Sundance Movie Competition: The Loudest Movies for Sale

Earlier than COVID upended the movie competition scene, Sundance premieres have been a hotbed of drama as studio executives and broadcast execs staked out the most effective seats within the theater after which beat a path to the exits as soon as the credit rolled in hopes of maneuvering one another. for the most popular motion pictures. After two years of going digital, Sundance is again in particular person. Nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not the all-night bidding wars that have been a staple of previous festivals may even return in drive. In a time of cost-cutting and hardship for indie movies, a brand new period of fiscal restraint will be the order of the day.

However Sundance’s skinny mountain air could cause all that financial savings to evaporate. And if it does, listed below are 13 motion pictures that might have patrons writing huge checks.


Forged: Cynthia Erivo, Alia Shawkat
Director: Anthony Chen
Gross sales agent: UTA
Why consumers are circling: Erivo is claimed to be nothing in need of spectacular as Jacqueline, a refugee fleeing war-torn Liberia for the protection of a Greek island. Via her friendship with a tour information (Shawkat), she begins to discover a strategy to transfer previous the violence and trauma she has endured to create a brand new life for herself. Tears shall be shed.

Cat particular person

Forged: Emilia Jones, Nicholas Braun and Geraldine Viswanathan
Director: Susanna Fogel
Gross sales agent: Studiocanal/ UTA
Why consumers are circling: Embrace the controversy. The raucous stars of Succession and CODA crew up for a pointy evaluation of the social pressures of the primary date. Primarily based on a New Yorker story that went viral for its thought-provoking depiction of gender and intercourse, “Cat Individual” appears destined to be probably the most talked-about movie at Sundance.

Goals journal

Forged: Jonathan Majors, Haley Bennett, Taylor Paige
Director: Elijah Bynum
Gross sales agent: CAA
Why consumers are circling: Compelling central efficiency. Majors delivers a transformative flip as a risky younger man with goals of bodybuilding superstardom. In a 12 months during which the actor will seem in sequels to “Creed” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” that is the movie that might earn Majors an invite to the Oscars.

Wild Younger Free

Forged: Sanaa Lathan, Algee Smith, Sierra Capri and Mike Epps
Director: Banks heel
Gross sales agent: UTA
Why consumers are circling: Pegged as one to look at, “Younger.Wild.Free” is claimed to mark an aesthetic debut for Banks. The movie has been described as a contemporary tackle Bonnie & Clyde, one which follows an aspiring artist who finds himself keen about an area imply woman.


Forged: Anne Hathaway, Thomasin McKenzie, Jefferson White, Marin Eire
Director: William Oldroyd
Gross sales agent: WME
Why consumers are circling: Otessa Moshfegh’s coming-of-age novel wowed critics with its narrative twists and unsparing have a look at abuse and neglect. It is highly effective stuff, and a movie that has drawn a duo to the entrance cabinets in McKenzie and Hathaway as two girls whose lives collide in a harmful means. To spoil something extra can be a criminal offense.


Forged: Brian Imanuel, Yayu AW Unru, Kate Lyn Sheil, Henry Ian Cusick, Anthony Kiedis
Director: Justin Chon
Gross sales agent: UTA
Why consumers are circling: Imanuel, a well known Indonesian rapper, is claimed to be giving a star efficiency as a younger musician whose relationship together with his manager-turned-father is put to the check. It is a story of household ties and ambition crafted by Chon, who has confirmed to be a grasp of those sorts of intertwined relationship dramas in movies like “Blue Bayou” and “Ms. Purple.”


Forged: Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola and Ally Maki
Director: Randall Park
Gross sales agent: WME/UTA
Why consumers are circling: Park’s directorial debut is the sort of charmer that feels destined to be a Sundance hit. The approaching-of-age story follows a Bay Space cinephile named Ben, who manages a movie show, although he’d reasonably be checking off titles on his Criterion Assortment watch record or hanging out together with his finest pal Alice at an area meals. When his girlfriend Miko strikes to New York for an internship, he is left to determine what he actually desires out of life. Warning: could go away you craving pastrami on rye.

A nonetheless small voice

Director: Luke Lorentzen
Gross sales agent: Submarine / AAC
Why consumers are circling: It is exhausting to not get emotional when you consider the pressure on healthcare employees within the early days of the pandemic. The spiritual documentary facilities on an aspiring hospital chaplain who begins a one-year residency in non secular care at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital in 2020 and 2021, one of many deadliest durations in US historical past. Via the method, she discovers that the easiest way to supply emotional help to sufferers is to look deep inside herself. Remember the tissues.

Generally I take into consideration dying

Forged: Daisy Ridley, Dave Merheje, Brittany O’Grady, Megan Stalter
Director: Rachel Lambert
Gross sales agent: CAA
Why consumers are circling: Fran (Ridley) is a lady who, because the title implies, likes to consider dying. Her sick behavior is challenged when she meets Robert, a brand new co-worker who appears destined to make a brand new pal out of Fran. After years of isolation and dealing from residence because of the pandemic, it is a cute story that nearly feels nostalgic.

Aum: The Cult on the Finish of the World

Director: Ben Braun and Chiaki Yanagimoto
Gross sales agent: Submarine/ Season 5
Why consumers are circling: Did not the title alone draw you in? The gripping documentary in regards to the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo takes a relentless have a look at the warning indicators and ghastly conduct that ultimately led to its designation as a terrorist group. On the heart is Shoko Asahara, who began a seemingly innocuous yoga college in Japan. Not even 10 years later, the group – whose title means Supreme Fact – staged struggle crimes, together with the lethal 1995 sarin gasoline assault on the Tokyo subway.

lest ye

Forged: Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adele Exarchopoulos
Director: Ira Sachs
Gross sales agent: SBS / WME
Why consumers are circling: Sachs isn’t any stranger to crowd-pleasing at Sundance; “Passages” is the director’s eighth movie to debut on the competition. Described as a narrative about “the messiness of life,” Rogowski and Whishaw play a same-sex couple whose longtime partnership is shaken when one has an affair with a lady. So the opposite begins an extramarital fling of his personal, efficiently regaining his husband’s consideration whereas revealing a little bit of jealousy. Will they reconcile, or has their marriage run its course?

Past Utopia

Director: Madeleine Gavin
Gross sales agent: Submarine
Why consumers are circling: They will be the most politically highly effective documentaries in a competition crammed with politically charged non-fiction movies. “Past Utopia” follows completely different households as they danger every part as they attempt to go away North Korea in hopes of discovering a greater life away from the brutal regime. The footage of their treacherous journey is what’s going to get individuals speaking, however Gavin’s candid interviews with the courageous asylum seekers are what linger lengthy after the lights exit.

Flora and the boy

Forged: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eve Hewson, Jack Reynor, Orén Kinlan
Director: John Carney
Gross sales agent: Season 5/WME/FilmNation
Why consumers are circling: Carney is a grasp of mixing memorable music and emotional uplift in movies like “Start Once more” and “As soon as.” His newest effort is the story of a single mom (Hewson) who finds a strategy to reconnect along with her estranged son (Kiln) by working collectively on some hustles. It is a journey that additionally finds him bonding with a guitar instructor (Gordon-Levitt) throughout a sequence of Zoom classes. This has the sort of star energy and relatable script that might assist the movie break via at a time when indie movies are getting the chilly shoulder from moviegoers.

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