Back to IndieWire

Sundance Announces Competition and NEXT Lineups, Featuring Returning Favorites and a Secret Director

Sundance Announces Competition and NEXT Lineups, Featuring Returning Favorites and a Secret Director

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival may be months away from kicking off in snowy Park City, Utah, but the annual festival has begun rolling out its various lineups, including today’s announcement of its competition sections — including  U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic and World Documentary offerings — along with its out of competition NEXT lineup.

The slate includes a number of familiar names, most notably “Simon Killer” filmmaker Antonio Campos, who will return to the festival with “Christine” (a narrative feature about TV reporter Christine Chubbuck, who killed herself live on-air in 1974; interestingly enough, the Sundance slate also includes a Chubbuck-centric documentary, “Kate Plays Christine,” a new feature from director Robert Greene that looks to blend fact and fiction in ways similar to his previous documentary, “Actress”) and “This is Martin Bonner” director Chad Hartigan, who will debut his “Morris from America” at the festival. Sundance mainstay David Gordon Green doesn’t have a directorial outing in this batch, but he does serve as co-writer on Andrew Neel’s fact-based “Goat,” and “Life After Beth” helmer Jeff Baena returns to the fest with the raucous-sounding “Joshy.”

READ MORE: Sundance Wishlist: 32 Films We Hope Will Head to Park City in 2016

This lineup also plays home to a number of heavily anticipated directorial debuts from actors, including Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” Clea DuVall’s “The Intervention” and Sian Heder’s “Tallulah” (which has adapted from her own short, “Mother”). Elsewhere, Richard Tanne will make his feature directorial debut with “Southside With You,” a telling of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date.

Also of note is a power-packed documentary section, including Jeff Feuerzeig’s “Author: The JT LeRoy Story,” Kim A. Snyder’s “Newtown,” Robert Cannan and Ross Adam’s “The Lovers and the Despot” and Shimon Dotan’s “The Settlers.” The U.S. Documentary section also plays home to perhaps the most intriguing feature announced today: “Holy Hell,” a doc about “a loving, secretive and spiritual community” that was “shockingly torn apart” after decades in existence. That film’s director? Currently “undisclosed,” though as the film is built around said filmmaker’s own experiences with the group and their archival material, the festival may play host to one hell of an identity reveal.

Of the slate, Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “From diverse backgrounds,
places and perspectives, these independent artists are united by the power of
their stories and vision. Their films will soon launch onto the global stage,
beginning their journeys through our culture. A new year in independent film
will start right here — on the mountain — in January.”

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film
Festival, also weighed in, saying, “Fueled by wild creativity, fresh perspectives and a deep
understanding of the craft of storytelling, independent film is evolving. Our
Festival continues to show that film has the power to inspire, challenge and
surprise audiences in new ways.”

More of the Sundance lineup will be revealed in the coming weeks, including the Premiere and Documentary Premiere sections, along with more Sundance-centric offerings like New Frontier and their always-robust short film lineup. The festival takes place January 21-31, 2016. Below are the 65 titles announced today by Sundance as part of their Competition and NEXT sections. Synopses provided by Sundance.

READ MORE: Sundance Programmers Unveil, Discuss 2016 Competition, NEXT Lineups (EXCLUSIVE)

U.S. DRAMATIC
COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature
films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at
groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

As You Are” / U.S.A. (Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte,
Screenwriters: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Madison Harrison) — As You Are is the telling and retelling of a relationship between
three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a
construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla
Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, Mary Stuart Masterson. World Premiere

The Birth of a Nation” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nate
Parker) — Set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a
literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner,
accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves.
After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan
to lead his people to freedom. Cast: Nate
Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark
Boone Jr. World Premiere

Christine” / U.S.A. (Director: Antonio Campos, Screenwriter:
Craig Shilowich) — In 1974, a female TV news reporter aims for high standards
in life and love in Sarasota, Florida. Missing her mark is not an option. This
story is based on true events. Cast:
Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron.
World Premiere

Equity” / U.S.A. (Director: Meera Menon, Screenwriter: Amy Fox)
— A female investment banker, fighting to get a promotion at her competitive
Wall Street firm, leads a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial-crisis
world, where regulations are tight but pressure to bring in big money remains
high. Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy,
Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner
. World
Premiere

The Free World” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jason Lew)
— Following his release from a brutal stretch in prison for crimes he didn’t
commit, Mo is struggling to adapt to life on the outside. When his world
collides with Doris, a mysterious woman with a violent past, he decides to risk
his newfound freedom to keep her in his life. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Waleed
Zuaiter. World Premiere

Goat / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Neel, Screenwriters: David
Gordon Green, Andrew Neel, Michael Roberts) — Reeling from a terrifying
assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to
prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood,”
tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty,
Austin Lyon. World Premiere

The Intervention” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Clea
DuVall) — A weekend getaway for four couples takes a sharp turn when one of the
couples discovers the entire trip was orchestrated to host an intervention on
their marriage. Cast: Melanie Lynskey,
Cobie Smulders, Alia Shawkat, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Ben Schwartz. World
Premiere

Joshy / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Josh treats what would have been his
bachelor party as an opportunity to reconnect with his friends. Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex
Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate. World Premiere

Lovesong” / U.S.A. (Director: So Yong Kim, Screenwriters: So
Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray) — Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an
impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along
the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances
force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate
connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan
Eggold, Rosanna Arquette. World Premiere

Morris from America” / U.S.A., Germany (Director and
screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Thirteen-year-old Morris, a hip-hop loving
American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father. In this completely
foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl, befriends his German
tutor-turned-confidant, and attempts to navigate the unique trials and
tribulations of adolescence. Cast:
Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał,
Levin Henning
. World Premiere

Other People” / U.S.A. (Director
and screenwriter: Chris Kelly) — A struggling comedy writer, fresh from
breaking up with his boyfriend, moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother.
Living with his conservative father and younger sisters, David feels like a
stranger in his childhood home. As his mother worsens, he tries to convince
everyone (including himself) he’s “doing okay.” Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow,
Zach Woods, June Squibb
. World
Premiere.
DAY ONE FILM

Southside With You /
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Richard Tanne) — Southside With You is a chronicle of the summer afternoon in 1989
when the future president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed
his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side. Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa
Bell Calloway. World Premiere

Spa Night” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to reconcile his obligations to
his struggling immigrant family with his burgeoning sexual desires in the
underground world of gay hookups at Korean spas in Los Angeles. Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim, Youn Ho Cho, Tae
Song, Ho Young Chung, Linda Han. World Premiere

Swiss Army Man” / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Daniel
Scheinert, Daniel Kwan) — Hank, a hopeless man stranded in the wild, discovers
a mysterious dead body. Together the two embark on an epic journey to get home.
As Hank realizes the body is the key to his survival, this once-suicidal man is
forced to convince a dead body that life is worth living. Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. World Premiere

 

Tallulah” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sian Heder) — A
rootless young woman takes a toddler from a wealthy, negligent mother and
passes the baby off as her own in an effort to protect her. This decision
connects and transforms the lives of three very different women. Cast: Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard,
Evan Jonigkeit, Uzo Aduba. World Premiere

White Girl” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Elizabeth Wood)
— Summer, New York City: A college student goes to extremes to get her drug
dealer boyfriend out of jail. Cast:
Morgan Saylor, Brian ‘Sene’ Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez,
Adrian Martinez. World Premiere

U.S. DOCUMENTARY
COMPETITION

Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that
illuminate the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.

Audrie & Daisy” / U.S.A. (Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk)
— After two high school girls in different towns are sexually assaulted by boys
they consider friends, online bullying leads each girl to attempt suicide.
Tragically, one dies. Assault in the social media age is explored from the
perspectives of the girls and boys involved, as well as their torn-apart
communities. World Premiere

Author: The JT LeRoy Story” / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Feuerzeig)
— As the definitive look inside the mysterious case of 16-year-old literary
sensation JT LeRoy—a creature so perfect for his time that if he didn’t exist,
someone would have had to invent him—this is the strangest story about story
ever told. World Premiere

The Bad Kids” / U.S.A. (Directors: Keith Fulton, Lou Pepe) — At
a remote Mojave Desert high school, extraordinary educators believe that
empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students command of
their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the
crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad
kids.” World Premiere

Gleason” / U.S.A. (Director: Clay Tweel) — At the age of 34,
Steve Gleason, former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed
with ALS. Doctors gave him two to five years to live. So that is what Steve chose
to do: Live—both for his wife and newborn son and to help others with this
disease. World Premiere

Holy Hell” / U.S.A. (Director: undisclosed) — Just out of
college, a young filmmaker joins a loving, secretive, and spiritual community
led by a charismatic teacher in 1980s West Hollywood. Twenty years later, the
group is shockingly torn apart. Told through two decades of the filmmaker’s
archival materials, this is their story. World
Premiere
 

How to Let Go of the World (and Love All the Things Climate Can’t
Change)
” / U.S.A. (Director: Josh Fox) — Do we have a chance to stop the
most destructive consequences of climate change, or is it too late? Academy
Award-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland)
travels to 12 countries on six continents to explore what we have to let go
of—and all of the things that climate can’t change. World Premiere

Jim” / U.S.A. (Director: Brian Oakes) — The public execution of
American conflict journalist James Foley captured the world’s attention, but he
was more than just a man in an orange jumpsuit. Seen through the lens of his
close childhood friend, Jim moves
from adrenaline-fueled front lines and devastated neighborhoods of Syria into
the hands of ISIS. World Premiere

Kate Plays Christine” / U.S.A. (Director: Robert Greene) — This
psychological thriller follows actor Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the
role of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida television host who committed suicide on
air in 1974. Christine’s tragic death was the inspiration for Network, and the mysteries surrounding
her final act haunt Kate and the production. World Premiere

Kiki / U.S.A., Sweden
(Director: Sara Jordenö) — Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring
lens, Kiki offers a riveting, complex
insight into a safe space created and governed by LGBTQ youths of color, who
are demanding happiness and political power. The film is an exciting
coming-of-age story about agency, resilience, and the transformative art form
of voguing. World Premiere

Life, Animated /
U.S.A. (Director: Roger Ross Williams) — Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who
could not speak for years, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing
himself in Disney animated movies. Using these films as a roadmap, he
reconnects with his loving family and the wider world in this emotional
coming-of-age story. World Premiere

Newtown / U.S.A. (Director: Kim A. Snyder) —
After joining the ranks of a growing club no one wants to belong to, the people
of Newtown, Connecticut, weave an intimate story of resilience. This film
traces the aftermath of the worst mass shooting of schoolchildren in American
history as the traumatized community finds a new sense of purpose. World Premiere

NUTS!” / U.S.A. (Director: Penny Lane) — The mostly true story
of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire with his
goat-testicle impotence cure and a million-watt radio station. Animated
reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and one seriously unreliable
narrator trace his rise from poverty to celebrity and influence in 1920s
America. World Premiere

Suited” / U.S.A. (Director: Jason Benjamin) — Bindle & Keep,
a Brooklyn tailoring company, makes custom suits for a growing legion of
gender-nonconforming clients. World
Premiere

Trapped / U.S.A. (Director: Dawn Porter) — American abortion clinics are in a
fight for survival. Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws are
increasingly being passed by states that maintain they ensure women’s safety
and health, but as clinics continue to shut their doors, opponents believe the
real purpose of these laws is to outlaw abortion. World Premiere

Uncle Howard /
U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Aaron Brookner)Howard Brookner’s first film, “Burroughs: The Movie,” captured the cultural revolution of downtown
New York City in the early ’80s. Twenty-five years after his promising career
was cut short by AIDS, his nephew sets out to discover Howard’s
never-before-seen films to create a cinematic elegy about his childhood idol. World Premiere

Weiner” / U.S.A. (Directors: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg) —
With unrestricted access to Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign,
this film reveals the human story behind the scenes of a high-profile political
scandal as it unfolds, and offers an unfiltered look at how much today’s
politics is driven by an appetite for spectacle. World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA
DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the
world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

Belgica” / Belgium, France, Netherlands (Director: Felix van
Groeningen, Screenwriters: Felix van Groeningen, Arne Sierens) — In the midst
of Belgium’s nightlife scene, two brothers start a bar and get swept up in its
success. Cast: Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir,
Charlotte Vandermeersch, Hélène De Vos. World Premiere.
DAY ONE FILM

Between Sea and Land” / Colombia (Directors: Manolo Cruz, Carlos del
Castillo, Screenwriter: Manolo Cruz) — Alberto, who suffers from an illness
that binds him into a body that doesn’t obey him, lives with his loving mom,
who dedicates her life to him. His sickness impedes him from achieving his
greatest dream of knowing the sea, despite one being located just across the
street. Cast: Manolo Cruz, Vicky
Hernandéz, Viviana Serna, Jorge Cao, Mile Vergara, Javier Sáenz.
World Premiere
Brahman Naman” / United Kingdom, India (Director: Q,
Screenwriter: S. Ramachandran) — When Bangalore University’s misfit quiz team
manages to get into the national championships, they make an alcohol-fueled,
cross-country journey to the competition, determined to defeat their
arch-rivals from Calcutta while all desperately trying to lose their virginity.
Cast: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania,
Chaitanya Varad, Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, Sid Mallya. World
Premiere

A Good Wife” / Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia (Director: Mirjana Karanovic, Screenwriters:
Mirjana Karanovic, Stevan
Filipovic, Darko Lungulov) — When 50-year-old Milena finds out about the
terrible past of her seemingly ideal husband, while simultaneously learning of
her own cancer diagnosis, she begins an awakening from the suburban paradise
she has been living in. Cast: Mirjana
Karanovic, Boris Isakovic, Jasna Djuricic, Bojan Navojec, Hristina Popovic,
Ksenija Marinkovic. World Premiere

Halal Love (and Sex)” / Lebanon, Germany, United Arab Emirates (Director
and screenwriter: Assad Fouladkar) — Four tragic yet comic interconnected
stories come together in this film, which follows devout Muslim men and women
as they try to manage their love lives and desires without breaking any of
their religion’s rules. Cast: Darine
Hamze, Rodrigue Sleiman, Zeinab Khadra, Hussein Mokadem, Mirna Moukarzel, Ali
Sammoury. International Premiere

The Lure” / Poland (Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska,
Screenwriter: Robert Bolesto) — Two mermaid sisters, who end up performing at a
nightclub, face cruel and bloody choices when one of them falls in love with a
beautiful young man. Cast: Marta Mazurek,
Michalina Olszanska, Jakub Gierszal, Kinga Preis, Andrzej Konopka, Zygmunt
Malanowicz. International Premiere

Male Joy, Female Love” / China (Director and screenwriter: Yao
Huang) — Portrays an unlimited cycle of love stories. Cast: Nan Yu, Daizhen Ying, Xiaodong Guo, Yi Sun. World Premiere

Mammal” / Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands (Director: Rebecca
Daly, Screenwriters: Rebecca Daly, Glenn Montgomery) — After Margaret, a
divorcée living in Dublin, loses her teenage son, she develops an unorthodox
relationship with Joe, a homeless youth. Their tentative trust is threatened by
his involvement with a violent gang and the escalation of her ex-husband’s
grieving rage. Cast: Rachel Griffiths,
Barry Keoghan, Michael McElhatton. World Premiere

Mi Amiga del Parque / Argentina, Uruguay (Director: Ana Katz,
Screenwriters: Ana Katz, Inés Bortagaray) — Running away from a bar without
paying the bill is just the first adventure for Liz (mother to newborn Nicanor)
and Rosa (supposed mother to newborn Clarisa). This budding friendship between
nursing mothers starts with the promise of liberation but soon ends up being a
dangerous business. Cast: Julieta
Zylberberg, Ana Katz, Maricel Álvarez, Mirella Pascual, Malena Figó, Daniel
Hendler. International Premiere

Much Ado About Nothing” / Chile (Director: Alejandro Fernández,
Screenwriters: Alejandro Fernández, Jerónimo Rodríguez) — An upper-class kid
gets in trouble with the one percent.
Cast: Agustín Silva, Alejandro Goic, Luis Gnecco, Paulina García, Daniel
Alcaino, Augusto Schuster. World Premiere

Sand Storm” / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Elite Zexer) —
When their entire lives are shattered, two Bedouin women struggle to change the
unchangeable rules, each in her own individual way. Cast: Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal-Asfour, Hitham Omari, Khadija Alakel,
Jalal Masrwa. World Premiere

Wild” / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Nicolette Krebitz) —
An anarchist young woman breaks the tacit contract with civilization and
fearlessly decides on a life without hypocrisy or an obligatory safety net. Cast: Lilith Stangenberg, Georg Friedrich.
World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and
extraordinary international filmmakers working today. Eleven documentaries are listed below, and a twelfth will be
announced in the weeks ahead.

All These Sleepless Nights” / Poland (Director: Michal Marczak)
— What does it mean to be
truly awake in a world that seems satisfied to be asleep? Kris and
Michal push their experiences of life and love to a breaking point as they
restlessly roam the streets of Warsaw in search for answers. World Premiere

A Flag Without a Country” / Iraq (Director: Bahman Ghobadi) —
This documentary follows the very separate paths of singer Helly Luv and pilot
Nariman Anwar from Kurdistan, both in pursuit of progress, freedom, and
solidarity. Both individuals are a source of strength to their society, which
perpetually deals with the harsh conditions of life, war, and ISIS attacks. North American Premiere

Hooligan Sparrow” / China, U.S.A. (Director: Nanfu Wang) —
Traversing southern China, a group of activists led by Ye Haiyan, a.k.a.
Hooligan Sparrow, protest a scandalous incident in which a school principal and
a government official allegedly raped six students. Sparrow becomes an enemy of
the state, but detentions, interrogations and evictions can’t stop her protest
from going viral. World Premiere

The Land of the Enlightened” / Belgium (Director: Pieter-Jan De
Pue) — A group of Kuchi children in Afghanistan dig out old Soviet mines and
sell the explosives to child workers in a lapis lazuli mine. When not dreaming
of an Afghanistan after the American withdrawal, Gholam Nasir and his gang
control the mountains where caravans are smuggling the blue gemstones. World Premiere

The Lovers and the Despot” / United Kingdom (Directors: Robert
Cannan, Ross Adam) — Following the collapse of their glamorous romance, a
celebrity director and his actress ex-wife are kidnapped by movie-obsessed
dictator Kim Jong-il. Forced to make films in extraordinary circumstances, they
get a second chance at love—but only one chance at escape. World Premiere

Plaza de la Soledad” / Mexico (Director: Maya Goded) — For over 20 years, photographer Maya Goded has intimately documented the lives of a close community of prostitutes in Mexico City. With dignity and humor, these women now strive for a better life — and the possibility of true love. World Premiere

The Settlers” / France, Canada, Israel, Germany (Director:
Shimon Dotan) — The first film of its kind to offer a comprehensive view of the
Jewish settlements in the West Bank, The
Settlers
is a historical overview, geopolitical study, and intimate look at
the people at the core of the most daunting challenge facing Israel and the
international community today. World
Premiere

Sky
Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang
” / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Macdonald) —
Having reached the pinnacle of the global art world with his signature
explosion events and gunpowder drawings, world-famous Chinese contemporary
artist Cai Guo-Qiang is still seeking more. We trace his rise from childhood in
Mao’s China and his journey to attempt to realize his lifelong obsession, Sky
Ladder. World Premiere.

Sonita
/ Germany, Iran, Switzerland (Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami) — If
18-year-old Sonita had a say, Michael Jackson and Rihanna would be her parents
and she’d be a rapper who tells the story of Afghan women and their fate as
child brides. She finds out that her family plans to sell her to an unknown
husband for $9,000. North American
Premiere

We Are X” / United Kingdom, U.S.A., Japan (Director: Stephen
Kijak) — As glam rock’s most flamboyant survivors, X Japan ignited a musical
revolution in Japan during the late ’80s with their melodic metal. Twenty years
after their tragic dissolution, X Japan’s leader, Yoshiki, battles with physical
and spiritual demons alongside prejudices of the West to bring their music to
the world. World Premiere

When Two Worlds Collide” / Peru (Directors: Heidi Brandenburg,
Mathew Orzel) — An indigenous leader resists the environmental ruin of
Amazonian lands by big business. As he is forced into exile and faces 20 years
in prison, his quest reveals conflicting visions that shape the fate of the
Amazon and the climate future of our world. World
Premiere

NEXT
Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative,
forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital
technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this
section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. Presented by
Adobe.

THE 4TH” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andre Hyland) —
It’s the Fourth of July in Los Angeles, and Jamie, a broke illustrator who is
behind on his rent, tries to throw a cookout while his overbearing roommate is
out of town, but everything seems to go wrong. Cast: Andre Hyland, Johnny Pemberton, Eliza Coupe, Yasmine Kittles,
Anna Lee Lawson, Paul Erling Oyen. World Premiere

Dark Night” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A
suburban landscape plays witness to the inevitable, unfolding events that
culminate in a Cineplex massacre. Over the course of one day, from sunrise to
midnight, six strangers—the shooter among them—share in this new American
nightmare. Cast: Robert Jumper, Anna
Rose, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias, Aaron Purvis, Eddie Cacciola. World Premiere

The Eyes of My Mother” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Nicolas Pesce) — A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest
desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life. Cast: Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, Paul Nazak, Flora Diaz, Clara Wong,
Diana Agostini. World Premiere

First Girl I Loved / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kerem
Sanga) — Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular
girl at her L.A. public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend,
Clifton—who has always harbored a secret crush on her—he does his best to get
in the way. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna
Hildebrand, Mateo Arias, Jennifer Prediger, Tim Heidecker, Pamela Adlon. World
Premiere

The Fits” / U.S.A., Italy (Director: Anna Rose Holmer,
Screenwriters: Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis, Lisa Kjerulff) — In this
psychological portrait, Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy, is assimilating into a
tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End when a mysterious outbreak of
fainting spells plagues the team, and her desire for acceptance is twisted. Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett,
Da’Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam, Inayah Rodgers. North American
Premiere

How
To Tell You’re A Douchebag
” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Tahir Jetter) — This romantic comedy follows a misogynist who falls in love. Cast: Charles Brice, DeWanda Wise, William
Jackson Harper, Alexander Mulzac, Jenna Williams, Tonye Patano. World Premiere

Jacqueline (Argentine)” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Bernardo Britto) — A young French woman hires a man to document her
self-imposed political asylum in Argentina after supposedly leaking highly
confidential government secrets. Cast:
Camille Rutherford, Wyatt Cenac, James Benson, Martin Anderson, Sarah Willis,
Enrique Dura. World Premiere

The Land” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Steven Caple Jr.)
— Four teenage boys devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland,
Ohio, by pursuing a dream life of professional skateboarding. But when they get
caught in the web of the local queenpin, their motley brotherhood is tested,
threatening to make this summer their last. Cast:
Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Erykah Badu,
Michael K. Williams. World Premiere

Operation Avalanche / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Matt Johnson,
Screenwriters: Matt Johnson, Josh Boles) — In 1967, four undercover CIA agents
were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led
to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. Cast: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, Josh Boles, Ray James. World
Premiere

Sleight” / U.S.A. (Director: JD Dillard, Screenwriters: JD
Dillard, Alex Theurer) — After a young street magician is left to care for his
little sister following their mother’s passing, he turns to dealing drugs, but
quickly runs into trouble with his supplier. When his sister gets kidnapped, he
must rely on his smarts and sleight of hand to save her. Cast: Jacob Latimore, Dulé Hill, Seychelle Gabriel, Storm Reid, Sasheer
Zamata, Cameron Esposito. World Premiere

Per Sundance, for the 2016 festival, 120 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 48 first-time filmmakers, including 28 in competition. These films were selected from 12,793 submissions, including 4,081 feature-length films and 8,712 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 1,972 were from the U.S. and 2,109 were international. 98 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,