Sundance Film Festival unveils lineup for 2023 edition

Follow us on Google News:

Documentaries about Brooke Shields, Judy Blume and Michael J. Fox, films from veteran directors like Nicole Holofcener, an adaptation of the viral New Yorker story “Cat Person” and the feature directorial debut of actors Alice Englert and Randall Park are among the world premieres set for the Sundance Film Festival in January.


Programmers for the world’s most prestigious showcase for independent films announced the lineup for the 2023 edition on Wednesday. After two pandemic hobbled years, plans are in motion to return to Park City in full force for the festival which runs from January 19 through January 29, with stars like Anne Hathaway, Tiffany Haddish, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alexander Skarsgård, Gael García Bernal, Cynthia Erivo, Daisy Ridley and Jonathan Majors headlining some of the 101 feature films in the slate. Tickets are currently on sale.

The festival which helped launch the careers of filmmakers from Steven Soderbergh to Ryan Coogler, is once again celebrating a diverse slate of features from first-time filmmakers. Among the narrative features premiering, 22 are from first time directors, 19 of whom are women. In feature documentaries 15 are from first timers and 14 of those are women.

“First time filmmakers are in the DNA of the festival. We’re always looking to find fresh voices to champion,” said Kim Yutani, the festival's director of programming. “It’s such a pleasant surprise to look back and see those numbers and our program and to know that that organically happens.”

As always, there are exciting documentaries about well-known names. Lana Wilson’s “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” charts the actor and model’s early days, when photographers and filmmakers depicted Shields in sexualized way as a very young girl, and how she found her agency. Davis Guggenheim in “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” looks at what happens when “an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.” There are also documentaries about Little Richard, food writer Ruth Reichl, pioneering Black fashion model Bethann Hardison and the Indigo Girls.

In the U.S. Dramatic Competition, the section in which “CODA” debuted in 2021 before going on to win best picture at the Oscars, Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman make their debut with “Theater Camp,” a Will Ferrell-produced comedy about a rundown theater camp in upstate New York scrambling to get ready for summer that stars Ben Platt. Jonathan Majors plays an amateur bodybuilder in Elijah Bynum’s “Magazine Dreams,” while Daisy Ridley shows her non-Star Wars chops in Rachel Lambert’s “Sometimes I Think About Dying," which is among the day one premieres.

“Shortcomings,” an adaptation of Adrian Tomine’s graphic novel, is the debut of “Fresh Off the Boat” star Randall Park, who directs Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola and Ally Maki in a comedic, irreverent look at Asian Americans in the Bay Area.

Also making her feature directorial debut is Alice Englert with “Bad Behavior,” a mother-daughter film about a former child actor, played by Jennifer Connelly, and mother to a stunt-performer daughter, who is looking for some enlightenment. Englert, whose own mother is Jane Campion, plays the daughter in the dark comedy about a toxic, co-dependent relationship, co-starrinng Ben Whishaw as a new age guru. Whishaw can also be seen alongside Adèle Exarchopoulos in Ira Sachs’ “Passages” about attraction and emotional abuse.

Fans of “The Bear” may take interest in “Fremont,” about a former military translator who now works at a Chinese fortune cookie factory and features a supporting performance from Jeremy Allen White, while Ayo Edebiri co-stars in “Theater Camp."

“Succession” watchers will also find some of the show's stars various films throughout the slate, like Sarah Snook getting to use her native Australian accent in Daina Reid’s “Run Rabbit Run,” about a fertility doctor grappling with ghosts from her past, and Nicholas Braun who lends a supporting hand in Susanna Fogel’s adaptation of “Cat Person,” starring Emilia Jones as the college student who gets involved with a 30-something man.

Jones also anchors “Fairyland,” the Sofia Coppola-produced and Andrew Durham-directed adaptation of Alyssa Abbott’s best-selling memoir about a father-daughter relationship in San Francisco at the dawn of the AIDs crisis.

The premieres section, which has debuted the likes of “Promising Young Woman” and “The Big Sick,” has many starry options. Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway co-star in William Oldroyd’s “Eileen” about a young secretary who becomes fascinated with a glamorous new counselor at the prison where she works in Massachusetts in 1964.

Sundance veteran and documentary director Roger Ross Williams makes his narrative debut with “Cassandro,” starring Gael García Bernal as Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who becomes an international star. And Nicole Holofcener reunites with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “You Hurt My Feelings,” about a novelist who overhears her husband’s “honest reaction” to her new book.

Senior programmer John Nein noted that there are quite a few diaspora films represented in the various sections as well.

“They reflect the changing film cultures of some of the places from which they come," he said.

Noora Niasari’s “Shayda” is about an Iranian woman (played by Zar Amir Ebrahimi ) with a 6-year-old daughter seeking refuge from an abusive relationship in a shelter in Australia. From the United Kingdom, there is “Girl,” from Adura Onashile about an 11-year-old and her mother who are from Africa. In the midnight section there is Nida Manzoor’s fun genre piece “Polite Society” about a wedding heist. And from the U.S., Sing J. Lee has “The Accidental Getaway Driver” about a Vietnamese cab driver taken hostage by escaped convicts in California.

There are dozens of documentaries that focus on some of the most pressing issues of the moment, too, like Razelle Benally’s “Murder in Big Horn,” about the deaths of Native women in rural Montana, Tracy Droz Tragos’ “PLAN C” about a grassroots organization in the U.S. fighting to expand access to abortion pills, and Nancy Schwartzman helps uncover a troubling pattern of women reporting sexual assault who are then charged with creating a false report in “Victim/Suspect.” “20 Days in Mariupol," directed by AP videojournalist Mstyslav Chernov in partnership with Frontline, gives an unprecedented look at the work of Ukrainian journalists trapped in Mariupol at the beginning of the Russian invasion.

“These filmmakers reflect the world around us through bold and thrilling storytelling,” said Joana Vicente, CEO of the Sundance Institute. “It is critical for the arts to foster dialogue, especially during unprecedented times — these stories are needed to provoke discussion, share diverse viewpoints, and challenge us.”

—-

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.

Disclaimer

The content, including but not limited to any articles, news, quotes, information, data, text, reports, ratings, opinions, images, photos, graphics, graphs, charts, animations and video (Content) is a service of Kalkine Media Pty Ltd (Kalkine Media, we or us), ACN 629 651 672 and is available for personal and non-commercial use only. The principal purpose of the Content is to educate and inform. The Content does not contain or imply any recommendation or opinion intended to influence your financial decisions and must not be relied upon by you as such. Some of the Content on this website may be sponsored/non-sponsored, as applicable, but is NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold the stocks of the company(s) or engage in any investment activity under discussion. Kalkine Media is neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice through this platform. Users should make their own enquiries about any investments and Kalkine Media strongly suggests the users to seek advice from a financial adviser, stockbroker or other professional (including taxation and legal advice), as necessary. Kalkine Media hereby disclaims any and all the liabilities to any user for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising from any use of the Content on this website, which is provided without warranties. The views expressed in the Content by the guests, if any, are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Kalkine Media. Some of the images/music that may be used on this website are copyright to their respective owner(s). Kalkine Media does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed/music used on this website unless stated otherwise. The images/music that may be used on this website are taken from various sources on the internet, including paid subscriptions or are believed to be in public domain. We have used reasonable efforts to accredit the source wherever it was indicated as or found to be necessary.

Featured Articles

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK