When the Sundance Film Festival started 31 years ago to celebrate independent film, 150 people showed up, and 10 documentaries and 20 films were screened in one theater. Today, Robert Redford’s brainchild has ballooned into an annual force in Park City, Utah that gives life to some of the year’s most promising cinematic endeavors. From January 21 – 31, the 2016 festival will be upon us, with events, screenings, prizes, and more. Below are the five films we’re most looking forward to, and lucky for those of us at home, we can view the festival vicariously on Sundance’s YouTube channel.
Making its world premier at Sundance, this drama starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney tells the story of a young drifter who ends up looking after a baby when the child’s mother neglects it. The film is so buzzed about, it was picked up by Netflix this week before the festival even began.
Directed by Diego Luna, this comedy stars Danny Glover as an aging farmer, Maya Rudolph, and a 330-pound pig on a road trip through Mexico. Producer Pablo Cruz summarizes it succinctly: “Mr. Pig is a beautiful road movie, and a chance to talk about love for Mexico through the eyes of an American.”
Two teenage besties who love yoga accidentally uncover an ancient burial ground underneath a convenience store in their hometown of Winnipeg. Then, things get weird. This campy horror flick features not just Johnny Depp, but his daughter Lily-Rose, so we’re all ready sold, and for more indie cred, it’s directed by Clerks’ Kevin Smith.
This touching documentary looks at the inner workings of a Brooklyn-based bespoke tailoring company that caters to a diverse range of LGBTQ clients. Taking each customer’s emotional journey into account, the clothiers craft a suit that fits the needs of everyone from a trans Bar Mitzvah boy, a cab driver, a young southern law student, and a transgender man preparing for his wedding. Produced by Lena Dunham and others.
Ben, played by the inimitable Viggo Mortensen, raises his kids with a hard work ethic, in the outdoors removed from society in the Pacific Northwest. When their situation changes and they must interact with society on a new, different level, the challenges mount.