamirano) – After the death of his grandmother, a Mexican biologist living in New York returns to his hometown, nestled in the majestic monarch butterfly forests of Michoacán. The journey forces him to grapple with past traumas and reflect on his hybrid identity, triggering a personal and spiritual metamorphosis. Actors: Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Alexia Rasmussen, Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez, Noé Hernández, Paulina Gaitán, William Mapother. Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Award

Strawberry Mansion / USA (Directors and screenwriters: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Producers: Taylor Shung, Sarah Winshall, Emma Hannaway, Matisse Rifai) – In a world where the government records and taxes dreams, a humble dream checker turns into a cosmic one Journey through the life and dreams of an aging eccentric named Bella. Together they have to find a way back home. Cast: Penny Fuller, Kentucker Audley, Grace Glowicki, Reed Birney, Linas Phillips and Constance Shulman. World premiere

We're all going to the World's Fair / USA (director and screenwriter: Jane Schoenbrun, producers: Sarah Winshall, Carlos Zozaya) – A young girl is immersed in an online role-playing game. Actors: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers. World premiere

A showcase with world premieres of some of the most anticipated feature and non-fiction films of the coming year. Films that premiered in the Documentary Premiere category include The Dissident, On the Record and Miss Americana. Previous titles include "Kajillionaire", "Promising Young Woman", "The Report", "Late Night", "The Big Sick" and "Call Me By Your Name".

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir / USA (Director: James Redford, Producer: Karen Pritzker, Cassandra Jabola) – Amy Tan has established herself as one of America's most respected literary voices. It would be decades before the Joy Luck Club author fully understood the inherited trauma that is ingrained in the legacies of women who have survived the Chinese tradition of cohabitation. World premiere, documentary

Bring Your Own Brigade / USA (Director and screenwriter: Lucy Walker, Producer: Lucy Walker, Julian Cautherley, Holly Becker, Lyn Lear) – A character-based verité and revelation investigation takes us on a journey embedded by firefighters and residents on a mission is to understand the causes of historically great forest fires and survive them to find out that the solution has always been here. Weltpremiere, Dokumentarfilm

Acht für Silver / USA, Frankreich (Regisseur und Drehbuchautor: Sean Ellis, Produzenten: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Sean Ellis) – Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts kommt ein Mann in einem abgelegenen Dorf an, um einen Angriff eines wilden Tieres zu untersuchen, entdeckt ihn jedoch Eine viel tiefere, finstere Kraft, die sowohl das Herrenhaus als auch die Stadtbewohner im Griff hat. Darsteller: Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran und Aine Rose Daly. Weltpremiere, Erzählung

Wie es endet / USA (Regisseure, Drehbuchautoren und Produzenten: Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister-Jones) – Am letzten Tag der Welt unternimmt eine Frau eine Reise durch LA, um zu ihrer letzten Party zu gelangen, bevor die Welt untergeht eine eklektische Besetzung von Charakteren auf dem Weg. Darsteller: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny, Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt und Lamorne Morris. Weltpremiere, Erzählung

In The Earth / Großbritannien (Regisseur und Drehbuchautor: Ben Wheatley, Produzent: Andy Starke) – Während ein katastrophales Virus den Planeten erfasst, wagen sich ein Wissenschaftler und ein Park-Scout tief in den Wald, um einen routinemäßigen Ausrüstungslauf durchzuführen. Durch die Nacht wird ihre Reise zu einer schrecklichen Reise durch das Herz der Dunkelheit, während der Wald um sie herum zum Leben erweckt wird. Darsteller: Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires und Reece Shearsmith. Weltpremiere, Erzählung

In The Same Breath / USA (Regie: Nanfu Wang, Produzenten: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn) – Wie hat die chinesische Regierung Pandemie-Vertuschungen in Wuhan zu einem Triumph für die kommunistische Partei gemacht? Eine wesentliche Darstellung von Berichten aus erster Hand über das Coronavirus und eine aufschlussreiche Untersuchung darüber, wie Propaganda und Patriotismus den Verlauf des Ausbruchs geprägt haben – sowohl in China als auch in der US-amerikanischen Weltpremiere Documentary. TAG EINS

Land / USA (Regie: Robin Wright, Drehbuchautoren: Jesse Chatham, Erin Dignam, Produzenten: Allyn Stewart, Lora Kennedy, Leah Holzer, Peter Saraf) – Die ergreifende Geschichte der Suche einer Frau nach einem unergründlichen Ereignis nach Sinn in der weiten und rauen amerikanischen Wildnis. Darsteller: Robin Wright, Demián Bichir, Kim Dickens. Weltpremiere, Erzählung

Marvelous and The Black Hole / USA (Regisseurin und Drehbuchautorin: Kate Tsang, Produzentin: Carolyn Mao) – Eine jugendliche Straftäterin freundet sich mit einem mürrischen Zauberer an, der ihr hilft, ihre inneren Dämonen und ihre dysfunktionale Familie mit einem Hauch von Handmagie zu navigieren. Alterskomödie, die unwahrscheinliche Freundschaften, Trauer und Hoffnung in den dunkelsten Momenten berührt. Darsteller: Miya Cech, Rhea Perlman, Leonardo Nam, Kannon Omachi, Paulina Lule und Keith Powell. Weltpremiere, Erzählung

Masse / USA (Regisseur und Drehbuchautor: Fran Kranz, Produzenten: Fran Kranz, Casey Wilder Mott, JP Ouellette, Dylan Matlock) – Jahre nach einer tragischen Schießerei treffen sich die Eltern des Opfers und des Täters von Angesicht zu Angesicht. Cast: Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney. World Premiere, Narrative

My Name is Pauli Murray / U.S.A. (Directors: Betsy West, Julie Cohen, Producer: Talleah Bridges McMahon) — Overlooked by history, Pauli Murray was a legal trailblazer whose ideas influenced RBG’s fight for gender equality and Thurgood Marshall’s landmark civil rights arguments. Featuring never-before-seen footage and audio recordings, a portrait of Murray’s impact as a non-binary Black luminary: lawyer, activist, poet, and priest who transformed our world. World Premiere, Documentary

Philly D.A. / U.S.A. (Created By: Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar, Producers: Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar, Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald) — A groundbreaking inside look at the long shot election and tumultuous first term of Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s unapologetic District Attorney, and his experiment to upend the criminal justice system from the inside out. World Premiere, Episodic Documentary

Prisoners of the Ghostland / U.S.A. (Director: Sion Sono, Screenwriters: Aaron Hendry, Reza Sixo Safai, Producers: Michael Mendelsohn, Laura Rister, Ko Mori, Reza Sixo Safai, Nate Bolotin) — A notorious criminal is sent to rescue an abducted woman who has disappeared into a dark supernatural universe. They must break the evil curse that binds them and escape the mysterious revenants that rule the Ghostland, an East-meets-West vortex of beauty and violence. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes, Bill Moseley, Tak Sakaguchi, Yuzuka Nakaya. World Premiere, Narrative

The Sparks Brothers / United Kingdom (Director: Edgar Wright, Producers: Nira Park, Edgar Wright, George Hencken, Laura Richardson) — How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? Take a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron & Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favorite band’s favorite band. World Premiere, Documentary

Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street / U.S.A. (Director: Marilyn Agrelo, Producers: Trevor Crafts, Ellen Scherer Crafts, Lisa Diamond) — How did a group of rebels create the world’s most famous street? In 1969 New York, this “gang” of mission-driven artists, writers and educators catalyzed a moment of civil awakening, transforming it into Sesame Street, one of the most influential and impactful television programs in history. World Premiere, Documentary

From horror and comedy to works that defy genre classification, these films will keep you wide awake, even at the most arduous hour. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Relic, Greener Grass, Hereditary, Assassination Nation, and The Babadook.

Censor / United Kingdom (Director: Prano Bailey-Bond, Screenwriters: Prano Bailey-Bond, Anthony Fletcher, Producer: Helen Jones) — When film censor Enid discovers an eerie horror that speaks directly to her sister’s mysterious disappearance, she resolves to unravel the puzzle behind the film and its enigmatic director – a quest blurring the lines between fiction and reality in terrifying ways. Cast: Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Michael Smiley. World Premiere. DAY ONE

Coming Home in the Dark / New Zealand (Director: James Ashcroft, Screenwriters: Eli Kent, James Ashcroft, Producers: Mike Minogue, Catherine Fitzgerald, Desray Armstrong) — A family’s outing descends into terror when teacher Alan Hoaganraad, his wife Jill and stepsons Maika and Jordon explore an isolated coastline. An unexpected meeting with a pair of drifters, the enigmatic psychopath Mandrake and his accomplice Tubs, thrusts the family into a nightmare when they find themselves captured. Cast: Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell, Matthias Luafutu. World Premiere

A Glitch in the Matrix / U.S.A. (Director: Rodney Ascher, Producer: Ross M. Dinerstein) — A multi-media exploration of simulation theory – an idea as old as Plato’s Republic and as current as Elon Musk’s Twitter feed – through the eyes of those who suspect our world isn’t real. Part sci-fi mind-scrambler, part horror story, this is a digital journey to the limits of radical doubt. World Premiere

Knocking / Sweden (Director: Frida Kempff, Screenwriter: Emma Broström, Producer: Erik Andersson) — When Molly moves into her new apartment after a tragic accident, a strange noise from upstairs begins to unnerve her. As its intensity grows, she confronts her neighbors – but no one seems to hear what she is hearing. Cast: Cecilia Milocco. World Premiere

Mother Schmuckers / Belgium (Directors and Screenwriters: Lenny Guit, Harpo Guit, Producers: David Borgeaud, Erika Meda) — Issachar & Zabulon, two brothers in their twenties, are supremely stupid and never bored, as madness is part of their daily lives. When they lose their mother’s beloved dog, they have 24 hours to find it – or she will kick them out. Cast: Harpo Guit, Maxi Delmelle, Claire Bodson, Mathieu Amalric, Habib Ben Tanfous. World Premiere

Violation / Canada (Directors, Screenwriters and Producers: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli) — A troubled woman on the edge of divorce returns home to her younger sister after years apart. But when her sister and brother-in-law betray her trust, she embarks on a vicious crusade of revenge. Cast: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe, Obi Abili, Jasmin Geljo, Cynthia Ashperger. International Premiere

The Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love from throughout the past year. Films that have played in this category in recent years include The Biggest Little Farm, The Death of Stalin, The Rider, Ida and The Lobster.

Night of the Kings / France, Ivory Coast, Canada, Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Philippe Lacôte, Producers: Delphine Jaquet, Yanick Létourneau, Ernest Konan, Yoro Mbaye) — A young man is sent to La Maca, a prison on the Ivory Coast in the middle of the forest ruled by its prisoners. With the red moon rising, he is designated by the Boss to be the new “Roman” and must tell a story to the other prisoners. Cast: Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Digbeu Jean Cyrille, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo, Denis Lavant.

The World to Come / U.S.A. (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Ron Hansen, Jim Shepard, Producers: Casey Affleck, Whitaker Lader, Pamela Koffler, David Hinojosa, Margarethe Baillou) — Somewhere along the mid-nineteenth century American East Coast frontier, two neighboring couples battle hardship and isolation, witnessed by a splendid yet testing landscape, challenging them both physically and psychologically. Cast: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck, Christopher Abbott. North American Premiere


Life in a Day 2020 / United Kingdom, U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Macdonald, Producers: Jack Arbuthnott, Tim Partridge) — An extraordinary, intimate, global portrait of life on our planet, filmed by thousands of people across the world, on a single day: 25th July 2020. World Premiere


4 Feet High VR / Argentina, France (Lead Artists: María Belén Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardón, Key Collaborators: Marie Blondiaux, Marcos Rostagno, Eugenia Foguel, Matias Benedetti, Manuel Yeri, Martin Lopez Funes, Guillermo Mena) — Juana, a 17-year-old wheelchair user, aims to explore her sexuality but is ashamed of her body. Trying to find her place in a new high school, she will go through failure, friendship, fear and politics until she builds her own pride. Cast: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti.

7 Sounds / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Sam Green, Key Collaborator: JD Samson) — An immersive live-streamed audio-video work exploring the universal influence of sound, weaving seven specific audio recordings into a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception.

Beyond the Breakdown / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Tony Patrick, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Grace Lee, Key Collaborators: Jesse Cahn Thompson, Aldo Velasco) — Imagining alternate narratives for our near-future reality, inside a browser designed to hack our normal online behaviors and cultivate collaborative spaces for self-reflection and renewal.

The Changing Same: Episode 1 / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat, Key Collaborators: James George, Alexander Porter, Rad Mora, Elliott Mitchell) — An immersive, episodic virtual reality experience where the participant travels through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial injustice in America. A respectful, haunting story infused with magical realism and Afrofuturism about the uninterrupted cycle of the 400-year history of racial terror — past and present.

Fortune! / France, Canada (Lead Artists: Brett Gaylor, Nicolas Bourniquel, Arnaud Colinart, Key Collaborators: Marianne Lévy-Leblond, Rob McLaughlin, Dash Spielgeman, Rolito, Clement Chériot) — Money, from bills to coins, has no intrinsic value beyond what we’ve collectively agreed to grant it. However, there’s no denying that money governs our lives. This series of animated documentary shorts in AR for smartphones, tablets and social media platforms, explores that relationship. Cast: Frank Bourassa.

Namoo / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Erick Oh, Key Collaborators: Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Kane Lee, David Kahn) — A narrative poem brought to life as an animated VR film, and an ode to a grandfather’s passing, this story follows the journey of a budding artist — and his tree of life — from beginning to end.

Nightsss / Poland (Lead Artists: Weronika Lewandowska, Sandra Frydrysiak, Key Collaborators: Marcin Macuk, Piotr Apostel, Kaya Kołodziejczyk, Marek Straszak, Arek Zub, Przemek Danowski) — A virtual erotic poem created in artistic animation with ASMR and interactive elements, immersing the viewer in the sensual experience of poetry and dance.

Prison X – Chapter 1 : The Devil and The Sun / Australia, Bolivia, India (Lead Artists: Violeta Ayala, Alap Parikh, Maria Corvera Vargas, Roly Elias, Key Collaborators: Daniel Fallshaw, Rilda Paco Alvarado, Alberto Santiago) — Heavy doors open and you are swept into an infamous Bolivian jail, where you live among devils, saints, wicked characters, corrupt prison guards and even a Western filmmaker. In Prison X, inhabit the dreams and nightmares of the Neo-Andean underworld. Cast: Violeta Ayala, Genesis Owusu, Celina Debassey, Anamaria Gómez Jaramillo, Jesse Odom, Nicole Ukelele.

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran / United Kingdom, Iran (Lead Artists: Javaad Alipoor, Kirsty Housley, Key Collaborator: Nick Sweeting) — A darkly comedic, urgent new play about entitlement, consumption and digital technology, exploring the ubiquitous feeling that our societies are falling apart through the story of two young members of the Iranian elite, asking what their deaths tell us about climate change, social collapse and Instagram. Cast: Javaad Alipoor, Peyvand Sadeghian.

Secret Garden / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Stephanie Dinkins, Key Collaborators: Ethan Edwards, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser, Danielle McPhatter, Sidney San Martín, Kate Stevenson, Adaora Udoji, Chris White) — An immersive web experience and installation, illuminating the power and resilience in Black women’s stories. Interactive audio vignettes generate a multi-generational narrative that collapses past, present, and future. Cast: Dayne Board, Erlene Curry, Tianna Mendez, Melissa Moore, Brandi Porter, Lisa Sainville.

Tinker / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Lou Ward, Key Collaborators: Shimon Alkon, Lara Bucarey, Avril Martinez, Aileen Paron, Anthony Alan Garcia, Roberto Tan, Cristopher David, Neil Realubit, Anton Arcega, David Conklin, Evan Chavez) — What happens when the memories we spend a lifetime creating begin to disappear? Step inside the Grandfather’s workshop to discover this answer for yourself. In this live, bespoke unscripted performance, reimagine what it means to play, to connect and to hold fast to the memories we create. Cast: Randy Dixon.

To Miss The Ending / United Kingdom (Lead Artists: Anna West, David Callanan, Key Collaborators: Jamie Finlay, Steph Clarke, Dan Tucker) — A VR cubicle of cardboard boxes begins to glitch, revealing an empty dark space in front of you – until something glimmers in the distance, a wave of blue flooding towards you. A chorus of real memories and imagined futures expands, until only the largest memories are left. Cast: Charlotte Berry, Michael Dodds, Houmi Miura, Ben Kulvichit, Anna West.

Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Sophia Nahli Allison, idris brewster, Stephanie Dinkins, Ari Melenciano, Terence Nance, Key Collaborators: Yance Ford, Sharon Chang, Kamal Sinclair) — Inspired by the ideas of Octavia Butler, voyaging into the interstitium: a liminal space, a cultural memory, containing the remnants of our ancestors, a place of refuge, a place of recentering, a portal into an alternate dimension.

Weirdo Night / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Jibz Cameron, Mariah Garnett) — A filmed edition, hosted by Dynasty Handbag, of the wildly popular, underground, eponymous live performance and comedy event that, until COVID-19, was held monthly in Los Angeles. Cast: Patti Harrison, Smiling Beth, Morgan Bassichis, Sarah Squirm, Hedia Maron, Blasia Discoteca.


U.S. Fiction

Ava From My Class / U.S.A., South Korea (Director: Youmin Kang, Screenwriters: Youmin Kang, Soomin Kang) — Anna thinks Ava is the best actress in her class. International Premiere

Bambirak / U.S.A., Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Zamarin Wahdat) — When Kati stows away in her father’s truck, Faruk must juggle his responsibilities as a single dad while holding down his first job in a new country. As their relationship deepens, a brush with covert racism tests their bond. North American Premiere

BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jason Park) — A young Korean-American hustler runs throughout the city of Chicago making sales out of his “mobile gift shop.” World Premiere

Bruiser / U.S.A. (Director: Miles Warren, Screenwriters: Miles Warren, Ben Medina) — After his father gets into a fight at a bowling alley, Darious begins to investigate the limitations of his own manhood. World Premiere

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma / U.S.A., Germany, France, Italy (Directors and Screenwriters: Topaz Jones, rubberband.) — In 1970, Black educators in Chicago developed an alphabet flashcard set to provide Black-centered teaching materials to the vastly white educational landscape and the Black ABCs were born. Fifty years later, twenty-six scenes provide an update to their meanings. World Premiere

Doublespeak / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Hazel McKibbin) — A young woman grapples with the aftermath of reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.

i ran from it and was still in it / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Darol Olu Kae) — A poetic meditation on familial loss and separation, and the love that endures against dispersion.

In the Air Tonight / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Andrew Norman Wilson) — An insider’s take on the meaning behind Phil Collins’ 1980 single “In the Air Tonight.”

LATA / U.S.A., India (Director: Alisha Mehta, Screenwriters: Alisha Mehta, Mireya Martinez) — Lata, a 23 year old domestic worker, navigates her way through an upper class home in South Mumbai. Doors consistently open and close, giving Lata selective access to the various contending realities that occupy this space.

Raspberry / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Julian Doan) — A son struggles to say goodbye to his dead father. World Premiere

The Touch of the Master’s Hand / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Gregory Barnes) — Troubled by an unnatural temptation, a young Mormon missionary must confess the humiliating depths of his pornography addiction. World Premiere

White Wedding / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Melody C Roscher) — Amidst a racially tense Southern wedding, a biracial bride has the chance to confront her estranged Black father after accidentally hiring his wedding band to perform. World Premiere

Wiggle Room / U.S.A. (Directors and Screenwriters: Sam Guest, Julia Baylis) — Determined to save her wheelchair ramp from repossession, Daisy confronts the shady insurance agent who owes her money. World Premiere

Yoruga / U.S.A., Colombia (Director and Screenwriter: Federico Torrado Tobón) — A lonely old man pays a visit to Yoruga, one of the last animals on Earth. World Premiere

You Wouldn’t Understand / U.S.A. (Director: Trish Harnetiaux, Screenwriters: Trish Harnetiaux, Jacob A. Ware) — An idyllic picnic of one is upended after the arrival of a stranger.

International Fiction

The Affected / Norway (Director: Rikke Gregersen, Screenwriters: Rikke Gregersen, Trond Arntzen) — Minutes before takeoff, a situation occurs, preventing an airplane from departing: in an attempt to prevent the deportation of one passenger, another refuses to sit down – forcing the pilot to take a political stand.

Black Bodies / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Kelly Fyffe-Marshall) — A Black man laments as he comes face-to-face with the realities of being Black in the 21st century. International Premiere

The Criminals / France, Romania, Turkey (Director and Screenwriter: Serhat Karaaslan) — In a town in Turkey, a young couple is looking for some privacy. They are rejected from the hotels because they do not have a marriage certificate. When they think they found a way, the situation gets out of hand. World Premiere

Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss / Philippines (Director: Sonny Calvento, Screenwriter: Arden Rod Condez) — Vangie, a miserable contractual sales lady, is about to lose her job. But in her desperate attempt to convince her boss not to sack her, Vangie uncovers the ultimate jaw-dropping secret to regularization.

Five Tiger / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Nomawonga Khumalo) — A god-fearing woman in present-day South Africa finds herself in a transactional relationship as she tries to support her sick husband and daughter. North American Premiere

Flex / Sweden (Directors and Screenwriters: Josefin Malmen, David Strindberg) — He may be god enough, but is he good enough? A slightly surreal comedic exploration of the fine line between a bodybuilder’s self-loathing and self-loving.

Like the Ones I Used to Know / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Annie St-Pierre) — December 24, 1983, 10:50 p.m.: Julie and her cousins ate too much sugar, Santa Claus is late. Denis, alone in his car, is anxious at the idea of setting foot in his ex-in-law’s house to pick up his children. World Premiere

Lizard / United Kingdom (Director: Akinola Davies, Jr., Screenwriter: The Davies Brothers) — Juwon, an 8-year-old girl with an ability to sense danger, gets ejected from Sunday school service. She unwittingly witnesses the underbelly in and around a megachurch in Lagos. International Premiere

The Longest Dream I Remember / Mexico (Director: Carlos Lenin, Screenwriters: Carlos Lenin, Isa Mora Vera) — As Tania leaves her hometown, she must confront what her absence will mean in the search for her disappeared father. World Premiere

Mountain Cat / Mongolia, United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir) — A troubled girl is coerced into seeing a shaman. Trapped by the ancient beliefs that pacify her mother, she finds peace in the physical realm, unleashing her repressed, youthful spirit on the shaman when she realizes his true identity. U.S. Premiere

Unliveable / Brazil (Directors and Screenwriters: Matheus Farias, Enock Carvalho) — In Brazil, where a trans person is murdered every three days, Marilene searches for her daughter Roberta, a trans woman who is missing. While running out of time, she discovers one hope for the future. North American Premiere

The Unseen River / Vietnam, Laos (Director and Screenwriter: Phạm Ngọc Lân) — Stories told along the river: a woman reunites with her ex-lover at a hydroelectric plant; meanwhile, a young man travels downstream to a temple in search of a cure for his insomnia.

We’re Not Animals / France (Director and Screenwriter: Noé Debré) — His ex Marie became an Instagram star (thanks to an activist group focused on the female orgasm). Depressed, Igor believes this is a deliberate campaign to prevent him from finding someone else. World Premiere


A Concerto is a Conversation / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers) — A virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Dear Philadelphia / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Renee Osubu) — With the help of their family, friends, and faith, three fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community in North Philadelphia. International Premiere

The Field Trip / U.S.A. (Directors: Meghan O’Hara, Mike Attie, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck) — A group of fifth graders learn what it takes to get ahead in the modern American workplace. World Premiere

My Own Landscapes / France (Director: Antoine Chapon) — Before going to war, a former military game designer made video game scenarios that prepared soldiers for cultural shocks and healed trauma. Once back from the war, his relationship with his identity, with life and with the video game changed.

The Rifleman / U.S.A. (Director: Sierra Pettengill, Screenwriters: Daniel Garber, Sierra Pettengill) — Told entirely through archival material, tracing Harlon Carter, considered the “father of the modern NRA,” across the decades, revealing the links between the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Border Patrol, and gun culture.

Snowy / U.S.A. (Directors: Kaitlyn Schwalje, Alex Wolf Lewis) — Snowy, a 4-inch-long pet turtle, has lived an isolated life in the family basement. With help from a team of experts and his caretaker, Uncle Larry, we ask: Can Snowy be happy and what would it take? World Premiere

Spirits and Rocks: an Azorean Myth / Switzerland, Portugal (Director: Aylin Gökmen) — On a volcanic island, inhabitants are caught in an unending cycle: the threat of impending eruptions, and the burden of past traumas, loom over them. Some draw upon myth and religious beliefs to interpret their precarious situation; others demonstrate resilience. International Premiere

Tears Teacher / Japan (Director: Noemie Nakai) — Yoshida is a self-proclaimed “tears teacher.” A firm believer that regular crying promotes healthier living, he’s made it his mission to make more people weep.

This is the Way We Rise / U.S.A. (Director: Ciara Lacy) — An exploration into the creative process, following Native Hawaiian slam poet Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, as her art is reinvigorated by her calling to protect sacred sites atop Maunakea, Hawai`i.

To Know Her / U.S.A., Hong Kong (Director: Natalie Chao) — A poetic exploration of the camera’s gaze and a family’s relationship with the filmmaker’s mother. International Premiere

When We Were Bullies / U.S.A., Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jay Rosenblatt) — A mind-boggling “coincidence” leads the filmmaker to track down his fifth grade class – and fifth grade teacher – to examine their memory of and complicity in a bullying incident fifty years ago. World Premiere

Up at Night / Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium (Director and Screenwriter: Nelson Makengo) — As dusk fades and another night without electricity falls, Kinshasa’s neighborhoods reveal an unstable environment of violence, political conflict and uncertainty over the building of the Grand Inga 3 hydroelectric dam, promising a permanent source of energy to the Congo. U.S. Premiere


The Fire Next Time / United Kingdom (Director: Renaldho Pelle, Screenwriter: Kerry Jade Kolbe) — Rioting spreads as social inequality causes tempers in a struggling community to flare, but the oppressive environment takes on a life of its own as the shadows of the housing estate close in.

Forever / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Mitch McGlocklin) — A life insurance company uses an AI algorithm to determine the risk of a new applicant. The subsequent denial sparks a period of introspection for the individual in question.

The Fourfold / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Alisi Telengut) — An exploration of the indigenous worldview and wisdom based on ancient shamanistic traditions and animistic beliefs in Siberia and Mongolia. With hand-crafted animation, a testament of reclaiming animism for environmental ethics and non-human materialities.

Ghost Dogs / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Cappa, Screenwriters: Joe Cappa, J.W. Hallford) — A family’s new rescue pup is terrorized by deceased pets in this mind-bending horror.

GNT / Australia (Directors and Screenwriters: Sara Hirner, Rosemary Vasquez-Brown) — Glenn is a woman on an unwholesome mission, but just how far will she go to conquer the clique – and social media at large?

KKUM / South Korea, U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Kang-min Kim) — My mother’s dreams have always been strong premonitions for important moments in my life. I rely on her dreams more than any religion.

Little Miss Fate / Switzerland (Director and Screenwriter: Joder von Rotz) — When the opportunity arises, Little Miss Fate slips into the role of the world leader. Unintentionally she creates a monster, which greedily wants to suck up all the love of the world. Overwhelmed by the rapid development, she loses control.

Misery Loves Company / U.S.A., South Korea (Director: Sasha Lee, Screenwriters: Sasha Lee, Yejin Choi) — As Seolgi is lying on a grass field with friends, a shooting star falls, and dark, intrusive thoughts hit her. Her melancholy blooms into bright and colorful “flower people,” dancing and wishing for a meteorite to end the world.

Souvenir Souvenir / France (Director and Screenwriter: Bastien Dubois) — For ten years, I’ve pretended to make a movie out of my grandfather’s Algerian war souvenirs. Today, I’m not sure I want to hear what he has to say.

Trepanation / U.S.A. (Director: Nick Flaherty) — What was once familiar is now unrecognizable. All previous desires are overshadowed by the need to disappear completely.


4 Feet High / Argentina, France (Directors: María Belén Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Executive Producers: Ezequiel Lenardón, Marie Blondiaux) — Juana, a 17-year-old wheelchair user, aims to explore her sexuality but is ashamed of her body. Trying to find her place in a new high school, she will go through failure, friendship, fear and politics until she builds her own pride. Cast: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti. World Premiere

Seeds of Deceit / Netherlands (Director: Miriam Guttmann, Executive Producers: Monique Busman, Michiel van Erp, Judith Reuten) — The revelation that Dr. Karbaat clandestinely used his own semen to inseminate more than 65 of his patients shocked the world. A vivid portrayal of how that happened and all the ways it haunts those affected: the emotional trauma of coming to terms with a changed life, a new identity. World Premiere

These Days / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Adam Brooks) — Mae, lonely and self-isolating, navigates the world of online dating during the early days of quarantine. Her first attempt is a comic disaster; then, she meets Will and her world begins to change in unexpected ways. Cast: Marianne Rendón, William Jackson Harper, Amy Brenneman, Parker Young. World Premiere

Would You Rather / France, Germany (Creators: Lise Akoka, Romane Guéret, Executive Producer: Pierre Grimaus, Jean Dathanat) — Sixteen-year-olds Shaï, Djeneba, Aladi, and Ismaël grew up in a working-class Paris neighborhood. Together, they watch hours drift by, cracking jokes, and playing their favorite game, “Would you rather?” As the group’s equilibrium suddenly shifts, they have to start making choices – in their lives and their game. Cast: Fanta Kebe, Shirel Nataf, Zakaria Lazab, Mouctar Diawara. North American Premiere

Sundance released the following stats about the diversity of its selection:

FULL SLATE: Across 140 films and projects, 50%, or 70, were directed by one or more women; 4% or 6, were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 51%, or 71, were directed by one or more artists of color; 15% or 21 by one or more people who identify as LGBTQ+.


Dramatic: 50% of the 10 directors in this year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition identify as women; 40% as BIPOC.

Documentary: 64% of the 11 directors in this year’s U.S. Documentary Competition identify as women; 73% as BIPOC; 9% as LGBTQ+.


Dramatic: 50% of the 10 World Dramatic Competition identify as women.

Documentary: 50% of the 12 directors in the World Documentary Competition identify as women.

FEATURE FILM SUBMISSIONS: Of the feature film submissions, 1,377 were from the U.S. and 2,132 were international; 27% were directed by one or more women; 2% were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 42% were directed by one or more filmmakers who identify as BIPOC; 11% by one or more filmmakers who identify as LGBTQ+.

ALL FEATURES: Of the 72 feature films, 47% were directed by one or more women; 3% were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 43% were directed by one or more filmmakers who identify as BIPOC; 8% by one or more filmmakers who identify as LGBTQ+.

NEW FRONTIER: Of the 32 artists across the 14-project section, 44% identify as women, 9% as non-binary, 44% as BIPOC, and 22% as LGBTQ+.

SHORTS: Comprising 50 films, 48% or 24 of all short films announced today chose to indicate they were directed by one or more women; 2% or 1 was directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 64% or 32 were directed by one or more artists of color; 20% or 10 by one or more people who identify as LGBTQ+. Of the 60 directors across the section, 42% indicated they identify as women, 2% as non-binary, 56% as BIPOC, and 20% as LGBTQ+.


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