82 features, 59 shorts, 40 previous films and more will screen this year in celebration of Sundance Institute’s 40th birthday
This year’s Sundance Film Festival 2022 — which takes place Jan 20-30 — is the largest independent film festival in the United States. The Sundance Institute was founded in 1981 by Robert Redford and the official Sundance Film Festival started in 1985.
At the beginning of this year’s film festival, Sundance announced their lineup on the institute’s blog pages.
This year’s festival will be strictly virtual due to the presence of the Omicron COVID virus. The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced this week “the showcase of new independent work selected across the Feature Film, Indie Episodic, and New Frontier categories for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.”
“This year, we look forward to celebrating this generation’s most innovative storytellers as they share their work across a wide range of genres and forms,” said Sundance Institute founder and president Robert Redford on the site’s press pages. “These artists have provided a light through the darkest of times, and we look forward to welcoming their unique visions out into the world and experiencing them together.”
According to Sundance, the full program of works includes the following: 82 feature-length films representing 28 countries, and 39 of 92 (42%) feature film directors are first-time feature filmmakers. Fifteen of the feature films and projects announced today were supported by Sundance Institute in development through direct granting or residency labs.
Seventy-five, or 91%, of the Festival’s feature films announced today will be world premieres.
These films were selected from 14,849 submissions, including 3,762 feature-length films. Of the 3,762 feature film submissions, 1,652 were from the U.S., and 2,110 were international.
Films listed by the Sundance Institute for 2022
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Presenting the world premieres of fiction feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festival goers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include CODA, Passing, Minari, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, The Farewell, Clemency, Eighth Grade and Sorry to Bother You.
892 / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Abi Damaris Corbin, Screenwriter: Kwame Kwei-Armah, Producers: Ashley Levinson, Salman Al-Rashid, Sam Frohman, Kevin Turen, Mackenzie Fargo) — When Brian Brown-Easley’s disability check fails to materialize from Veterans Affairs, he finds himself on the brink of homelessness and breaking his daughter’s heart. No other options, he walks into a Wells Fargo Bank and says “I’ve got a bomb.“ Cast: John Boyega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, Selenis Leyva. World Premiere.
Alice / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Krystin Ver Linden, Producer: Peter Lawson) — When a woman in servitude in 1800s Georgia escapes the 55-acre confines of her captor, she discovers the shocking reality that exists beyond the treeline…it’s 1973. Inspired by true events. Cast: Keke Palmer, Common, Jonny Lee Miller, Gaius Charles. World Premiere.
blood / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Bradley Rust Gray, Producers: David Urrutia, Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim, Elika Portnoy, Alex Orlovsky, Jonathon Komack Martin) — After the death of her husband, a young woman travels to Japan where she finds solace in an old friend. But when comforting turns to affection, she realizes she must give herself permission before she can fall in love again. Cast: Carla Juri, Takashi Ueno, Gustaf Skarsgård, Futaba Okazaki, Issey Ogata. World Premiere.
Cha Cha Real Smooth / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff, Producers: Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Erik Feig, Jessica Switch, Cooper Raiff) — A directionless college graduate embarks on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann. World Premiere.
Dual / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Riley Stearns, Producers: Nate Bolotin, Aram Tertzakian, Lee Kim, Riley Stearns, Nick Spicer, Maxime Cottray) — After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Sarah commissions a clone of herself to ease the loss for her friends and family. When she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempt to have her clone decommissioned fails, and leads to a court-mandated duel to the death. Cast: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale. World Premiere.
Emergency / U.S.A. (Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriter: KD Davila, Producers: Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, John Fischer) — Ready for a night of partying, a group of Black and Latino college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unusual emergency. Cast: RJ Cyler, Donald Watkins, Sebastian Chacon, Sabrina Carpenter. World Premiere.
Master / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Mariama Diallo, Producers: Joshua Astrachan, Brad Becker-Parton, Andrea Roa) — Three women strive to find their place at an elite New England university. As the insidious specter of racism haunts the campus in increasingly supernatural fashion, each fights to survive in this space of privilege. Cast: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder, Talia Balsam, Amber Gray. World Premiere.
Nanny / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Nikyatu Jusu, Producers: Nikkia Moulterie, Daniela Taplin Lundberg) — Aisha is an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together. Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams. World Premiere.
Palm Trees and Power Lines / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Dack, Screenwriter: Audrey Findlay, Producers: Leah Chen Baker, Jamie Dack) — Seventeen-year-old Lea spends her summer aimlessly tanning with her best friend, tiptoeing around her fragile mother, and getting stoned with a group of boys from school. This monotony is disrupted by an encounter with Tom, a man twice her age, who promises an alternative to Lea’s unsatisfying adolescent life. Cast: Lily McInerny, Jonathan Tucker, Gretchen Mol. World Premiere.
Watcher / U.S.A. (Director: Chloe Okuno, Screenwriter: Zack Ford, Producers: Roy Lee, Steven Schneider, Derek Dauchy, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan, Mason Novick) — A young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancé and is tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building. Cast: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Ciubuciu Bogdan Alexandru. World Premiere.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
World-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people and events that shape the present day. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Summer of Soul (or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Boys State, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, APOLLO 11, Knock Down The House, One Child Nation, American Factory, Three Identical Strangers and On Her Shoulders.
Aftershock / U.S.A. (Directors and Producers: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee) — Following the preventable deaths of their partners due to childbirth complications, two bereaved fathers galvanize activists, birth-workers and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises of our time – the U.S. maternal health crisis. World Premiere.
Descendant / U.S.A. (Director: Margaret Brown, Producers: Essie Chambers, Kyle Martin) — Clotilda, the last known ship carrying enslaved Africans to the United States, arrived in Alabama 40 years after African slave trading became a capital offense. It was promptly burned, and its existence denied. After a century shrouded in secrecy and speculation, descendants of the Clotilda’s survivors are reclaiming their story. World Premiere.
The Exiles / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus, Producers: Maria Chiu, Ben Klein, Violet Columbus) — Documentarian Christine Choy tracks down three exiled dissidents from the Tiananmen Square massacre, in order to find closure on an abandoned film she began shooting in 1989. World Premiere.
Fire Of Love / U.S.A. (Director: Sara Dosa, Producers: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman, Sara Dosa) — Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia & Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. A doomed love triangle between Katia, Maurice and volcanoes, told through their archival footage. World Premiere. DAY ONE
Free Chol Soo Lee / U.S.A. (Directors: Julie Ha, Eugene Yi, Producers: Su Kim, Jean Tsien, Sona Jo, Julie Ha, Eugene Yi) — After a Korean immigrant is wrongly convicted of a 1973 San Francisco Chinatown gang murder, Asian Americans unite as never before to free Chol Soo Lee. A former street hustler becomes the symbol for a landmark movement. But once out, he self-destructs, threatening the movement’s legacy and the man himself. World Premiere.
I Didn’t See You There / U.S.A. (Director: Reid Davenport, Producer: Keith Wilson) — Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on freakdom, (in)visibility, and the pursuit of individual agency. World Premiere.
The Janes / U.S.A. (Directors: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes, Producers: Emma Pildes, Daniel Arcana, Jessica Levin) — In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on Chicago’s South Side. Seven women were arrested. The accused were part of a clandestine network. Using code names, blindfolds and safe houses, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves JANE. World Premiere.
Jihad Rehab / U.S.A. (Director: Meg Smaker, Producers: Meg Smaker, Bryan Storkel) — A group of men trained by Al-Qaeda are transferred from Guantanamo to a rehabilitation center for extremists. World Premiere.
TikTok, Boom. / U.S.A. (Director: Shalini Kantayya, Producers: Ross M. Dinerstein. Shalini Kantayya, Danni Mynard) — With TikTok now crowned the world’s most downloaded app, these are the personal stories of a cultural phenomenon, told through an ensemble cast of Gen-Z natives, journalists and experts alike. This film seeks to answer, ‘why is an app, best known for people dancing, the target of so much controversy?’ World Premiere.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Ten films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Hive, Luzzu, The Souvenir, The Guilty, Monos, Yardie, The Nile Hilton Incident and Second Mother.
Brian And Charles / U.K. (Director: Jim Archer, Screenwriters: David Earl, Chris Hayward, Producer: Rupert Majendie) — A story of friendship, love, and letting go. And a 7ft tall robot that eats cabbages. A comedy shot in documentary format. Cast: David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie, Lowri Izzard, Mari Izzard. World Premiere.
The Cow Who Sang A Song Into The Future / Chile/France/U.S.A/Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Francisca Alegría, Screenwriters: Fernanda Urrejola, Manuela Infante, Producers: Tom Dercourt, Alejandra García) — Cecilia and her children travel to her aging father’s dairy farm after he has a heart attack. Back in her childhood home, Cecilia is met by her mother, a woman dead for many years, whose presence brings to life a painful past chorused by the natural world around them. Cast: Leonor Varela, Mia Maestro, Alfredo Castro, Marcial Tagle, Enzo Ferrada, Luis Dubó. World Premiere.
Dos Estaciones / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: Juan Pablo González, Screenwriters: Ana Isabel Fernández, Ilana Coleman, Producers: Jamie Gonçalves, Ilana Coleman, Bruna Haddad, Makena Buchanan) — In the bucolic hills of Mexico’s Jalisco highlands, iron-willed businesswoman Maria Garcia fights the impending collapse of her tequila factory. Cast: Teresa Sánchez, Tatín Vera, Rafaela Fuentes, Manuel García-Rulfo. World Premiere.
Gentle / Hungary (Directors: Anna Eszter Nemes, László Csuja, Screenwriters: László Csuja, Anna Eszter Nemes, Producers: András Muhi, Gábor Ferenczy) — Edina, a female bodybuilder, is ready to sacrifice everything for the dream she shares with Adam, her partner and trainer: to win the world championship. The odd love she finds on her way there makes her see the difference between her dreams and her true self. Cast: Eszter Csonka, György Turós, Csaba Krisztik. World Premiere.
Girl Picture / Finland (Director: Alli Haapasalo, Screenwriters: Ilona Ahti, Daniela Hakulinen, Producers: Leila Lyytikäinen, Elina Pohjola) — Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. In three consecutive Fridays two of them experience the earth moving effects of falling in love, while the third goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure. Cast: Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino. World Premiere.
Klondike / Ukraine/Turkey (Director and Screenwriter: Maryna Er Gorbach, Producers: Maryna Er Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er, Sviatoslav BulakovskyI) — The story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia – Ukraine during the start of war. Irka refuses to leave her house even as the village gets captured by armed forces. Shortly after they find themselves at the center of an air crash catastrophe on July 17, 2014. Cast: Oxana Cherkashyna, Sergey Shadrin, Oleg Scherbina, Oleg Shevchuk, Artur Aramyan, Evgenij Efremov. World Premiere.
Leonor Will Never Die / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Martika Ramirez Escobar, Producers: Monster Jimenez, Mario Cornejo) — Fiction and reality blur when Leonor, a retired filmmaker, falls into a coma after a television lands on her head, compelling her to become the action hero of her unfinished screenplay. Cast: Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon. World Premiere.
Marte Um (Mars One) / Brazil (Director and Screenwriter: Gabriel Martins, Producer: Thiago Macêdo Correia) — In Brazil, a lower-middle-class Black family of four tries to keep their spirits up and their dreams going in the months that follow the election of a right-wing president, a man who represents everything they are not. Cast: Rejane Faria, Carlos Francisco, Camilla Souza, Cícero Lucas. World Premiere. DAY ONE
Utama / Bolivia/Uruguay/France (Director and Screenwriter: Alejandro Loayza Grisi, Producers: Santiago Loayza Grisi, Federico Moreira, Marcos Loayza, Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre) — In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily life for years. When an uncommon long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virginio and his wife Sisa face the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the environment and time itself. Cast: Jose Calcina, Luisa Quispe, Santos Choque. World Premiere.
You Won’t Be Alone / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Goran Stolevski, Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Sam Jennings) — In an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, a young feral witch accidentally kills a peasant. She assumes the peasant’s shape to see what life is like in her skin, igniting a deep-seated curiosity to experience life inside the bodies of others. Cast: Noomi Rapace, Anamaria Marinca, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, Félix Maritaud, Sara Klimoska. World Premiere.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Ten documentaries by some of the boldest filmmakers working around the world today. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Flee, Honeyland, Sea of Shadows, Shirkers, This Is Home, Last Men in Aleppo and Hooligan Sparrow.
All That Breathes / India, U.K. (Director and Producer: Shaunak Sen, Producers: Aman Mann, Teddy Leifer) — Against the darkening backdrop of Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence, two brothers devote their lives to protect one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the Black Kite. World Premiere.
Calendar Girls / Sweden (Directors, Screenwriters and Producers: Maria Loohufvud, Love Martinsen) — A coming-of-golden-age look at Florida’s most dedicated dance team for women over 60, shaking up the outdated image of “the little old lady,” and calling for everyone to dance their hearts out, while they still can. World Premiere.
A House Made of Splinters / Denmark (Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont, Producer: Monica Hellström) — In Eastern Ukraine, follow the daily life of children and staff in a special kind of home: an institution for children who have been removed from their homes while awaiting court custody decisions. Staff do their best to make the time children have there safe and supportive. World Premiere.
Midwives / Myanmar (Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing, Producers: Bob Moore, Ulla Lehman, Mila Aung-Thwin, Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing) — Two midwives work side-by-side in a makeshift clinic in Myanmar. World Premiere.
The Mission / Finland (Director and Screenwriter: Tania Anderson, Producers: Isabella Karhu, Juho-Pekka Tanskanen) — A revelation of the inner lives of young LDS missionaries, as they leave their homes for the first time and embark upon the most emotionally, physically and psychologically challenging period of their life. World Premiere.
Nothing Compares / Ireland, U.K. (Director: Kathryn Ferguson, Producers: Eleanor Emptage, Michael Mallie) — The story of Sinéad O’Connor’s phenomenal rise to worldwide fame and subsequent exile from the pop mainstream. Focusing on Sinéad’s prophetic words and deeds from 1987 to 1993, the film reflects on the legacy of this fearless trailblazer through a contemporary feminist lens. World Premiere.
Sirens / U.S.A., Lebanon (Director, Screenwriter and Producer: Rita Baghdadi, Producer: Camilla Hall) — On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and Shery, co-founders and guitarists of the Middle East’s first all-female metal band, wrestle with friendship, sexuality and destruction in their pursuit of becoming thrash metal rock stars. World Premiere.
Tantura / Israel (Director and Screenwriter: Alon Schwarz, Screenwriter and Producer: Shaul Schwarz. Producer: Maiken Baird) — In 1948, the State of Israel was established and war broke out. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed with their inhabitants killed or exiled. The film focuses on one village: Tantura, bringing to light Israel’s founding myth and its society’s inability to come to terms with its dark past. World Premiere.
The Territory / Brazil/Denmark/United States (Director: Alex Pritz, Producers: Will N. Miller, Sigrid Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett, Anonymous) — When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest. World Premiere.
We Met in Virtual Reality / U.K. (Director, Screenwriter and Producer: Joe Hunting) — Filmed entirely inside the world of VR, this vérité documentary captures the excitement and surprising intimacy of a burgeoning cultural movement, demonstrating the power of online connection in an isolated world. World Premiere.
Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include The Infiltrators, Searching, Skate Kitchen, A Ghost Story and Tangerine. NEXT is presented by Adobe.
The Cathedral / Italy, U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ricky D’Ambrose, Producer: Graham Swon) — An only child’s account of an American family’s rise and fall over two decades. Cast: Brian d’Arcy James, Monica Barbaro, Mark Zeisler, Geraldine Singer, William Bednar-Carter. North American Premiere. Fiction.
Every Day In Kaimukī / U.S.A. (Director: Alika Tengan, Screenwriters: Naz Kawakami, Alika Tengan. Producers: Jesy Odio, Chapin Hall, Alika Tengan, Naz Kawakami) — A young man is determined to give his life meaning outside of Kaimukī, the small Hawaiian town where he grew up, even if it means leaving everything he’s ever known and loved behind. Cast: Naz Kawakami, Rina White, Holden Mandrial-Santos. World Premiere. Fiction.
Framing Agnes / Canada, U.S.A. (Director: Chase Joynt, Producers: Samantha Curley, Shant Joshi, Chase Joynt) — After discovering case files from a 1950s gender clinic, a cast of transgender actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a young trans woman forced to choose between honesty and access. World Premiere. Documentary.
A Love Song / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Max Walker-Silverman, Producers: Dan Janvey, Jesse Hope, Max Walker-Silverman) — Two childhood sweethearts, now both widowed, share a night by a lake in the mountains. A love story for those who are alone. Cast: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis. World Premiere. Fiction.
Mija / U.S.A. (Director: Isabel Castro, Producers: Tabs Breese, Isabel Castro, Yesenia Tlahuel) — Doris Muñoz is a young, ambitious music manager whose undocumented family depends on her ability to launch pop stars. When she loses her biggest client, Doris hustles to discover new talent and finds Jacks, another daughter of immigrants for whom “making it” isn’t just a dream: it’s a necessity. World Premiere. Documentary.
RIOTSVILLE, USA / U.S.A. (Director: Sierra Pettengill, Producers: Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot) — Welcome to Riotsville, a fictional town built by the U.S. military. Using footage shot by the media and government, the film explores the militarization of the police and the reaction of a nation to the uprisings of the late ’60s, creating a counter-narrative to a critical moment in American history. World Premiere. Documentary.
Something In The Dirt / U.S.A. (Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Screenwriter: Justin Benson, Producers: David Lawson, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson) — When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives. An ever-deeper, darker rabbit hole, their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city, and each other. Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead. World Premiere. Fiction.
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated fiction and nonfiction films of the coming year. Documentaries that have screened in Premieres include The Dissident, On the Record, and Miss Americana, and past fiction features include Kajillionaire, Promising Young Woman, The Report, Late Night, and The Big Sick.
2nd Chance / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ramin Bahrani, Producers: Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, Charles Dorfman, Ramin Bahrani, Jacob Grodnik) — Bankrupt pizzeria owner Richard Davis invented the modern-day bulletproof vest. To prove that it worked, he shot himself 192 times. He launched a multi-million-dollar company and became a cult figure among police. Davis’ rise and fall reveals a man of contradictions and the nature of power and impunity in America. World Premiere. Documentary.
AM I OK? / U.S.A. (Directors: Stephanie Allynne, Tig Notaro, Screenwriter: Lauren Pomerantz, Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Erik Feig, Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Lauren Pomerantz) — Lucy and Jane have been best friends for most of their lives and think they know everything there is to know about each other. But when Jane announces she’s moving to London, Lucy reveals a long-held secret. As Jane tries to help Lucy, their friendship is thrown into chaos. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Jermaine Fowler, Kiersey Clemons, Molly Gordon, Sean Hayes. World Premiere. Fiction.
Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Nina Menkes) — Based on Nina Menkes’ acclaimed talk “Sex & Power: The Visual Language of Cinema”, a mesmerizing journey into how shot design intersects with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse/ assault and employment discrimination against women. Containing over 175 film clips, will unalterably change the way we view and make movies. World Premiere. Documentary.
Call Jane / U.S.A. (Director: Phyllis Nagy, Screenwriters: Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi, Producers: Robbie Brenner, David Wulf, Kevin McKeon, Lee Broda, Claude Amadeo, Michael D’Alto) — Chicago, 1968: after having a life-saving secret abortion, a suburban housewife seeks to give women access to healthy and safe abortions through an underground collective of women known as “Jane.” Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, Wunmi Mosaku, Cory Michael Smith. World Premiere. Fiction.
DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing / U.S.A. (Director: Rory Kennedy, Screenwriters: Mark Bailey, Keven McAlester, Producers: Rory Kennedy, Mark Bailey, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Keven McAlester, Amanda Rohlke) — An investigation of the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people, exploring both the root causes and the human cost. At once a chilling portrait of a crumbling corporate culture and a fierce indictment of Wall Street’s corrupting influence. World Premiere. Documentary.
Emily the Criminal / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: John Patton Ford, Producers: Tyler Davidson, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Sykes) — Down on her luck and saddled with debt, Emily gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Gina Gershon. World Premiere. Fiction.
FINAL CUT / France (Director and Screenwriter: Michel Hazanavicius, Producers: John Penotti, Noëmie Devide, Alain de la Mata, Brahim Chioua, Michel Hazanavicius, Vincent Maravalr) — Things go badly for a small film crew shooting a low-budget zombie movie when they are attacked by real zombies. Cast: Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois, Finnegan Oldfield, Matilda Lutz, Raphaël Quenard. World Premiere. Fiction.
God’s Country / U.S.A. (Director: Julian Higgins, Screenwriters: Shaye Ogbonna, Julian Higgins, Producers: Miranda Bailey, Halee Bernard, Julian Higgins, Amanda Marshall) — When a grieving college professor confronts two hunters she catches trespassing on her property, she’s drawn into an escalating battle of wills with catastrophic consequences. Cast: Thandiwe Newton, Jeremy Bobb, Joris Jarsky, Jefferson White, Kai Lennox, Tanaya Beatty. World Premiere. Fiction.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande / U.K. (Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenwriter: Katy Brand, Producers: Debbie Gray, Adrian Politowski) — Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. Good sex. And she has a plan: she hires a young sex worker named Leo Grande. Cast: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack. World Premiere. Fiction.
Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Adamma Ebo, Producers: Daniel Kaluuya, Adanne Ebo, Rowan Riley, Amandla Crichlow, Jesse Burgum, Matthew Cooper) — In the aftermath of a huge scandal, Trinitie Childs, the first lady of a prominent Southern Baptist megachurch, attempts to help her pastor husband, Lee-Curtis Childs, rebuild their congregation. Cast: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown. World Premiere. Fiction.
jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy / U.S.A. (Directors: Clarence “Coodie” Simmons, Chike Ozah, Producers: Coodie Simmons, Chike Ozah, Leah Thomas) — Kanye West in three acts. The story beyond the iconic music, an intimate and empathetic chronicle featuring never-before-seen footage from 21 years in the life of a captivating figure. World Premiere. Documentary.
La Guerra Civil / U.K. (Director: Eva Longoria Bastón, Producers: Eva Longoria Bastón, Grant Best, Bernardo Ruiz, Ben Spector, Andrea Cordoba) — The epic rivalry between iconic boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez in the 1990s sparked a cultural divide between Mexican nationals and Mexican-Americans. A chronicle of a battle that was more than a boxing rivalry, and examines a fascinating slice of the Latino experience in the process. World Premiere. Documentary.
Living / U.K. (Director: Oliver Hermanus, Screenwriter: Kazuo Ishiguro, Producers: Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen) — In 1952 London, veteran civil servant Williams has become a small cog in the bureaucracy of rebuilding England post-WWII. As endless paperwork piles up on his desk, he learns he has a fatal illness. Thus begins his quest to find some meaning in his life before it slips away. Cast: Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke. World Premiere. Fiction.
Lucy and Desi / U.S.A (Director: Amy Poehler, Producers: Michael Rosenberg, Justin Wilkes, Nigel Sinclair, Jeanne Elfant Festa, Amy Poehler, Mark Monroe) — Lucille Ball had an immense influence on the creation of TV syndication, as she rose to become a true entrepreneur and multi-faceted mogul. Through interviews and archival, a tribute to one of the greatest trailblazers in comedy and entertainment. World Premiere. Documentary.
SALT LAKE CITY OPENING NIGHT
My Old School / U.K. (Director: Jono McLeod, Producers: John Archer, Olivia Lichtenstein) — The astonishing true story of Scotland’s most notorious imposter. It’s 1993 and 16 year old Brandon is the new kid in school. Soon he’s top of the class, acing exams and even taking the lead in the school musical. He’s the model pupil, until he’s unmasked… Cast: Alan Cumming. World Premiere. Documentary.
The Princess / U.K. (Director: Ed Perkins, Producers: Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn) — Princess Diana’s story is told exclusively through contemporaneous archive creating a bold and immersive narrative of her life and death. Turning the camera back on ourselves, it also illuminates the profound impact she had and how the public’s attitude to the monarchy was, and still is, shaped by these events. World Premiere. Documentary. DAY ONE
Resurrection / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Andrew Semans, Producers: Tory Lenosky, Alex Scharfman, Drew Houpt, Lars Knudsen, Tim Headington, Lia Buman) — Margaret’s life is in order. She is capable, disciplined, and successful. Soon, her teenage daughter, who Margaret raised by herself, will be going off to a fine university, just as Margaret had intended. Everything is under control. That is, until David returns, carrying with him the horrors of Margaret’s past. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman, Michael Esper, Angela Wong Carbone. World Premiere. Fiction.
Sharp Stick / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Lena Dunham, Producers: Lena Dunham, Michael P. Cohen, Kevin Turen, Katia Washington) — Sarah Jo is a naive 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother (longing for money) and sister (longing for exposure). She just longs to be seen. When she begins an affair with her older employer, she is thrust into an education on sexuality, loss and power. Cast: Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, Lena Dunham, Taylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh. World Premiere. Fiction.
To The End / U.S.A. (Director: Rachel Lears, Producers: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon) — Stopping the climate crisis is a question of political courage, and the clock is ticking. Over three years of turbulence and crisis, four remarkable young women of color fight for a Green New Deal, and ignite a historic shift in US climate politics. World Premiere. Documentary.
We Need to Talk About Cosby / U.S.A. (Director: W. Kamau Bell, Producers: Andrew Fried, Katie A. King, Geraldine L. Porras, Dane Lillegard, Sarina Roma, Jordan Wynn) — Can you separate the art from the artist? Should you even try? While there are many people about whom we could ask those questions, none pose a tougher challenge than Bill Cosby. World Premiere. Documentary.
When You Finish Saving the World / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jesse Eisenberg, Producers: Ali Herting, Dave McCary, Emma Stone) — Evelyn and her oblivious son Ziggy seek out replacements for each other as Evelyn desperately tries to parent an unassuming teenager at her shelter, while Ziggy fumbles through his pursuit of a brilliant young woman at school. Cast: Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard. World Premiere. Fiction. DAY ONE
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 Hereditary, Mandy, Relic, Assassination Nation, and The Babadook.
Babysitter / Canada (Director: Monia Chokri, Screenwriter: Catherine Léger, Producers: Martin Paul-Hus, Catherine Léger, Pierre-Marcel Blanchot, Fabrice Lambot) — After a sexist joke goes viral, Cédric loses his job and embarks on a therapeutic journey to free himself from sexism and misogyny. His girlfriend Nadine is exasperated by his narcissistic introspection, until they hire a mysterious and liberated babysitter to help shake things up. Cast: Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewcz, Steve Laplante, Hubert Proulx. World Premiere. Fiction.
FRESH / U.S.A. (Director: Mimi Cave, Screenwriter: Lauryn Kahn, Producers: Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Maeve Cullinane) — The horrors of modern dating seen through one young woman’s defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend’s unusual appetites. Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs, Charlotte Le Bon, Andrea Bang, Dayo Okeniyi. World Premiere. Fiction. DAY ONE
Hatching / Finland (Director: Hanna Bergholm, Screenwriter: Ilja Rautsi, Producers: Mika Ritalahti, Nico Ritalahtit) — While desperately trying to please her demanding mother, a young gymnast discovers a strange egg. She tucks it away and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks everyone. Cast: Jani Volanen, Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Saija Lentonen, Reino Nordin, Oiva Ollila. World Premiere. Fiction.
Meet Me In The Bathroom / U.K. (Directors: Dylan Southern, Will Lovelace, Producers: Vivienne Perry, Sam Bridger, Marisa Clifford, Thomas Benski, Danny Gabai, Suroosh Alvi) — An immersive journey through the New York music scene of the early 2000s. Set against the backdrop of 9/11, the film tells the story of how a new generation kickstarted a musical rebirth for New York City that reverberated around the world. Inspired by the book by Lizzy Goodman. World Premiere. Documentary.
PIGGY / Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Carlota Pereda, Producers: Merry Colomer, David Atlan-Jackson) — Sara deals with constant teasing from girls in her small town. But it comes to an end when a stranger kidnaps her tormentors. Sara knows more than she’s saying and must decide between speaking up and saving the girls or saying nothing to protect the strange man who spared her. Cast: Laura Galán. World Premiere. Fiction.
Speak No Evil / Denmark (Director and Screenwriter: Christian Tafdrup, Screenwriter: Mads Tafdrup, Producer: Jacob Jarek) — A Danish family visits a Dutch family they met on a holiday. What was supposed to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unraveling as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of unpleasantness. Cast: Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg, Marius Damslev. World Premiere. Fiction.
The Spotlight section 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, Birds of Passage, The Rider, Ida and The Lobster.
After Yang / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Kogonada, Producers: Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey, Theresa Park) — In the near future, a father and daughter try to save the life of Yang, their beloved robotic family member. Cast: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith. Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson. North American Premiere. Fiction.
Happening / France (Director and Screenwriter: Audrey Diwan, Screenwriter: Alice Girard, Producers: Edouard Weil, Alice Girard) — France, 1963. Anne is a bright student with a promising future. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With final exams approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she must risk prison to do so. Cast: Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Luana Bajrami, Louise Chevillotte, Pio Marmai. Fiction.
Neptune Frost / U.S.A./Rwanda (Directors: Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams, Screenwriter: Saul Williams, Producers: Ezra Miller, Stephen Hendel, Dave Guenette, Maria Judice) — In an otherworldly e-waste dump camp, a subversive hacking collective attempts a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources — and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry. Cast: Cheryl Isheja, Elvis Ngabo “Bobo”, Bertrand Ninteretse “Kaya Free”, Eliane Umuhire, Rebecca Muciyo, Trésor Niyongabo. Fiction.
Three Minutes – A Lengthening / Netherlands (Director and Screenwriter: Bianca Stigter, Producer: Floor Onrust) — Three minutes of footage are the only moving images known of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk in Poland before the Holocaust. An examination of that film — in color, random, full of life — reveals historical and personal dimensions. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter. Documentary.
The Worst Person in the World / Norway (Director: Joachim Trier, Screenwriter: Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier, Producer: Thomas Robsahm, Andrea Berentsen Ottmar) — Four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is. Cast: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum. Fiction. DAY ONE
This section of the Festival is especially for our youngest independent film fans. Programmed in cooperation with Utah Film Center, which presents the annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival, Utah’s premiere film festival for children and youth. Films that have played in this category in recent years include The Elephant Queen, Science Fair, My Life as a Zucchini, The Eagle Huntress and Shaun the Sheep.
Maika / Vietnam (Director and Screenwriter: Ham Tran, Producers:Jenni Trang Le, Duy Ho, Anderson Le, Bao Nguyen) — After a meteor falls to earth, 8-year-old Hung meets an alien girl from the planet Maika, searching for her lost friend. As Hung helps her otherworldly friend search, the alien inadvertently helps Hung make new friends and heal a broken heart. But danger lurks everywhere… Cast: Phu Truong, Diep Anh Tru, Tin Tin, Ngoc Tuong, Kim Nha. World Premiere. Fiction.
Summering / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Benjamin Percy, James Ponsoldt, Producers: Peter Block, P. Jennifer Dana) — During their last days of summer and childhood — the weekend before middle school begins — four girls struggle with the harsh truths of growing up and embark on a mysterious adventure. World Premiere. Fiction.
SPECIAL SCREENINGS featuring extended conversations following the screening, to allow audiences and storytellers to connect more deeply.
LAST FLIGHT HOME / U.S.A. (Director: Ondi Timoner, Producers: Ondi Timoner, David Turner) — An examination of Eli Timoner’s intentional death and his family’s emotional turmoil as they grapple with his decision to end his own life. The family journeys back through Eli’s remarkable, painful life to discover what true love looks like and help him shed shame he’s carried for forty years. World Premiere. Documentary.
FROM THE COLLECTION
Archival screenings are made possible by the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA, and give audiences the opportunity to discover and rediscover the films that have shaped the heritage of both Sundance Institute and independent storytelling. To address the specific preservation risks posed to independent film, Sundance Institute partnered with UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1997 to form the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA and preserves independent films supported by Sundance Institute. The Collection has grown to over 4,000 holdings representing nearly 2,300 titles. From the Collection screenings have included The Blair Witch Project, Hours and Times, River of Grass, Paris is Burning, Desert Hearts, Daughters of the Dust, El Mariachi, sex, lies, and videotape, Hoop Dreams, and Paris, Texas.
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Leslie Harris, Producers: Leslie Harris, Erwin Wilson) — A Brooklyn young woman, smart, witty, and confident, is not just another teenager on the NYC subway. Determined to make it out of her neighborhood and become a doctor, she confronts adversity while navigating challenging waters to achieve her dreams and goals… Cast: William Badget, Chequita Jackson, Ebony Jerido, Ariyan Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Jerad Washington. 1993 Sundance Film Festival – winner of the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Achievement in a First Feature.
Digitally restored from the original 16mm A/B negatives, and a new DCP created in collaboration between Sundance Institute, the Academy Film Archive, and UCLA Film & Television Archive.
INDIE EPISODIC PROGRAM
A dedicated showcase for emerging creators of independently produced content for episodic platforms. Past projects that have premiered within this category include Work in Progress, State of the Union, Gentefied, Wu Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men and Quarter Life Poetry. The Indie Episodic Program is presented by DoorDash.
Bring on the Dancing Horses / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Michael Polish, Producers: Kate Bosworth, Michael Polish) — An assassin is out to complete her list of targets and exact her own brand of justice. Cast: Kate Bosworth, Jasper Polish, Lance Henriksen, Happy Anderson, DJ Qualls, Thomas Francis Murphy. World Premiere. Fiction.
Chiqui / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Carlos Cardona, Producers: Daniel Fermín Pfeffer, Sophia de Baun) — It’s 1987. Chiqui and Carlos immigrate from Colombia to the United States to find a better life for themselves and their unborn son. Upon their arrival, they quickly realize that the American dream is not as easy to achieve as they thought. Cast: Brigitte Silva, Sebastián Beltranini, Catherine French, Gregg Prosser. World Premiere. Fiction.
CULTURE BEAT / U.S.A. (Directors: Andre Hyland, Kitao Sakurai, Screenwriters: Andre Hyland, Kitao Sakurai, Eric Andre, Producers: Eric Andre, Kitao Sakurai, Andre Hyland) — A show that investigates high culture institutions through the lowbrow lens of various characters. The 2021 love child of Da Ali G Show and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Cast: Andre Hyland. World Premiere. Documentary.
The Dark Heart / Sweden (Director: Gustav Möller, Screenwriter: Oskar Söderlund, Producers: Anna Carlsten, Caroline Landerberg) — Sweden: in a mythological landscape, search parties roam through forests of spruce, secret conversations are whispered in open fields, and verbal duels fought on narrow country roads. A story of family feuds, inheritances and forbidden love. Cast: Aliette Opheim, Clara Christiansson Drake, Gustav Lindh, Peter Andersson. World Premiere. Fiction.
Instant Life / U.S.A. (Directors: Mark Becker, Aaron Schock, Producers: Mark Becker, Aaron Schock, Julie Gaynin) — Destitute without electricity and running water, Yolanda Signorelli Von Braunhut has lost control of her late husband Harold’s iconic Amazing Live Sea Monkeys novelty. Yet she alone knows their secret formula, and from her crumbling estate on the Potomac, Yolanda wages legal and existential battles to fully win them back. World Premiere. Documentary.
My Trip to Spain / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Theda Hammel, Producers: Allie Jane Compton, John Early) — Alexis, a successful trans woman, is heading to Spain to get some cosmetic surgery. She has asked her embittered old friend Charlie to housesit while she’s away. During the handoff, he tries his best to convince her to cancel, while simultaneously pursuing a sexual liaison with her brooding gardener Bruno. Cast: John Early, Theda Hammel, Gordon Landenberger. World Premiere. Fiction.
The 2022 edition of the Festival’s New Frontier section will be a fully biodigital showcase, presented simultaneously on a bespoke WebXR spatialized virtual venue, The Spaceship, that has touchpoints in a newly conceived, free-to-access venue in Park City, The Craft. Ticketed New Frontier performances will also be presented in Park City’s iconic Egyptian Theatre, with simultaneous presentations on The Spaceship.
The Spaceship, globally accessible via laptop or VR headset, houses spaces for Festivalgoers to see the official New Frontier lineup, interact with others and gather together to watch programs and performances in an immersive arthouse theater. This year, Sundance, working again with the creative studio Active Theory, will unveil a number of upgrades to enhance The Spaceship’s functionality and accessibility. Festival attendees, both on the ground in Park City and online, can interact with each other in avatar and maintain the sense of community that the Festival always aims to provide, including a bleeding-edge human-scale Biodigital Bridge that allows Festivalgoers in Park City to gather with those attending The Spaceship online from anywhere in the world — establishing the Festival as a metaverse that overlays the physical event with a virtual one.
Since 2007, the New Frontier exhibition has showcased multimedia storytelling, art installations, and biodigital performances that make use of emerging technologies like virtual reality, haptic tech and AI, among other tools. The 2022 edition is visualized as a human-scale and person-first digital experience that balances connection with a wondrous and meaningful sense of place.
The Sundance Institute New Frontier Program is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Adobe, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell Technologies, Metaplex Studios, Meta Quest, RAIR Tech, Rally, and Unity.
32 Sounds / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Sam Green) — An immersive documentary and sensory film experience that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound and its power to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. The film will be presented in its “live cinema” form, featuring live music and live narration. World Premiere.
Atua / New Zealand (Lead Artists: Tanu Gago, Jermaine Dean, Key Collaborators: Kat Lintott, Carthew Neal, Nacoya Anderson) — Reimagining the realm of Pacific gods in this sculptural AR experience. Claiming space for gender diverse communities impacted by colonial contact, to see themselves reflected as vital to their cultural heritage and an intrinsic part of the cosmos. World Premiere.
Child of Empire / U.K. (Lead Artists: Sparsh Ahuja, Erfan Saadati, Stephen Stephenson, Omi Zola Gupta, Key Collaborators: Sam Dalyrmple, Saadia Gardezi, Jayosmita Ganguly) — Experience the largest forced migration in human history, the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan. Embody the childhood memories of two survivors, as they reflect on their journeys across a divided homeland. World Premiere.
Cosmogony / Switzerland (Lead Artists: Gilles Jobin, Susana Panadés Diaz, Camilo de Martino, Tristan Siodlak, Key Collaborator: Pierre-Igor Berthet) — A live digital performance in which 3 dancers are motion captured in Geneva and projected remotely in real time. North American Premiere.
Diagnosia / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Mengtai Zhang, Lemon Guo, Producers: Mengtai Zhang, Lemon Guo, Yue Huang) — In this VR experience, the director locks us inside his teenage memories of being incarcerated in a military-operated internet addiction camp in Beijing in 2007, where internet addiction and other youth issues were treated as severe mental disorders, and sometimes by violent means. North American Premiere.
Flat Earth VR / Brazil (Lead Artist: Lucas Rizzotto) VR is known as the ultimate empathy machine that lets users experience others’ perspectives. But what happens when those perspectives are delusional? Experience the ultimate flat-earther fantasy: ascend into the stars and prove all globe-earthers wrong by taking photos of the planet as it truly is: flat like a pancake. World Premiere.
Gondwana / Australia (Lead Artists: Ben Joseph Andrews, Emma Roberts, Key Collaborators: Lachlan Sleight, Michelle Brown, The Convoy) — A durational VR experience that runs over 24 hours, and a constantly-evolving virtual ecosystem chronicling the possible futures of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree. Powered by climate data, each showing is unrepeatable and speculative, a meditation on time, change and loss in an irreplaceable landscape. World Premiere.
On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World) / U.K. (Lead Artists: Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Mike Brett, Steve Jamison, Arnaud Colinart, Pierre Zandrowicz, Key Collaborators: Jo-Jo Ellison, Bobby Krlic) — On a regular Saturday morning in January 2018, as Hawaiian citizens went about their daily routines, the entire state population received an SMS from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, which read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” World Premiere.
Seven Grams / France (Lead Artist: Karim Ben Khelifa, Key Collaborators: TT Hernandez, Quentin Noirfalisse) — An entirely new way for people to understand the human cost that went into producing their smartphones. This project brings the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tragic mining industry straight to the smartphone that its mineral resources helped make, via an app on both IOS and Android systems. North American Premiere.
Suga’- A Live Virtual Dance Performance / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Valencia James, Key Collaborators: Thomas Wester, Simon Boas) — An immersive experience that features live dance performance as volumetric video in social virtual reality space. The performance weaves together movement, family stories, and cultural heritage to imagine virtual environments as a site for healing and reclamation of spaces that were historically filled with pain and injustice.
Surrogate / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Lauren Lee McCarthy, Key Collaborators: Dorothy R. Santos, David Leonard, Stefanie Tam) — How do we relate to the future while living in a world in crisis? Amidst climate change, inequity, and pandemic, it’s no longer possible to view ourselves as separate from past and future. How much control should we have over a birthing person’s body, and a life before it’s born? North American Premiere.
The Inside World / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Jennifer McCoy, Kevin McCoy, Key Collaborators: Annie J. Howell, Peter Rostovsky) — The city of Las Vegas is now operated by artificial intelligence. Fourteen AI “Managers” handle every sector of the city. The problem is, one of them is secretly human… Digital Art NFTs meet gameplay in this community driven mystery. World Premiere.
The State of Global Peace / U.S.A (Lead Artists: Daanish Masood Alavi, Key Collaborators: Igal Nassima, Erica Newman) — The prime minister of a fictitious country – played by you – is about to deliver a speech at a virtual UN General Assembly in the near future. A group of students hijacks the security system and takes over the screens, asking to have a dialogue. World Premiere.
They Dream in My Bones – Insemnopedy II / France (Lead Artist: Faye Formisano, Key Collaborators: Ludovic De Oliveira, Lilou-Magali Robert, Cindy Coutant) — Immersed on virtual veils, this VR360 experience tells the story of Roderick Norman, a researcher in onirogenetics, the science he founded, which makes it possible to extract dreams from an unidentified skeleton at the frontier of gender and the human. North American Premiere.
This Is Not A Ceremony / Canada (Lead Artist: Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon), Key Collaborators: Olivier Leroux, James Monkman, Jessica Dymond) — Darkly humorous and occasionally caustic, this cinematic VR experience offers insights into the struggles and conflicts of growing up an Indigenous man. World Premiere.
59 short films debuting at 2022 festival; Additional 40 titles that premiered at previous Sundance festivals
As reported by Sundance in their festival site press announcement, 59 short films for the 2022 program were selected from an all-time-high 10,374 submissions. Of these submissions, 4,701 were from the U.S., and 5,673 were international. The 2022 program represents work from 26 countries.
40 “From the Collection” shorts have all screened in Park City previously and include early works from talent such as Garrett Bradley, Destin Daniel Cretton, Cheryl Dunye, Nash Edgerton, Tamara Jenkins and Taika Waititi. This selection will play on demand on the Festival’s online platform through the Explorer Pass and available to all passholders from January 20–30 and complement the 59 short films that are premiering in-person and online as part of the 2022 Festival program.
List of 2022 Sundance Festival short films
Appendage / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Anna Zlokovic, Producers: Alex Familian, Anna Zlokovic, Matthew Green) — A young fashion designer must make the best of it when her anxiety and self-doubt physically manifest into something horrific. Cast: Rachel Sennott, Eric Roberts.
Champ / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Hannah Peterson, Producers: Taylor Shung, Alex Coco) — After basketball practice one night, Genevieve reveals a dark secret about their coach to her teammates. Wielding strategy and grit off the court, Genevieve works together with her teammates to find a way to retaliate. Cast: Eva Noblezada, Lulu Davis, Iris Cook, Madison Holden. World Premiere.
Chaperone / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Sam Max, Producers: Russell Kahn, Sam Max, Lio Mehiel, Patrick Murray, Katie Schiller) — An unnamed figure picks up a young man in his car. As the two drive together, and settle into an austere rental house in the country, the details of their arrangement become guttingly clear. Cast: Zachary Quinto, Russell Kahn. U.S. Premiere.
Close Ties to Home Country / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Akanksha Cruczynski, Producer: Felicia Ferrara) — Millennial immigrant Akanksha waits for her sister’s visit from India — they haven’t seen each other in nine years! Meanwhile, she’s dogsitting the fancy Frenchie of Instagram influencers India and Harry, who themselves are on a trip to India’s namesake. Cast: Akanksha Cruczynski, Bisou [Timothée], Cassie Kramer, Simon Hedger, Sophia Rafiqi.
Daddy’s Girl / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Lena Hudson, Producers: Clea DeCrane, Thomas Matthews, Lena Hudson ) — A young woman’s charming but overbearing father helps her move out of her wealthy, older boyfriend’s apartment. Cast: Tedra Millan, Peter Friedman. World Premiere.
F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K / U.S.A. (Director: Harris Doran, Screenwriters: Harris Doran, Emmanuel ‘DDm’ Williams, Producers: Doris Casap, Harris Doran, James Burkhalter, Haley Geffen) — A queer, Black, aspiring Baltimore rapper must outwit his vengeful day-job boss in order to avoid getting fired after accidentally eating an edible. Cast: Emmanuel ‘DDm’ Williams, Kara Young, Catherine Curtin. World Premiere.
Hallelujah / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Victor Gabriel, Producer: Duran Jones) — In Compton, California, two brothers stuck in arrested development have to figure out how to handle their annoying, fried-chicken-hating, bookworm nephew, as he attempts to hang himself with a garden hose. Cast: Bruce A. Lemon, Richard Nevels, Stephen Laroy Thomas, Mariah Pharms, Damon Rutledge, Maelina Gibson. World Premiere.
Huella / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Gabriela Ortega, Producers: Helena Sardinha, Rafael Thomaseto) — When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine.
IF I GO WILL THEY MISS ME / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Walter Thompson-Hernández, Producer: Stuart McIntyre) — Lil’ Ant is obsessed with Pegasus, the Greek mythological character, since first learning about him at school in Watts, California. He begins to notice imaginary airplane people around his home, and yearns to fly with them. Cast: Anthony Harris Jr. World Premiere.
Starfuckers / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Antonio Marziale, Producer: Eli Raskin) — An intimate evening between a film director and an escort is disrupted when a familiar face arrives. Cast: Antonio Marziale, Cole Doman, Jonathan Slavin. World Premiere.
Training Wheels / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alison Rich, Producers: Olivia Aguilar, Bridgett Greenberg, Laura Schwartz, Peter Principato) — A socially inept woman rents one man to prepare for another. Cast: Alison Rich, George Basil, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Zeke Nicholson, Kathy Yamamoto. World Premiere.
While Mortals Sleep / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alex Fofonoff, Producer: Matthew James Reilly) — When a cold case novelist’s career implodes, she seeks refuge at her friend’s remote vacation home. Upon arrival, she encounters a strange couple who claim to be the caretakers. As tensions build, a dark secret begins to emerge. Cast: Carie Kawa, Grace Morrison, Will Brill. World Premiere.
Work / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: April Maxey, Producer: Skylar Andrews) — Unable to move on from a breakup, Gabi, a queer Latina freelance editor, impulsively drops into an old job at an underground lap dance party, where she unexpectedly runs into a friend from her past. Cast: Marisela Zumbado, Elaine Whae. World Premiere.
You Go Girl! / U.S.A. (Director: Shariffa Ali, Screenwriters: Shariffa Ali, Kamilah Long, Courtney Williams) — Audrey, a New York City comedian who can make a joke of any situation, faces a staggering challenge in the beautiful mountains of Oregon. Can this city woman overcome her fears and rise? Cast: Tiffany Mann. World Premiere.
INTERNATIONAL LIVE ACTION SHORT FILMS
Breathe / New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Stephen Kang, Producer: Mhairead Connor) — At twelve years old, gifted Jaehee uses an unorthodox healing method that propels her into conflict with her overbearing father. Cast: Gloria Zhang, CJ Hwang. World Premiere.
Bump / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Maziyar Khatam, Producer: Anya Chirkova) — A young man’s unwillingness to let go of a trivial encounter leads him to seek retribution. Cast: Maziyar Khatam, Dylan Ray Hatton. U.S. Premiere.
Egúngún (Masquerade) / Nigeria (Director and Screenwriter: Olive Nwosu, Producer: Alex Polunin) — In search of healing, a young woman returns home, to her birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria. Cast: Sheila Chukwulozie, Teniola Aladese.
The Headhunter’s Daughter / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, Producer: Hannah Schierbeek) — Leaving her family behind, Lynn traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer. Cast: Ammin Acha-ur. World Premiere.
Love Stories on the Move / Romania (Director and Screenwriter: Carina Gabriela Dașoveanu, Producer: Carina Gabriela Dașoveanu) — Lili, a taxi driver, is trying to save her marriage with Dani, an amateur fisherman. Her fares expose Lili to several love stories really different from her own. Cast: Ilinca Hărnuț, Andi Vasluianu. North American Premiere.
Maidenhood / Mexico (Director: Xochitl Enriquez Mendoza, Screenwriters: Xochitl Enriquez Mendoza, Samuel Sánchez Tual, Producer: Eréndira Hernández) — Catalina submits to the tradition of her people to demonstrate her purity and worth as a woman to her beloved, but her body betrays her and she fails to demonstrate her chastity. Cast: Emma Aquilar Malacara, Héctor Ortíz Valdovinos, Mayra Sérbulo, Maira Jiménez Desales. World Premiere.
MAKASSAR IS A CITY FOR FOOTBALL FANS / Indonesia/France (Director and Screenwriter: Khozy Rizal, Producers: John Badalu, Bruno Smadja, Khozy Rizal) — In a city where men have to go crazy about football, Akbar has to pretend to love the game in order to prevent rejection from his new college friends. Cast: Sabri Sahafuddin, Muh. Saleh Hasanuddin, Atdriansyah Arismunandar. North American Premiere. DAY ONE
Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit / Mexico (Director: Gabriel Herrera, Screenwriters: Gabriel Herrera, Stefanie Reinhard, Producer: Susana Bernal) — There he sits, proudly on his beautiful motorbike, which he would never loan to anyone. He is certain that he alone can explore the jungle. A playful role-reversal reenactment, taking aim at the hubris of colonial conquerors. Cast: David Illiescas, Ángel Morales.
Orthodontics / Islamic Republic of Iran (Director and Screenwriter: Mohammadreza Mayghani, Producers: Mohammadreza Mayghani, Baran Sarmad) — Teenage girl Amitis, who always has headgear as part of orthodontic treatment, suddenly does something strange to her friend, Sarah. Cast: Maryam Hossieni, Yas Farkhondeh, Arezou Ali. North American Premiere.
Precious Hair & Beauty / United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: John Ogunmuyiwa, Producers: Sophia Gibber, Tony Longe, Lene Bausager) — An ode to the mundanity and madness of the high street, told through the window of an African hair salon. Cast: Tomi Ogunjobi, Adjani Salmon, Kemi Lofinmakin, Michael Akinsulire. U.S. Premiere. DAY ONE
Reckless / Sweden (Director and Screenwriter: Pella Kågerman, Producers: Eliza Jones, Markus Waltå) — Stockholm, 2121: an underwater city is blasted into the bedrock. In a society on the verge of being crushed by mounting water pressure, Nikki’s highest wish is to get back together with her ex-boyfriend. Cast: ElleKari Bergerud, Amed Bozan. International Premiere.
THE RIGHT WORDS / France (Director and Screenwriter: Adrian Moyse Dullin, Producer: Lucas Tothe) — Kenza and her little brother Mahdi regularly humiliate one another on social media in cruel ways. As they travel by bus, Kenza puts her brother to the test: professing his love for Jada, the girl that he loves. Cast: Yasser Osmani, Sanya Salhi, Aya Halal.
Sandstorm (Mulaqat) / Pakistan (Director and Screenwriter: Seemab Gul, Producers: Abid Aziz Merchant, Seemab Gul) — Zara, a teenage girl, shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend, who begins to blackmail her into meeting him in person. Will Zara give in to this stranger’s increasing demands or will she set herself free? Cast: Parizae Fatima, Hamza Mushtaq.
Shark / Australia (Director: Nash Edgerton, Screenwriters: Nash Edgerton, David Michôd, Producers: Michele Bennett, Lucia Nicolai, Marcello Paolillo) — The continuing adventures of Jack, who loves to prank. But in his latest relationship he may have finally met his match. Cast: Rose Byrne, Nash Edgerton. DAY ONE
Tundra / Cuba (Director: José Luis Aparicio, Screenwriter: Carlos Melian, Producers: Leila Montero, Daniela Muñoz, Gabriel Aleman, Jose Luis Aparicio) — Walfrido dreams of the Red Woman, whose image persists and becomes an obsession. Something tells him she is near. Over the course of a day, Walfrido will follow her trail as he travels through the suburbs of an infested city. Cast: Mario Guerra, Neysi Alpizar. North American Premiere.
Warsha / France/Lebanon (Director and Screenwriter: Dania Bdeir, Producer: Coralie Dias) — A Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut volunteers to cover a shift on one of the most dangerous cranes, where he is able to find his freedom. Cast: Khansa. World Premiere.
A wild patience has taken me here / Brazil (Director and Screenwriter: Érica Sarmet, Producers: Lívia Perez, Silvia Sobral, Érica Sarmet) — Tired of loneliness, a middle aged motorcyclist goes to a lesbian party for the first time. There she meets four young queers who share their home and affections. An encounter of generations, a tribute to those who brought us here. Cast: Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro, Lorre Motta. North American Premiere.
U.S. NONFICTION SHORT FILMS
Chilly and Milly / United States (Director and Screenwriter: William David Caballero, Producers: William David Caballero, Elaine Del Valle) — Exploring the director’s father’s chronic health problems, as a diabetic with kidney failure, and his mother’s role as his eternal caretaker. A combination of 3D-modeled/composited characters, with cinema verité scenes from a documentary shot over 13 years ago. World Premiere.
Deerwoods Deathtrap / United States (Director: James P. Gannon, Producers: James P Gannon, Joseph K Gannon, Matt Ferrin, April Gannon, Chris Cipriano, James D Cochran) — Fifty years ago, Betty and Jack were hit by a train and survived. This is their story. Subjects: Elizabeth Gannon, John W Gannon. World Premiere.
Kicking the Clouds / United States (Director: Sky Hopinka) — An experimental documentary centered on a 50 year old cassette tape of a Pechanga language lesson between the director’s grandmother and great-grandmother, and contextualized by an interview with his mother in his Pacific Northwest hometown. World Premiere.
Long Line of Ladies / United States (Directors: Rayka Zehtabchi, Shaandiin Tome, Producers: Garrett Schiff, Pimm Tripp-Allen, Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis, Dana Kurth) — A girl and her community prepare for her Ihuk, the once-dormant coming of age ceremony of the Karuk and Yurok tribes of Northern California. World Premiere. DAY ONE
The Martha Mitchell Effect / United States (Directors: Anne Alvergue, Debra McClutchy, Producers: Beth Levison, Judith Mizrachy) — She was once as famous as Jackie O. And then she tried to take down a President. Martha Mitchell was the unlikeliest of whistleblowers: a Republican wife who was discredited by Nixon to keep her quiet. Until now. World Premiere.
The Panola Project / United States (Directors and Screenwriters: Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine, Producers: Jeremy S. Levine, Rachael DeCruz) — Highlighting the heroic efforts of Dorothy Oliver to keep her small town of Panola, Alabama safe from COVID-19. A chronicle of how an often-overlooked rural Black community came together in creative ways to survive.
Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver / United States (Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster, Screenwriter: Sara Driver) — In 1982, the completion of Jim Jarmusch’s sophomore film, Stranger Than Paradise, hinged on producer Sara Driver’s willingness and ability to smuggle one of the world’s rarest and most controversial films across the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Premiere. DAY ONE
Sub Eleven Seconds / United States (Director: Bafic, Producers: Chloe Sultan, Mahfuz Sultan, Virgil Abloh) — A rumination on time, loss, and hope, and a poetic imagining of the quest of Sha’Carri Richardson, a young track & field athlete, to achieve her dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games. World Premiere.
ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (Udeyonv) (What They’ve Been Taught) / United States (Director: Brit Hensel, Producers: Taylor Hensel, Adam Mazo, Kavi Pillay, Tracy Rector) — This film explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. World Premiere.
What Travelers Are Saying About Jornada del Muerto / United States (Director: Hope Tucker) — Visitors and residents of New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb, contribute to the production of public memory as they offer reckonings and advice about making “the journey of the dead.”
You’ve Never Been Completely Honest / United States (Director and Screenwriter: Joey Izzo, Producers: Andy Ruse, Jesy Odio) — Through animation and reenactment, bringing to life Gene Church’s original, never-before-heard interview where he recounts harrowing physical torture and brainwashing he endured at a secretive 4-day business seminar in California, 1970. Cast: Phil Burgers, Pat Healy, Max Baumgarten, Bill O’Neill, Ian Bratschie, Demorge Brown, Brian Lee Hughes. World Premiere.
INTERNATIONAL NONFICTION SHORT FILMS
$75,000 / France/Mali (Director and Screenwriter: Moïse Togo) — Highlighting the biological aspect of albinism, a genetic and hereditary abnormality that affects not only pigmentation, but also and above all the physical and moral conditions of people with albinism.
Displaced / Kosovo (Director and Screenwriter: Samir Karahoda, Producer: Eroll Bilibani) — In postwar Kosovo, driven to keep their beloved sport table tennis alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them their club’s only possession: their tables. U.S. Premiere.
Listen To the Beat of our Images / French Guiana/France (Directors: Audrey Jean-Baptiste, Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Producer: Gérard Azoulay) — Sixty years ago, France decided to establish its space center in French Guiana. 600 Guianan people were expropriated to allow France to realize its dream of space conquest. This film gives a voice to a silenced population made invisible.
Prayers for Sweet Waters / South Africa/United Kingdom (Director: Elijah Ndoumbe, Producer: Naeem Dxvis) — Stories intersect across vivid realities and dreamscapes to submerge us into the worlds of three transgender sex workers living in Cape Town, South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lead Artists: Flavirina Nana, Gulam Petersen, Wes Leal.
U.S. ANIMATION SHORT FILMS
the HORK / United States (Director: Nicole Stafford) — In an alternate dimension, the stoic god of Power-Unrecognized waits for unrelenting Greed to come and consume her power. World Premiere.
Meal on the Plate / United States/China (Director and Screenwriter: Chenglin Xie, Producers: Chenglin Xie, Michelle Yu Du) — You are what you eat. In a world where people start to look like the thing they eat most, you can take this quite literally. When a newcomer prefers different eating habits, the visible consequences turn the world upside down. North American Premiere.
Soft Animals / United States/United Kingdom (Director: Renee Zhan, Producer: Jesse Romain) — Two ex-lovers cross paths in a train station. Their animal instincts take over as they reminisce. Cast: Paul Panting, Joanna Ruiz.
We Are Here / United States (Directors: Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro, Producers: Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro) — What is it like to walk this land in the shoes of an immigrant under 30? Reflections of the people that immigrated to the U.S. as children are a reminder to look beyond citizenship. Cast: Dulce Valencia, Deron Ingraham, Valeria Marchesi. World Premiere.
INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION SHORT FILMS
Bestia / Chile (Director: Hugo Covarrubias, Screenwriters: Martín Erazo, Hugo Covarrubias, Producers: Tevo Díaz, Hugo Covarrubias) — The life of a secret police agent during the Chilean military dictatorship. Her relationship with her dog, her body, her fears and frustrations all reveal grim fractures in her mind and in the country. U.S. Premiere.
THE FOURTH WALL / Islamic Republic of Iran (Director and Screenwriter: Mahboobeh Kalaee, Producer: Mahboobeh Kalaee) — Home and family, relationships, desires, wishes: all captured in a kitchen. The stuttering boy is alone there, playing with his imagination. North American Premiere.
Goodbye Jerome! (Au revoir Jérôme!) / France (Directors and Screenwriters: Gabrielle Selnet, Adam Sillard, Chloé Farr, Producer: Moïra Marguin) — Having just arrived in paradise, Jerome sets out to find his wife Maryline. In the course of his search, he sinks into a surreal and colorful world in which no one seems to be able to help him. International Premiere. DAY ONE
Night Bus / Taiwan (Director and Screenwriter: Joe Hsieh, Producers: Wan Lin Lee, Joe Hsieh, Joe Chan) — On a late-night bus, a panicked scream shatters the night’s calm. A necklace is stolen, followed by a tragic and fatal road accident. The series of intriguing events that follows reveal love, hatred, and vengeance. Cast: Shu Fang Chen, Ming Hsiu Tsai, Yu Fang Lee, Shing Ming Wang, Shang Sing Guo, Pi Li Yeh.
Rendang of Death / Indonesia (Directors: Percolate Galactic, Andri “Yujin Sick”, Screenwriter: Ryan S. Jackson, Producers: Percolate Galactic, Michaela C. Levi, Samantha K. Jackson) — In a quaint Padang restaurant, filled with people enjoying their lunch break, two bros put their friendship to the test when it turns out that only one plate remains of their favorite dish: The Rendang of Death. Featuring: Alva “Dom” Delanova, Sandy Octavia G, Muhammad “Adjuy” Fajrur Rahmat, Unit Satuan Bengkel, Angelica Kosasih, PS Jati.
Socrates’ Adventures in the Under Ground / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: Aria Covamonas, Producer: Aria Covamonas) — A Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revision of the Allegory of the Cave, filled with talking animals who shall be late and bourgeois queens who would like to see you without head, exactly as Plato intended. U.S. Premiere.
Swallow the Universe / France (Director and Screenwriter: Nieto, Producer: Nicolas Schmerkin) — A blood-and-thunder saga of a young child lost in Manchuria’s deep jungles. His sudden presence creates complete anarchy in the fauna’s primitive world, until then perfectly organized.
Sweet Nothing / Switzerland (Directors and Screenwriters: Joana Fischer, Marie-Christine Kenov, Producer: Jürgen Haas) — Rosa is sunbathing in her garden while the gardener is working next door. She watches the gardener, increasingly intoxicated by the tender way he handles the flowers. Voice Actors: Luana Brügger, Michael Lörli. U.S. Premiere.
Zoon / Germany (Director: Jonatan Schwenk, Screenwriters: Jonatan Schwenk, Merlin Flügel, Producer: Jonatan Schwenk) — Residing in a dark swamp at the bottom of a nocturnal forest, a group of gleaming axolotls pursue lustful games. The creatures relish nuzzling one another and nibbling their companions’ limbs. World Premiere.
FROM THE COLLECTION SHORT FILMS
575 Castro St. / U.S.A (Director: Jenni Olson) — Set to the original audio cassette recorded by Harvey Milk in November 1977 to be played “in the event of my death by assassination.” Non-Fiction. 2009 Sundance Film Festival
All Water Has a Perfect Memory / U.S.A., Mexico (Director:Natalia Almada) — A poignant, experimental documentary that explores the effects of tragedy and remembrance on a bicultural family. Non-Fiction. 2002 Sundance Film Festival
Alone / U.S.A. (Director: Garrett Bradley, Producers: Lauren Domino, Dolly Turner) — An investigation into the layers of mass incarceration and its shaping of the modern Black American family, seen through the eyes of a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana. Non-Fiction. 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction
Boneshaker / U.S.A. (Director: Nuotama Frances Bodomo, Producers: Shruti Ganguly, Alana Pryor Ackerman) — Lost in America, an African family travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child. Fiction. 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Brotherhood / Tunisia, U.S.A., Canada, Qatar (Director: Meryam Joobeur, Producer: Annick Blanc, Maria Gracia Turgeon) — Tension rises between a hardened Tunisian shepherd and his son when the latter returns home after a long journey with a new wife. Fiction. 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Bugcrush / U.S.A. (Director: Carter Smith, Producer: Erin Wile) — A small-town high school loner’s fascination with a dangerously seductive new kid leads him into something much more sinister than he ever could have imagined. Fiction. 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Jury Prize Short Filmmaking
The Burden / Sweden (Director: Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Producer: Kalle Wettre) — In a dark musical enacted in a modern marketplace situated next to a large freeway, employees of various commercial venues deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns. The apocalypse is a tempting liberator. Animation. 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Butter Lamp / France, China (Director: Hu Wei, Producer: Julien Féret) — A photographer weaves unique links among nomadic families Fiction. 2014 Sundance Film Festival
Charlie and the Rabbit / U.S.A. (Directors and Producers: Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, Robert Machoian, ) — Charlie, a four-year-old who loves Bugs Bunny, decides to hunt a rabbit of his own. Fiction. 2010 Sundance Film Festival
Counterfeit Kunkoo / India (Director: Reema Sengupta, Producers: Kunal Punjabi, Surekha Sengupta) — Smita discovers a strange prerequisite to renting a home in middle-class Mumbai, a city that houses millions. She would make an ideal tenant, except for one glaring flaw — she is an Indian woman without a husband. Fiction. 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Deer Flower / U.S.A., South Korea (Director: Kangmin Kim, Producers: Kijin Kim, Giulia Caruso. Music: Kohyang, Daniel Eaton, Namkook In, Louis Lopez, Joseph Santa Maria) — Dujung, an elementary school student, goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe that the farm’s expensive and rare specialty will strengthen their son’s body, Dujung suffers side effects. Animation. 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Do No Harm / Hong Kong (Director: Roseanne Liang, Producer: Hamish Mortland) — 3 a.m. 1980s Hongjing. In an aging private hospital, a single-minded surgeon is forced to break her physician’s oath when violent gangsters storm in to stop a crucial operation. Fiction. 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma / U.S.A. (Director: Topaz Jones, rubberband., Producers:Simon Davis, Eric McNeal, Luigi Rossi, Jason Sondock, Kevin Storey) — The Black ABCs were born in 1970, when Black educators in Chicago developed alphabet flash cards to provide Black-centered teaching materials to the vastly white educational landscape. Fifty years later, 26 scenes provide an update to their meanings. Non-Fiction. 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction
Family Remains / U.S.A. (Director: Tamara Jenkins, Producers: Scott Macaulay, Robin O’Hara) — A mother and daughter are marooned in a sleepy community 10 years after the disappearance of the girl’s father. Fiction. 1994 Sundance Film Festival, Award for Excellence in Short Filmmaking
Fe26 / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Jerome Everson, Producer: Madeleine Molyneaux) — Two gentlemen make a living hustling metal in Cleveland, Ohio. Non-Fiction. 2014 Sundance Film Festival
For Nonna Anna / Canada (Director & Producer: Luis De Filippis, Producer: Lucah Rosenberg, Lee Nava Rastegar) — A trans girl caring for her Italian grandmother assumes that her nonna disapproves of her. Instead, she discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability. Fiction. 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Special Jury Prize
Gesture Down (I Don’t Sing) / U.S.A. (Director:Cedar Sherbert, Producer: Sherman Alexie, Cedar Sherbert, Lois Welc) — A graceful and personal adaptation of the poem “Gesture Down to Guatemala” by the late Native American writer James Welch. Non-Fiction. 2006 Sundance Film Festival
Greetings from Africa / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Cheryl Dunye, Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Karen Yaeger) — A candid view of the state of things in 1990s lesbian dating. Fiction. 1995 Sundance Film Festival
Hold Up / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Olnek, Producer: Ryan Gomez) — A robber is after more than money at a convenience store holdup. Fiction. 2006 Sundance Film Festival
Kitchen Sink / New Zealand (Director: Alison Maclean, Producer: Bridget Ikin) — From the bowels of the kitchen sink comes a dark and tender love. A nightmare come true…Fiction. 1991 Sundance Film Festival
La Corona (The Crown) / U.S.A. (Directors & Producers: Isabel Vega, Amanda Micheli:) — Female murderers compete ferociously for a beauty pageant crown in prison. Non-Fiction. 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Honorable Mention Short Filmmaking
Las Palmas / Sweden (Director & Producer: Johannes Nyholm, Producer: Joclo) — A middle-aged woman on a holiday in the sun tries to make new friends and have a good time. Fiction. 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Mobilize / Canada (Director: Caroline Monnet, Producer: Anita Lee) — Guided expertly by those who live on the land and are driven by the pulse of the natural world, this story takes us on an exhilarating journey from the far north to the urban south. Non-Fiction. 2016 Sundance Film Festival
More Than Two Hours / Iran (Director: Ali Asgari, Producer: Sasan Salour) — A boy and girl wander the city at 3 a.m. looking for a hospital to cure the girl, but it’s much harder to find one than they thought. Fiction. 2014 Sundance Film Festival
Primavera / Mexico (Director: Claudia Castillo, Producers: Henner Hofmann, Karla Bukantz) — Elba is an introverted and lonely teenager living with her mostly absent mother and her older sister, with whom she has an ambivalent relationship. When her sister decides to run away from home, Elba attends the goodbye party, resulting in an encounter that changes Elba’s outlook on life. Fiction. 2014 Sundance Film Festival
Rejected / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Don Hertzfeldt) — Twisted animated characters strive to survive in the family-friendly world of advertising. Animation. 2001 Sundance Film Festival
Shimásání / U.S.A. (Director: Blackhorse Lowe, Producers: Nanobah Becker, Chad Burris, Heather Rae, David Stevens) — When Mary Jane finds a geography book that shows her an entirely new world, she must decide whether to maintain her traditional Navajo reservation lifestyle with her grandmother or go out into a larger world. Non-Fiction. 2010 Sundance Film Festival
Short Term 12 / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Destin Daniel Cretton, Producers: Anthony Pang, Michelle Steffes) — A film about kids and the grown-ups who hit them. Fiction. 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Jury Prize Short Filmmaking
Sikumi / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, Producer: Cara Marcous) — An Inuit hunter inadvertently becomes a witness to a murder. Fiction. 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Jury Prize Short Filmmaking
Sister / U.S.A., China (Director & Producer: Siqi Song) — A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently? Animation. 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Solo un Cargador / Peru (Director & Producer: Juan Alejandro Ramírez) — A meticulously filmed documentary portrait of the hard life of the cargadores who trek through the mountains of Peru with baggage on their backs. Non-Fiction. 2005 Sundance Film Festival
Spider / Australia (Director: Nash Edgerton, Producer: Nicole O’Donohue) — It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Fiction. 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Honorable Mention Short Filmmaking
The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Matt McCormick) — An experimental documentary that explores the artistic merits of graffiti clean-up programs. Non-Fiction. 2002 Sundance Film Festival
T / U.S.A. (Director: Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Producer: Faren Humes, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Monica Sorelle) — A film crew follows three grieving participants of Miami’s annual “T Ball,” where folks assemble to model RIP T-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead. Fiction. 2020 Sundance Film Festival
Tom Goes to the Bar / U.S.A. (Director: Dean Parisot, Producer: Joey Forsyte) — Surrounded by wacky characters, Tom carries on a deadpan monologue while life in Pete’s Bar and Grill goes on around him. Fiction. 1986 Sundance Film Festival
Trevor / U.S.A. (Director Peggy Rajski, Producer: Peggy Rajski, Randy Stone) — A poignant and liberating look at a 13-year-old as he begins to discover his sexual identity. Fiction.1995 Sundance Film Festival, Honorable Mention Short Filmmaking
Two Cars, One Night / New Zealand (Director: Taika Waititi, Producer: Ainsley Gardiner, Catherine Fitzgerald) — A tale of first love. While waiting for their parents, two boys and a girl meet in the car park of a rural pub. What at first seems to be a relationship based on rivalry soon develops into a close friendship. We learn that love can be found in the most unlikely of places. Fiction. 2004 Sundance Film Festival
Waves ’98 / Lebanon (Director: Ely Dagher, Producers: Nina Najjar, Christina Farah) — Disillusioned with his life in the suburbs of segregated Beirut, Omar makes a discovery that lures him into the depths of the city. He becomes immersed in a world that is so close yet so isolated from reality and finds himself struggling to retain his sense of home. Animation. 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Worst Enemy / U.S.A. (Director: Lake Bell, Producer: Jett Steiger) — A female misanthrope gets herself stuck in a full-body girdle. Fiction. 2011 Sundance Film Festival
Your Dark Hair Ihsan / U.S.A., Morocco (Director & Producer: Tala Hadid, Producer: Paula Hardy) — A man returns from Europe to his native city in northern Africa, where he remembers his childhood and the mother he lost as a boy. Fiction. 2006 Sundance Film Festival
About Sundance Institute
As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such recent projects as Clemency, I Carry You With Me, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, American Factory, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the founder and editor of Native Viewpoint. With over 16 years of experience as a Native journalist and former member of the White House Press Pool. Follow Vincent on Twitter at @VinceSchilling or on any other of his social media accounts by clicking on any of the icons below.
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