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Sundance Wish List: 70 Films We Hope Will Head to Park City in 2018

Another exciting Sundance lineup is right around the corner, and as filmmakers wait for the final word, we've assembled this list of strong possibilities for the 2018 program.

The Sundance Film Festival


“Generation Wealth”
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: “Generation Wealth” is the feature documentary component of Lauren Greenfield’s multi-platform project of the same name, which also has iterations as a museum exhibition and a photographic monograph. The movie offers a visual history of the world’s growing obsession with wealth and includes the stories of families, students, and more who determined to live a life of luxury despite overwhelming debt. —ZS

Director: Sam de Jong
Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Amsterdam-native de Jong graduated from film school just five years ago, and won a Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his writing-directing feature debut (“Prince”), about an awkward teen-turned-criminal. Shot in New York City, his Vice Films follow-up centers on eponymous Goldie (played by Kanye West-endorsed model Slick Woods), an adolescent shelter resident who wants to keep her sisters together while pursuing a dance career. The executive producers of “Goldie” reportedly include Rosie Perez and Vincent Landay, Spike Jonze’s collaborator of more than 20 years. -JM

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“Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel”
Director: Seth Kramer, Jeremy Newberger, and Daniel A. Miller
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: When you think of countries with rich traditions of baseball, Israel probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind. Be that as it may, Jews have been integral to the history of the sport, and a quirk in the rules of the World Baseball Classic allows Jewish-Americans to play for the Israeli team. Despite their 200-1 odds, and being dubbed the “Jamaican bobsled team of the WBC,” Team Israel did shockingly well at the 2017 WBC. How well? That might be a spoiler, but this doc from the team behind “Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie” unpacks the story, and follows the players on an eventful trip to the motherland as many of them get in touch with their heritage for the very first time. —DE

“Hearts Beat Loud”
Director: Brett Haley
Cast: Ted Danson, Kiersey Clemons, Nick Offerman, Toni Collette, Blythe Danner

Nick Offerman - Sundance 2017

Nick Offerman

Daniel Bergeron

Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Brett Haley likes to make movies about performers; last year’s “The Hero” was warmly regarded as an understated portrait of an ailing movie star, and his previous film cast Blythe Danner as a former songwriter. Haley and co-writer Marc Basch return to music again in this sure-to-be heartwarming story about a father and daughter who bond during her last summer before heading off to college by writing songs together. “Dope” breakout star Kiersey Clemmons certainly has the comedy chops to play off Nick Offerman, who was born to play a lovable dad. —JD

“I Think We’re Alone Now”
Director: Reed Morano
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: From scoring an Emmy for her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Morano is back with her first feature since her acclaimed 2015 debut “Meadowland,” which featured a stunning turn by Olivia Wilde. Her latest drama is a sci-fi tale in which two survivors (Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage) are forced into an unexpected situation when the rest of humanity is wiped out around them. The minimalist post-apocalyptic survivor story is not without precedent, but as “Z for Zachariah” and “It Comes at Night” proved, it can be an excellent template for strong performances and directors with a tight control of mood. As one of the most promising young filmmaking voices to emerge in recent years, Morano stands a good chance at adding a welcome entry to this subgenere. —EK

Director: Petra Costa
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: No, not that impeachment — maybe we’ll have a film or two about him at Sundance 2019. In the meantime, “Elena” filmmaker Petra Costa has returned to her native Brazil to make a film about the fall of President Dilma Rousseff, who was voted out of office last year. Although Costa was on the ground to shoot the protests that resulted from Rousseff’s removal — fans of her previous feature will know to expect a personal touch that smudges the subject into abstraction — it’s said that this new documentary will address larger questions about the future of democracy itself, both in Brazil and in the rest of the world. —DE

“The Infiltrators”
Directors: Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Well known to Sundance audiences as a narrative filmmaker, Alex Rivera’s “Sleep Dealer” won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at Sundance in 2008. “Sleep Dealer” was roundly praised as a cunning allegory about globalization hidden inside an entertaining sci-fi thriller. “The Infiltrators” pairs Rivera with Cristina Ibarra, a prolific documentarian whose “The Last Conquistador” was broadcast on POV. Their collaboration follows two young immigrant-activists who get detained by Border Control, intentionally, in order to expose abuse. Dubbed a “docu-thriller,” this director combination and unique angle on timely issues would make it a fitting addition to the documentary line-up. —JD

“Untitled Jane Fonda doc”
Director: Susan Lacy
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Veteran documentary biographer Susan Lacy has been working the beat for more than 30 years with her “American Masters” series on PBS, and this fall she made a somewhat bigger splash with her HBO doc, “Spielberg.” That was the first of a multi-film deal with the cable giant, and now Lacy has wrapped work on her next project for them. Per her style, expect it to be called “Fonda.” Jane Fonda, that is, as Lacy sits down with the iconoclastic actress and activist, and explores Fonda’s personal history through the lens of her work. — DE

“Juliet, Naked”
Director: Jesse Peretz
Cut: Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: “Our Idiot Brother” director and co-writer Jesse Peretz has toiled mostly in television since that film’s release six years ago, overseeing episodes of shows like “New Girl,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Girls” and “GLOW.” His big screen comeback is an adaptation of a bestselling novel by Nick Hornby (who penned screenplays for “An Education,” “Wild,” and “Brooklyn,”); Peretz’s sister, Vanity Fair contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, co-wrote this script. “Juliet, Naked” involves a love-triangle between Annie (Rose Byrne), the girlfriend of Duncan (Chris O’Dowd, Byrne’s “Bridesmaid” co-star), who is also courting Duncan’s favorite singer, Tucker Crowe (Oscar-nominated actor and writer Ethan Hawke). -JM

“A Kid Like Jake”
Director: Silas Howard
Cast: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Ann Dowd, Octavia Spencer, Priyana Chopra
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Howard’s third feature is based on a play by recent Yale graduate Daniel Pearle that was first staged at Lincoln Center in 2013. “A Kid Like Jake” follows the parents of a gender non-conforming child as they navigate New York City’s highly competitive private school admissions process It’s a timely storyline that Howard, who is trans, should be able to unspool with unique grace. —KE

“The Kindergarten Teacher”
Director: Sara Colangelo
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rosa Salazar, Michael Chernus

The Deuce Season 1 Maggie Gyllenhaal HBO

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: For her second feature, “Little Accidents” filmmaker Colangelo teams up with Gyllenhaal to tell a complex story about an eponymous teacher who becomes obsessed with a student she believes is exceptionally gifted. Adapted from Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s drama, Gyllenhaal plays Lisa Spinelli, a restless Staten Island teacher who takes special interest a five-year-old student’s poetry. —KE

“Little Woods”
Director: Nia DaCosta
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Lily James
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: After a string of star-making turns in “Selma,” “Creed,” “Dear White People,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” Tessa Thompson will join equally sought-after Lily James (“Cinderella,” “Baby Driver,” “Darkest Hour”) as rebellious, North Dakota sisters in a modern Western. Thompson’s Ollie had long-evaded the law, smuggling patients into Canada; then James’s Deb requires expensive, life-saving surgery. “Little Woods” is the introductory feature from writer-director Nia DaCosta, who got her industry start associating producing shows for MTV and VH1. According to Deadline, “The Get Down” veteran Rachael Fung will produce, along with Gabrielle Nadig. -JM

“The Long Dumb Road”
Director: Hannah Fiddell
Cast: Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farming, Tony Revolori
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: Fiddell’s erotically-charged drama “A Teacher” was a Sundance sensation several years ago, and her breakup story “6 Years” landed her further attention with its Netflix deal. Her latest feature falls into the tried-and-true tradition of the road trip comedy, with Jason Mantzoukas and Tony Revolori playing a pair of men making their way through the American southwest while dealing with boundaries of age, race and class. Fidell’s command over performance and her ability to probe touchy subject matters make her third feature one to watch. —EK

Director: Ondi Timoner
Cast: Matt Smith, Mark Moses, John Benjamin Hickey
Why We Hope It Heads to Park City: They say there’s no such thing as bad press, which is why we’re dying to see this biopic of the controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe—even if it doesn’t have Patti Smith’s support. The famous friendship between Mapplethorpe and Smith was the subject of Smith’s bestselling memoir “Just Kids,” and features in this film. Returning to narrative filmmaking after 20 years in documentaries, it makes sense that Ondi Timoner would be drawn to a true story about another experimental artist. (She’s known for releasing her films in unconventional ways.) The script has passed through Sundance labs, and Timoner has two documentary Grand Jury Prizes from the festival, making it likely to receive a warm embrace in Park City. —JD

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