We’re hot off the press of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival’s line-up.
With 99 films to choose from, we’ve collated seven of the most interesting titles to watch out for:
20 Days in Mariupol
Dir. Mytyslav Chernov
Mariupol was one of the first cities to fall in the early days of the invasion, and this team of Ukrainian journalists continued to film the siege while trapped inside the surrounded city – all while being hunted by Russian soldiers. As Europe edges closer to war, this chilling chronicle of modern warfare reminds us of the real story that’s at our very doorstep.
Dir. Susanna Fogel
Based on The New Yorker short story, this movie follows a young college sophomore who dates a man who doesn’t quite match his charming online alter-ego. A well-crafted gen-z thriller, we’re most hooked by the prospect of seeing Nicholas Braun (Cousin Greg, Succession) play another potential psychopath.
The Persian Version
Dir. Maryam Keshavarz
With the Etoile D’Or of this year’s Morocco Film Festival awarded to Iranian filmmaker Emad Dehkordi, Iranian films are starting to have their rightful moment in the spotlight. Debuting with the critical hit Circumstance at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Keshavarz latest story is co-produced by Borghese (of Okja fame) and describes how a patriarch’s heart transplant leads to the discovery of a multi-generational family secret.
AUM: The Cult At The End of the World
Dirs. Ben Braun, Chiaki Yanagimoto
A debut documentary by both directors, this film describes the true story of the Aum Shinkryo cult and how they masterminded a nerve gas attack in a Tokyo substation that wounded up to 6,000 bystanders. Exploring the doomsday philosophy of the Buddhist cult, its LSD factory and a crude form of truth serum, this documentary testifies to life being stranger – and more horrifying – than fiction.
Dir. Eddie Alcazar
Eddie Alcazar has been behind a mixed bag of shorts as a writer, but this directorial debut seems promising. After two brothers abduct a mogul searching for immortality, they tangle with a seductive woman on a journey of self-discovery. Details are light, but there’s something Lynchian about the urbane setting, and Bella Thorne is lined up as a major cast member (our money is she’s said attractive lady).
Dirs, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman
Co-produced by Will Ferrell after a successful 2020 short, this feature-length comedy about a crypto bro banding together eccentric staff to keep a theatre camp running with a comatose founder could be funny — or it could be awful. We don’t see the movie shooting much in the middle but if Ferrell’s convinced, it might be one to keep a cautious eye on.
In My Mother’s Skin
Dir. Kenneth Dagatan
Alone in the Philippines during WWII, a young girl attempts to care for her mother, forming a relationship with a flesh-eating, beguiling fairy. Dagatan’s worked on small horrors before, but there’s something about the mix of fey childhood psychodrama and east meets west folklore that’s caught our attention.
Sundance Film Festival launches from 19th January 2023 – 29th and includes both online and in-person events around Utah, Salt Lake City. Make sure to follow our coverage and get your tickets here.