"Before Midnight"
"Before Midnight"

"Before Midnight," directed by Richard Linklater
Even since it was announced in September that Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy had completed the second sequel in their immensely beloved "Before Sunrise/set" series, "Before Midnight," it quickly became a strong contender for Sundance (and for the most anticipated indie film of 2013). The film sees Delpy and Hawke reprise their roles of Celine and Jesse in the film, which takes place nine years after 2004's "Sunset" and was shot in Messinia, Greece. In a statement back in September, Linklater, Hawke and Delpy said of the film and their collaboration:  "It's great to be back together again, this time in beautiful Greece to revisit the lives of Celine and Jesse nine years after Jesse was about to miss his flight." Were it to world premiere in Park City, it would come 18 years after "Before Sunrise" did the same. [Peter Knegt]

"Blue Caprice," directed by Alexandre Moors
While "Blue Caprice" may be Alexandre Moors' feature film debut behind the camera, Moors has long had a hand in directing well-received and much-discussed music videos and commercials. His latest project, starring Isaiah Washington, has already amassed a fair amount of buzz despite maintaining a low profile. The film will tackle the real-life story of the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks in Washington, D.C. from the perspective of the perpetrators; the cast features Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, and Leo Fitzpatrick. [Justin Krajeski]

"Can a Song Save Your Life?" directed by John Carney
With Maroon 5 crooner Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green in its cast, "Can a Song Save Your Life?" is sure to boast more judges of NBC's The Voice than any other 2013 Sundance contender. Also on the roster of this New York City music drama are Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener and, just to up the film's music credentials another notch, Mos Def. Director John Carney's earlier film "Once," about a busking guitarist in Dublin, screened in Park City in 2007. [Christopher Pomorski]

"The Canyons"
"The Canyons"

"The Canyons," directed by Paul Schrader
With a pair of lurid grindhouse-style trailers to its name and a personnel list that includes Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen, "The Canyons" might not seem like a natural fit for Park City. But wait, there's more. Art house veteran Paul Schrader helms this noir-flavored Los Angeles tale of glamor, sex and surveillance, and with Gus Van Sant rounding out the cast, "The Canyons" might turn out to have just the sort of indie pedigree Sundance selection committees look kindly upon.  [Christopher Pomorski]

"Carrie," directed by Kimberly Pierce
It's hard to believe, but Kimberly Pierce -- a filmmaker synonymous with the independent film movement -- has never had a film play at the Sundance Film Festival. Her big indie breakout "Boys Don't Cry" premiered at the Venice Film Festival of all places, while her follow-up "Stop-Loss" first bowed at SXSW. So wouldn't it be ironic if her first stab at the mainstream, her anticipated remake of Brian De Palma's seminal horror classic "Carrie," marks her first effort to bring her to Park City. Without Pierce's pedigree, and that of one of its stars Julianne Moore (who has some serious indie cred), "Carrie" wouldn't have made our cut given that Screen Gems and MGM are distributing it wide this coming March. But given that the festival's played host to some higher profile premieres over the past several years -- "Cedar Rapids," anyone? -- the odds are looking in "Carrie"'s favor. [Nigel M. Smith]