2024 Academy Awards Winners – ‘Oppenheimer’ & Nolan Win Oscars | FirstShowing.net

2024 Academy Awards Winners – ‘Oppenheimer’ & Nolan Win Oscars

by Alex Billington
March 10, 2024

The 96th Academy Awards are finally upon us and it’s time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscars are back in their normal routine playing out during the winter months, wrapping up this year’s intriguing & extensive awards season in March. All awards will be marked below in the complete list alongside the nominees. There are ten Best Picture noms from 2023, including both Barbie and Oppenheimer from the “Barbenheimer” craze. While I was originally hoping Poor Things would win, it’s expected that Oppenheimer will take home the most awards this year. It may finally be time for Christopher Nolan to have his year! It might also be the first Oscar for Godzilla if it wins in Best VFX. I’m ready for the night and looking forward to find out what The Academy members have chosen. All of the nominated movies are worthy – including American Fiction and Maestro and The Zone of Interest. Now it’s time to find out who’s taking home Oscars, and who isn’t, at the annual Academy Awards. The full set of nominees below will be updated with the winners added once revealed live – refresh for updates.

BEST PICTURE:
Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer!!
Congrats Chris & Emma
BEST DIRECTOR:
Christopher Nolan - Oppenheimer
Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer
BEST ACTOR:
Cillian Murphy - Oppenhimer
Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer
BEST ACTRESS:
Emma Stone - Poor Things
Emma Stone for
Poor Things

Continue reading for a complete list of #Oscars2024 nominees & winners. Comment on the winners below.

This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of personal commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.

Picture:
American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
Barbie
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
Winner! Oppenheimer
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Thoughts: What a moment! Woohoo! All predictions pointed to this one winning. And yes I am super happy about it!! Nolan finally, finally gets his day. A most deserving win, with Oppie taking home 7 Oscars in total.

Director:
Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall
Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon
Winner! Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things
Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest

Thoughts: Nolan did it! He got his Oscar. Finally. Finallyyyyyyyy. Always been a Nolan fan. Glad this is his day. After all these movies, finally recognized as the master filmmaker he is. Love him. Congratulations.

Actor:
Bradley Cooper – Maestro
Colman Domingo – Rustin
Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
Winner! Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

Thoughts: I am ecstatic about this! Finally! He wins it and deserves it and this couldn’t be a better pick.

Cillian Murphy - Best Actor Winner

Actress:
Annette Bening – Nyad
Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan – Maestro
Winner! Emma Stone – Poor Things

Supporting Actor:
Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction
Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon
Winner! Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling – Barbie
Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things

Thoughts: As expect and congrats! Exactly what everyone was hoping! Good news and completely deserving.

Supporting Actress:
Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple
America Ferrera – Barbie
Jodie Foster – Nyad
Winner! Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

Thoughts: Of course! She’s the best! I have been rooting her since The Holdovers first opened last fall.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph - Best Supporting Actress Winner

Original Screenplay:
Winner! Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet & Arthur Harari
The Holdovers – David Hemingson
Maestro – Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
May, December – Samy Burch; Story by Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik
Past Lives – Celine Song

Thoughts: As expected for tonight! A big win for France! This went on long journey from Cannes last year, but this screenplay kept wowing everyone all year with its complexity. Congrats.

Adapted Screenplay:
Winner! American Fiction – Cord Jefferson
Barbie – Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach
Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan
Poor Things – Tony McNamara
The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer

Thoughts: Happy about this! I was hoping it would win, had the right buzz & energy behind it all season.

Animated Feature:
Winner! The Boy and the Heron
Elemental
Nimona
Robot Dreams
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Thoughts: Wow! Miyazaki wins! Everyone was expecting Spider-Man, but never doubt the magic of Ghibli.

International Feature:
Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow (Spain)
The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany)
Winner! The Zone of Interest (UK)

Thoughts: Congrats! As expected. I would’ve loved to have Perfect Days win this one instead, but this is an important film and it’s the right time for it and for Glazer to win anyway.

Cinematography:
El Conde – Edward Lachman
Killers of the Flower Moon – Rodrigo Prieto
Maestro – Matthew Libatique
Winner! Oppenheimer – Hoyte van Hoytema
Poor Things – Robbie Ryan

Thoughts: Huzzah! Congrats to the genius Hoyte for finally winning his first Oscar. Totally deserves it.

Documentary Feature:
Bobi Wine: The People’s President – Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp, John Battsek
The Eternal Memory – Maite Alberdi
Four Daughters – Kaouther Ben Hania & Nadim Cheikhrouha
To Kill a Tiger – Nisha Pahuja, Cornelia Principe, David Oppenheim
Winner! 20 Days in Mariupol – Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner, Raney Aronson-Rath

Documentary Short:
The ABCs of Book Banning – Sheila Nevins & Trish Adlesic
The Barber of Little Rock – John Hoffman & Christine Turner
Island in Between – S. Leo Chiang & Jean Tsien
Winner! The Last Repair Shop – Ben Proudfoot & Kris Bowers
Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó – Sean Wang & Sam Davis

Animated Short:
Letter to a Pig – Tal Kantor & Amit R. Gicelter
Ninety-Five Senses – Jerusha Hess & Jared Hess
Our Uniform – Yegane Moghaddam
Pachyderme – Stéphanie Clément & Marc Rius
Winner! War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko – Dave Mullins & Brad Booker

Live-Action Short:
The After – Misan Harriman & Nicky Bentham
Invincible – Vincent René-Lortie & Samuel Caron
Knight of Fortune – Lasse Lyskjær Noer & Christian Norlyk
Red, White and Blue – Nazrin Choudhury & Sara McFarlane
Winner! The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – Wes Anderson & Steven Rales

Visual Effects:
The Creator
Winner! Godzilla: Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Napoleon

Thoughts: YES! I am so happy for them! Congrats! Right what I was hoping would happen. Huzzah. Super happy to see the whole VFX team bringing Godzilla toys up on stage and juggling them and Oscar statues.

Godzilla: Minus One - Best Visual Effects Winner

Production Design:
Barbie – PD: Sarah Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
Killers of the Flower Moon – PD: Jack Fisk; Set: Adam Willis
Napoleon – PD: Arthur Max; Set: Elli Griff
Oppenheimer – PD: Ruth De Jong; Set: Claire Kaufman
Winner! Poor Things – PD: James Price & Shona Heath; Set: Zsuzsa Mihalek

Thoughts: Yes! Congrats! So glad Poor Things is picking up some wins, especially for the totally wacky and crazy and brilliant sets in this film. Love it.

Costume Design:
Barbie – Jacqueline Durran
Killers – Jacqueline West
Napoleon – Janty Yates & Dave Crossman
Oppenheimer – Ellen Mirojnick
Winner! Poor Things – Holly Waddington

Make-Up & Hair:
Golda – Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby, Ashra Kelly-Blue
Maestro – Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou, Lori McCoy-Bell
Oppenheimer – Luisa Abel
Winner! Poor Things – Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier, Josh Weston
Society of the Snow – Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí, Montse Ribé

Editing:
Anatomy of a Fall – Laurent Sénéchal
The Holdovers – Kevin Tent
Killers of the Flower Moon – Thelma Schoonmaker
Winner! Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame
Poor Things – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Thoughts: Deserving win here. And the first of many to come at the ceremony tonight for Oppenheimer.

Sound:
The Creator
Maestro
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Oppenheimer
Winner! The Zone of Interest

Thoughts: Wow! A surprise win but of course the incredible, unsettling sound work in this deserves to win.

Original Score:
American Fiction – Laura Karpman
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – John Williams
Killers of the Flower Moon – Robbie Robertson
Winner! Oppenheimer – Ludwig Göransson
Poor Things – Jerskin Fendrix

Thoughts: YES! Phew! An all-timer score here, one of the best ever – so so so glad this won.

Original Song:
“The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot – Diane Warren
“I’m Just Ken” from Barbie – Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt
“It Never Went Away” from American Symphony – Jon Batiste & Dan Wilson
“Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon – Scott George
Winner! “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie – Billie Eilish & Finneas O’Connell

Thoughts: Barbie wins an Oscar! But I would’ve rather given it to “I’m Just Ken” instead…

Honorary:
Winner! Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks, Carol Littleton (More info)

2024 Oscar Nominees

Final Thoughts: Congrats to all of the winners! I’m extremely happy about Oppenheimer and Poor Things winning so many Oscars – both of these were in my Top 5 of 2023. I think Emma Stone absolutely deserves the win over Lily! She gave the most impressive performance of the year, without a doubt, and while Lily’s performance is also outstanding it was truly Stone’s to win. I was also hoping to Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Cillian Murphy would win – and they did! Huzzah! I do think Paul Giamatti would’ve been just as satisfying instead, but once again it’s Murphy’s year and it would’ve been a bigger travesty if he didn’t take home the Oscar. Nearly every other win is just right. The Zone of Interest winning Best Sound over Oppenheimer was a big surprise at first, but also a great win – that sound design is astonishing and vital to the film’s unsettling vibe. Of course it’s the right pick in the end. And finally, Godzilla: Minus One is a sweet victory! Godzilla’s first ever Oscar after 70 years since the big lizard first appeared on the big screen in 1954. What a night. I’m not upset about much…! Every winner this year really deserved it and I think The Academy chose well again.

[For last year’s Academy Awards winners, fear. Everything Everywhere All at Once winning big, click here.]

Chime in below after reviewing the list of 2024 Oscars winners updated throughout the night and tell us if you’re satisfied with this year’s awards, and thoughts on the amusing ceremony hosted by Jimmy Kimmel – the main event being held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. One final congratulations to all of 2024’s winners as well as every last nominee! Are you relieved? Any thoughts on the 96th Academy Awards?

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2024 Indie Spirit Awards: ‘Past Lives’ Wins Best Film & Best Director | FirstShowing.net

2024 Indie Spirit Awards: ‘Past Lives’ Wins Best Film & Best Director

by Alex Billington
February 26, 2024
Source: Film Independent

The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring all of the indie films which deserve honor and recognition – celebrating their 39th year. The 2024 winners of the Spirit Awards were announced Saturday evening, in their usual spot in Santa Monica near the beach – this time just a week before the Oscars. The big winner this year is the beloved Past Lives, taking both Best Film and Best Director (Celine Song also won a DGA Award for Best First Feature). The other nominations from all the 2023 releases included many outstanding indie films many cinephiles have been talking up all year, deserving of some extra time in the spotlight – gems like May December, American Fiction, Passages, Earth Mama, All of Us Strangers, Theater Camp, BlackBerry, and The Starling Girl. As usual, there are a few surprises: I’ve never heard of Chronicles of a Wandering Saint (an Argentinian film titled Crónicas de una Santa Errante in Spanish) or Upon Entry before their nominations; We Grown Now (watch the trailer) and Mountains haven’t been released yet. Still worth a watch whenever they come your way. Full list below.

You’ll notice an [IMDb] link next to each film. This is so you can discover great new films, because there is guaranteed to be at least one film you’ve never heard of in here. Read on for a complete list of nominees and winners from the 39th Independent Spirit Awards. Winners from each category are designated in BOLD.

BEST FEATURE
All of Us Strangers [IMDb]
American Fiction [IMDb]
May December [IMDb]
Passages [IMDb]
Past Lives [IMDb]
We Grown Now [IMDb]

BEST FIRST FEATURE
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt [IMDb]
Chronicles of a Wandering Saint [IMDb]
Earth Mama [IMDb]
A Thousand and One [IMDb]
Upon Entry [IMDb]

BEST DIRECTOR
Andrew Haigh – All of Us Strangers [IMDb]
Todd Haynes – May December [IMDb]
William Oldroyd – Eileen [IMDb]
Celine Song – Past Lives [IMDb]
Ira Sachs – Passages [IMDb]

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Jessica Chastain – Memory [IMDb]
Greta Lee – Past Lives [IMDb]
Trace Lysette – Monica [IMDb]
Natalie Portman – May December [IMDb]
Judy Reyes – Birth/Rebirth [IMDb]
Franz Rogowski – Passages [IMDb]
Andrew Scott – All of Us Strangers [IMDb]
Teyana Taylor – A Thousand and One [IMDb]
Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction [IMDb]
Teo Yoo – Past Lives [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Erika Alexander – American Fiction [IMDb]
Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction [IMDb]
Noah Galvin – Theater Camp [IMDb]
Anne Hathaway – Eileen [IMDb]
Glenn Howerton – BlackBerry [IMDb]
Marin Ireland – Eileen [IMDb]
Charles Melton – May December [IMDb]
Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers [IMDb]
Catalina Saavedra – Rotting in the Sun [IMDb]
Ben Whishaw – Passages [IMDb]

Best Breakthrough Performance
Marshawn Lynch – Bottoms [IMDb]
Atibon Nazaire – Mountains [IMDb]
Tia Nomore – Earth Mama [IMDb]
Dominic Sessa – The Holdovers [IMDb]
Anaita Wali Zada – Fremont [IMDb]

BEST SCREENPLAY
Cord Jefferson – American Fiction [IMDb]
Laura Moss & Brendan J. O’Brien – Birth/Rebirth [IMDb]
Emma Seligman & Rachel Sennott – Bottoms [IMDb]
David Hemingson – The Holdovers [IMDb]
Celine Song – Past Lives [IMDb]

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Tomás Gómez Bustillo – Chronicles of a Wandering Saint [IMDb]
Samy Burch – May December [IMDb]
Laurel Parmet – The Starling Girl [IMDb]
Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt – Theater Camp [IMDb]
Alejandro Rojas & Juan Sebastián Vásquez – Upon Entry [IMDb]

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jomo Fray – All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt [IMDb]
Pablo Lozano – Chronicles of a Wandering Saint [IMDb]
Eigil Bryld – The Holdovers [IMDb]
Katelin Arizmendi – Monica [IMDb]
Pat Scola – We Grown Now [IMDb]

BEST EDITING
Daniel Garber – How to Blow Up a Pipeline [IMDb]
Santiago Cendejas, Gabriel Díaz, Sofía Subercaseaux – Rotting in the Sun [IMDb]
Jon Philpot – Theater Camp [IMDb]
Emanuele Tiziani – Upon Entry [IMDb]
Stephanie Filo – We Grown Now [IMDb]

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Bye Bye Tiberias [IMDb]
Four Daughters [IMDb]
Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project [IMDb]
Kokomo City [IMDb]
The Mother of All Lies [IMDb]

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Anatomy of a Fall (France) [IMDb]
Godland (Denmark/Iceland) [IMDb]
Mami Wata (Nigeria) [IMDb]
Tótem (Mexico) [IMDb]
The Zone of Interest (United Kingdom/Poland/United States) [IMDb]

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Best feature made for less than $1,000,000.
The Artifice Girl [IMDb]
Cadejo Blanco [IMDb]
Fremont [IMDb]
Rotting in the Sun [IMDb]
The Unknown Country [IMDb]

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Showing Up – Kelly Reichardt [IMDb]
Ensemble Cast: André Benjamin, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, Heather Lawless, James Le Gros, John Magaro, Matt Malloy, Amanda Plummer, Maryann Plunkett, Denzel Rodriguez, Michelle Williams

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Monica Sorrelle – Co-Writer / Director of Mountains [IMDb]

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Set Hernandez for Unseen [IMDb]

And that’s that! For last year’s list of nominees and winners, which was dominated by The Daniels’ brilliant multiverse movie Everything Everywhere All at Once winning 7 awards in total – click here. This year’s set of nominees for the Indie Spirits include an impressive and diverse selection of some of the best indie films and talented filmmakers out there – every last one of these films is worth a watch. The Indie Spirits are always a breath of fresh air in the awards season, with so many great films getting some extra attention. This year it’s nice to see something different from the Oscars, as I don’t think Past Lives will win anything there. It deserves to win! I adore this film! But I’m glad to see Indie Spirit Awards going to so many smaller films, and favorites like American Fiction and A Thousand and One. I’m also especially happy to see How to Blow Up a Pipeline winning something during the awards season – this rebellious eco-punk film totally rocks, and I hope this attention might get a few more people to watch it. Keep an eye out for the documentaries listed as noms, all of them deserve to be seen. Always some excellent films in these nominations to catch up with.

For more: SpiritAwards.com. A big indie congratulations to all of 2024’s winners & nominees!

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Sundance 2024 Awards: ‘In The Summers’ & ‘Porcelain War’ Top Films | FirstShowing.net

Sundance 2024 Awards: ‘In The Summers’ & ‘Porcelain War’ Top Films

by Alex Billington
January 26, 2024
Source: Sundance.org

The official awards for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Utah every January, were announced this morning with a small ceremony held in person in Utah. This always marks the end of the fest, with a few days of screenings left. The festival played on this week with an at-home online series of viewings in addition to all the in-person premieres. It was a fairly impressive year, with a handful of terrific films, along with plenty of duds as well – and a smaller line-up with only around 92 new films premiering (compared to over 100 last year). The main winners for 2024 include In the Summers, taking home Grand Jury Prize & Directing Award; along with Sean Wang’s Dìdi (弟弟) winning the coveted Audience Award and a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble. In addition, the festival favorite is the documentary titled Daughters, playing in the U.S. Doc competition section. As always, if any of these films interest you, we hope you note them down and catch up with them as soon as you can. All the main 2024 winners below.

Here’s the full announcement of winners with synopsis next to each. The 2024 festival is wrapping up soon.

2024 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL JURY AWARDS:

The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to In The Summers / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Alessandra Lacorazza, Producers: Alexander Dinelaris, Rob Quadrino, Fernando Rodriguez-Vila, Lynette Coll, Sergio Lira, Cristóbal Güell) — On a journey that spans the formative years of their lives, two sisters navigate their loving but volatile father during their yearly summer visits to his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Cast: René Pérez Joglar, Sasha Calle, Lío Mehiel, Leslie Grace, Emma Ramos, Sharlene Cruz.

The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Porcelain War / U.S.A., Ukraine (Director & Screenwriter: Brendan Bellomo, Director: Slava Leontyev, Producers and Screenwriters: Aniela Sidorska, Paula DuPré Pesmen, Producers: Camilla Mazzaferro, Olivia Ahnemann) — Under roaring fighter jets and missile strikes, Ukrainian artists Slava, Anya, and Andrey choose to stay behind and fight, contending with the soldiers they have become. Defiantly finding beauty amid destruction, they show that although it’s easy to make people afraid, it’s hard to destroy their passion for living.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Sujo / Mexico, U.S.A., France (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: Astrid Rondero, Fernanda Valadez, Producers: Diana Arcega, Jewerl Keats Ross, Virginie Devesa, Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre) — When a cartel gunman is killed, he leaves behind Sujo, his beloved 4-year-old son. The shadow of violence surrounds Sujo during each stage of his life in the isolated Mexican countryside. As he grows into a man, Sujo finds that fulfilling his father’s destiny may be inescapable. Cast: Juan Jesús Varela, Yadira Pérez, Alexis Varela, Sandra Lorenzano, Jairo Hernández, Kevin Aguilar.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to A New Kind of Wilderness / Norway (Director: Silje Evensmo Jacobsen, Producer: Mari Bakke Riise) — In a forest in Norway, a family lives an isolated lifestyle in an attempt to be wild and free, but a tragic event changes everything, and they are forced to adjust to modern society.

The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Alessandra Lacorazza for In The Summers / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Alessandra Lacorazza, Producers: Alexander Dinelaris, Rob Quadrino, Fernando Rodriguez-Vila, Lynette Coll, Sergio Lira, Cristóbal Güell) — On a journey that spans the formative years of their lives, two sisters navigate their loving but volatile father during their yearly summer visits to his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Cast: René Pérez Joglar, Sasha Calle, Lío Mehiel, Leslie Grace, Emma Ramos, Sharlene Cruz.

The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Julian Brave NoiseCat & Emily Kassie for Sugarcane / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Julian Brave NoiseCat, Director & Producer: Emily Kassie, Producer: Kellen Quinn) — An investigation into abuse and missing children at an Indian residential school ignites a reckoning on the nearby Sugarcane Reserve.

The Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic was presented to Raha Amirfazli & Alireza Ghasemi for In The Land Of Brothers / Iran, France, Netherlands (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: Raha Amirfazli, Alireza Ghasemi, Producers: Adrien Barrouillet, Frank Hoeve, Charles Meresse, Emma Binet, Arya Ghamavian) — Three members of an extended Afghan family start their lives over in Iran as refugees, unaware they face a decades-long struggle ahead to be “at home.” Cast: Hamideh Jafari, Bashir Nikzad, Mohammad Hosseini.

The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to Benjamin Ree for Ibelin / Norway (Director: Benjamin Ree, Producer: Ingvil Giske) — Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer, died of a degenerative muscular disease at the age of 25. His parents mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life, when they started receiving messages from online friends around the world.

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Jesse Eisenberg for A Real Pain / U.S.A., Poland (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Jesse Eisenberg, Producers: Dave McCary, Ali Herting, Emma Stone, Jennifer Semler, Ewa Puszczyńska) — Mismatched cousins David and Benji reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother. The adventure takes a turn when the pair’s old tensions resurface against the backdrop of their family history. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin, Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan.

The Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Carla Gutiérrez for Frida / U.S.A., Mexico (Director: Carla Gutiérrez, Producers: Katia Maguire, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Loren Hammonds, Alexandra Johnes) — An intimately raw and magical journey through the life, mind, and heart of iconic artist Frida Kahlo. Told through her own words for the very first time — drawn from her diary, revealing letters, essays, and print interviews — and brought vividly to life by lyrical animation inspired by her unforgettable artwork.

A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble was presented to the cast of Dìdi (弟弟) / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Sean Wang, Producers: Carlos López Estrada, Josh Peters, Valerie Bush) — In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom. Cast: Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, Chang Li Hua.

A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance was presented to Nico Parker for Suncoast / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Laura Chinn, Producers: Jeremy Plager, Francesca Silvestri, Kevin Chinoy, Oly Obst) — A teenager who, while caring for her brother along with her audacious mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an eccentric activist who is protesting one of the most landmark medical cases of all time. Inspired by a semi-autobiographical story.

A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Sound was presented to Gaucho Gaucho / U.S.A., Argentina (Directors & Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw, Producers: Cameron O’Reilly, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Matthew Perniciaro) — A celebration of a community of Argentine cowboys and cowgirls, known as Gauchos, living beyond the boundaries of the modern world.

A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change was presented to Union / U.S.A. (Directors: Stephen Maing, Brett Story, Producers: Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone) — The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island — takes on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

The NEXT Innovator Award presented by Adobe was presented to Little Death / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Jack Begert, Screenwriter: Dani Goffstein, Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Andy S. Cohen, Dylan Golden, Brendan Naylor, Sam Canter, Noor Alfallah) — A middle-aged filmmaker on the verge of a breakthrough. Two kids in search of a lost backpack. A small dog a long way from home. Cast: David Schwimmer, Gaby Hoffmann, Dominic Fike, Talia Ryder, Jena Malone, Sante Bentivoglio.

2024 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARDS:

The Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura was awarded to Dìdi (弟弟) / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Sean Wang, Producers: Carlos López Estrada, Josh Peters, Valerie Bush) — In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom. Cast: Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, Chang Li Hua.

The Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura was awarded to Daughters / U.S.A. (Directors: Angela Patton, Natalie Rae, Producers: Lisa Mazzotta, Justin Benoliel, Mindy Goldberg, Sam Bisbee, Kathryn Everett, Laura Choi Raycroft) — Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail.

The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to Girls Will Be Girls / India, France, Norway (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Shuchi Talati, Producers: Richa Chadha, Claire Chassagne) — In a strict boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, 16-year-old Mira discovers desire and romance. But her sexual, rebellious awakening is disrupted by her mother who never got to come of age herself. Cast: Preeti Panigrahi, Kani Kusruti, Kesav Binoy Kiron.

The Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to Ibelin / Norway (Director: Benjamin Ree, Producer: Ingvil Giske) — Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer, died of a degenerative muscular disease at the age of 25. His parents mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life, when they started receiving messages from online friends around the world.

The Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe was awarded to Kneecap / Ireland, U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Rich Peppiatt, Producers: Jack Tarling, Trevor Birney) — There are 80,000 native Irish speakers in Ireland. 6,000 live in the North of Ireland. Three of them became a rap group called Kneecap. This anarchic Belfast trio becomes the unlikely figurehead of a civil rights movement to save the mother tongue. Cast: Liam Óg Ó hAnnaidh, Naoise Ó Cairealláin, JJ Ó Dochartaigh, Michael Fassbender, Josie Walker, Simone Kirby).

Selected by audience votes from the feature films that screened at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, the Festival Favorite Award was presented to Daughters / U.S.A. (Directors: Angela Patton, Natalie Rae, Producers: Lisa Mazzotta, Justin Benoliel, Mindy Goldberg, Sam Bisbee, Kathryn Everett, Laura Choi Raycroft) — Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail.

Congrats to all of 2024’s winners! Keep an eye on all these films, catch them when they show in your area. My personal pick for Grand Jury Prize would’ve been Jesse Eisenberg’s A Real Pain (read my review), which impressed me the most out of any of the films I saw in the competition section. I did not care for Little Death much (it’s two halves of a film, not a whole film) and I think In The Summers is good, but not great. I get what it’s going for with the story about a family, and that’s probably why the Jury liked it so much, but it doesn’t really stand out compared to some of these other much better films. Other critics are wondering why Titus Kaphar’s Exhibiting Forgiveness didn’t win anything, since it’s another one of 2024’s highlights that deserves a chance to shine beyond the festival. A number of these winners I didn’t even have the chance to see anyway – hoping to catch up later. Everyone’s opinions on all of these 2024 films are different! That said, every last one of them is still worth your time & attention anyway – Sundance drops many of the best films.

For more info, visit Sundance.org. Also see last year’s winners here Follow all our Sundance 2024 coverage.

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96th Academy Awards Nominations Announced – Full List for 2023 | FirstShowing.net

96th Academy Awards Nominations Announced – Full List for 2023

by Alex Billington
January 23, 2024

The complete list of nominees for the 96th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (from Oscars.org). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees via live broadcast. The nominations from 2023 are, as expected, an exhilarating collection of some of the best movies of the year. Poor Things and Oppenheimer scored the most nominations, ending up with nods in almost every single category. Two of my favorite films of the year – this is great news! The most interesting surprises: Napoleon and Anatomy of a Fall ending up with so many noms in various categories. I’m also happy to see Godzilla: Minus One sneaking in for Best VFX. What a list! The Academy chose a total of ten Best Picture nominees for 2023, including: Past Lives, Poor Things, The Zone of Interest, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, and yes, Barbie. Without further ado, view the full list of 2023 nominees below.

The 96th Academy Awards ceremony will be on Sunday, March 10th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood – broadcast live by ABC. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Here are 2023’s nominations:

Picture:
American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
Barbie
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
Oppenheimer
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Director:
Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall
Martin ScorseseKillers of the Flower Moon
Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things
Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest

Actor:
Bradley Cooper – Maestro
Colman Domingo – Rustin
Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

Actress:
Annette Bening – Nyad
Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan – Maestro
Emma Stone – Poor Things

Supporting Actor:
Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction
Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling – Barbie
Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things

Supporting Actress:
Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple
America Ferrera – Barbie
Jodie Foster – Nyad
Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

Original Screenplay:
Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
The Holdovers – David Hemingson
Maestro – Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer
May, December – Samy Burch; Story by Samy Burch & Alex Mechanik
Past Lives – Celine Song

Adapted Screenplay:
American Fiction – Cord Jefferson
Barbie – Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach
Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan
Poor Things – Tony McNamara
The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer

Animated Feature:
The Boy and the Heron
Elemental
Nimona
Robot Dreams
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

International Feature:
Io Capitano (Italy)
Perfect Days (Japan)
Society of the Snow (Spain)
The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany)
The Zone of Interest (UK)

Cinematography:
El Conde – Edward Lachman
Killers of the Flower Moon – Rodrigo Prieto
Maestro – Matthew Libatique
Oppenheimer – Hoyte van Hoytema
Poor Things – Robbie Ryan

Documentary Feature:
Bobi Wine: The People’s President
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
To Kill a Tiger
20 Days in Mariupol

Documentary Short:
The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó

Animated Short:
Letter to a Pig
Ninety-Five Senses
Our Uniform
Pachyderme
War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko

Live-Action Short:
The After
Invincible
Knight of Fortune
Red, White and Blue
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Visual Effects:
The Creator
Godzilla: Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Napoleon

Production Design:
Barbie – PD: Sarah Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
Killers of the Flower Moon – PD: Jack Fisk; Set: Adam Willis
Napoleon – PD: Arthur Max; Set: Elli Griff
Oppenheimer – PD: Ruth De Jong; Set: Claire Kaufman
Poor Things – PD: James Price & Shona Heath; Set: Zsuzsa Mihalek

Costume Design:
Barbie – Jacqueline Durran
Killers – Jacqueline West
Napoleon – Janty Yates and Dave Crossman
Oppenheimer – Ellen Mirojnick
Poor Things – Holly Waddington

Make-Up & Hair:
Golda – Karen Hartley Thomas, Suzi Battersby, Ashra Kelly-Blue
Maestro – Kazu Hiro, Kay Georgiou, Lori McCoy-Bell
Oppenheimer – Luisa Abel
Poor Things – Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier, Josh Weston
Society of the Snow – Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí, Montse Ribé

Editing:
Anatomy of a Fall – Laurent Sénéchal
The Holdovers – Kevin Tent
Killers of the Flower Moon – Thelma Schoonmaker
Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame
Poor Things – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Sound:
The Creator
Maestro
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Oppenheimer
The Zone of Interest

Original Score:
American Fiction – Laura Karpman
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – John Williams
Killers of the Flower Moon – Robbie Robertson
Oppenheimer – Ludwig Göransson
Poor Things – Jerskin Fendrix

Original Song:
“The Fire Inside” from Flamin’ Hot
“I’m Just Ken” from Barbie
“It Never Went Away” from American Symphony
“Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from Killers of the Flower Moon
“What Was I Made For?” from Barbie

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees. I’m happy about most of these, especially seeing the terrific movies Poor Things and Oppenheimer and Barbie and American Fiction and The Holdovers with so many nominations. I love each and every one of these! I would have preferred to see Joe Hisaishi for The Boy and the Heron and Daniel Pemberton for Across the Spider-Verse both nominated for Best Score, this is rather upsetting. However, I’m pretty sure Oppenheimer is winning anyway because it’s a masterpiece score (and it is cool to see that funky Poor Things score sneaking in). I don’t think it’s good to spend too much time dwelling on snubs and omissions, considering thee is plenty to celebrate with these nominees anyway. The Creator is now an Oscar nominee! Same with Society of the Snow. And the animated film Robot Dreams even got a nod. Colman Domingo is excellent in Rustin, even if the film isn’t so great. I am sure there will be tons of complaints about everything, as is the norm, but I believe this year’s picks are fantastic all around. Even Barbie deserves to be included with all the others. What do you think of these nominations for 2023?

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Sundance 2024: Official Selection of All 91 Feature Films Announced | FirstShowing.net

Sundance 2024: Official Selection of All 91 Feature Films Announced

by Alex Billington
December 6, 2023
Source: Sundance.org

Time for a peek at how the next year in cinema is shaping up. Every new year brings another Sundance Film Festival and with less than two months until Sundance 2024 kicks off on January 18th, it’s time to find out what is premiering at this prestigious fest in Utah. Sundance has revealed their 2024 selection of official feature films premiering this January, featuring 91 films playing across these 11 main categories (including their usual four Competition categories), ranging from new documentaries to quirky comedies, compelling dramas, and everything else good. The 2024 festival is taking place both as an in-person festival returning to snowy Park City, UT, as well as a virtual festival with online premieres only available for the second half. Sundance is still one of my favorite festivals in the world, and we’ll be returning for our 18th year in a row to cover it. Keep an eye out for more fest updates. “Curation is Sundance’s secret sauce and we’re energized by the range of films, stories, & artists we’ve watched and selected from around the world.”

Eugene Hernandez, the brand new director of the Sundance Film Festival & Public Programming, states: “This Festival has had a vital history of first impressions: introductions to new talent, new friends, new worlds — our commitment to our artists and our audiences is fundamental to our work. Our programming team, lead by Kim Yutani, has curated 11 days of exciting new voices and stories for the many audiences we serve whether they’re joining us in Utah or experiencing the Festival offerings from afar. Sundance 2024 will be a special year for discovery and community.” There’s a sasquatch film, a Will Ferrell documentary, a new horror film with Kristen Stewart from the director Saint Maud, a “buoy and a satellite” love story, and some other strange films in the 2024 selection. What are you looking forward to so far out of all these films?

Browse through all the feature film selections for Sundance 2024 films – and visit Sundance.org for more.

U.S. Dramatic Competition:
Exhibiting Forgiveness

The U.S. Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at the world premieres of groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

Between the Temples (Director & Screenwriter: Nathan Silver, Screenwriter: C. Mason Wells, Producers: Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, Nate Kamiya, Adam Kersh, Taylor Hess) — A cantor in a crisis of faith finds his world turned upside down when his grade school music teacher reenters his life as his new adult bat mitzvah student. Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Carol Kane, Dolly de Leon, Caroline Aaron, Robert Smigel, Madeline Weinstein.

Dìdi (弟弟) (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Sean Wang, Producers: Carlos López Estrada, Josh Peters, Valerie Bush) — In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom. Cast: Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, Chang Li Hua.

Exhibiting Forgiveness (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Titus Kaphar, Producers: Stephanie Allain, Derek Cianfrance, Jamie Patricof, Sean Cotton) — Utilizing his paintings to find freedom from his past, a Black artist on the path to success is derailed by an unexpected visit from his estranged father, a recovering addict desperate to reconcile. Together, they learn that forgetting might be a greater challenge than forgiving. Cast: André Holland, John Earl Jelks, Andra Day, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor.

Good One (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: India Donaldson, Producers: Diana Irvine, Graham Mason, Wilson Cameron) — On a weekend backpacking trip in the Catskills, 17-year-old Sam contends with the competing egos of her father and his oldest friend. Cast: Lily Collias, James Le Gros, Danny McCarthy.

In The Summers (Director & Screenwriter: Alessandra Lacorazza, Producers: Alexander Dinelaris, Rob Quadrino, Fernando Rodriguez-Vila, Lynette Coll, Sergio Lira, Cristóbal Güell) — On a journey that spans across the formative years of their lives, two sisters navigate their loving but volatile father during their yearly summer visits to his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Cast: René Pérez Joglar, Sasha Calle, Lío Mehiel, Leslie Grace, Emma Ramos, Sharlene Cruz.

Love Me (Directors & Screenwriters: Sam Zuchero, Andy Zuchero, Producers: Kevin Rowe, Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Shivani Rawat, Julie Goldstein) — Long after humanity’s extinction, a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun.

Ponyboi (Director: Esteban Arango, Screenwriter: River Gallo, Producers: Mark Ankner, River Gallo, Adel “Future” Nur, Trevor Wall) — Unfolding over the course of Valentine’s Day in New Jersey, a young intersex sex worker must run from the mob after a drug deal goes sideways, forcing him to confront his past. Cast: River Gallo, Dylan O’Brien, Victoria Pedretti, Murray Bartlett, Indya Moore.

A Real Pain (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Jesse Eisenberg, Producers: Dave McCary, Ali Herting, Emma Stone, Jennifer Semler, Ewa Puszczyńska) — Mismatched cousins David and Benji reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother. The adventure takes a turn when the pair’s old tensions resurface against the backdrop of their family history. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin, Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan.

Stress Positions (Director & Screenwriter: Theda Hammel, Producers: Brad Becker-Parton, John Early, Stephanie Roush, Allie Jane Compton, Greg Nobile) — Terry Goon is keeping strict quarantine in his ex-husband’s Brooklyn brownstone while caring for his nephew — a 19-year-old model from Morocco named Bahlul — bedridden in a full leg cast after an electric scooter accident. Unfortunately for Terry, everyone in his life wants to meet the model. Cast: John Early, Qaher Harhash, Theda Hammel, Amy Zimmer, Faheem Ali, John Roberts.

Suncoast (Director & Screenwriter: Laura Chinn, Producers: Jeremy Plager, Francesca Silvestri, Kevin Chinoy, Oly Obst) — A teenager who, while caring for her brother along with her audacious mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an eccentric activist who is protesting one of the most landmark medical cases of all time. Inspired by a semi-autobiographical story. Cast: Laura Linney, Woody Harrelson, Nico Parker.

U.S. Documentary Competition:
Every Little Thing

The U.S. Documentary Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at world premieres of nonfiction American films illuminating the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.

As We Speak (Director & Producer: J.M. Harper, Producers: Sam Widdoes, Peter Cambor, Sam Bisbee) — Bronx rap artist Kemba explores the growing weaponization of rap lyrics in the United States criminal justice system and abroad — revealing how law enforcement has quietly used artistic creation as evidence in criminal cases for decades.

Daughters (Directors: Angela Patton, Natalie Rae, Producers: Lisa Mazzotta, Justin Benoliel, Mindy Goldberg, Sam Bisbee, Kathryn Everett, Laura Choi Raycroft) — Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail.

Every Little Thing (Director: Sally Aitken, Producers: Bettina Dalton, Oli Harbottle, Anna Godas) — Amid the glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles, a woman finds herself on a transformative journey as she nurtures wounded hummingbirds, unraveling a visually captivating and magical tale of love, fragility, healing, and the delicate beauty in tiny acts of greatness.

Frida (Director: Carla Gutiérrez, Producers: Katia Maguire, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Loren Hammonds, Alexandra Johnes) — An intimately raw and magical journey through the life, mind, and heart of iconic artist Frida Kahlo. Told through her own words for the very first time — drawn from her diary, revealing letters, essays, and print interviews — and brought vividly to life by lyrical animation inspired by her unforgettable artwork.

Gaucho Gaucho (Directors & Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw, Producers: Cameron O’Reilly, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Matthew Perniciaro) — A celebration of a community of Argentine cowboys and cowgirls, known as Gauchos, living beyond the boundaries of the modern world.

Love Machina (Director & Producer: Peter Sillen, Producer: Brendan Doyle) — Futurists Martine and Bina Rothblatt commission an advanced humanoid AI named Bina48 to transfer Bina’s consciousness from a human to a robot in an attempt to continue their once-in-a-galaxy love affair for the rest of time.

Porcelain War (Director & Screenwriter: Brendan Bellomo, Director: Slava Leontyev, Producers and Screenwriters: Aniela Sidorska, Paula DuPré Pesmen, Producers: Camilla Mazzaferro, Olivia Ahnemann) — Under roaring fighter jets and missile strikes, Ukrainian artists Slava, Anya, and Andrey choose to stay behind and fight, contending with the soldiers they have become. Defiantly finding beauty amid destruction, they show that although it’s easy to make people afraid, it’s hard to destroy their passion for living.

Skywalkers: A Love Story (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Jeff Zimbalist, Producers: Maria Bukhonina, Tamir Ardon, Chris Smith, Nick Spicer) — To save their career and relationship, a daredevil couple journey across the globe to climb the world’s last super skyscraper and perform a bold acrobatic stunt on the spire.

Sugarcane (Director: Julian Brave NoiseCat, Director and Producer: Emily Kassie, Producer: Kellen Quinn) — An investigation into abuse and missing children at an Indian residential school ignites a reckoning on the nearby Sugarcane Reserve.

Union (Directors: Stephen Maing, Brett Story, Producers: Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone) — The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island — takes on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition:
Brief History of a Family

These narrative feature films from emerging talent around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

Brief History of a Family / China, France, Denmark, Qatar (Director & Screenwriter: Jianjie Lin, Producers: Ying Lou, Yue Zheng, Yiwen Wang) — A middle-class family’s fate becomes intertwined with their only son’s enigmatic new friend in post one-child policy China, putting unspoken secrets, unmet expectations, and untended emotions under the microscope. Cast: Feng Zu, Keyu Guo, Xilun Sun, Muran Lin.

Girls Will Be Girls / India, France, Norway (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Shuchi Talati, Producers: Richa Chadha, Claire Chassagne) — In a strict boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, 16-year-old Mira discovers desire and romance. But her sexual, rebellious awakening is disrupted by her mother who never got to come of age herself. Cast: Preeti Panigrahi, Kani Kusruti, Kesav Binoy Kiron.

Handling the Undead / Norway (Director & Screenwriter: Thea Hvistendahl, Screenwriter: John Ajvide Lindqvist, Producers: Kristin Emblem, Guri Neby) — On a hot summer day in Oslo, the newly dead awaken. Three families faced with loss try to figure out what this resurrection means and if their loved ones really are back. Based on the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Cast: Renate Reinsve, Bjørn Sundquist, Bente Børsum, Anders Danielsen Lie, Bahar Pars.

In the Land of Brothers / Iran, France, Netherlands (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: Raha Amirfazli, Alireza Ghasemi, Producers: Adrien Barrouillet, Frank Hoeve, Charles Meresse, Emma Binet, Arya Ghamavian) — Three members of an extended Afghan family start their lives over in Iran as refugees, unaware they face a decades-long struggle ahead to be “at home.” Cast: Hamideh Jafari, Bashir Nikzad, Mohammad Hosseini.

Layla / U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Amrou Al-Kadhi, Producer: Savannah James-Bayly) — When Layla, a struggling Arab drag queen, falls in love for the first time, they lose and find themself in a transformative relationship that tests who they really are. Cast: Bilal Hasna, Louis Greatorex, Safiyya Ingar, Darkwah, Terique Jarrett, Sarah Agha.

Malu / Brazil (Director & Screenwriter: Pedro Freire, Producers: Tatiana Leite, Sabrina Garcia, Leo Ribeiro, Roberto Berliner) — Malu — a mercurial, unemployed actress living with her conservative mother in a precarious house in a Rio de Janeiro slum — tries to deal with her strained relationship with her own adult daughter while surviving on memories of her glorious artistic past. Cast: Yara de Novaes, Carol Duarte, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha, Átila Bee.

Reinas / Switzerland, Peru, Spain (Director & Screenwriter: Klaudia Reynicke, Screenwriter & Producer: Diego Vega, Producers: Britta Rindelaub, Thomas Reichlin, Daniel Vega, Valérie Delpierre) — Surrounded by social and political chaos in Lima during the summer of 1992, Lucia, Aurora, and their mother, Elena, plan to leave and seek opportunities in the United States. Their farewell involves reconnecting with their estranged father, Carlos, adding turbulence to the regrets, hopes, and fears of their emotional departure. Cast: Abril Gjurinovic, Luana Vega, Jimena Lindo, Gonzalo Molina, Susi Sánchez.

Sebastian / U.K., Finland, Belgium (Director & Screenwriter: Mikko Mäkelä, Producer: James Watson) — Max, a 25-year-old aspiring writer living in London, begins a double life as a sex worker in order to research his debut novel. Cast: Ruaridh Mollica, Hiftu Quasem, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Jonathan Hyde, Leanne Best, Lara Rossi.

Sujo / Mexico, U.S.A., France (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: Astrid Rondero, Fernanda Valadez, Producers: Diana Arcega, Jewerl Keats Ross, Virginie Devesa, Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre) — When a cartel gunman is killed, he leaves behind Sujo, his beloved 4-year-old son. The shadow of violence surrounds Sujo during each stage of his life in the isolated Mexican countryside. As he grows into a man, Sujo finds that fulfilling his father’s destiny may be inescapable. Cast: Juan Jesús Varela, Yadira Pérez, Alexis Varela, Sandra Lorenzano, Jairo Hernández, Kevin Aguilar.

Veni Vidi Vici / Austria (Director & Screenwriter: Daniel Hoesl, Producer: Ulrich Seidl) — The Maynards and their children lead an almost perfect billionaire family life. Amon is a passionate hunter, but doesn’t shoot animals, as the family’s wealth allows them to live totally free from consequences. Cast: Laurence Rupp, Ursina Lardi, Olivia Goschler.

World Cinema Documentary Competition:
Never Look Away

These nonfiction feature films from emerging talent around the world showcase some of the most courageous and extraordinary filmmaking today.

Agent of Happiness / Bhutan, Hungary (Director & Producer: Arun Bhattarai, Director: Dorottya Zurbó, Producers: Noémi Veronika Szakonyi, Máté Artur Vincze) — Amber is one of the many agents working for the Bhutanese government to measure people’s happiness levels among the remote Himalayan mountains. But will he find his own along the way?

The Battle for Laikipia / Kenya, U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Daphne Matziaraki, Director: Peter Murimi, Producer: Toni Kamau) — Unresolved historical injustices and climate change raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between Indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in Laikipia, Kenya, a wildlife conservation haven.

Black Box Diaries / Japan, U.S.A., U.K. (Director and Producer: Shiori Ito, Producers: Eric Nyari, Hanna Aqvilin) — Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Her quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s outdated judicial and societal systems.

Eternal You / Germany, U.S.A. (Directors: Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck, Producers: Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler) — Startups are using AI to create avatars that allow relatives to talk with their loved ones after they have died. An exploration of a profound human desire and the consequences of turning the dream of immortality into a product.

Ibelin / Norway (Director: Benjamin Ree, Producer: Ingvil Giske) — Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer, died of a degenerative muscular disease at the age of 25. His parents mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life, when they started receiving messages from online friends around the world.

Igualada / Colombia, U.S.A., Mexico (Director: Juan Mejía Botero, Producers: Juan E. Yepes, Daniela Alatorre, Sonia Serna) — In one of Latin America’s most unequal countries, Francia Márquez, a Black Colombian rural activist, challenges the status quo with a presidential campaign that reappropriates the derogatory term “Igualada” — someone who acts as if they deserve rights that supposedly don’t correspond to them — and inspires a nation to dream.

Never Look Away / New Zealand (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Lucy Lawless, Screenwriters and Producers: Matthew Metcalfe, Tom Blackwell) — New Zealand–born groundbreaking CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth risks it all to show the reality of war from inside the conflict, staring down danger and confronting those who perpetuate it.

A New Kind of Wilderness / Norway (Director: Silje Evensmo Jacobsen, Producer: Mari Bakke Riise) — In a forest in Norway, a family lives an isolated lifestyle in an attempt to be wild and free, but a tragic event changes everything, and they are forced to adjust to modern society.

Nocturnes / India, U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Anirban Dutta, Director: Anupama Srinivasan) — In the dense forests of the Eastern Himalayas, moths are whispering something to us. In the dark of night, two curious observers shine a light on this secret universe.

Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat / Belgium, France, Netherlands (Director & Screenwriter: Johan Grimonprez, Producers: Daan Milius, Rémi Grellety) — In 1960, United Nations: the Global South ignites a political earthquake, musicians Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach crash the Security Council, Nikita Khrushchev bangs his shoe denouncing America’s color bar, while the U.S. dispatches jazz ambassador Louis Armstrong to the Congo to deflect attention from its first African post-colonial coup.

NEXT:
Kneecap

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program. Unfettered creativity promises that the films in this section will shape the greater next wave in American cinema.

Desire Lines / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Jules Rosskam, Screenwriter: Nate Gualtieri, Producers: André Pérez, Amy E. Powell, Brittani Ward) — Past and present collide when an Iranian American trans man time-travels through an LGBTQ+ archive on a dizzying and erotic quest to unravel his own sexual desires. Cast: Theo Germaine, Aden Hakimi.

Kneecap / Ireland, U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Rich Peppiatt, Producers: Jack Tarling, Trevor Birney) — There are 80,000 native Irish speakers in Ireland. 6,000 live in the North of Ireland. Three of them became a rap group called Kneecap. This anarchic Belfast trio becomes the unlikely figurehead of a civil rights movement to save the mother tongue. Cast: Liam Óg Ó hAnnaidh, Naoise Ó Cairealláin, JJ Ó Dochartaigh, Michael Fassbender, Josie Walker, Simone Kirby).

Little Death / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Jack Begert, Screenwriter: Dani Goffstein, Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Andy S. Cohen, Dylan Golden, Brendan Naylor, Sam Canter, Noor Alfallah) — A middle-aged filmmaker on the verge of a breakthrough. Two kids in search of a lost backpack. A small dog a long way from home. Cast: David Schwimmer, Gaby Hoffmann, Dominic Fike, Talia Ryder, Jena Malone, Sante Bentivoglio.

Realm of Satan / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Scott Cummings, Producers: Caitlin Mae Burke, Pacho Velez, Molly Gandour) — An experiential portrait depicting Satanists in both the everyday and in the extraordinary as they fight to preserve their lifestyle: magic, mystery, and misanthropy. Cast: Peter Gilmore, Peggy Nadramia, Blanche Barton.

Seeking Mavis Beacon / U.S.A. (Director & Writer: Jazmin Renée Jones, Producer: Guetty Felin) — Launched in the late ’80s, educational software Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing taught millions globally, but the program’s Haitian-born cover model vanished decades ago. Two DIY investigators search for the unsung cultural icon, while questioning notions of digital security, AI, and Black representation in the digital realm.

Tendaberry / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Haley Elizabeth Anderson, Producers: Carlos Zozaya, Matthew Petock, Zachary Shedd, Hannah Dweck, Theodore Schaefer, Daniel Patrick Carbone) — When her boyfriend goes back to Ukraine to be with his ailing father, 23-year-old Dakota anxiously navigates her precarious new reality, surviving on her own in New York City. Cast: Kota Johan, Yuri Pleskun.

Premieres:
Will & Harper

This showcase of world premieres presents highly anticipated films on a variety of subjects, in both fiction & nonfiction.

The American Society of Magical Negroes / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Kobi Libii, Producers: Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman, Angel Lopez) — A young man, Aren, is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier. Cast: Justice Smith, David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Rupert Friend, Nicole Byer.

And So It Begins / U.S.A., Philippines (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Ramona S. Diaz) — Amidst the traditional pomp and circumstance of Filipino elections, a quirky people’s movement rises to defend the nation against deepening threats to truth and democracy. In a collective act of joy as a form of resistance, hope flickers against the backdrop of increasing autocracy. Documentary.

Devo / U.K., U.S.A. (Director: Chris Smith, Producers: Chris Holmes, Anita Greenspan, Danny Gabai) — Born in response to the Kent State massacre, new wave band Devo took their concept of “de-evolution” from cult following to near–rock star status with groundbreaking 1980 hit “Whip It” while preaching an urgent social commentary. Documentary.

A Different Man / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Aaron Schimberg, Producers: Christine Vachon, Vanessa McDonnell, Gabriel Mayers) — Aspiring actor Edward undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost. Cast: Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve, Adam Pearson.

Freaky Tales / U.S.A. (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden, Producers: Poppy Hanks, Jelani Johnson) — In 1987 Oakland, a mysterious force guides The Town’s underdogs in four interconnected tales: Teen punks defend their turf against Nazi skinheads, a rap duo battles for hip-hop immortality, a weary henchman gets a shot at redemption, and an NBA All-Star settles the score. Basically another day in the Bay. Cast: Pedro Pascal, Jay Ellis, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Dominique Thorne, Ben Mendelsohn, Ji-Young Yoo.

Ghostlight / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Kelly O’Sullivan, Director and Producer: Alex Thompson, Producers: Pierce Cravens, Chelsea Krant, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker, Alex Wilson) — When a construction worker unexpectedly joins a local theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet, the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life. Cast: Keith Kupferer, Dolly de Leon, Katherine Mallen Kupferer, Tara Mallen.

Girls State / U.S.A. (Directors & Producers: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss) — Teenage girls from wildly different backgrounds across Missouri navigate a week-long immersive experiment in American democracy, build a government from the ground up, and reimagine what it means to govern. Documentary.

Look Into My Eyes / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Lana Wilson, Producer: Kyle Martin) — A group of New York City psychics conduct deeply intimate readings for their clients, revealing a kaleidoscope of loneliness, connection, and healing. Documentary.

Luther: Never Too Much / U.S.A. (Director: Dawn Porter, Producers: Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Jamie Foxx, Datari Turner, Leah Smith) — Luther Vandross started his career supporting David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, and more. His undeniable talent earned platinum records and accolades, but he struggled to break out beyond the R&B charts. Intensely driven, he overcame personal and professional challenges to secure his place amongst the greatest vocalists in history. Documentary.

My Old Ass / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Megan Park, Producers: Tom Ackerley, Margot Robbie, Josey McNamara, Steven Rales) — The summer before college, bright-yet-irreverent Elliott comes face-to-face with her older self during a mushroom trip. The encounter spurs a funny and heartfelt journey of self-discovery and first love as Elliott prepares to leave her childhood home. Cast: Maisy Stella, Percy Hynes White, Maddie Ziegler, Kerrice Brooks, Aubrey Plaza.

The Outrun / U.K., Germany (Director & Screenwriter: Nora Fingscheidt, Screenwriter: Amy Liptrot, Producers: Sarah Brocklehurst, Dominic Norris, Jack Lowden, Saoirse Ronan) — After living life on the edge in London, Rona attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. She returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal. Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Amy Liptrot. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane, Saskia Reeves.

Power (Director & Producer: Yance Ford, Producers: Sweta Vohra, Jess Devaney, Netsanet Negussie) — Driven to maintain social order, policing in the United States has exploded in scope and scale over hundreds of years. Now, American policing embodies one word: power. Documentary.

Presence / U.S.A. (Director: Steven Soderbergh, Screenwriter: David Koepp, Producers: Julie M. Anderson, Ken Meyer) — A family moves into a suburban house and becomes convinced they’re not alone. Cast: Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan, Callina Liang, Julia Fox, Eddy Maday, West Mulholland.

Rob Peace / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Producers: Andrea Calderwood, Antoine Fuqua, Kat Samick, Rebecca Hobbs, Jeffrey Soros, Alex Kurtzman) — Robert Peace grew up in an impoverished section of Newark and later graduated from Yale with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry while on scholarship. Peace led a dual life in academia and research while also earning six figures selling marijuana. Based on Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling biography. Cast: Jay Will, Mary J. Blige, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Camila Cabello, Michael Kelly, Mare Winningham.

Sasquatch Sunset / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: David Zellner, Director & Producer: Nathan Zellner, Producers: Lars Knudsen, Tyler Campellone, George Rush, Jesse Eisenberg) — A year in the life of a singular family. Cast: Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, Nathan Zellner.

Sue Bird: In The Clutch / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Sarah Dowland, Producers: Emily Singer Chapman, Svetlana Zill) — In her 21-year professional career, WNBA basketball legend Sue Bird has won five Olympic gold medals and become the most successful point guard to ever play the game. Alongside her fiancée, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Sue confronts her next challenge: retiring from the only life she’s ever known. Documentary.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story / U.K., U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Ian Bonhôte, Director and Screenwriter: Peter Ettedgui, Producers: Lizzie Gillett, Robert Ford) — Never-before-seen home movies and extraordinary personal archives reveal how Christopher Reeve went from unknown actor to iconic movie star as the ultimate screen superhero. He learned the true meaning of heroism as an activist after suffering a tragic accident that left him quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. Documentary.

Thelma / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Josh Margolin, Producers: Zoë Worth, Chris Kaye, Nicholas Weinstock, Benjamin Simpson, Karl Spoerri, Viviana Vezzani) — When 93-year-old Thelma Post gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson, she sets out on a treacherous quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her. Cast: June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, Malcolm McDowell.

Will & Harper / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Josh Greenbaum, Producers: Rafael Marmor, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum, Christopher Leggett) — When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America. Documentary.

Winner / U.S.A., Canada (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Susanna Fogel, Screenwriter: Kerry Howley, Producers: Amanda Phillips, Shivani Rawat, Julie Goldstein, Scott Budnick, Ameet Shukla) — Reality Winner is a brilliant young misfit from a Texas border town who finds her morals challenged while serving as an NSA contractor. A sarcastic, gun-lovin, vegan, yogi, and CrossFit fanatic, Reality is an unconventional whistleblower who ends up being prosecuted for exposing Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election. Cast: Emilia Jones, Connie Britton, Zach Galifianakis, Kathryn Newton, Danny Ramirez.

Midnight:
Krazy House

From horror flicks and wild comedies to chilling thrillers and works that defy any genre, these films will keep you wide awake and on the edge of your seat.

I Saw the TV Glow / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Jane Schoenbrun, Producers: Emma Stone, Dave McCary, Ali Herting, Sam Intili, Sarah Winshall) — Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack. Cast: Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Ian Foreman, Helena Howard, Fred Durst, Danielle Deadwyler.

In A Violent Nature / Canada (Director & Screenwriter: Chris Nash, Producers: Peter Kuplowsky, Shannon Hanmer) — The enigmatic resurrection, rampage, and retribution of an undead monster in a remote wilderness. Cast: Ry Barrett, Andrea Pavlovic, Lauren Taylor.

It’s What’s Inside / U.S.A. (Director ^ Screenwriter: Greg Jardin, Producers: William Rosenfeld, Kate Andrews, Jason Baum, Raúl Domingo) — A pre-wedding party descends into an existential nightmare when an estranged friend shows up with a mysterious suitcase. Cast: Brittany O’Grady, James Morosini, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Gavin Leatherwood, Reina Hardesty, Nina Bloomgarden.

Kidnapping Inc. / Haiti, France, Canada (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Bruno Mourral, Screenwriter and Producer: Gilbert Jr. Mirambeau, Screenwriter: Jasmuel Andri, Producers: Samuel Chauvin, Yanick Letourneau, Gaëthan Chancy) — Tasked with what appears to be a simple abduction for hire, two hapless kidnappers find out that it’s anything but and end up in the middle of a political conspiracy. Cast: Jasmuel Andri, Rolaphton Mercure, Anabel Lopez, Ashley Laraque, Gessica Geneus, Patrick Joseph.

Krazy House / Netherlands (Directors & Screenwriters: Steffen Haars, Flip van der Kuil, Producer: Maarten Swart) — When Russian workers in Bernie’s house turn out to be wanted criminals, Bernie has to man up and save his ’90s sitcom family. Cast: Nick Frost, Alicia Silverstone, Jan Bijvoet, Gaite Jansen, Walt Klink, Kevin Connolly.

Love Lies Bleeding / U.S.A., U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Rose Glass, Producers: Andrea Cornwell, Oliver Kassman — Reclusive gym manager Lou falls hard for Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder headed through town to Las Vegas in pursuit of her dream. But their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Ed Harris, Dave Franco, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov.

The Moogai / Australia (Director & Screenwriter: Jon Bell, Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Samantha Jennings, Mitchell Stanley) — A young Aboriginal couple bring home their second baby. What should be a joyous time takes a sinister turn as the mother starts seeing a malevolent spirit she is convinced is trying to take her baby. Cast: Shari Sebbens, Meyne Wyatt, Tessa Rose, Jahdeana Mary, Clarence Ryan, Bella Heathcote.

Your Monster / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Caroline Lindy, Producers: Kayla Foster, Shannon Reilly, Melanie Donkers, Kira Carstensen) — After her life falls apart, soft-spoken actress Laura Franco finds her voice again when she meets a terrifying, yet weirdly charming, monster living in her closet. Cast: Melissa Barrera, Tommy Dewey, Meghann Fahy, Edmund Donovan, Kayla Foster.

Spotlight:

The Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love, presenting films that have played throughout the world.

àma Gloria / France (Director and Screenwriter: Marie Amachoukeli, Producer: Bénédicte Couvreur) — Six-year-old Cléo loves her nanny, Gloria, more than anything. When Gloria must return to Cape Verde to care for her own children, the two must make the most of their last summer together. Cast: Louise Mauroy-Panzani, Ilça Moreno Zego, Abnara Gomes Varela, Fredy Gomes Tavares, Arnaud Rebotini, Domingos Borges Almeida.

Hit Man / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Richard Linklater, Producer and Screenwriter: Glen Powell, Producers: Mike Blizzard, Jason Bateman, Michael Costigan) — A strait-laced professor discovers his hidden talent as a fake hit man. He meets his match in a client who steals his heart and ignites a powder keg of deception, delight, and mixed-up identities. Inspired by an unbelievable true story. Cast: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao.

How to Have Sex / U.K. (Director and Screenwriter: Molly Manning Walker, Producers: Ivana MacKinnon, Emily Leo, Konstantinos Kontovrakis) — Three British teenage girls go on a rite-of-passage holiday, drinking, clubbing, and hooking up in what should be the best summer of their lives. As they dance their way across the sun-drenched streets of Malia, they find themselves navigating the complexities of sex, consent, and self-discovery. Cast: Mia McKenna-Bruce, Samuel Bottomley, Shaun Thomas, Lara Peake, Enva Lewis, Laura Ambler.

The Mother of All Lies / Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (Director and Producer: Asmae El Moudir) — On a handmade set re-creating her Casablanca neighborhood, a young Moroccan filmmaker enlists family and friends to help unearth the troubling lies built into her childhood.

Family Matinee:

Geared towards our youngest independent-film fans, this section of the Festival is programmed for children & adolescents.

Out of My Mind / U.S.A. (Director: Amber Sealey, Screenwriter: Daniel Stiepleman, Producers: Peter Saraf, Robert Kessel, Dan Angel, Michael B. Clark) — Melody Brooks is navigating sixth grade as a nonverbal wheelchair user who has cerebral palsy. With the help of some assistive technology and her devoted, exuberant allies, Melody shows that what she has to say is more important than how she says it. Cast: Phoebe-Rae Taylor, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Kirby, Michael Chernus, Courtney Taylor, Judith Light.

10 Lives / U.K. (Director and Screenwriter: Christopher Jenkins, Screenwriters: Karen Wengrod, Ken Cinnamon,Producers: Guy Collins, Sean Feeney, Yann Zenou, Adrian Politowski, Martin Metz) — A pampered cat takes for granted the lucky hand he has been dealt after he is rescued and loved by Rose, a kind-hearted and passionate student. When he loses his ninth life, fate steps in to set him on a transformative journey. Cast: Mo Gilligan, Simone Ashley, Sophie Okonedo, Dylan Llewellyn, Zayn Malik, Bill Nighy.

New Frontier Films:

New Frontier champions artists practicing at the crossroads of film, art, performance, and new media tech. This year, the section focuses on the powerful rise of AI, the role of artists on the rapidly changing landscape of technologies, and empowering narrative agency and sustainable creative practice through design.

Being (the Digital Griot) (Lead Artist: Rashaad Newsome) — In this innovative participatory experience, Being, an artificial intelligence digital griot, asks the audience to engage in unifying and challenging discussions. It features a soundscape and movement informed by a dataset from Black communities, theorists, poets, and activists, including bell hooks, Paulo Freire, Dazié Grego-Sykes, and Cornel West.

Eno (Director: Gary Hustwit) — Visionary musician and artist Brian Eno — known for producing David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, among many others; pioneering the genre of ambient music; and releasing over 40 solo and collaboration albums — reveals his creative processes in this groundbreaking generative documentary: a film that’s different every time it’s shown.

Special Screenings:

War Game / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Jesse Moss, Director: Tony Gerber, Producers: Todd Lubin, Jack Turner, Mark DiCristofaro, Jessica Grimshaw, Nick Shumaker) — A bipartisan group of U.S. defense, intelligence, and elected policymakers spanning five presidential administrations participate in an unscripted role-play exercise in which they confront a political coup backed by rogue members of the U.S. military, in the wake of a contested presidential election.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, comments on this year of Sundance films: “From the first edition in 1985, Sundance Film Festival has aimed to provide a space to gather, celebrate, and engage with risk-taking artists that are committed to bringing their independent visions to audiences — the Festival remains true to that goal to this day. It continues to evolve, but its legacy of showcasing bold work that starts necessary conversations continues with the 2024 program.” Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute’s CEO, on the selection: “The Institute takes great pride in the role the Festival plays in advancing our mission to support artists creating audacious work,. This year is especially significant as we look back on our history of showcasing stories that surprise and delight, spark empathy and reflection, and honor our shared humanity. We’re all thrilled for this opportunity to celebrate the power of storytelling as we gather in January to introduce captivating works from acclaimed filmmakers and discover more new voices.” Let’s go.

Sundance is one of my top festivals, and I’m excited to get a glimpse at all the films playing. This year looks as intriguing as always, with plenty of fresh discoveries and some unique premieres. Bring on another year of Sundance. Sundance 2024 runs from January 18th to January 28th, 2024. Visit Sundance.org for more.

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2023 Indie Spirit Awards: ‘Everything Everywhere’ Lands 7 Wins Total | FirstShowing.net

2023 Indie Spirit Awards: ‘Everything Everywhere’ Lands 7 Wins Total

by Alex Billington
March 5, 2023
Source: Film Independent

The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring all of the indie films which deserve honor and recognition – celebrating their 38th year. The 2023 winners of the Spirit Awards were announced Saturday evening, in their usual spot in Santa Monica near the beach – this time just a week before the Oscars. The big winner this year is, of course: Everything Everywhere All at Once, which took home a total of seven major awards – including Best Director, Best Screenplay, all three of the Best Performances wins (go Michelle Yeoh!!), and Best Feature. The other nominations from all the 2022 releases included many excellent indie films many critics have been talking up all year, deserving of some extra time in the spotlight – gems like Murina from Croatia, A Love Song from Colorado, Emily the Criminal with Aubrey Plaza, Kogonada’s minimal sci-fi After Yang. These awards are always a nice counter-balance to the Oscars, so many underrated films worth recommending. Read on for the list of 2023 winners.

You’ll notice an [IMDb] link next to each film. This is so you can discover great new films, because there is guaranteed to be at least one film you’ve never heard of in here. Read on for a complete list of nominees and winners from the 38th Independent Spirit Awards. Winners from each category are designated in BOLD.

BEST FEATURE
Bones and All [IMDb]
Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Our Father, the Devil [IMDb]
Tár [IMDb]
Women Talking [IMDb]

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Aftersun – Charlotte Wells [IMDb]
Emily the Criminal – John Patton Ford [IMDb]
The Inspection – Elegance Bratton [IMDb]
Murina – Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović [IMDb]
Palm Trees and Power Lines – Jamie Dack [IMDb]

BEST DIRECTOR
Todd Field – Tár [IMDb]
Kogonada – After Yang [IMDb]
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Sarah Polley – Women Talking [IMDb]
Halina Reijn – Bodies Bodies Bodies [IMDb]

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
Cate Blanchett – Tár [IMDb]
Dale Dickey – A Love Song [IMDb]
Mia Goth – Pearl [IMDb]
Regina Hall – Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. [IMDb]
Paul Mescal – Aftersun [IMDb]
Aubrey Plaza – Emily the Criminal [IMDb]
Jeremy Pope – The Inspection [IMDb]
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie [IMDb]
Taylor Russell – Bones and All [IMDb]
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway [IMDb]
Nina Hoss – Tár [IMDb]
Brian d’Arcy James – The Cathedral [IMDb]
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Trevante Rhodes – Bruiser [IMDb]
Theo Rossi – Emily the Criminal [IMDb]
Mark Rylance – Bones and All [IMDb]
Jonathan Tucker – Palm Trees and Power Lines [IMDb]
Gabrielle Union – The Inspection [IMDb]

Best Breakthrough Performance
Frankie Corio – Aftersun [IMDb]
Gracija Filipović – Murina [IMDb]
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Lily McInerny – Palm Trees and Power Lines [IMDb]
Daniel Zolghadri – Funny Pages [IMDb]

BEST SCREENPLAY
Lena Dunham – Catherine Called Birdy [IMDb]
Todd Field – Tár [IMDb]
Kogonada – After Yang [IMDb]
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Sarah Polley – Women Talking [IMDb]

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Joel Kim Booster – Fire Island [IMDb]
Jamie Dack & Audrey Findlay / Story by Jamie Dack – Palm Trees and Power Lines [IMDb]
K.D. Dávila – Emergency [IMDb]
Sarah DeLappe / Story by Kristen Roupenian – Bodies Bodies Bodies [IMDb]
John Patton Ford – Emily the Criminal [IMDb]

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Florian Hoffmeister – Tár [IMDb]
Hélène Louvart – Murina [IMDb]
Gregory Oke – Aftersun [IMDb]
Eliot Rockett – Pearl [IMDb]
Anisia Uzeyman – Neptune Frost [IMDb]

BEST EDITING
Ricky D’Ambrose – The Cathedral [IMDb]
Dean Fleischer Camp & Nick Paley – Marcel the Shell with Shoes On [IMDb]
Blair McClendon – Aftersun [IMDb]
Paul Rogers – Everything Everywhere All at Once [IMDb]
Monika Willi – Tár [IMDb]

BEST DOCUMENTARY
All That Breathes [IMDb]
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed [IMDb]
A House Made of Splinters [IMDb]
Midwives [IMDb]
Riotsville, U.S.A. [IMDb]

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Corsage (Austria/Luxembourg/France/Belgium/Italy/England) [IMDb]
Joyland (Pakistan/USA) [IMDb]
Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines) [IMDb]
Return to Seoul (South Korea/France/Belgium/Romania) [IMDb]
Saint Omer (France) [IMDb]

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Best feature made for less than $1,000,000.
The African Desperate [IMDb]
A Love Song [IMDb]
The Cathedral [IMDb]
Holy Emy [IMDb]
Something in the Dirt [IMDb]

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Women Talking – Sarah Polley [IMDb]
Ensemble Cast: Shayla Brown, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Kira Guloien, Kate Hallett, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Sheila McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Michelle McLeod, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, August Winter

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Nikyatu Jusu – Writer / Director of Nanny [IMDb / Trailer]

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Reid Davenport for I Didn’t See You There [IMDb]

And that’s that! For last year’s list of nominees and winners, which was lead by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter taking home the biggest prizes, along with Red Rocket and Zola and Summer of Soulclick here. This year’s set of nominees for the Indie Spirits include an impressive and diverse selection of some of the best indie films and talented filmmakers out there – every last one of these films is worth a watch. The Indie Spirits are always a breath of fresh air in the awards season, with so many lovely indie films getting some extra attention. I’m not at all surprised that EEAAO won everything here – and it will very likely go on to win everything at the Oscars, too. I think it’s a brilliant movie that deserves this endless acclaim, I just didn’t expect it to last all the way through awards season and bring home all the prizes. I’m also very happy for Tár winning Best Cinematography (a gorgeous film) and Emily the Criminal winning Best Screenplay (underrated flick). I also highly recommend watching Causeway, A Love Song, Murina, Neptune Frost, and the excellent documentary Riotsville, U.S.A. Always some good films in these nominations to catch up with.

For more: SpiritAwards.com. A big indie congratulations to all of 2023s winners & nominees!

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Sundance 2023 Awards: ‘A Thousand and One’ & ‘Going to Mars’ Win

Sundance 2023 Awards: ‘A Thousand and One’ & ‘Going to Mars’ Win

by Alex Billington
January 27, 2023
Source: Sundance.org

The official awards for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Utah every January, were announced this evening with a small ceremony held in person in Utah. The festival continued this week with an at-home online series of viewings in addition to all the in-person projections. It was an especially festive year, so many people were excited to be back in Park City in the snow to enjoy films, and a rather impressive selection – 111 features in total screened at Sundance 2023. I enjoyed so many of them, the quality was at its best. The main winners for 2023 including A Thousand and One (made by A.V. Rockwell) and the doc Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project winning the premium top Grand Jury Prizes. In addition, the festival favorite is Radical (read my glowing review) along with The Persian Version and Beyond Utopia as the Main Competition Audience Award winners. As always, if any of these films interest you, we hope you note them down and take the time to watch as soon as you can. All 2023 winners are listed below.

Here’s the full announcement of winners with synopsis next to each. The 2023 festival is wrapping up now.

2023 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL JURY AWARDS:

The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to A.V. Rockwell for A Thousand and One / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: A.V. Rockwell, Producers: Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Brad Weston) — Convinced it’s one last, necessary crime on the path to redemption, unapologetic and free-spirited Inez kidnaps 6-year-old Terry from the foster care system. Holding on to their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, identity, and stability in New York City. Cast: Teyana Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, Aaron Kingsley Adetola.

The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson for Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project / U.S.A. (Directors & Producers: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson, Producer: Tommy Oliver) — Intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of poetry take us on a journey through the dreamscape of legendary poet Nikki Giovanni as she reflects on her life and legacy.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Charlotte Regan for Scrapper / U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Charlotte Regan, Producer: Theo Barrowclough) — Georgie is a dreamy 12-year-old girl who lives happily alone in her London flat, filling it with magic. Out of nowhere, her estranged father turns up and forces her to confront reality. Cast: Harris Dickinson, Lola Campbell, Alin Uzun, Ambreen Razia, Olivia Brady, Aylin Tezel.

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Maite Alberdi for The Eternal Memory / Chile (Director & Producer: Maite Alberdi, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue) — Augusto and Paulina have been together for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Both fear the day he no longer recognizes her.

The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Luke Lorentzen for A Still Small Voice / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Luke Lorentzen, Producer: Kellen Quinn) — An aspiring hospital chaplain begins a yearlong residency in spiritual care, only to discover that to successfully tend to her patients, she must look deep within herself.

The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Sing J. Lee for The Accidental Getaway Driver / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Sing Lee, Screenwriter: Christopher Chen, Producers: Kimberly Steward, Basil Iwanyk, Andy Sorgie, Brendon Boyea, Joseph Hiếu) — During a routine pickup, an elderly Vietnamese cab driver is taken hostage at gunpoint by three recently escaped Orange County convicts. Based on a true story. Cast: Hiệp Trần Nghĩa, Dustin Nguyen, Dali Benssalah, Phi Vũ, Gabrielle Chan.

The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to Anna Hints for Smoke Sauna Sisterhood / Estonia, France, Iceland (Director: Anna Hints, Producer: Marianne Ostrat) — In the darkness of a smoke sauna, women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences, washing off the shame trapped in their bodies and regaining their strength through a sense of communion.

The Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic was presented to Marija Kavtaradze for Slow / Lithuania, Spain, Sweden (Director & Screenwriter: Marija Kavtaradze, Producer: Marija Razgute) — Dancer Elena and sign language interpreter Dovydas meet and form a beautiful bond. As they dive into a new relationship, they must navigate how to build their own kind of intimacy.

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Maryam Keshavarz for The Persian Version / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Maryam Keshavarz, Producers: Anne Carey, Ben Howe, Luca Borghese, Peter Block, Corey Nelson) — When a large Iranian-American family gathers for the patriarch’s heart transplant, a family secret is uncovered that catapults the estranged mother and daughter into an exploration of the past. Toggling between the United States and Iran over decades, mother and daughter discover they are more alike than they know. Cast: Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor, Kamand Shafieisabet, Bella Warda, Bijan Daneshmand, Shervin Alenabi.

The Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Daniela I. Quiroz for Going Varsity in Mariachi / U.S.A. (Directors: Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn, Producers: James Lawler, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Julia Pontecorvo) — In the competitive world of high school mariachi, the musicians from the South Texas borderlands reign supreme. Under the guidance of coach Abel Acuña, the teenage captains of Edinburg North High School’s acclaimed team must turn a shoestring budget and diverse crew of inexperienced musicians into state champions.

A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble was presented to the cast of Theater Camp / U.S.A. (Directors & Screenwriters: Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Screenwriters: Noah Galvin, Ben Platt, Producers: Erik Feig, Samie Kim Falvey, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum) — When the beloved founder of a run-down theater camp in upstate New York falls into a coma, the eccentric staff must band together with the founder’s crypto-bro son to keep the camp afloat. Cast: Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Ayo Edebiri.

A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Creative Vision was presented to the creative team of Magazine Dreams / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Elijah Bynum, Producers: Jennifer Fox, Dan Gilroy, Jeffrey Soros, Simon Horsman) — An amateur bodybuilder struggles to find human connection as his relentless drive for recognition pushes him to the brink. Cast: Jonathan Majors, Haley Bennett, Taylour Paige, Mike O’Hearn, Harrison Page, Harriet Sansom Harris.

A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting was presented to Lio Mehiel for Mutt / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, Producers: Alexander Stegmaier, Stephen Scott Scarpulla, Jennifer Kuczaj, Joel Michaely) Jury citation:— Over the course of a single hectic day in New York City, three people from Feña’s past are thrust back into his life. Having lost touch since transitioning from female to male, he navigates the new dynamics of old relationships while tackling the day-to-day challenges of living life in between. Cast: Lío Mehiel, Cole Doman, MiMi Ryder, Alejandro Goic.

A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision was presented to The Stroll / U.S.A. (Directors: Kristen Lovell, Zackary Drucker, Producer: Matt Wolf) — The history of New York’s Meatpacking District, told from the perspective of transgender sex workers who lived and worked there. Filmmaker Kristen Lovell, who walked “The Stroll” for a decade, reunites her community to recount the violence, policing, homelessness, and gentrification they overcame to build a movement for transgender rights.

The NEXT Innovator Award presented by Adobe was presented to Kokomo City / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: D. Smith, Producers: Harris Doran, Bill Butler) — Four Black transgender sex workers explore the dichotomy between the Black community and themselves, while confronting issues long avoided.

2023 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARDS:

The Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura was awarded to Beyond Utopia / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Gavin, Producers: Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Sue Mi Terry) — Hidden camera footage augments this perilous high-stakes journey as we embed with families attempting to escape oppression from North Korea, ultimately revealing a world most of us have never seen.

The Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura was awarded to The Persian Version / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Maryam Keshavarz, Producers: Anne Carey, Ben Howe, Luca Borghese, Peter Block, Corey Nelson) — When a large Iranian-American family gathers for the patriarch’s heart transplant, a family secret is uncovered that catapults the estranged mother and daughter into an exploration of the past. Toggling between the United States and Iran over decades, mother and daughter discover they are more alike than they know. Cast: Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor, Kamand Shafieisabet, Bella Warda, Bijan Daneshmand, Shervin Alenabi.

The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to Shayda / Australia (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Noora Niasari, Producer: Vincent Sheehan) — Shayda, a brave Iranian mother, finds refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her 6-year-old daughter. Over Persian New Year, they take solace in Nowruz rituals and new beginnings, but when her estranged husband re-enters their lives, Shayda’s path to freedom is jeopardized. Cast: Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Osamah Sami, Leah Purcell, Jillian Nguyen, Mojean Aria, Selina Zahednia.

The Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to 20 Days in Mariupol / Ukraine (Director & Producer: Mstyslav Chernov, Producers: Michelle Mizner, Raney Aronson-Rath, Derl McCrudden) — As the Russian invasion begins, a team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting the war’s atrocities.

The Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe was awarded to Kokomo City / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: D. Smith, Producers: Harris Doran, Bill Butler) — Four Black transgender sex workers explore the dichotomy between the Black community and themselves, while confronting issues long avoided.

Selected by audience votes from the feature films that screened at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, the Festival Favorite Award was presented to Radical / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Christopher Zalla, Producers: Ben Odell, Eugenio Derbez, Joshua Davis) — In a Mexican border town plagued by neglect, corruption, and violence, a frustrated teacher tries a radical new method to break through his students’ apathy and unlock their curiosity, their potential… and maybe even their genius. Based on a true story. Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Daniel Haddad, Jenifer Trejo, Mia Fernanda Solis, Danilo Guardiola.

Congrats to all of 2023’s winners! Keep an eye on all these films, catch them when they show in your area. I’m also a big fan of many of these films already – A Thousand and One and Radical and Beyond Utopia and Scrapper are some of my favorite of the fest. I’m already recommending these and plan to talk about them throughout the rest of this year. I was fully expecting Theater Camp, or perhaps Past Lives (based on all the reviews), to win the Festival Favorite / Audience Award instead – I heard people raving about both of these over and over for the entire festival. I was not the biggest fan of The Accidental Getaway Driver, a bit dull for me, but that’s just my own take on it. I recently watched the Finnish doc Smoke Sauna Sisterhood and it’s fantastic, I’m glad it took home a price as well. A number of these winners I didn’t even have the chance to see anyway. As expected, everyone’s opinions on all of these 2023 films are different! That said, every last one of them is still worth your time & attention anyway – Sundance brings many of the best films every year.

For more info, visit Sundance.org. Also see last year’s winners here. Follow all our Sundance 2023 coverage.

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95th Academy Awards Nominations Announced – Full List for 2022

95th Academy Awards Nominations Announced – Full List for 2022

by Alex Billington
January 24, 2023
Source: Oscars.org

The complete list of nominees for the 95th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (from Oscars.org). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees via live broadcast. The nominations from 2022 are, as usual, an exciting and wonderful and curious set of nominees with plenty of surprises and expected picks – including The Sea Beast sneaking in, RRR only getting in for Best Song, Andrea Riseborough from To Leslie somehow pulling off a nod, and The Banshees of Inisherin getting tons of love. Best of all, my #1 of 2022Everything Everywhere All at Once – landed 11 nominations in total, a clear sign it’s loved by everyone. The Academy chose a total of ten Best Picture nominees from 2022, also including: Top Gun: Maverick, All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Women Talking, Triangle of Sadness. Without further ado, view the full list of nominees below.

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be on Sunday, March 12th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood – broadcast live by ABC. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Here are 2022’s nominations:

PICTURE:
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Elvis
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Tar
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

DIRECTOR:
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
Todd Field – Tar
Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness

ACTOR:
Austin Butler – Elvis
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Bill Nighy – Living

ACTRESS:
Cate Blanchett – Tar
Ana de Armas – Blonde
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Brendan Gleason – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau – The Whale
Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner
Tar – Todd Field
Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Östlund

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
All Quiet on the Western Front – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson
Living – Kazuo Ishiguro
Top Gun: Maverick – Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie
Women Talking – Sarah Polley

ANIMATED FEATURE:
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Puss in Boots
The Sea Beast
Turning Red

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE:
All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
Close (Belgium)
EO (Poland)
The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
All Quiet on the Western Front – James Friend
Bardo – Darius Khondji
Elvis – Mandy Walker
Empire of Light – Roger Deakins
Tar – Florian Hoffmeister

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
All That Breathes
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Fire of Love
A House Made of Splinters
Navalny

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
The Elephant Whisperers – Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
Haulout – Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev
How Do You Measure a Year? – Jay Rosenblatt
The Martha Mitchell Effect – Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison
Stranger at the Gate – Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

ANIMATED SHORT:
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud
The Flying Sailor – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
Ice Merchants – João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano
My Year of Dicks – Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon
An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It – Lachlan Pendragon

LIVE-ACTION SHORT:
An Irish Goodbye – Tom Berkeley and Ross White
Ivalu – Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan
Le Pupille – Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón
Night Ride – Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen
The Red Suitcase – Cyrus Neshvad

VISUAL EFFECTS:
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Batman
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Top Gun: Maverick

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Dune – PD: Patrice Vermette; Set: Zsuzsanna Sipos
All Quiet on the Western Front – PD: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set: Ernestine Hipper
Avatar: The Way of Water – PD: Dylan Cole & Ben Procter; Set: Vanessa Cole
Babylon – PD: Florencia Martin; Set: Anthony Carlino
Elvis – PD: Catherine Martin & Karen Murphy; Set: Bev Dunn
The Fabelmans – PD: Rick Carter; Set: Karen O’Hara

COSTUME DESIGN:
Babylon – Mary Zophres
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth Carter
Elvis – Catherine Martin
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Shirley Kurata
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris – Jenny Beavan

MAKE-UP & HAIR:
All Quiet on the Western Front – Heike Merker & Linda Eisenhamerová
The Batman – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, Mike Fontaine
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Camille Friend & Joel Harlow
Elvis – Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, Aldo Signoretti
The Whale – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, Anne Marie Bradley

FILM EDITING:
The Banshees of Inisherin – Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
Elvis – Matt Villa & Jonathan Redmond
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Paul Rogers
Tar – Monika Willi
Top Gun: Maverick – Eddie Hamilton

SOUND:
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Batman
Elvis
Top Gun: Maverick

ORIGINAL SCORE:
All Quiet on the Western Front – Volker Bertelmann
Babylon – Justin Hurwitz
The Banshees of Inisherin – Carter Burwell
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Son Lux
The Fabelmans – John Williams

ORIGINAL SONG:
“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman
“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick
“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
“Naatu Naatu” from RRR
“This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees. I’m happy about most of these selections, especially EEAAO and Tar and Close and Brendan Fraser (yes, I’m a fan). I’m most upset about Moonage Daydream being left out of Best Documentary. How did they miss that?! And I also do think S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR should’ve earned a few more mentions, but apparently India didn’t even submit it for Best International Film anyway. The surprise celebrity campaign for Andrea Riseborough worked, but does she really deserve it this time? Especially over other incredible performances like Danielle Deadwyler in Till? I’m considerably surprised that All Quiet on the Western Front end up with so many noms, especially as a Netflix movie. It’s good, but good enough for 9 nominations? I guess so. Above all else, I want Ke Huy Quan to win his Oscar – he also deserves it for his EEAAO performance. In cinematography, I’d swap out Empire of Light for anything else. Yeah I know it’s Deakins, but it’s not a good film, and he has tons of noms already anyway. I am sure there will be tons of complaints about everything, as is the norm. What do you think of the nominations for 2022?

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Sundance 2023: Official Selection of All 99 Feature Films Announced

Sundance 2023: Official Selection of All 99 Feature Films Announced

by Alex Billington
December 7, 2022

Let’s find out what the next year in cinema looks like. Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with less than two months until Sundance 2023 kicks off on January 19th, it’s time to find out what’s premiering at this prestigious fest in Utah. Sundance has revealed their 2023 selection of ALL of their official feature films in the selection this year, including 99 films playing across these 10 categories (including their usual four Competition categories – now bumped up to 12 films in each), ranging from new documentaries to quirky comedies, compelling dramas, and everything else good. The 2023 festival is taking place both as an in-person festival returning to snowy Park City, UT, as well as a virtual festival with online premieres only available for the second half. Sundance is still one of my favorite festivals in the world, and we’ll be returning for our 17th year in a row to cover it. View the entire selection of new films below to get a sense of what the 2023 line-up contains. Some of the most exciting offerings are in the Premieres category.

Browse through all the feature film selections for Sundance 2023 films – and visit Sundance.org for more.

U.S. Dramatic Competition:
Shortcomings

Presenting 12 world premieres of fiction feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers audiences a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

The Accidental Getaway Driver (Director & Screenwriter: Sing J. Lee, Screenwriter: Christopher Chen, Producers: Kimberly Steward, Basil Iwanyk, Andy Sorgie, Brendon Boyea, Joseph Hiếu) — During a routine pickup, an elderly Vietnamese cab driver is taken hostage at gunpoint by three recently escaped Orange County convicts. Based on a true story. Cast: Hiệp Trần Nghĩa, Dustin Nguyen, Dali Benssalah, Phi Vũ, Gabrielle Chan. Available online.

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Director & Screenwriter: Raven Jackson, Producers: Maria Altamirano, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak) – A decades-spanning exploration of a woman’s life in Mississippi and an ode to the generations of people, places, and ineffable moments that shape us. Cast: Charleen McClure, Moses Ingram, Kaylee Nicole Johnson, Reginald Helms Jr., Sheila Atim, Chris Chalk. Available online.

Fair Play (Director & Screenwriter: Chloe Domont, Producers: Leopold Hughes, Ben LeClair, Tim White, Trevor White, Allan Mandelbaum) — An unexpected promotion at a cutthroat hedge fund pushes a young couple’s relationship to the brink, threatening to unravel far more than their recent engagement. Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan. Available online.

Fancy Dance (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Erica Tremblay, Screenwriter: Miciana Alise, Producers: Deidre Backs, Heather Rae, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Tommy Oliver) — Following her sister’s disappearance, a Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from the child’s white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in hopes of keeping what is left of their family intact. Cast: Lily Gladstone, Isabel Deroy-Olson, Ryan Begay, Shea Whigham, Audrey Wasilewski. Available online.

Magazine Dreams (Director & Screenwriter: Elijah Bynum, Producers: Jennifer Fox, Dan Gilroy, Jeffrey Soros, Simon Horsman) — An amateur bodybuilder struggles to find human connection as his relentless drive for recognition pushes him to the brink. Cast: Jonathan Majors, Haley Bennett, Taylour Paige, Mike O’Hearn, Harrison Page, Harriet Sansom Harris. Available online.

Mutt (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, Producers: Alexander Stegmaier, Stephen Scott Scarpulla, Jennifer Kuczaj, Joel Michaely) — Over the course of a single hectic day in New York City, three people from Feña’s past are thrust back into his life. Having lost touch since transitioning from female to male, he navigates the new dynamics of old relationships while tackling the day-to-day challenges of living life in between. Cast: Lío Mehiel, Cole Doman, MiMi Ryder, Alejandro Goic. Available online.

The Persian Version (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Maryam Keshavarz, Producers: Anne Carey, Ben Howe, Luca Borghese, Peter Block, Corey Nelson) — When a large Iranian-American family gathers for the patriarch’s heart transplant, a family secret is uncovered that catapults the estranged mother and daughter into an exploration of the past. Toggling between the United States and Iran over decades, mother and daughter discover they are more alike than they know. Cast: Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor, Kamand Shafieisabet, Bella Warda, Bijan Daneshmand, Shervin Alenabi. Available online.

Shortcomings (Director: Randall Park, Screenwriter: Adrian Tomine, Producers: Margot Hand, Randall Park, Hieu Ho, Jennifer Berman, Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff) — Following Ben, Miko, and Alice as they navigate a range of interpersonal relationships and traverse the country in search of the ideal connection. Cast: Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki, Debby Ryan, Tavi Gevinson, Sonoya Mizuno. Available online.

Sometimes I Think About Dying (Director: Rachel Lambert, Screenwriters: Kevin Armento, Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead, Producers: Alex Saks, Daisy Ridley, Dori Rath, Lauren Beveridge, Brett Beveridge) — Fran likes to think about dying. It brings sensation to her quiet life. When she makes the new guy at work laugh, it leads to more: a date, a slice of pie, a conversation, a spark. The only thing standing in their way is Fran herself. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Dave Merheje, Parvesh Cheena, Marcia DeBonis, Meg Stalter, Brittany O’Grady. Available online. 

The Starling Girl (Director & Screenwriter: Laurel Akira Parmet, Producers: Kevin Rowe, Kara Durrett) — Seventeen-year-old Jem Starling struggles with her place within her Christian fundamentalist community, but everything changes when her magnetic youth pastor Owen returns to their church. Cast: Eliza Scanlen, Lewis Pullman, Jimmi Simpson, Wrenn Schmidt, Austin Abrams, Jessamine Burgum. Available online.

Theater Camp (Directors & Screenwriters: Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Screenwriters: Noah Galvin, Ben Platt, Producers: Erik Feig, Samie Kim Falvey, Julia Hammer, Ryan Heller, Will Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum) — When the beloved founder of a run-down theater camp in upstate New York falls into a coma, the eccentric staff must band together with the founder’s crypto-bro son to keep the camp afloat. Cast: Molly Gordon, Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Ayo Edebiri. Available online.

A Thousand and One (Director & Screenwriter: A.V. Rockwell, Producers: Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Brad Weston) — Convinced it’s one last, necessary crime on the path to redemption, unapologetic and free-spirited Inez kidnaps 6-year-old Terry from the foster care system. Holding on to their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, identity, and stability in New York City. Cast: Teyana Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, Aaron Kingsley Adetola. Available online.

U.S. Documentary Competition:
Bad Press

World-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.

AUM: The Cult at the End of the World (Directors & Producers: Ben Braun, Chiaki Yanagimoto, Producers: Dan Braun, Josh Braun, Rick Brookwell) — On the morning of March 20, 1995, a deadly nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway sent the nation and its people into chaos. This exploration of Aum Shinrikyo, the cult responsible for the attack, involves the participation of those who lived through the horror as it unfolded. Available online.

Bad Press (Directors: Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler, Producers: Conrad Beilharz, Garrett F. Baker, Tyler Graim) — When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring its free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian country. Available online.

The Disappearance of Shere Hite (Director and Producer: Nicole Newnham, Producers: Molly O’Brien, R.J. Cutler, Elise Pearlstein, Kimberley Ferdinando, Trevor Smith) — Shere Hite’s 1976 bestselling book, The Hite Report, liberated the female orgasm by revealing the most private experiences of thousands of anonymous survey respondents. Her findings rocked the American establishment and presaged current conversations about gender, sexuality, and bodily autonomy. So how did Shere Hite disappear? Available online.

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (Directors and Producers: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson, Producer: Tommy Oliver) — Intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of poetry take us on a journey through the dreamscape of legendary poet Nikki Giovanni as she reflects on her life and legacy. Available online.

Going Varsity in Mariachi (Directors: Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn, Producers: James Lawler, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Julia Pontecorvo) — In the competitive world of high school mariachi, the musicians from the South Texas borderlands reign supreme. Under the guidance of coach Abel Acuña, the teenage captains of Edinburg North High School’s acclaimed team must turn a shoestring budget and diverse crew of inexperienced musicians into state champions. Available online.

Joonam (Director: Sierra Urich, Producer: Keith Wilson) — Spurred by a provocative family memory and a lifetime of separation from the country her mother left behind, a young filmmaker delves into her mother and grandmother’s complicated pasts and her own fractured Iranian identity. Available online.

Little Richard: I Am Everything (Director & Producer: Lisa Cortés, Producers: Robert Friedman, Liz Yale Marsh, Caryn Capotosto) — This celebration of Little Richard reveals the Black queer origins of rock ’n’ roll, finally exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music. Through archival and performance footage, the revolutionary icon’s life unspools with all of its switchbacks and contradictions. Available online.

Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV (Director & Producer: Amanda Kim, Producers: Amy Hobby, David Koh, Mariko Munro, Jennifer Stockman, Jesse Wann) — The quixotic journey of Nam June Paik, one of the most famous Asian artists of the 20th century, who revolutionized the use of technology as an artistic canvas and prophesied both the fascist tendencies and intercultural understanding that would arise from the interconnected metaverse of today’s world. Available online.

A Still Small Voice (Director and Producer: Luke Lorentzen, Producer: Kellen Quinn) — An aspiring hospital chaplain begins a yearlong residency in spiritual care, only to discover that to successfully tend to her patients, she must look deep within herself. Available online.

The Stroll (Directors: Kristen Lovell, Zackary Drucker, Producer: Matt Wolf) — The history of New York’s Meatpacking District, told from the perspective of transgender sex workers who lived and worked there. Filmmaker Kristen Lovell, who walked “The Stroll” for a decade, reunites her community to recount the violence, policing, homelessness, and gentrification they overcame to build a movement for transgender rights. Available online.

Victim/Suspect (Director & Producer: Nancy Schwartzman, Producers: Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Alice Henty, Rachel de Leon, Amanda Pike) — Investigative journalist Rae de Leon travels nationwide to uncover and examine a shocking pattern: Young women tell the police they’ve been sexually assaulted, but instead of finding justice, they’re charged with the crime of making a false report, arrested, and even imprisoned by the system they believed would protect them. Available online.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition:
Sorcery

Fiction projects from emerging artists around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

Animalia / France, Morocco, Qatar (Director & Screenwriter: Sofia Alaoui, Producers: Margaux Lorier, Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral) — A young, pregnant woman finds emancipation as aliens land in Morocco. Cast: Oumaïma Barid, Mehdi Dehbi, Fouad Oughaou. Available online.

Bad Behaviour / New Zealand (Director & Screenwriter: Alice Englert, Producers: Molly Hallam, Desray Armstrong) — Lucy, a former child actor, seeks enlightenment at a retreat led by spiritual leader Elon while she navigates her close yet turbulent relationship with her stunt-performer daughter, Dylan. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Whishaw, Alice Englert, Ana Scotney, Dasha Nekrasova, Marlon Williams. Available online.

Girl / U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Adura Onashile, Producers: Rosie Crerar, Ciara Barry) — Eleven-year-old Ama and her mother, Grace, take solace in the gentle but isolated world they obsessively create. Ama’s growing up threatens the boundaries of their tenderness and forces Grace to reckon with a past she struggles to forget. Cast: Déborah Lukumuena, Danny Sapani, Le’Shantey Bonsu, Liana Turner. Available online.

Heroic / Mexico, Sweden (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: David Zonana, Producers: Michel Franco, Eréndira Núñez Larios) — Luis, an 18-year-old boy with Indigenous roots, enters the Heroic Military College in hopes of ensuring a better future. There, he encounters a rigid and institutionally violent system designed to turn him into a perfect soldier. Cast: Santiago Sandoval Carbajal, Fernando Cuautle, Mónica del Carmen, Esteban Caicedo, Carlos Gerardo García, Isabel Yudice. Available online.

Mamacruz / Spain (Director & Screenwriter: Patricia Ortega, Screenwriter: José Ortuño, Producer: Olmo Figueredo) — With the help of her newly emigrated daughter, a religious grandmother learns how to use the internet. However, an accidental encounter with pornography poses a dilemma for her. Cast: Kiti Mánver. Available online.

Mami Wata / Nigeria (Director & Screenwriter: C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, Producer: Oge Obasi) — When the harmony in a village is threatened by outside elements, two sisters must fight to save their people and restore the glory of a mermaid goddess to the land. Cast: Evelyne Ily, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Kelechi Udegbe, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie, Tough Bone. Available online.

La Pecera / Puerto Rico, Spain (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Glorimar Marrero Sánchez, Producers: Amaya Izquierdo, José Esteban Alenda) — As her cancer spreads, Noelia’s ultimate decision is to return to her native Vieques, Puerto Rico, and claim her freedom to decide her own fate. She reunites with her friends and family, who are still dealing with the contamination of the U.S. Navy after sixty years of military practices. Cast: Isel Rodríguez, Modesto Lacén, Magali Carrasquillo, Maximiliano Rivas, Anamín Santiago, Idenisse Salamán. Available online.

Scrapper / U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Charlotte Regan, Producer: Theo Barrowclough) — Georgie is a dreamy 12-year-old girl who lives happily alone in her London flat, filling it with magic. Out of nowhere, her estranged father turns up and forces her to confront reality. Cast: Harris Dickinson, Lola Campbell, Alin Uzun, Ambreen Razia, Olivia Brady, Aylin Tezel. Available online.

Shayda / Australia (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Noora Niasari, Producer: Vincent Sheehan) — Shayda, a brave Iranian mother, finds refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her 6-year-old daughter. Over Persian New Year, they take solace in Nowruz rituals and new beginnings, but when her estranged husband re-enters their lives, Shayda’s path to freedom is jeopardized. Cast: Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Osamah Sami, Leah Purcell, Jillian Nguyen, Mojean Aria, Selina Zahednia. Available online.

Slow / Lithuania, Spain, Sweden (Director & Screenwriter: Marija Kavtaradze, Producer: Marija Razgute) — Dancer Elena and sign language interpreter Dovydas meet and form a beautiful bond. As they dive into a new relationship, they must navigate how to build their own kind of intimacy. Cast: Greta Grinevičiūtė, Kęstutis Cicėnas. Available online.

Sorcery / Chile, Mexico, Germany (Director & Screenwriter: Christopher Murray, Screenwriter: Pablo Paredes, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue, Nicolás Celis) — On the remote island of Chiloé in the late 19th century, an Indigenous girl named Rosa lives and works with her father on a farm. When the foreman brutally turns on Rosa’s father, she sets out for justice, seeking help from the king of a powerful organization of sorcerers. Cast: Valentina Véliz, Daniel Antivilo, Sebastian Hulk, Daniel Muñoz. Available online.

When It Melts / Belgium (Director & Screenwriter: Veerle Baetens, Screenwriter: Maarten Loix, Producers: Bart Van Langendonck, Ellen Havenith, Jacques-Henri Bronckart) — Many years after a sweltering summer that spun out of control, Eva returns to the village she grew up in with an ice block in the back of her car. In the dead of winter, she confronts her past and faces up to her tormentors. Cast: Charlotte De Bruyne, Rosa Marchant. Available online.

World Cinema Documentary Competition:
Fantastic Machine

Documentaries by some of the boldest global filmmakers capturing the world today.

5 Seasons of Revolution / Germany, Syria, Netherlands, Norway (Director: Lina, Producer: Diana El Jeiroudi) — An aspiring video journalist in her 20s finds herself already facing self-reckoning. Born in Damascus, Syria, Lina starts to report on the events around her until she is compelled to become a war reporter and, later, the unexpected narrator of her own destiny. Available online.

20 Days in Mariupol / Ukraine (Director & Producer: Mstyslav Chernov, Producers: Michelle Mizner, Raney Aronson-Rath, Derl McCrudden) — As the Russian invasion begins, a team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting the war’s atrocities. Available online.

Against the Tide / India (Director & Producer: Sarvnik Kaur, Producer: Koval Bhatia) — Two friends, both Indigenous fishermen, are driven to desperation by a dying sea. Their friendship begins to fracture as they take very different paths to provide for their struggling families. Available online.

The Eternal Memory / Chile (Director & Producer: Maite Alberdi, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue) — Augusto and Paulina have been together for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Both fear the day he no longer recognizes her. Available online.

Fantastic Machine / Sweden, Denmark (Directors & Producers: Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck) — From the first camera to 45 billion cameras worldwide today, the visual sociologist filmmakers widen their lens to expose both humanity’s unique obsession with the camera’s image and the social consequences that lay ahead. Available online.

Iron Butterflies / Ukraine, Germany (Director: Roman Liubyi, Producers: Andrii Kotliar, Volodymyr Tykhyy, David Armati Lechner, Isabelle Bertolone, Trini Götze) — In summer 2014, sunflower fields and coal mines in eastern Ukraine turned into a 12 square kilometer crime scene. A multi-layered investigation into the downing of flight MH17, in which a butterfly-shaped shrapnel was found in the pilot’s body, implicated the state responsible for a war crime that remains unpunished. Available online.

Is There Anybody Out There? / U.K. (Director: Ella Glendining, Producer: Janine Marmot) — While navigating daily discrimination, a filmmaker who inhabits and loves her unusual body searches the world for another person like her, and explores what it takes to love oneself fiercely despite the pervasiveness of ableism. Available online.

The Longest Goodbye / Israel, Canada (Director & Producer: Ido Mizrahy, Producers: Nir Sa’ar, Paul Cadieux) — Social isolation affects millions of people, even Mars-bound astronauts. A savvy NASA psychologist is tasked with protecting these daring explorers. Available online.

Milisuthando / South Africa (Director & Screenwriter: Milisuthando Bongela, Producer: Marion Isaacs) — Set in past, present, and future South Africa — an invitation into a poetic, memory-driven exploration of love, intimacy, race, and belonging by the filmmaker, who grew up during apartheid but didn’t know it was happening until it was over. Available online.

Pianoforte / Poland (Director: Jakub Piątek, Producer: Maciej Kubicki) — Young pianists take part in the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition. A unique chance of a lifetime, portrayed from backstage and set to Chopin’s music. Available online.

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood / Estonia, France, Iceland (Director: Anna Hints, Producer: Marianne Ostrat) — In the darkness of a smoke sauna, women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences, washing off the shame trapped in their bodies and regaining their strength through a sense of communion. Available online.

Twice Colonized / Greenland, Denmark, Canada (Director: Lin Alluna, Producers: Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok MacDonald, Bob Moore) — Renowned Inuit lawyer Aaju Peter has long fought for the rights of her people. When her son suddenly dies, Aaju embarks on a journey to reclaim her language and culture after a lifetime of whitewashing and forced assimilation. But can she both change the world and mend her own wounds? Available online.

NEXT:
To Live and Die and Live

Visionary works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling populate this program.

Bravo, Burkina! / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Walé Oyéjidé, Producers: Giulia Alagna, Heather Barnes) — A Burkinabé boy flees his village and migrates to Italy. When disillusioned by heartbreak and haunted by memories of home, he travels through time in hope of regaining all he has lost. Cast: Alain Tiendrebeogo, Mousty Mbaye, Noel Minougou, Aissata Deme, Afissatou Coulibaly. Fiction. Available online. 

Divinity / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Eddie Alcazar, Producer: Steven Soderbergh) — Two mysterious brothers abduct a mogul during his quest for immortality. Meanwhile, a seductive woman helps them launch a journey of self-discovery. Cast: Stephen Dorff, Moises Arias, Jason Genao, Karrueche Tran, Bella Thorne, Scott Bakula. Fiction. Available online.

Fremont / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Babak Jalali, Screenwriter: Carolina Cavalli, Producers: Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, Rachael Fung, George Rush, Chris Martin, Laura Wagner) — Donya works for a Chinese fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. Formerly a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, she struggles to put her life back in order. In a moment of sudden revelation, she decides to send out a special message in a cookie. Cast: Anaita Wali Zada, Jeremy Allen White, Gregg Turkington. Fiction. Available online.

Kim’s Video / U.S.A. (Directors, Screenwriters, & Producers: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin, Producers: Deborah Smith, Dale Smith, Francesco Galavotti, Rebecca Tabasky) — Playing with the forms and tropes of various cinema genres, the filmmaker sets off on a quest to find a legendary lost video collection of 55,000 movies in Sicily. Documentary. Available online.

King Coal / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Producers: Shane Boris, Diane Becker, Peggy Drexler) — The cultural roots of coal continue to permeate the rituals of daily life in Appalachia even as its economic power wanes. The journey of a coal miner’s daughter exploring the region’s dreams and myths, untangling the pain and beauty, as her community sits on the brink of massive change. Documentary. Available online.

Kokomo City / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: D. Smith, Producers: Harris Doran, Bill Butler) — Four Black transgender sex workers explore the dichotomy between the Black community and themselves, while confronting issues long avoided. Documentary. Available online.

To Live and Die and Live / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Qasim Basir, Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Amin Joseph, Dana Offenbach, Samantha Basir) — Muhammad returns home to Detroit to bury his stepfather and is thrust into settling his accounts, but Muhammad’s struggles with depression and addiction may finish him before he finishes the task. Cast: Amin Joseph, Skye P. Marshall, Omari Hardwick, Cory Hardrict, Dana Gourrier, Maryam Basir. Fiction. Available online.

The Tuba Thieves / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Alison O’Daniel, Producer: Rachel Nederveld, Wendy Ettinger, Maida Lynn, Su Kim, Maya E. Rudolph) — From 2011 to 2013, tubas were stolen from Los Angeles high schools. This is not a story about thieves or missing tubas. Instead, it asks what it means to listen. Documentary. Available online.

Young. Wild. Free. / U.S.A (Director: Thembi L. Banks, Screenwriters: Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Producers: Charles D. King, James Lopez, Poppy Hanks, Tommy Oliver, Baron Davis, Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd) — High school senior Brandon is drowning in responsibilities when his world is turned upside down after being robbed at gunpoint by the girl of his dreams. Cast: Algee Smith, Sanaa Lathan, Sierra Capri, Mike Epps. Fiction. Available online.

Premieres:
Drift

A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated fiction and nonfiction films of the coming year.

Cassandro / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Roger Ross Williams, Screenwriters: David Teague, Julián Herbert, Producers: Gerardo Gatica, Todd Black, David Bloomfield, Ted Hope, Julie Goldman) — Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso, rises to international stardom after he creates the character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre.” In the process, he upends not just the macho wrestling world, but also his own life. Cast: Gael García Bernal, Roberta Colindrez, Perla De La Rosa, Joaquín Cosío, Raúl Castillo. Fiction.

Cat Person / France, U.S.A (Director: Susanna Fogel, Screenwriter: Michelle Ashford, Producers: Helen Estabrook, Jeremy Steckler) — College student Margot meets 33-year-old Robert at the movie theater where she works. After a casual flirtation at the concession stand, they carry on conversations through texts. As their perceptions of each other collide, events spiral out of control. Based on The New Yorker short story by Kristen Roupenian. Cast: Emilia Jones, Nicholas Braun, Geraldine Viswanathan, Hope Davis, Fred Melamed, Isabella Rossellini. Fiction. Available online.

Deep Rising / U.S.A (Director & Producer: Matthieu Rytz) — The fate of the planet’s last untouched wilderness, the deep ocean, is under threat as a secretive organization is about to allow massive extraction of seabed metals to address the world’s energy crisis. Narrated by Jason Momoa. Documentary.

The Deepest Breath / U.K, Ireland (Director & Screenwriter: Laura McGann, Producers: John Battsek, Sarah Thomson, Jamie D’Alton, Anne McLoughlin) — A champion freediver and expert safety diver seemed destined for one another despite the different paths they took to meet at the pinnacle of the freediving world. A look at the thrilling rewards — and inescapable risks — of chasing dreams through the depths of the ocean. Documentary.

Drift / France, U.K, Greece (Director & Producer: Anthony Chen, Screenwriters: Susanne Farrell, Alexander Maksik, Producers: Peter Spears, Emilie Georges, Naima Abed, Cynthia Erivo, Solome Williams) — Jacqueline, a young refugee, lands alone and penniless on a Greek island where she tries to survive, then to cope with her past. While gathering her strength, she begins a friendship with a rootless tour guide and together they find the resilience to forge ahead. Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Alia Shawkat, Ibrahima Ba, Honor Swinton Byrne, Zainab Jah, Suzy Bemba. Fiction.

Eileen / U.S.A (Director & Producer: William Oldroyd, Screenwriters and Producers: Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh, Producers: Anthony Bregman, Stefanie Azpiazu, Peter Cron) — Set during a bitter 1964 Massachusetts winter, young secretary Eileen becomes enchanted by the glamorous new counselor at the prison where she works. Their budding friendship takes a twisted turn when Rebecca reveals a dark secret — throwing Eileen onto a sinister path. Based on Ottessa Moshfegh’s award-winning novel. Cast: Thomasin McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shea Whigham, Marin Ireland, Owen Teague. Fiction.

Fairyland / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Andrew Durham, Producers: Sofia Coppola, Megan Carlson, Siena Oberman, Greg Lauritano, Laure Sudreau) — Set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene in the 1970s and ’80s, chronicling a father-daughter relationship as it evolves from an era of bohemian decadence to the heartbreaking AIDS crisis. Based on the best-selling memoir Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott. Cast: Scoot McNairy, Emilia Jones, Geena Davis, Cody Fern, Adam Lambert, Maria Bakalova. Fiction.

Food and Country / U.S.A (Director & Producer: Laura Gabbert, Producers: Ruth Reichl, Paula P. Manzanedo, Caroline Libresco) — America’s policy of producing cheap food at all costs has long hobbled small independent farmers, ranchers, and chefs. Worried for their survival, trailblazing food writer Ruth Reichl reaches out across political and social divides to uncover the country’s broken food system and the innovators risking it all to transform it. Documentary. Available online.

Invisible Beauty / U.S.A (Directors: Bethann Hardison, Frédéric Tcheng, Producer: Lisa Cortés) — Fashion revolutionary Bethann Hardison looks back on her journey as a pioneering Black model, modeling agent, and activist, shining a light on an untold chapter in the fight for racial diversity. Documentary.

It’s Only Life After All / U.S.A (Director & Producer: Alexandria Bombach, Producers: Kathlyn Horan, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous) — Blending 40 years of home movies, film archives, and intimate present-day vérité, a poignant reflection from Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of iconic folk rock duo Indigo Girls. A timely look into the obstacles, activism, and life lessons of two queer friends who never expected to make it big. Documentary.

Jamojaya / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Justin Chon, Screenwriter: Maegan Houang, Producers: Alan Pao, David Matheny, Joseph Dang, Alex Chi, Yama Cibulka, Shaun Sanghani) — A father-son relationship is put to the test when an up-and-coming rapper at the crossroads of his career decides to let go of his manager, who is also his father. This decision forces them to confront the past and figure out what they want of each other. Cast: Brian Imanuel, Yayu A.W. Unru, Kate Lyn Sheil, Henry Ian Cusick, Anthony Kiedis. Fiction. Available online.

Judy Blume Forever / U.S.A (Directors & Producers: Davina Pardo, Leah Wolchok, Producers: Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Marcella Steingart) — The radical honesty of the books by young adult fiction pioneer Judy Blume changed the way millions of readers understood themselves, their sexuality, and what it meant to grow up, but also led to critical battles against book banning and censorship. Documentary.

Landscape With Invisible Hand / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Cory Finley, Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner) — When Earth is taken over by aliens who control the economy, a pair of teenagers come up with a plan to save their family. Cast: Tiffany Haddish, Asante Blackk, Kylie Rogers, Josh Hamilton, Michael Gandolfini, William Jackson Harper. Fiction.

A Little Prayer / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Angus MacLachlan, Producers: Lauren Vilchik, Max A. Butler) — In the South, a man tests the limits of patriarchal interference to protect his daughter-in-law when he discovers that his son is having an affair. Cast: David Strathairn, Jane Levy, Celia Weston, Will Pullen, Anna Camp, Dascha Polanco. Fiction. Available online.

Murder in Big Horn / U.S.A (Director & Producer: Razelle Benally, Director: Matthew Galkin, Producers: Ivan Macdonald, Ivy Macdonald) — The deaths of a group of Native American women in rural Montana are the focus as Native families, journalists, and local law enforcement reveal a violent crisis set in motion almost 200 years ago. Documentary. Available online.

Passages / France (Director & Screenwriter: Ira Sachs, Screenwriter: Mauricio Zacharias, Producers: Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt) — An intimate examination of attraction and emotional abuse between men and women. Cast: Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw, Adèle Exarchopoulos. Fiction.

Plan C / U.S.A (Director & Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos) — A hidden grassroots organization doggedly fights to expand access to abortion pills across the United States keeping hope alive during a global pandemic and the fall of Roe v. Wade. Documentary.

The Pod Generation / Belgium, France, U.K (Director & Screenwriter: Sophie Barthes, Producers: Geneviève Lemal, Yann Zenou, Nadia Kamlichi, Martin Metz) — In a not-so-distant future, amid a society madly in love with technology, tech giant Pegazus offers couples the opportunity to share their pregnancies via detachable artificial wombs or pods. And so begins Rachel and Alvy’s wild ride to parenthood in this brave new world. Cast: Emilia Clarke, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rosalie Craig, Vinette Robinson, Jean-Marc Barr. Fiction.

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields / U.S.A (Director: Lana Wilson, Producers: Christine O’Malley, Jack Turner) — A galvanizing look at actor, model, and icon Brooke Shields as she transforms from sexualized young girl to a woman discovering her power. Holding a mirror up to a society that objectifies women and girls, her story shows the perils and triumphs of gaining agency in a hostile world. Documentary.

Radical / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Christopher Zalla, Producers: Ben Odell, Eugenio Derbez, Joshua Davis) — In a Mexican border town plagued by neglect, corruption, and violence, a frustrated teacher tries a radical new method to break through his students’ apathy and unlock their curiosity, their potential… and maybe even their genius. Based on a true story. Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Daniel Haddad, Jenifer Trejo, Mia Fernanda Solis, Danilo Guardiola. Fiction.

Rotting in the Sun / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Sebastian Silva, Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano, Producer: Jacob Wasserman) — After filmmaker Sebastian Silva goes missing in Mexico City, social media celebrity Jordan Firstman begins searching for him, suspecting that the cleaning lady in Sebastian’s building may have something to do with his disappearance. Cast: Jordan Firstman, Catalina Saavedra, Sebastian Silva. Fiction.

Rye Lane / U.K (Director: Raine Allen-Miller, Screenwriters: Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia, Producers: Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo, Damian Jones) — Two twenty-somethings reeling from bad breakups deal with their nightmare exes and connect over the course of an eventful day in South London. Cast: David Jonsson, Vivian Oparah. Fiction.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie / U.S.A (Director and Producer: Davis Guggenheim, Producers: Jonathan King, Annetta Marion, Will Cohen) — The improbable tale of a short kid from a Canadian army base who became the darling of 1980s Hollywood — only to find the course of his life altered by a stunning diagnosis. What happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease? Documentary.

You Hurt My Feelings / U.S.A (Director & Screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener, Producers: Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman) — A novelist’s longstanding marriage is suddenly upended when she overhears her husband giving his honest reaction to her latest book. Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Owen Teague, Arian Moayed. Fiction.

Midnight:
In My Mother's Skin

From horror and comedy to works that defy genre classification, these films will keep you wide awake, even at the most arduous hour.

birth/rebirth / U.S.A. (Director & Screenwriter: Laura Moss, Screenwriter: Brendan J. O’Brien, Producers: Mali Elfman, David Grove Churchill Viste) — A single mother and a childless morgue technician are bound together by their relationship to a little girl they have reanimated from the dead. Cast: Marin Ireland, Judy Reyes, A.J. Lister, Breeda Wool. Fiction.

In My Mother’s Skin / Philippines (Director & Screenwriter: Kenneth Dagatan, Producers: Bradley Liew, Bianca Balbuena, Huang Junxiang, Stefano Centini) — Stranded in the Philippines during World War II, a young girl finds that her duty to protect her dying mother is complicated by her misplaced trust in a beguiling, flesh-eating fairy. Cast: Beauty Gonzalez, Felicity Kyle Napuli, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, James Mavie Estrella, Angeli Bayani. Fiction. Available online.

Infinity Pool / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Brandon Cronenberg, Producers: Karen Harnisch, Andrew Cividino, Christian Piovesan, Noah Segal, Rob Cotterill, Anita Juka) — James and Em are enjoying an all-inclusive beach vacation when a fatal accident exposes the resort’s perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism, reckless violence, and surreal horrors. Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman. Fiction.

My Animal / Canada (Director: Jacqueline Castel, Screenwriter: Jae Matthews, Producers: Andrew Bronfman, Michael Solomon) — Heather, an outcast teenage goalie in a small northern town, falls for newcomer Jonny, an alluring but tormented figure skater. As their relationship deepens, Heather’s growing desires clash with her darkest secret, forcing her to control the animal within. Cast: Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Amandla Stenberg, Stephen McHattie, Heidi von Palleske, Cory Lipman, Joe Apollonio. Fiction.

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Andrew Bowser, Producers: Clark Baker, Michael Mobley, Olivia Taylor Dudley) — Onyx joins a group of fellow occultists to attend a dark ritual at the mansion of their idol, Bartok. Suspecting Bartok’s nefarious intentions, Onyx is suddenly immersed in a world of monsters, mystery, and mayhem. Cast: Andrew Bowser, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jeffrey Combs, Ralph Ineson, Rivkah Reyes, T.C. Carson. Fiction. Available online.

Polite Society / U.K. (Director & Screenwriter: Nida Manzoor, Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Olivier Kaempfer, John Pocock) — Aspiring martial artist Ria Khan believes she must save her older sister, Lena, from her impending marriage. With the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood. Cast: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Nimra Bucha, Akshay Khanna, Seraphina Beh, Ella Bruccoleri. Fiction.

Run Rabbit Run / Australia (Director: Daina Reid, Screenwriter: Hannah Kent, Producers: Sarah Shaw, Anna McLeish) — As a fertility doctor, Sarah has a firm understanding of the cycle of life. However, when she is forced to make sense of the increasingly strange behavior of her young daughter, Sarah must challenge her own beliefs and confront a ghost from her past. Cast: Sarah Snook, Lily LaTorre, Damon Herriman, Greta Scacchi. Fiction. Available online.

Talk to Me / Australia (Director & Screenwriter: Danny Philippou, Director: Michael Philippou, Screenwriter: Bill Hinzman, Producers: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton) — When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an ancient embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill. Until one of them goes too far and opens the door to the spirit world. Cast: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Zoe Terakes, Otis Dhanji. Fiction.

Spotlight:

The Spotlight section is a tribute to the cinema we love from throughout the past year.

The Eight Mountains / Italy and Belgium (Directors and Screenwriters: Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Producers: Mario Gianani, Lorenzo Gangarossa) — Pietro spends his childhood summers in the same secluded Italian mountain village where Bruno was raised, in which they form a decades-long friendship. Over the years, their paths diverge as Bruno remains faithful to the mountain while Pietro comes and goes from the city. Cast: Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Filippo Timi, Elena Lietti. Fiction. Available online.

L’Immensità / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Emanuele Crialese, Screenwriter: Francesca Manieri, Vittorio Moroni, Producer: Lorenzo Gangarossa, Mario Gianani — Clara has relocated to Rome with Felice and their three children. From their new apartment, Clara sees a city in transition: an old society washed away by an emerging middle class. The paint is fresh, the appliances are new, but expectations around family, desire, and gender remain traditional as ever. Cast: Penélope Cruz, Vincenzo Amato, Luana Giuliani, Patrizio Francioni, Maria Chiara Gorett, Penelope Nieto Conti. Fiction. Available online.

Joyland / Pakistan (Director and Screenwriter: Saim Sadiq, Producers: Apoorva Guru Charan, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, Sabiha Sumar, Lauren Mann) — As the Ranas, a happily patriarchal joint family, yearn for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theater and falls for an ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story illuminates the entire family’s desire for a sexual rebellion. Cast: Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, Sania Saeed, Salmaan Peerzada. Fiction. Available online.

Other People’s Children / France (Director and Screenwriter: Rebecca Zlotowski, Producers: Frederic Jouve, Marie Lecoq — Rachel is 40 years old with no children. She loves her life: her high school students, her friends, her guitar lessons. When she falls in love with Ali, she becomes attached to Leila, his 4-year-old daughter. She loves her like her own, but to love other people’s children is risky. Cast: Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni, Callie Ferreira-Goncalves, Yamée Couture, Michel Zlotowski. Fiction. Available online.

Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) / U.K. (Director: Anton Corbijn, Screenwriter, and Producer: Trish D Chetty, Producers: Ged Doherty, Colin Firth) — An inside look at the studio responsible for some of the most iconic and recognizable album covers of all time. From Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, the studio ruled the ’70s. Documentary. Available online.

Kids:

This section of the Festival is especially for our youngest independent film fans.

Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out / U.S.A. (Director & Producer: Jake Van Wagoner, Screenwriter and Producer: Austin Everett, Producers: Micah Merrill, Maclain Nelson, Jeremy Prusso) — Itsy is new in town and her life seems over until she meets her space-obsessed neighbor Calvin, who believes his parents were abducted by aliens. An aspiring journalist, Itsy decides to write an exposé on Calvin but ends up discovering much more. Cast: Emma Tremblay, Jacob Buster, Will Forte, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kenneth Cummins, Matt Biedel. Fiction. Available online.

The Amazing Maurice / Germany, U.K. (Director: Toby Genkel, Screenwriter: Terry Rossio, Producers: Emely Christians, Andrew Baker, Robert Chandler) — A streetwise cat and his gang of rats who come up with a perfect money-making scheme. Based on the novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Sir Terry Pratchett. Cast: Hugh Laurie, Emilia Clarke, Himesh Patel, Gemma Arterton. Fiction. Available online.

Blueback / Australia (Director, Screenwriter, & Producer: Robert Connolly, Producers: Liz Kearney, James Grandison) — An intimate mother-daughter relationship is forged by the women’s keen desire to protect the inhabitants of the pristine blue oceans on the Australian coast where they live. Adapted from Tim Winton’s bestselling and critically acclaimed novella. Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Eric Bana, Radha Mitchell, Ilsa Fogg, Liz Alexander, Ariel Donoghue. Fiction.

New Frontier Films:

New Frontier champions artists who engage in experimental storytelling at the crossroads of film, art, performance, and media technology, showcasing cutting-edge work that explores and evolves cinema culture in today’s rapidly changing landscape. New Frontier is presently in a process of reimagination. This year, we return to our roots to offer a lineup of resonant experimental films.

A Common Sequence / U.S.A (Directors and Producers: Mary Helena Clark and Mike Gibisser, Producer: Graciela Guerrero-Reyes) — An interconnected look at tradition, colonialism, property, faith, and science, as seen through labor practices that link an endangered salamander, mass-produced apples, and the evolving fields of genomics and machine learning. Documentary. Available online.

Gush / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Fox Maxy) — An embodied rumination of both male and female power, healing and haunting, all within an apocalyptic world. A transformation that courses through unknown terror to untamed collective joy. Cast: Michel Sayegh, Ruth Fish, Sergio Mejia, Littlebear Sanchez, No’aash Iswut Peltier, Suavitel Paper. Fiction. Available online.

Last Things / U.S.A, Portugal, France (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Deborah Stratman, Producers: Anže Peržin, Gaëlle Boucand) — Evolution and extinction from the point of view of rocks. A humid take on minerals, where sci-fi meets sci-fact. The geo-biosphere is a place of evolutionary possibility, where humans disappear but life endures. Documentary. Available online.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, comments on this year of Sundance films: “Maintaining an essential place for artists to express themselves, take risks, and for visionary stories to endure and entertain is distinctly Sundance. The Festival continues to foster these values and connections through independent storytelling. We are honored to share the compelling selection of work at this year’s Festival from distinct perspectives and unique voices.” Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute’s CEO, on this year’s selection: “These filmmakers reflect the world around us through bold and thrilling storytelling. It is critical for the arts to foster dialogue, especially during unprecedented times — these stories are needed to provoke discussion, share diverse viewpoints, and challenge us. We are delighted to welcome this group of passionate artists to the Festival and look forward to celebrating the films together with audiences.” Let’s go.

Sundance is one of my top festivals, and I’m excited to get a glimpse at all the films playing. This year looks as intriguing as always, with plenty of fresh discoveries and some unique premieres. Bring on another year of Sundance. Sundance 2023 runs from January 19th to January 29th, 2023. Visit Sundance.org for more.

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