The annual celebration of independent film, documentaries, and world cinema has officially kicked off! 2016 has got to be one of the biggest years for the Sundance Film Festival including over 123 feature films where more than a third is from newcomers in bizz. If you’ve only gotten to hear bits and pieces about them here’s a list that are already getting quit the buzz!
- The Birth of a Nation
This film centers its story on a powerful slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in 1831. The literate slave/preacher whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue disorderly slaves. After witnessing countless murders against fellow slaves, Nat conceives a plan to lead his people to freedom.
Starring: Nate Parker and Armie Hammer
After a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. In the name of “brotherhood,” the boys and their relationship are both tested in brutal ways.
Starring: Nick Jonas
Based on true events in 1974, a female TV news reporter aims for high standards in life and love in Sarasota, Florida. Missing her chance is not an option.
Starring: Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall.
Fighting to get a promotion at a competitive Wall Street firm, a female investment banker leads a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial-crisis world, where regulations are tight but pressure to bring in big money remains high.
Starring: Anna Gunn and James Purefoy
Former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, Steve Gleason, was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 34. 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.
- Weiner Dog
This film stars an adorable dachshund that seems to be spreading comfort and joy with a variety of people. Several stories feature people who find their life inspired or changed by this one particular dog.
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, Zosia Mamet.
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.
- Manchester by the Sea
Lee Chandler is forced to return home to care for his 16-year-old nephew after his brothers death. There he is obligated to deal with a tragic past that separated him from his family and the community where he was born and raised.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler.
- Swiss Army Man
Discovering a mysterious dead body, Hank, a hopeless man stranded in the wild 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 and together the two embark on an epic journey to get home.
Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
- Operation Avalanche
Four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew in 1967. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history.
Starring: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, Josh Boles, Ray James.
- Other People
Fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, as struggling comedy writer 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’s condition gets worse, he tries to prove to everyone and himself, he’s “doing okay.”
Starring: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, June Squibb.
- Morris from America
Is a warm comedy about an African-American father, his 13-year-old son Craig Robinson, and newcomer Markees Christmas, as they steer for a new life away in a primarily white city in Germany.
- Complete Unknown
A modern woman leading a catch me if you can like life, until she emerges from the shadows after 15 years to confront an old boyfriend.
Starring: Rachel Weisz.
- Love & Friendship
Widow Lady Susan Vernon, hides out at her in-laws’ estate as rumors spread about her love life.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny.
- Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall