Thanks to the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, fresh movies are already scheduled to premiere as the awards season for last year’s films continues in full swing. The 40th edition of the festival, which has established itself as the premier destination for up-and-coming filmmakers, micro-budget productions, and intriguing documentaries, will take place in Park City, Utah from January 18–28. These are our top ten selections from the Sundance lineup for this year.
Under the direction of Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, teenage girls from all around Missouri come together for Girls State, a week-long experiment in American democracy where they create their own government from the bottom up.
June Squibb, a candidate for the Oscar, plays Thelma Post, a victim of a phone scammer posing as her grandchild. From this point on, Thelma transforms from an aging grandma into an improbable action hero determined to get back what was taken from her.
Nocturnes, directed by Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan, travels to the Eastern Himalayan’s deep forests to unravel the mysterious and secretive lives of moths, who speak to us in the dark of the night.
Black Box Diaries
Journalist Shiori Ito’s Black Box Diaries, which had its World Cinema Documentary Competition premiere, follows her courageous investigation into her personal sexual assault in order to bring charges against her well-known perpetrator. This one seems fearless and unapologetically honest, and it looks like a major addition to the pantheon of post-MeToo films.
Girls Will Be Girls
Girls Will Be Girls, a production co-starring Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, narrates the tale of 16-year-old Mira (Preeti Panigrahi) and her complicated relationship with her mother Anila (Kani Kusruti, previously seen in Killer Soup). This coming-of-age tale, which was directed by Shuchi Talati, only depicts a small number of women in a culture that hardly ever gives women agency.
In this adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s best-selling memoir, Saoirse Ronan plays Rona, a woman who, after ten years in London, goes home to Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The Outrun, which is directed by Nora Fingscheidt, follows Rona as she adheres to a rigorous rehab regimen in order to recuperate.
The U.S. Documentary Competition debut of Carla Gutiérrez’s documentary gives a fresh perspective on the life and iconic artwork of Frida Kahlo. For the first time, Frida locates her trip through her own words, drawn from her journal, collection of letters, essays, and print interviews. The documentary also features animation that was influenced by her paintings over the years.
Love Bleeds is a feature film directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero that is one of the two films that Kristen Stewart is bringing to Sundance this year. It tells the story of the intriguing romance that develops between a buoy and a satellite who connect online and fall in love after humanity has vanished.
Never Look Away
Actress Lucy Lawless makes her camera debut in Never Look Away, a documentary that debuted at the World Cinema Documentary Competition. Margaret Moth, a pioneering CNN camerawoman born in New Zealand, documents the truth of war from the inside out.
Skywalkers: A Love Story
Skywalkers: A Love narrative, which was filmed across six years and six nations, tells the narrative of a Russian couple named Angela and Vanya’s illegal climbing of the highest skyscraper in the world, along with the impossibility of their love story. Under Jeff Zimbalist’s direction, the two protagonists’ primary relationship is developed through the use of the metaphor of extreme climbing.