The 2016 Sundance Film Festival began yesterday. Now, even though I’ve never been able to attend Sundance myself, I always look forward to the festival each year. I enjoy seeing what films are showing, so that I can look for them when they are released in theater or on DVD. Here are 25 films showing at Sundance this year that are going onto my must-watch list.
A Good Wife
Director: Mirjana Karanovic
Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Boris Isakovic, Jasna Djuricic, Bojan Navojec, Hristina Popovic and Ksenija Marinkovic
Plot: Serbian housewive Milena (Mirjana Karanovic) must decide how to respond when she learns of her husband’s war crimes.
Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Lou de Laage, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek, Vincent Macaigne, Joanna Kulig, and Katarzyna Dabrowska
Plot: When WWII doctor Mathilde (Lou de Laage) is called upon to assistant a nun about to give birth, she enters a world that will challenge all that she believes in.
Ali & Nino
Director: Asif Kapadia
Cast:Adam Bakri, Maria Valverde, Mandy Patinkin, Connie Nielsen, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Homayoun Ershadi
Plot: Muslim Ali (Adam Bakri) and Christian Nino (Maria Valverde) fall in love in Azerbaijan before the outbreak of WWI.
As You Are
Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, and Mary Stuart Masterson
Plot: The relationship between three teenagers (Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, and Amandla Stenberg) growing up in the 90s is shown through memories prompted by a police investigation.
Cast: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania, Chaitanya Varad, Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthyl, and Sid Mallya
Plot: Indian high-schooler Naman (Shashank Arora) leads his friends on a trip to Calcutta, where they hope to win a quiz prize and lose their virginity.
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Cast: Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, and Lily Gladstone
Plot: The lives of a lawyer (Laura Dern) and her client (Jared Harris), a married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros), and a ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) and young lawyer (Kristen Stewart) in Montana.
Director: Antonio Campos
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, and J. Smith-Cameron
Plot: Ambitious reporter Christine (Rebecca Hall) is pressured to deliver stories that will help her Florida station’s ratings.
Director: Tim Sutton
Cast: Robert Jumper, Anna Rose, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias, Aaron Purvis, and Eddie Cacciola
Plot: The events leading up to a mass shooting at a movie theater are told through the eyes of six strangers.
Director: Meera Menon
Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, and Alysia Reiner
Plot: Senoir investment banker Naomi (Anna Gunn) is threatened by a financial scandal.
First Girl I Loved
Director: Kerem Sanga
Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand, Mateo Arias, Jennifer Prediger, Tim Heidecker, and Pamela Adlon
Plot: When Anne (Dylan Gelula) falls for Sasha (Brianna Hildebrand), Anne’s friend Cliff (Mateo Arias) does his best to come between them.
The Free World
Director: Jason Lew
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, and Waleed Zuaiter
Plot: A man (Boyd Holbrook) recently released from prison begins a relationship with a woman (Elizabeth Moss) with an abusive husband.
The Fundamentals of Caring
Director: Rob Burnett
Cast: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson, and Frederick Weller
Plot: After suffering a personal tragedy, Ben (Paul Rudd) becomes a caregiver to Trevor, a teenager (Craig Roberts) with muscular dystrophy.
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: John Krasinski, Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Sharlto Copley, and Charlie Day
Plot: John (John Krasinski) and Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) are awaiting the birth of their child when John is called back home because his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagonsed with a brain tumor.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, and Oscar Kightley
Plot: A national manhunt ensues when Ricky (Julian Dennison) and his foster uncle (Sam Neill) go on the run in the New Zealand wild.
Director: James Schamus
Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, and Ben Rosenfield
Plot: A Jewish student (Logan Lerman) at a Christian college faces anti-Semitism during the Korean War.
Director: Clea DuVall
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Alia Shawkat, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, and Ben Schwartz
Plot: Friends gather to intervene in the marraige of two members of their group.
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Theo Taplitz, and Michael Barbieri
Plot: The friendship of two middle-schoolers (Michael Barbieri and Theo Taplitz) is tested when their parents fight over a lease.
Love & Friendship
Director: Whit Stillman
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, and Stephen Fry
Plot: Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) and her friend Alicia (Chloe Sevigny) work to secure suitable marriages for both Susan and her daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark).
Director: So Yong Kim
Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, and Rosanna Arquette
Plot: Sarah (Riley Keough) is forced to confront her feelings for her old friend Mindy (Jena Malone).
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Jakub Gierszal, Kinga Preis, Andrzej Konopka, and Zygmunt Malanowicz
Plot: When a mermaid falls for a human, her sister struggles to control her jealous and violent nature.
Director: Chris Kelly
Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, and June Squibb
Plot: A struggling comedy writer (Jesse Plemons) returns to his childhood home to care for his dying mother (Molly Shannon).
Director: John Carney
Cast:Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, and Mark McKenna
Plot: An Irish teenager (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) forms a rock band as a means of escaping his family.
Director: Sian Heder
Cast: Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard, Evan Jonigkeit, and Uzo Aduba
Plot: Lu (Ellen Page) ‘rescues’ a baby from his negligent mother and begins to raise him with the help of her ex-boyfriend’s mother (Allison Janney).
Director: Todd Solondz
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, and Zosia Mamet
Plot: A dachshund travels the United States, bringing comfort and joy to those he encounters.
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp, Justin Long, Austin Butler, & Tyler Posey
Plot: Canadian sophomores Colleen (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen (Lily-Rose Depp) are invited to a party and they end up uncovering an ancient evil that threatens to destroy their world.