The Sundance Film Festival is once again upon us. Actors are becoming feature directors (Rupert Everett, Paul Dano, Ethan Hawke, Idris Elba). Comedies are being conflated with dramas. And Ann Dowd and Andrea Riseborough are lacing up their snow boots to walk to a lot of press events. (They will appear in a combined seven movies at the Park City fest.) Some new careers will be jump-started, while other industry veterans will acquire a fresh patina of indie credibility, and every movie will be racing to catch Sorry to Bother You, which has the inside lane on all other competitors in the U.S. Dramatic category. But why is it the front-runner when all we have are a bunch of brief plot synopses and some cast lists? Because, “In a speculative and dystopian not-too-distant future, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success — which propels him into a macabre universe.” The movie, which was written and directed by Boots Riley, also stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, and Omari Hardwick. Our apologies to everyone not involved in the making of Sorry to Bother, and we wish you all the best of luck in January.
U.S. Dramatic Competition
American Animals (Director and screenwriter: Bart Layton) — The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier. World premiere.
Blaze (Director: Ethan Hawke) — A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement; he gave up paradise for the sake of a song. Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton. World premiere.
Blindspotting (Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada) — A buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one. Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones. World premiere.
Burden (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Heckler) — After opening a KKK shop, Klansman Michael Burden falls in love with a single mom who forces him to confront his senseless hatred. After leaving the Klan and with nowhere to turn, Burden is taken in by an African-American reverend, and learns tolerance through their combined love and faith. Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, Usher Raymond. World premiere.
Eighth Grade (Director and screenwriter: Bo Burnham) — Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth-grade year — before she begins high school. Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton. World premiere.
I Think We’re Alone Now (Director: Reed Morano) — The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning. World premiere.
The Kindergarten Teacher (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo) — Lisa Spinelli is a Staten Island teacher who is unusually devoted to her students. When she discovers one of her 5-year-olds is a prodigy, she becomes fascinated with the boy, ultimately risking her family and freedom to nurture his talent. Based on the acclaimed Israeli film. Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Baryshnikov, Michael Chernus, Gael Garcia Bernal. World premiere.
Lizzie (Director: Craig William Macneill) — Based on the 1892 murder of Lizzie Borden‘s family in Fall River, M.A., this tense psychological thriller lays bare the legend of Lizzie Borden to reveal the much more complex, poignant, and truly terrifying woman within — and her intimate bond with the family‘s young Irish housemaid, Bridget Sullivan. Cast: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare. World premiere.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Director: Desiree Akhavan) — 1993: After being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay-conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel. Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle. World premiere.
Monster (Director: Anthony Mandler) — Monster is what the prosecutor calls 17-year-old honors student and aspiring filmmaker Steve Harmon. Charged with felony murder for a crime he says he did not commit, the film follows his dramatic journey through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison. Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Rakim Mayers, Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson. World premiere.
Monsters and Men (Director and screenwriter: Reinaldo Marcus Green) — This interwoven narrative explores the aftermath of a police killing of a black man. The film is told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer, and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand. Cast: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan. World premiere.
Nancy (Director and screenwriter: Christina Choe) — In this film that blurs lines between fact and fiction, Nancy becomes increasingly convinced she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing 30 years ago, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief — and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality. Cast: Andrea Riseborough, J. Smith-Cameron, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd, John Leguizamo. World premiere.
Sorry to Bother You (Director and screenwriter: Boots Riley) — In a speculative and dystopian not-too-distant future, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success — which propels him into a macabre universe. Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwicke. World premiere.
The Tale (Director and screenwriter: Jennifer Fox) — An investigation into one woman’s memory as she‘s forced to reexamine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story. Cast: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nelisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common. World premiere.
Tyrel (Director and screenwriter: Sebastián Silva) — Tyrel spirals out of control when he realizes he‘s the only black person attending a weekend birthday party in a secluded cabin. Cast: Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones, Ann Dowd. World premiere.
Wildlife (Director: Paul Dano) — Montana, 1960: A portrait of a family in crisis. Based on the novel by Richard Ford. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal. World premiere.
U.S. Documentary Competition
Bisbee ’17 (Director and screenwriter: Robert Greene) — An old mining town on the Arizona-Mexico border finally reckons with its darkest day: the deportation of 1,200 immigrant miners exactly 100 years ago. Locals collaborate to stage re-creations of their controversial past. Cast: Fernando Serrano, Laurie McKenna, Ray Family, Mike Anderson, Graeme Family, Richard Hodges. World premiere.
Brainiacs (Director: Laura Nix) — Take a journey with young minds from around the globe as they prepare their projects for the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Watch these passionate innovators find the courage to face the planet‘s environmental threats while navigating adolescence. World premiere.
Crime + Punishment (Director: Stephen Maing) — Over four years of unprecedented access, the story of a brave group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and one unrelenting private investigator who, amidst a landmark lawsuit, risk everything to expose illegal quota practices and their impact on young minorities. World premiere.
Dark Money (Director and screenwriter: Kimberly Reed) — “Dark money” contributions, made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, flood modern American elections — but Montana is showing Washington, D.C., how to solve the problem of unlimited anonymous money in politics. World premiere.
The Devil We Know (Director: Stephanie Soechtig) — Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia takes on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical — now found in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans — into the local drinking water supply. World premiere.
Hal (Director: Amy Scott) — Hal Ashby’s obsessive genius led to an unprecedented string of Oscar-winning classics, including Harold and Maude, Shampoo, and Being There. But as contemporaries Coppola, Scorsese, and Spielberg rose to blockbuster stardom in the 1980s, Ashby’s uncompromising nature played out as a cautionary tale of art versus commerce. World premiere.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Director: RaMell Ross) — An exploration of coming-of-age in the Black Belt of the American South, using stereotypical imagery to fill in the landscape between iconic representations of black men and encouraging a new way of looking, while resistance to narrative suspends conclusive imagining — allowing the viewer to complete the film. World premiere.
Kailash (Director: Derek Doneen) — As a young man, Kailash Satyarthi promised himself that he would end child slavery in his lifetime. In the decades since, he has rescued more than 80,000 children and built a global movement. This intimate and suspenseful film follows one man‘s journey to do what many believed was impossible. World premiere.
Kusama — Infinity (Director and screenwriter: Heather Lenz) — Now one of the world‘s most celebrated artists, Yayoi Kusama broke free of the rigid society in which she was raised, and overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness to bring her artistic vision to the world stage. At 88, she lives in a mental hospital and continues to create art. World premiere.
The Last Race (Director: Michael Dweck) — A cinematic portrait of a small-town stock car track and the tribe of drivers that call it home as they struggle to hold onto an American racing tradition. The avant-garde narrative explores the community and its conflicts through an intimate story that reveals the beauty, mystery, and emotion of grassroots auto racing. World premiere.
Minding the Gap (Director: Bing Liu) — Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. World premiere.
On Her Shoulders (Director: Alexandria Bombach) — A Yazidi genocide and ISIS sexual-slavery survivor, 23-year-old Nadia Murad is determined to tell the world her story. As her journey leads down paths of advocacy and fame, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action. International premiere.
The Price of Everything (Director: Nathaniel Kahn) — With unprecedented access to pivotal artists and the white-hot market surrounding them, this film dives deep into the contemporary art world, holding a funhouse mirror up to our values and our times — where everything can be bought and sold. World premiere.
Seeing Allred (Directors: Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman) — Gloria Allred overcame trauma and personal setbacks to become one of the nation‘s most famous women‘s rights attorneys. Now the feminist firebrand takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, as #MeToo grips the nation and keeps her ever in the spotlight. World premiere.
The Sentence (Director: Rudy Valdez) — Cindy Shank, mother of three, is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring years earlier. This intimate portrait of mandatory minimum drug sentencing’s devastating consequences, captured by Cindy’s brother, follows her and her family over the course of ten years. World premiere.
Three Identical Strangers (Director: Tim Wardle) — New York, 1980: Three complete strangers accidentally discover that they’re identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds’ joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives — and could transform our understanding of human nature forever. World premiere.
World Cinema Dramatic Competition
And Breathe Normally / Iceland, Sweden, Belgium (Director and screenwriter: Ísold Uggadóttir) — At the edge of Iceland‘s Reykjanes peninsula, two women‘s lives will intersect — for a brief moment — while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track.
Dead Pigs / China (Director and screenwriter: Cathy Yan) — A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect, and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river toward a rapidly modernizing Shanghai, China. Based on true events. Cast: Vivian Wu, Haoyu Yang, Mason Lee, Meng Li, David Rysdahl. World premiere.
The Guilty / Denmark (Director: Gustav Möller) — Alarm dispatcher Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman; after a sudden disconnection, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to solve a crime that is far bigger than he first thought. Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, Omar Shargawi. World premiere.
Holiday / Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (Director: Isabella Eklöf) — A love triangle featuring the trophy girlfriend of a petty drug lord, caught up in a web of luxury and violence in a modern, dark gangster tale set in the beautiful port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera. Cast: Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde, Thijs Römer. World premiere.
Loveling / Brazil, Uruguay (Director: Gustavo Pizzi) — On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Irene has only a few days to overcome her anxiety and renew her strength before sending her eldest son out into the world. Cast: Karine Teles, Otavio Muller, Adriana Esteves, Konstantinos Sarris, Cesar Troncoso. World premiere.
Pity / Greece, Poland (Director: Babis Makridis) — The story of a man who feels happy only when he is unhappy: addicted to sadness, with such need for pity, that he‘s willing to do everything to evoke it from others. This is the life of a man in a world not cruel enough for him. Cast: Yannis Drakopoulos, Evi Saoulidou, Nota Tserniafski, Makis Papadimitriou, Georgina Chryskioti, Evdoxia Androulidaki. World premiere.
The Queen of Fear / Argentina, Denmark (Directors: Valeria Bertuccelli and Fabiana Tiscornia) — Only one month left until the premiere of The Golden Time, the long-awaited solo show by acclaimed actress Robertina. Far from focused on the preparations for this new production, Robertina lives in a state of continuous anxiety that turns her privileged life into an absurd and tumultuous landscape. Cast: Valeria Bertuccelli, Diego Velázquez, Gabriel Eduardo “Puma” Goity, Darío Grandinetti. World premiere.
Rust / Brazil (Director: Aly Muritiba) — Tati and Renet were already trading pics, videos and music by their cellphones and on the last school trip they started making eye contact. However, what could be the beginning of a love story becomes an end. Cast: Giovanni De Lorenzi, Tifanny Dopke, Enrique Diaz, Clarissa Kiste, Duda Azevedo, Pedro Inoue. World premiere.
Time Share (Tiempo Compartido) / Mexico, Netherlands (Director: Sebastián Hofmann) — Two haunted family men join forces in a destructive crusade to rescue their families from a tropical paradise, after becoming convinced that an American timeshare conglomerate has a sinister plan to take their loved ones away. Cast: Luis Gerardo Mendez, Miguel Rodarte, Andrés Almeida, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Montserrat Marañon, R.J. Mitte. World premiere.
Un Traductor / Canada, Cuba (Directors: Rodrigo Barriuso and Sebastián Barriuso) — A Russian Literature professor at the University of Havana is ordered to work as a translator for child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster when they are sent to Cuba for medical treatment. Based on a true story. Cast: Rodrigo Santoro, Maricel Álvarez, Yoandra Suárez. World premiere.
Yardie / United Kingdom (Director: Idris Elba) — Jamaica, 1973. When a young boy witnesses his brother‘s assassination, a powerful Don gives him a home. Ten years later he is sent on a mission to London. He reunites with his girlfriend and their daughter, but then the past catches up with them. Based on Victor Headley’s novel. Cast: Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Cleary. World premiere.
One additional World Cinema Dramatic film will be announced.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
A Polar Year / France (Director: Samuel Collardey) — Anders leaves his native Denmark for a teaching position in rural Greenland. As soon as he arrives, he finds himself at odds with tightly-knit locals. Only through a clumsy and playful trial of errors can Anders shake his Euro-centric assumptions and embrace their snow-covered way of life. Cast: Anders Hvidegaard, Asser Boassen, Julius B. Nielsen, Tobias Ignatiussen, Thomasine Jonathansen, Gert Jonathansen. World premiere.
Anote’s Ark / Canada (Director: Matthieu Rytz) — How does a nation survive being swallowed by the sea? Kiribati, on a low-lying Pacific atoll, will disappear within decades due to rising sea levels, population growth, and climate change. This exploration of how to migrate an entire nation with dignity interweaves personal stories of survival and resilience. World premiere.
The Cleaners / Germany, Brazil (Directors: Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block) — When you post something on the web, can you be sure it stays there? Enter a hidden shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the internet rids itself of what it doesn’t like: violence, pornography, and political content. Who is controlling what we see … and what we think? World premiere.
Genesis 2.0 / Switzerland (Directors: Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev) — On the remote New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean, hunters search for tusks of extinct mammoths. When they discover a surprisingly well-preserved mammoth carcass, its resurrection will be the first manifestation of the next great technological revolution: genetics. It may well turn our world upside down. World premiere.
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. / Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, U.S.A.
(Director: Stephen Loveridge) — Drawn from a never-before-seen cache of personal footage spanning decades, this is an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions. World premiere.
Of Fathers and Sons / Germany, Syria, Lebanon (Director: Talal Derki) — Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses on Osama and his younger brother, Ayman, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up in an Islamic caliphate. North American premiere.
The Oslo Diaries / Israel, Canada (Directors and screenwriters: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan) — In 1992, Israeli-Palestinian relations reached an all-time low. In an attempt to stop the bloodshed, a group of Israelis and Palestinians met illegally in Oslo. These meetings were never officially sanctioned and held in complete secrecy. They changed the Middle East forever. World premiere.
Our New President / Russia, U.S.A. (Director: Maxim Pozdorovkin) — The story of Donald Trump’s election told entirely through Russian propaganda. By turns horrifying and hilarious, the film is a satirical portrait of Russian media that reveals an empire of fake news and the tactics of modern-day information warfare. World premiere.
Shirkers / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sandi Tan) — In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan shot Singapore’s first indie road movie with her enigmatic American mentor Georges — who then vanished with all the footage. Twenty years later, the 16-mm. film is recovered, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal odyssey in search of Georges’s vanishing footprints. World premiere.
THF – Gateways / Germany (Director: Karim Aïnouz) — Tempelhof (THF), Berlin’s decommissioned central airport, remains a place of arrivals and departures: former runways have become an urban park, and hangars now house refugee camps with over 2,000 residents. Over one year, 22-year-old Syrian Ibrahim and 45-year-old Iraqi Qutaiba dwell there, between crisis and utopia. World premiere.
Westwood / United Kingdom (Director: Lorna Tucker) — Dame Vivienne Westwood: punk, icon, provocateur, and one of the most influential originators in recent history. This is the first film to encompass the remarkable story of one of the true icons of our time, as she fights to maintain her brand‘s integrity, her principles — and her legacy. World premiere.
A Woman Captured / Hungary (Director and screenwriter: Bernadett Tuza-Ritter) — A European woman has been kept by a family as a domestic slave for ten years — one of over 45 million victims of modern-day slavery. Drawing courage from the filmmaker’s presence, she decides to escape the unbearable oppression and become a free person. North American premiere.
306 Hollywood / U.S.A., Hungary (Directors: Elan Bogarín and Jonathan Bogarín) — When two siblings undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother‘s house, they embark on a magical-realist journey from her home in New Jersey to ancient Rome, from fashion to physics, in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind. World premiere.
Boy, a Girl, a Dream. / U.S.A. (Director: Qasim Basir) — On the night of the 2016 presidential election, Cass, an L.A. club promoter, takes a thrilling and emotional journey with Frida, a Midwestern visitor. She challenges him to revisit his broken dreams — while he pushes her to discover hers. Cast: Omari Hardwick, Meagan Good, Jay Ellis, Kenya Barris, Dijon Talton, Wesley Jonathan. World premiere.
Search / U.S.A. (Director: Aneesh Chaganty) — After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her. A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens. Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing. World premiere. Winner: 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn / United Kingdom, U.S.A.
(Director: Jim Hosking) — Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn for One Magical Night Only.” Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson. World premiere.
Skate Kitchen / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Moselle) — Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self. Cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Kabrina Adams. World premiere.
Clara’s Ghost / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bridey Elliott) — Set over the course of a single evening at the Reynolds’ family home in Connecticut, Clara, fed up with the constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her. Cast: Paula Niedert Elliott, Chris Elliott, Abby Elliott, Bridey Elliott, Haley Joel Osment, Isidora Goreshter. World premiere.
White Rabbit / U.S.A. (Director: Daryl Wein) — A dramatic comedy following a Korean American performance artist who struggles to be authentically heard and seen through her multiple identities in modern Los Angeles. Cast: Vivian Bang, Nana Ghana, Nico Evers-Swindel, Tracy Hazas, Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Sui. World premiere.
Madeline’s Madeline / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Josephine Decker) — Madeline got the part! She’s going to play the lead in a theater piece! Except the lead wears sweatpants like Madeline’s. And has a cat like Madeline’s. And is holding a steaming hot iron next to her mother’s face — like Madeline is. Cast: Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July, Okwui Okpokwasili, Felipe Bonilla, Lisa Tharps. World premiere.
We the Animals / U.S.A. (Director: Jeremiah Zagar) — Us three, us brothers, us kings. Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah, the youngest, embraces an imagined world all his own. Cast: Raul Castillo, Sheila Vand, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Santiago. World premiere.
Night Comes On / U.S.A. (Director: Jordana Spiro, Screenwriters: Jordana Spiro, Angelica Nwandu, Producers: Jonathan Montepare, Alvaro R. Valente, Danielle Renfrew Behrens) — Angel LaMere is released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, she embarks on a journey with her 10-year-old sister that could destroy their future. Cast: Dominique Fishback, Tatum Hall, John Earl Jelks, Max Casella, James McDaniel. World premiere.
Beirut / U.S.A. (Director: Brad Anderson) — A U.S. diplomat flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris. World premiere.
The Catcher Was a Spy / U.S.A. (Director: Ben Lewin) — The true story of Moe Berg — professional baseball player, Ivy League graduate, attorney who spoke nine languages — and a top-secret spy for the OSS who helped the U.S. win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb. Cast: Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti. World premiere.
Colette / United Kingdom (Director: Wash Westmoreland) — A young country woman marries a famous literary entrepreneur in turn-of-the-century Paris: At her husband’s request, Colette pens a series of bestselling novels published under his name. But as her confidence grows, she transforms not only herself and her marriage, but the world around her. Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Elinor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart. World premiere.
Come Sunday / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Marston) — Internationally renowned pastor Carlton Pearson — experiencing a crisis of faith — risks his church, family, and future when he questions church doctrine and finds himself branded a modern-day heretic. Based on actual events. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Condola Rashad, Jason Segel, Lakeith Stanfield, Martin Sheen. World premiere.
Damsel / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: David Zellner and Nathan Zellner) — Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As Samuel, a drunkard named Parson Henry, and a miniature horse called Butterscotch traverse the Wild West, their once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain, and damsel. Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Robert Forster, Nathan Zellner, Joe Billingiere. World premiere.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot / U.S.A. (Director: Gus Van Sant) — John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes … and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black. World premiere.
The Happy Prince / Germany, Belgium, Italy (Director and screenwriter: Rupert Everett) — The last days of Oscar Wilde — and the ghosts haunting them — are brought to vivid life. His body ailing, Wilde lives in exile, surviving on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him as the transience of lust is laid bare and the true riches of love are revealed. Cast: Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Rupert Everett. World premiere.
Hearts Beat Loud / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Haley) — In Red Hook, Brooklyn, a father and daughter become an unlikely songwriting duo in the last summer before she leaves for college. Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette. World premiere.
Juliet, Naked / United Kingdom (Director: Jesse Peretz) — Annie is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s celebrated record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to an encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Cast: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd. World premiere.
Ophelia / United Kingdom (Director: Claire McCarthy) — A mythic spin on Hamlet through a lens of female empowerment: Ophelia comes of age as a lady-in-waiting for Queen Gertrude, and her singular spirit captures Hamlet’s affections. As lust and betrayal threaten the kingdom, Ophelia finds herself trapped between true love and controlling her own destiny. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, George MacKay, Tom Felton, Devon Terrell. World premiere.
Puzzle / U.S.A. (Director: Marc Turtletaub) — Agnes, taken for granted as a suburban mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world – where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, Liv Hewson. World premiere.
Untitled Debra Granik Project / U.S.A. (Director: Debra Granik) — A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own. Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Korber, Dale Dickey. World premiere.
What They Had / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Elizabeth Chomko) — Bridget returns home to Chicago at her brother‘s urging to deal with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. Cast: Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster. World premiere.
Bad Reputation / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Kerslake) — A look at the life of Joan Jett, from her early years as the founder of the Runaways and first meeting with collaborator Kenny Laguna in 1980 to her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock-and-roll pioneer and feminist icon. World premiere.
Believer / U.S.A. (Director: Don Argott) — Imagine Dragons’ Mormon front man Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate amongst teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path of acceptance and change. World premiere.
The Game Changers / U.S.A. (Director: Louie Psihoyos) — James Wilks, an elite special-forces trainer and winner of the Ultimate Fighter, embarks on a quest for the truth in nutrition and uncovers the world’s most dangerous myth. World premiere.
Generation Wealth / U.S.A. (Director: Lauren Greenfield) — Lauren Greenfield‘s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously a personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream, and the human costs of late-stage capitalism, narcissism, and greed. World premiere.
Half the Picture / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Adrion) — At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives, and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally. World premiere.
Jane Fonda in Five Acts / U.S.A. (Director: Susan Lacy) — Girl next door, activist, so-called traitor, fitness tycoon, Oscar winner: Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy and transformation — and she’s done it all in the public eye. An intimate look at one woman’s singular journey. World premiere.
King in the Wilderness / U.S.A. (Director: Peter Kunhardt) — From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. remained a man with an unshakeable commitment to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country. A portrait of the last years of his life. World premiere.
Quiet Heroes / U.S.A. (Directors and Producers: Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, and Amanda Stoddard) — In Salt Lake City, Utah, the socially conservative religious monoculture complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients in the entire state and inter-mountain region relied on only one doctor. This is the story of her fight to save a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die. World premiere.
RBG / U.S.A. (Directors and producers: Betsy West and Julie Cohen) — An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
With unprecedented access, the filmmakers show how her early legal battles changed the world for women. Now this 84-year-old does push-ups as easily as she writes blistering dissents that have earned her the title Notorious RBG. World premiere.
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind / U.S.A. (Director: Marina Zenovich) — This intimate portrait examines one of the world‘s most beloved and inventive comedians. Told largely through Robin‘s own voice and using a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage, the film takes us through his extraordinary life and career and reveals the spark of madness that drove him. World premiere.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? / U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Neville) — Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality, and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors? World premiere.
Arizona / U.S.A. (Director: Jonathan Watson) — Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder. Cast: Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Lolli Sorenson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson. World premiere.
Assassination Nation / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson) — This is a 1000 percent true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem, Massachusetts, absolutely lost its mind.
Cast: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skarsgard, Bella Thorne. World premiere.
Piercing / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nicolas Pesce) — In this twisted love story, a man seeks out an unsuspecting stranger to help him purge the dark torments of his past. His plan goes awry when he encounters a woman with plans of her own. A playful psycho-thriller game of cat-and-mouse based on Ryu Murakami‘s novel. Cast: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa, Marin Ireland, Maria Dizzia, Wendell Pierce. World premiere.
Revenge / France (Director and screenwriter: Coralie Fargeat) — Three wealthy married men get together for their annual hunting game in a desert canyon. This time, one of them has brought along his young mistress, who quickly arouses the interest of the other two. Things get dramatically out of hand as a hunting game turns into a ruthless manhunt. Cast: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes. Utah premiere.
Mandy / Belgium, U.S.A. (Director: Panos Cosmatos) — Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke. World premiere.
Summer of ’84 / Canada, United States (Directors: Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann Whissell) — Summer, 1984: a perfect time to be a carefree 15-year-old. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police-officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous. Cast: Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Grüter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer. World premiere.
Never Goin’ Back / United States (Director and screenwriter: Augustine Frizzell) — Jessie and Angela, high-school dropout BFFs, are taking a week off to chill at the beach. Too bad their house got robbed, rent’s due, they’re about to get fired, and they’re broke. Now they’ve gotta avoid eviction, stay out of jail and get to the beach, no matter what!!! Cast: Maia Mitchell, Cami Morrone, Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith, Matthew Holcomb. World premiere.
The Death of Stalin / France, United Kingdom, Belgium (Director: Armando Iannucci) — The internal political landscape of 1950s Soviet Russia through a darkly comic lens. In the days following Stalin’s collapse, his core ministers tussle for control; some want positive change, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive. Cast: Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs. U.S. premiere.
The Rider / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chloé Zhao) — After a tragic riding accident, young cowboy and rising rodeo-circuit star Brady Jandreau is told that his competition days are over. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for a new identity and tries to redefine his idea of manhood in America’s heartland. Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lily Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford.
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! / U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Spurlock) — Muckraking filmmaker Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry — this time from behind the register — as he opens his own fast-food restaurant. U.S. premiere.
Foxtrot / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Samuel Maoz) — Michael and Dafna are devastated when army officials show up at their home, announcing the death of their son Jonathan. While his sedated wife rests, Michael spirals into a whirlwind of anger only to experience one of life’s unfathomable twists, which rivals his son’s surreal military experiences. Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonatan Shiray.
I Am Not a Witch / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Rungano Nyoni) — After a minor incident, 9-year-old Shula is exiled to a witch camp where she is told that if she escapes, she’ll be transformed into a goat. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom. Cast: Margaret Mulubwa, Henry B.J. Phiri, Nancy Mulilo, Margaret Sipaneia. U.S. premiere.
Lu Over the Wall / Japan (Director: Masaaki Yuasa) Kai is a boy who lives in a lonely fishing village. One day, he meets and befriends Lu, a mermaid who likes singing and dancing. But the townspeople have always thought that mermaids bring disaster. A rift develops between Lu and the villagers, endangering the town. World premiere.
Science Fair / U.S.A. (Directors: Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster) — Nine high-school students from around the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will be named Best in Fair. World premiere.
White Fang / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Espigares) — An updated reimagining of Jack London’s classic novel, this thrilling tale of kindness, survival, and the twin majesties of the animal kingdom and mankind traces the loving and magnificent hero White Fang, whose intense curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime. Cast: Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears. World premiere.