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2024 Sundance Film Festival Announces Short Films Lineup and 40th Edition Programming

53 Shorts and Eight 40th Edition Celebration Screening

Screenings of iconic films from Sundance history include new restorations of Napoleon DynamiteGo Fish, and Three Seasons, restorations of Mississippi Masala and The Times of Harvey Milk, plus screenings of The BabadookPariah, and a new digitally remastered extended version of DIG!

Special events with artist alumni: Miguel Arteta, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Carlos López Estrada, Sterlin Harjo, Steve James, Richard Linklater, Dawn Porter, Nzingha Stewart, Christine Vachon

PARK CITY, UTAH, December 12, 2023 — Today the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced the Short Films and 40th Edition Celebration Screenings and Events that will be a part of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival programming. The Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024, in person in Park City and Salt Lake City, with a selection of titles available online nationwide from January 25–28, 2024. The Festival will introduce new short films for 2024 across eight curated programs. Special 40th Edition Celebration Screenings and Events are set for the second half of the Festival and kick off on January 23, 2024, with a slate of retrospective programming that will bring alumni artists together for conversations and gatherings, while also allowing audiences to revisit iconic films from Sundance history through archive screenings followed by Q&As with members of the films. In-Person Ticket Packages and Passes and Online Ticket Packages and Passes, including a special short films online pass, are currently on sale and single film tickets go on sale January 11 at 10 a.m. MT.

The 40th Edition Celebration Screenings and Events will run from Tuesday, January 23 through Friday, January 26. The Festival will debut brand-new 4K restorations of Napoleon Dynamite(20th anniversary) Go Fish (30th anniversary), Three Seasons(25th anniversary), and an extended version of DIG!(20th anniversary), featuring over 30 minutes of additional footage, titled DIG! XX. Also showing will be The Babadook and Pariah, and restorations of Mississippi Masala and The Times of Harvey Milk.The upcoming Festival will also see the return of acclaimed artist alumni. Talks with notable alumni will take place, including a panel titled Power of Story: Four Decades of Taking Chances about the legacy of independent storytelling featuring Miguel Arteta, Richard Linklater, Dawn Porter, and Christine Vachon; a screening of seminal short films from Sundance’s history hosted by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass; and a workshop for emerging creators with Carlos López Estrada and others. Other special events include alumni social gatherings and a 40th Edition trivia night.

The 53 Short Films for the 2024 lineup were selected from 12,098 submissions, the highest number on record. Of these submissions, 5,323 were from the U.S., and 6,799 were international. This upcoming year’s Short Film program includes work from 22 countries.

Driven by innovation and experimentation, the Short Film program seeks out filmmaking’s most original voices, exhibiting shorts across fiction, nonfiction, and animation, globally. From the start, the Institute has supported short filmmaking in all forms and styles, with alumni of the program including Andrea Arnold, Lake Bell, Damien Chazelle, Destin Daniel Cretton, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Debra Granik, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Sterlin Harjo, Todd Haynes, Nikyatu Jusu, Shaka King, Lynne Ramsay, Dee Rees, Charlotte Regan, A.V. Rockwell, Joey Soloway, Taika Waititi, and many others. 

The Sundance Institute champions short films globally and throughout the year, with select Festival shorts presented as a traveling program at theaters in the U.S, Canada, Europe, and more.

“As the 2024 Sundance Film Festival marks our milestone 40th edition, we are thrilled to announce the myriad ways we’ll celebrate four decades of visionary storytelling and the emerging artists in this year’s program,” said Festival Director and Head of Public Programming Eugene Hernandez. “The 40th Edition Celebration Screenings will showcase films from Sundance’s rich history, each having made an indelible impact on culture. Our outstanding Short Film program selection, chosen from more than 12,000 submissions, simultaneously welcomes the next generation of voices and storytellers to watch. In gathering some of the extraordinary artists who have been part of our history along with our community of emerging creators and audiences, we hope to demonstrate Sundance’s role as the premier place for international discovery and the vitality of independent cinema.”

“We are pleased to revisit some Festival history through our 40th Edition Celebration Screenings and Events. These are a great complement to our new programming premiering across sections, and our curatorial team is looking forward to bringing the mix of offerings in the 2024 lineup to audiences,” said Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming. “From the inception of the Festival, we’ve been huge supporters of short filmmaking and we’re proud to carry that support into this 40th edition of the Festival as well.”

“Selecting the shorts for the Festival Program every year is an exercise in taking the pulse of film culture, and the outlook is always bright,” said Mike Plante, Senior Programmer, Short Film. “In our 40th year, the world of short films is more vibrant than ever. With so many ways to see and experience shorts now — at festivals and online through varied platforms — so many artists are coming to the art form and creating shorts that excite us, and short film fans, in new ways.”

U.S. FICTION SHORT FILMS

Bay of Herons / U.S.A. (Director: Jared James Lank) — Calling on the strength of his ancestors, a young Mi’kmaq man reflects on the pain of bearing witness to the destruction of his homelands. Available online for Public.

Boi de Conchas (The Shell Covered Ox) / U.S.A., Brazil (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Daniel Barosa, Producers: Nikolas Maciel, Bruno Alfano) — While mourning her missing sister, Rayane balances helping her fisherman father and practicing for the school’s music festival — provided she doesn’t become an ox first, a misfortune assailing several teenagers in the area. Cast: Bebé Salvego, Daniela Dams, Walter Balthazar, Bianca Melo, Giulia Sposito, Kaique Martins De Paula, Kyuja Ohanna, Maitê Dias, Tainara Corrêa, and Thiago Klein. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Border Hopper / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Nico Casavecchia, Screenwriter: Mercedes Arturo, Producers: Blaine Morris, Robin Spears, Gabriela Ortega) — When a Latinx filmmaker is offered a dream job abroad, she discovers a supernatural way to navigate the U.S. immigration system and get the coveted travel permit she needs. But what seems like a magic solution soon shows unexpected consequences. Cast: Gabriela Ortega, Santiago Reyes MacAllister. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

BUST / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Angalis Field, Screenwriters: Angalis Field, Eliza Barry Callahan, Producer: Drake Burnette) — A trans cop with the New York City Police Department goes undercover to make a drug bust. Cast: Lux Pascal, Nicky DeMarie. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Didn’t Think I’d See You Here / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Dylan Guerra, Producers: Yaron Lotan, Laura Dupper) — Rory thinks there’s a ghost haunting his shower and decides to investigate its origin. But when he goes to a party and meets a romantic interest, his spectral mystery begins to unravel. Cast: Yaron Lotan, Holly Settoon, Marquis Rodriguez, Jose Useche. Available online for Public.

Dream Creep / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Carlos A.F. Lopez, Producers: Megan Leonard, Bobby McHugh, Jonathan Caso, Zeus Kontoyannis) — A couple awakens in the night to sounds emanating from an unlikely orifice. Cast: Ian Edlund, Sidney Jayne Hunt. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Flail / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ben Gauthier, Screenwriter: Allie Levitan, Producers: Jack Forbes, Maddie Thomas) — It’s her boss’s birthday, and Allie is trying as hard as she can. Cast: Allie Levitan, David Brown, Natalie Rotter-Laitman, Isabella Gerasole, Krista Levitan. Available online for Public.

Grace / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Natalie Jasmine Harris, Producers: Samiyah Wardlaw, Julia Kennelly, Latavia Young, Morgan B. Powell) — Sixteen-year-old Grace prepares for her baptism in the rural 1950s South. When she learns she must repent before the ritual, she begins to question the budding romantic feelings she has toward her best friend, Louise. Cast: Jordan Rayanna Wells, Alexis Cofield, Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew, C L Simpson, JeVon Blackwell. World Premiere. Available online for Public. 

guts / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Margaux Susi, Screenwriter: Jan Rosenberg, Producers: Grayson Propst, Angela Giarratana) — Desperate for help, a woman in recovery asks an unlikely stranger on a dinner date. Cast: Kate Burton, Angela Giarratana. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

The Heart / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Malia Ann, Producer: Ayesha Nadarajah) — A lonely man grieves the death of his mother after an argument about groceries and an odd request in her will. Cast: Tunde Adebimpe, LaTonya Borsay. Available online for Public.

The Looming / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Masha Ko, Producers: Caroline Gluck, Andrey Nikolaev, Kolten Horner) — When a virtual home assistant speaker, Luna, picks up the strange noise Chester has heard in his house, he realizes that it may not be a symptom of dementia. Cast: Joseph Lopez, Kolten Horner, Brianne Buishas, Alyssa Nicole. Available online for Public.

The Looming Cloud / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Matthew Tyler, Producer: Connie Shi) — Three siblings return home after their mother’s death and face their most daunting task: figuring out how to post about it on social media. Cast: Mitzi Akaha, Jason Amerling, Connie Shi. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

The Lost Season / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Kelly Sears) — Winter is over. Continue watching. Cast: Skinner Myers. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Pasture Prime / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Diffan Sina Norman, Screenwriter and Producer: Carolyn Purnell) — A widow falls for a younger man she meets at the Cowboy Church. Cast: Gail Cronauer, Patrick Kirton, Chris Alan Evans, Susan Kirton, Joshua Ogden-Davis. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Pathological / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alison Rich, Producers: Bridgett Greenberg, Ingrid Haas, Avtar Khalsa, Peter Principato, Todd Ruhnau) — A woman who’s a pathological liar wakes up one day to discover her lies have become true. Cast: Alison Rich, Meaghan Rath, Luke Cook, Adam Lustick, Heather Pasternak, George Kareman. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

The Rainbow Bridge / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dimitri Simakis, Producers: Suki-Rose, Michael Scott) — Tina and her elderly dog MeeMoo discover a clinic promising human-to-pet communication. However, two sinister doctors uncover a bond between them so strong, it transcends time and space. They might be the key to something greater, but at what cost? Cast: Thu Tran, Heather Lawless, James Urbaniak, David Brown, Fat Tony. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Say Hi After You Die / U.S.A. (Director: Kate Jean Hollowell, Screenwriters: Kate Jean Hollowell, Ruby Caster, Producer: Miranda Kahn) — A grieving woman believes her deceased best friend has come back to visit her… as a port-a-potty. Cast: Kate Jean Hollowell, Ruby Caster, George Basil. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

SHÉ (SNAKE) / U.S.A., U.K. (Director and Screenwriter: Renee Zhan, Producer: Jesse Romain) — Fei is the top violinist in her elite youth orchestra. When another Chinese violinist arrives to challenge her place, Fei’s internal demons take external form. They whisper to her, urging her to be the best, no matter the cost. Cast: Xiaonan Wang, Alina Lew, Simon Paisley Day, Elizabeth Chan, Leslie Ching, Grace Fan. U.S. Premiere. Available online for Public.

Thirstygirl / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Alexandra Qin, Producers: Brooke Goldman, Alexandra Qin) — On a road trip with her younger sister, Charlie struggles to hide a secret sex addiction. Cast: Samantha Ahn, Claire Dunn. Available online for Public.

INTERNATIONAL FICTION SHORT FILMS

Basri & Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy / Indonesia (Director and Screenwriter: Khozy Rizal, Producers: John Badalu, Sue Turley) — A married couple who own an Odong-Odong spend their days entertaining other people’s children. Between relatives, self-doubt, and an explosive confrontation, they uncover why they have not been blessed with a child. Cast: Arham Rizky Saputra, Rezky Chik, Hj. Sugiati, Alghifari Jasin, Alif Anggara, Sri Eka Putri. Available online for Public.

Bold Eagle / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Whammy Alcazaren, Producer: Alemberg Ang) — Trapped at home with hallucinogenic drugs and his talking cat, an “alter” anonymously performs lascivious acts on the Internet, seeking refuge in the strong arms of strange men, hoping to masturbate his way to true happiness. Cast: Brian, Monty, Gio Gahol, Ricky Davao.

Bye Bye, Bowser / Austria (Director: Jasmin Baumgartner, Screenwriter: Lorenz Uhl, Producer: Dominic Spitaler) — Luna rebels against the indifference of her artsy friends by writing a punk song about Laugo, the construction worker from across the street. Will the clashing worlds of affluent neglect and working life lead to the collapse of their romance? Cast: Luna Jordan, Laurence Hadschieff. North American Premiere. Available online for Public.

Dreams like paper boats / Haiti (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Samuel Frantz Suffren) — Edouard and his daughter live with a cassette received from his wife in the United States, a long time ago. After years of absence, what can we expect from a distant love? Cast: Kenny Laguerre, Zaraina Ruth-Amma Suffren, Clorette Jacinthe. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Essex Girls / U.K. (Director: Yero Timi-Biu, Screenwriter: Busayo Ige, Producers: Angela Moneke, Simon Hatton) — After an incident at her high school pulls her into the orbit of the only other Black girl in her year, “Essex Girl” Bisola is plunged into a journey to discover a whole new side of herself. Cast: Busayo Ige, Corinna Brown, Maisie Smith, Adrianna Bertola, Krysstina Frempong, Rebecca Dike. Available online for Public.

Lea Tupu’anga / Mother Tongue / New Zealand (Director: Vea Mafile’o, Screenwriter: Luciane Buchanan, Producers: Alex Lovell, Eldon Booth) — A young speech therapist disconnected from her Tongan heritage lies about her Tongan language skills to get a job. Out of her depth, she must find a way to communicate or risk her patient’s life. Cast: Luciane Buchanan, Albert Rounds, Mikey Falesiu, Michael Koloi, Elizabeth Thomson. World Premiere.

The Masterpiece / Spain (Director and Producer: Alex Lora Cercos, Screenwriter and Producer: Lluis Quilez, Screenwriter: Alfonso Amador, Producers: Sandra Travé, Josemari Martínez, Néstor López) — Leo and Diana, a wealthy couple, meet Salif and Yousef, two scrap dealers, at a recycle center. Offering them more junk, Diana invites them to their mansion, but the immigrants actually might be the ones with something she wants. Cast: Daniel Grao, Babou Cham, Melina Matthews, Adam Nourou, Guido Grao. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Phoebe / Greece, Cyprus (Director and Screenwriter: Vaggelio Soumeli, Producers: Janine Teerling, Marios Piperides, Romana Lobach, Paul Typaldos) — Having been recently discharged from rehab, 26-year-old Phoebe takes her young son on a road trip that will determine their future. Cast: Athina Pavlou Benazi, Nikolas Drosopoulos, Orestis Raissis. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Pisko the Crab Child is in Love / Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa, Producer: Yasuo Suzuki) — Pisko’s father is a crab while her mother is human. Pisko falls in love with her teacher but is heartbroken when he leaves her because she is half-crab. Pisko finally finds love and companionship with her friend Kubokayo. Cast: Aiko Kano, Saya, Maki Fukuda, Kanta Sato. U.S. Premiere. Available online for Public.

Shalal / Iran (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Amir Ali Sisipour, Producer: Rostam Sisipour) — Mehran and his mother, Ziba, don’t have shadows, so they use a black fur to catch the shadows of people and drink them. One day, Mehran decides to catch someone’s shadow alone. Cast: Masomeh Emamai, Amir Reza Sisipour, Javad Ansari, Fataneh Imani. Available online for Public.

The Stag / Taiwan (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: An Chu, Producer: Tzu-Yuan Wang) — At a deer farm in Changhua County, a middle-aged man is asked to cut off a stag’s antlers in front of his two kids. Cast: Yung-He Chen, Wei-Jen Chen, Si-Kai Chen. International Premiere. Available online for Public.

Terra Mater / Rwanda (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Kantarama Gahigiri) — Technology and waste in our lands, systems, and bones. Here she stands, confidently, like a goddess surrounded by endless mountains of plastic, stench, and rare earths. She cannot help but wonder, where is the space for healing? Cast: Cheryl Isheja. Available online for Public.

Viaje de Negocios / Mexico (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Gerardo Coello Escalante, Producers: Amandine Thomas, Nahim Abuxapqui, Rodrigo Solano) — Daniel arrives at school wearing brand-new sneakers from America, gifted to him by his father. When he sees another boy wearing the same sneakers, he begins to suspect that their shoes are the key to a terrible secret. Cast: Rodrigo Mota, Pablo Torres, Gerardo Saldaña, Lila Urbina. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Voice Ever / France (Directors and Screenwriters: Céline Perreard, Pauline Archange, Producer: Anne Luthaud) — Over the course of an evening, Romane, Sarah, Emmanuel, and Boris connect on Voice Ever, a new dating app where you choose your date based on their voice. Their weaknesses and vulnerabilities will surface in their desire to meet. Cast: Alexandra Desloires, Kelly Bellacci, Vincent Pasdermadjian, Xavier Lacaille, Maya Raad, Edith Baldy. North American Premiere. Available online for Public.

ANIMATION SHORT FILMS

27 / France, Hungary (Director and Screenwriter: Flóra Anna Buda, Producers: Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron, Gábor Osváth, Péter Benjámin Lukács) — Alice is 27 years old today. Even though she is suffocating a bit, she still lives with her parents and tends to live in her dreams to escape her dreary everyday life. Available online for Public. 

Baigal Nuur – Lake Baikal / Canada, Germany (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Alisi Telengut) — The formation of Lake Baikal in Siberia is reimagined, featuring the voice of a Buryat woman who can still recall some words in her endangered Buryat language (a Mongolian dialect). U.S. Premiere. 

The Bleacher / U.S.A. (Directors and Screenwriters: Nicole Daddona, Adam Wilder, Producer: Zeus Kontoyannis) — The disappearance of her sock at a local laundromat sends a fragile Rita over the edge. Hellbent on finding it, she searches deep and gets sucked into a washing machine, entering an otherworldly cycle from which she may never escape. Cast: Kate Micucci, Ben Sinclair, Sky Elobar. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Bug Diner / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Phoebe Jane Hart) — A dissatisfied marriage, a secret crush, and workplace fantasies come to a head in a diner run by a mole with a hot ass. Cast: Jacob Levy, Phoebe Hart. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Dona Beatriz Ñsîmba Vita / Brazil (Director and Screenwriter: Catapreta, Producer: Miriam Rolim) — Kimpa Vita fulfills the prophetic mission of leading her people in a racist and unequal society. Set in contemporary Brazil and inspired by the true story of Kimpa Vita, a 17th-century Congolese religious leader. North American Premiere. Available online for Public.

Drago / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Daniel Zvereff) — A young boy’s dream of becoming a doctor is challenged when war forces him and his mother to flee their village and start a new life in New York City. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Larry / U.S.A. (Directors: Takeshi Murata, Christopher Rutledge, Screenwriter: Takeshi Murata) — A dog loses its grasp of shape and time while balling like Shaq. Available online for Public.

Martyr’s Guidebook / Poland (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Maks Rzontkowski) — Tony is the ultimate good guy, sometimes to a fault. From nabbing the smallest slice of cake in grade school to guiding lost strangers in the city, his kindness knows no bounds. He also lives with an angel. Cast: Maks Rzontkowski, Julia Woronowicz, Jaś Dąbrówka. International Premiere. Available online for Public.

Matta and Matto / Switzerland (Directors and Screenwriters: Bianca Caderas, Kerstin Zemp, Producer: Joder von Rotz) — In a time when all interpersonal closeness is forbidden, the hourly hotel Vaip offers wondrous rooms where guests snuggle up to devices built with great skill and let themselves fall into the perfect illusion of human touch. Cast: Bianca Caderas, Kerstin Zemp, Etienne Mory, Amélie Cochet, Danay Gijzen, Martine Ulmer. North American Premiere. Available online for Public.

Miisufy / Estonia (Director: Liisi Grünberg, Screenwriter and Producer: Aurelia Aasa) — Digital pet cat Miisu gets tired of her owner and starts to revolt. Inspired by Tamagotchi — observing the world through the eyes of digital pets. Cast: Maria Ehrenberg. Available online for Public.

NONFICTION SHORT FILMS

14 Paintings / China (Director and Producer: Dongnan Chen, Producers: Jiaqing Lin, Chongjun Li, Jisong Li, Heying Chen) — A field study of 14 paintings from China’s Dafen village, as the government rebrands the copy-painting district as a hub for original art. North American Premiere. Available online for Public.

ALOK / U.S.A. (Director: Alex Hedison) — A compelling portrait of Alok Vaid-Menon, acclaimed nonbinary author, poet, comedian, and public speaker. Executive-produced by Jodie Foster. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Bob’s Funeral / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, Animator, and Producer: Jack Dunphy) — Searching for the root of generational trauma, the director sneaks a camera into his estranged grandfather’s funeral. World Premiere. Available online for Public. 

Ekbeh / U.S.A. (Director: Mariah Eli Hernandez-Fitch) — While learning to make gumbo, the creator shares personal stories about their grandparents as a way to honor and preserve their Indigenous history and life.  Available online for Public. 

Merman / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Sterling Hampton IV, Producer: Monica Lawless) — A 58-year-old Black Queer man speaks the truth about his life as an emergency nurse, a leather enthusiast, husband, and civil rights advocate. Available online for Public.

Object 817 / Belgium (Director and Screenwriter: Olga Lucovnicova, Producers: Frederik Nicolai, Annabel Verbeke) — A poetic journey to the heart of the Ural, where the discovery of an alien creature uncovers a haunting secret. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

Salone Love / U.S.A., U.K., Sierra Leone (Director: Tajana Tokyo, Producers: Tabs Breese, India Wadsworth) — A scrapbook of opinions and advice about love in Sierra Leone. Available online for Public.

The Smallest Power / Iran (Director and Producer: Andy Sarjahani, Producer: Daniel Lombroso) — During the Woman, Life, Freedom uprising in Iran, in the aftermath of the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini, a medical resident finds her voice when the chaos in the streets comes to her hospital floor. Available online for Public.

To Be Invisible / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Myah Overstreet) — Every week for the past three years, Alexis and Kellie have stood outside Durham County’s child welfare agency, demanding the return of their children. Together, they embark on a journey to bring their children home. World Premiere. Available online for Public. 

Winding Path / U.S.A. (Directors: Alexandra Lazarowich, Ross Kauffman, Producer: Robin Honan) — Eastern Shoshone MD-PhD student Jenna Murray spent summers on the Wind River Indian Reservation helping her grandpa anyway she could. When he suddenly dies, she must find a way to heal before realizing her dream of a life in medicine. World Premiere. Available online for Public.

40TH EDITION CELEBRATION SCREENINGS & EVENTS

Rediscover classic works of independent cinema as the Sundance Film Festival celebrates its 40th edition and the breadth, diversity, artistic resonance, and cultural impact of four decades of independent storytelling. The 40th Edition Celebration Screenings & Events section brings archival screenings back into focus as part of the Sundance Film Festival for audiences to explore and rediscover the films that have shaped the heritage of both Sundance Institute and independent storytelling. The program is rounded out with special events and conversations with artists across the decades. 

Napoleon Dynamite / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jared Hess, Producers: Sean Covel, Chris Wyatt, Screenwriter: Jerusha Hess) — From rural Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite, a new kind of hero with moon boots and some sweet moves. When his friend Pedro decides to run for class president, Napoleon finds goals outside of being a star milk-tasting judge to help him triumph over adversity. Cast: Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez, Haylie Duff, Tina Majorino, Diedrich Bader. 

Since its premiere at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition almost 20 years ago, Napoleon Dynamite’s quirky humor and offbeat characters have sustained a lasting impact on pop culture, proliferating endless references in popular media and a steadfast following. The film’s brand-new restoration will debut at the upcoming Festival. The original 35mm cut negative was digitally scanned at a 4K resolution by Disney and Searchlight Pictures. All color and restoration work was also performed at 4K resolution, which was approved by the director, Jared Hess.

“Returning to Sundance with Napoleon Dynamite feels like a homecoming. When it premiered at the festival 20 years ago, we never anticipated the incredible reaction it would receive,” said Napoleon Dynamite writer-director Jared Hess. “It’s always been a very personal film for Jerusha and me, so the love affair it’s had with audiences all these years continues to delight us. To commemorate its 20th anniversary, we are thrilled to screen this newly restored version of Napoleon Dynamite. The restoration team did an amazing job bringing to life new details from the original film’s negative that we’d never seen before. We can’t wait to share it!” 

  • Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with screenwriter Jerusha Hess, actor Jon Heder, and more.

The Babadook / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Jennifer Kent, Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere) — A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. Cast: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear, Noah Wiseman.

The Babadook premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight section, where it was acquired by IFC Midnight. The film’s skillful exploration of motherhood and grief, coupled with its innovative approach to the psychological horror genre, earned The Babadook widespread critical acclaim and cemented a loyal following.  

“I definitely have some distance on Babadook now, after ten years. The film feels like an old friend, one that changed my life in many ways,” said The Babadook director Jennifer Kent. “Sundance was such a huge part of that change. I look forward to ‘coming home’ to the place where it all began, and to the festival that has given me and ‘Mister B’ so much.”

  • Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 10:30 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Jennifer Kent and more.

Mississippi Masala / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Mira Nair, Producer: Michael Nozik, Screenwriter: Sooni Taraporevala) — During 1972 in Greenwood, Mississippi, Mina, whose Indian family was forced to flee Uganda, meets Demetrius, a carpet cleaner in Indian-owned Patel Motels. Their passionate romance exposes the rifts and commonalities between the Indian and Black communities. Cast: Sarita Choudhury, Charles S. Dutton, Joe Seneca, Roshan Seth, Sharmila Tagore, Denzel Washington.

With an interracial relationship at its center, and Indian American filmmaker Mira Nair at its helm, Mississippi Masala explored the intersecting issues of racism, colorism, and displacement with extraordinary nuance at a time when these types of stories were scarce. The film screened in the 1992 Sundance Film Festival at the Opening Night in Park City. Mississippi Masala’s 4K digital restoration, which will screen at the upcoming Festival, was undertaken by Janus Film and the Criterion Collection and supervised by director Mira Nair and cinematographer Ed Lachman.

“Welcome to black and brown skins in the same frame, to my 30-year-old but still radical film, Mississippi Masala! We gathered movie stars from all across the world to tell this tale of Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asians from Uganda in 1972 and their prickly embrace into the Mississippi Delta. This was a movie that went missing, until I tracked the only print available to a music store in Nashville, Tennessee. The owner turned out to be a major fan and sold me back the rights of the film for one dollar,” said director Mira Nair. “What you’re about to see is a beautiful 4K restoration undertaken by Criterion and supervised by legendary cinematographer Ed Lachman and myself.”

  • Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at 3:15 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Mira Nair and more.

Go Fish / U.S.A. (Director, Producer, and Screenwriter: Rose Troche, Screenwriter: Guinevere Turner) — Max is a young woman looking for romance. After a failed date, she discovers that some of life’s best surprises come when you don’t judge a book by its cover. Cast: V.S. Brodie, T. Wendy McMillan, Migdalia Melendez, Anastasia Sharp, Guinevere Turner. 

Despite almost three decades of queer storytelling that have come since its premiere at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, Go Fish remains just as resonant today. A pioneering work in lesbian cinema, the film helped pave the way for more authentic portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters and stories. Go Fish was digitally restored by the Academy Film Archive and UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute in 4K from the original 16mm A/B camera negatives and 35mm magnetic soundtrack. The restoration was funded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Amazon MGM Studios, Frameline, Sundance Institute, and UCLA Film & Television Archive. To address the specific preservation risks posed to independent film, Sundance Institute partnered with the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1997 to form the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA and preserve independent films supported by the Institute. 

“I am so honored that these organizations have come together to restore Go Fish on the eve of its 30th anniversary,” said Go Fish director, writer, and producer Rose Troche. “The Sundance Film Festival helped launch Go Fish into the zeitgeist of Queer culture and I will be forever grateful. This restoration will allow Go Fish to live on for a new generation.”

  • Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at 12:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Rose Troche, producer John Pierson, and more.

The Times of Harvey Milk / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Rob Epstein, Producer: Richard Schmiechen) — Documenting Harvey Milk’s rise from neighborhood activist to a symbol of gay political achievement, followed by his assassination at San Francisco’s City Hall and the subsequent Dan White trial and aftermath.

By memorializing the remarkable life and political career of LGBTQ+ advocate Harvey Milk, The Times of Harvey Milk played a pivotal role in influencing public opinion and discourse on gay rights. The documentary received widespread acclaim, indicated by its 1985 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It also received the Special Jury Prize (Documentary) at Sundance’s very first festival in 1985, where it screened in the U.S. Documentary Competition. The film’s digital restoration, which will screen at the upcoming Festival, was completed by Janus Films and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. 

“Back in 1985, when The Times of Harvey Milk screened at the first Sundance Film Festival, Frederick Wiseman, D.A. Pennebacker, and Barbara Kopple were on the jury,” said The Times of Harvey Milk director and producer Robert Epstein. “Being in the Festival was a reward in itself, but receiving a special jury award from these legends was a young filmmaker’s dream come true. Sundance has been an important part of my life and career ever since. How great to be returning with The Times of Harvey Milk as part of the 40th edition celebration.”

  • Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 12:15 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Robert Epstein and more.

DIG! XX / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Ondi Timoner, Producer: David Timoner) — Looking at the collision of art and commerce through the eyes of two dueling rock bands — The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre — over the past 27 years. DIG! XX is the 20th anniversary extended edition of the rock documentary DIG!, which adds new narration by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion and features 35+ minutes of never-before-seen footage.

DIG! premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary Competition, where it ultimately won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary category. DIG! XX, which will premiere at the upcoming Festival, is not only a digitally enhanced, remixed, and remastered version of DIG!, but also a special 20th anniversary new edit of the film culled from 2,500 hours of footage, shot over seven years, and brought to you by the original sibling team, Ondi & David Timoner. 

“Twenty years ago, we had 2,500 hours of footage and a five-hour cut, so a lot of really great stuff hit the cutting room floor,” said DIG! XX director and producer Ondi Timoner. “A lot of those tapes are over a quarter-century old, so if we wanted to share more of this crazy story, it was now or never. We added an additional 35 minutes of carefully selected gems and a view inside The Brian Jonestown Massacre through a new narration by Joel Gion, the band’s tambourine player, which counterbalances the original narration by The Dandy Warhols’ frontman, Courtney Taylor. Now fans can watch the story through the eyes of both bands and follow them through to today, while reflecting back on DIG!’s impact on them and our culture.”

  • Park City screening on Tuesday, January 23 at 8:30 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Ondi Timoner, producer David Timoner, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion.

Pariah / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dee Rees, Producer: Nekisa Cooper) — When forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family, a Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression. Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Aasha Davis.

Pariah first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival as a short film. It later returned to the 2011 Festival as a feature film premiering in the U.S. Documentary Competition, where it received an Excellence in Cinematography Award. Director Dee Rees workshopped Pariah in the Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs and received three separate Institute grants to support production of the film. After opening to critical acclaim, Pariah, a young Black lesbian’s coming-of-age story, quickly became part of the LGBTQ+ film canon.

“I’m moved and excited to be coming back to where it all began and celebrating this special anniversary with the Institute,” said Pariah director Dee Rees. “From the lab advisors, to the fellows, to the audiences, Sundance was that magically supportive and generous community that enabled Pariah to be born in the world and it’s always a joyous, heady feeling to return.”

  • Park City screening on Friday, January 26 at 6:45 p.m followed by a conversation with director Dee Rees.

Three Seasons / Vietnam (Director, Producer, and Screenwriter: Tony Bui, Producers: Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente) — Although the hearts, goals, and desires are different for everyone in a culturally-shifting Ho Chi Minh City, four individuals paint a vivid picture of the past, present, and future of a city eking into a new era. Cast: Don Duong, Zoe Bui, Tran Manh Cuong, Nguyen Huu Duoc, Ngoc Hiep, Harvey Keitel.

Director Tony Bui workshopped Three Seasons at the 1996 Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs. Just three years later, Three Seasons went on to premiere at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, where the film received widespread acclaim, earning the Excellence in Cinematography Award, and became the first feature film to win both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The version screening in the upcoming Festival is a new digital restoration in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative and original master 4-track stereo. 

“After 25 years, Three Seasons comes full circle back to Sundance where it originally premiered,” said Three Seasons director, producer, and screenwriter Tony Bui. “The long and emotional journey to restore the film isn’t just about preserving the film, but about bringing it back to life to share this timeless story of love, loss, and healing after the Vietnam War for generations to come.”

  • Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Tony Bui, producers Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, and more.

Power of Story: Four Decades of Taking Chances

Tuesday, January 23, 3–4:30 p.m.

Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.

With this conversation, we look back at the legacy of independent storytelling and the Sundance Film Festival over the course of four decades. A group of artists reflect on their work and careers, the empowering nature of risk-taking, and the importance of negotiating creative freedom. We want to talk about the past as we contemplate the future of storytelling and explore how revolutionary narrative experiences can reshape culture through artistic discovery, emerging media, and the reassertion of independence. 

Featuring: Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), Christine Vachon (Past Lives)

The 40th Edition Short Film Show with Mark & Jay Duplass

Tuesday, January 23, 7:30 p.m.

Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. 

An eclectic mixtape of short films that have screened at Sundance over its four-decade history, curated by Sundance programmers and hosted by short film alums Mark and Jay Duplass. We welcome filmmakers back to celebrate their shorts as part of this surprise screening.

Since the early days of the festival and the Rogues Gallery program of short films, throughout its almost 40 years of history, the Festival has always supported short films, providing a platform for both established and new filmmakers to connect with audiences in live action, animation and non-fiction shorts.

WHO

The Sundance Film Festival®

The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the nonprofit, Sundance Institute, is the pre-eminent gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gone on to gain critical acclaim and reach new audiences worldwide. The Festival has introduced some of the most groundbreaking films and episodic works of the past three decades, including Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Fair Play, A Thousand and One, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, Rye Lane, Navalny, Fire of Love, Flee, CODA, Passing, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Minari, Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, O.J.: Made in America, On the Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Top of the Lake, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me by Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs, and sex, lies, and videotape. The program consists of fiction and nonfiction features and short films, series and episodic content, innovative storytelling, and performances, as well as conversations, and other events. The Festival takes place in person in Utah, as well as online, connecting audiences to bold new artists and films. The 2024 Festival will be held January 18–28, 2024. Be a part of the Festival at festival.sundance.org and follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

The Festival is a program of the nonprofit Sundance Institute. To date 2024 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, AMC+, Chase Sapphire®, Adobe; Leadership Sponsors – Audible, DIRECTV, Hulu, Ketel One Vodka, Omnicom Group, Shutterstock, United Airlines; Sustaining Sponsors – Canon U.S.A., Inc., Cotopaxi, DoorDash, Dropbox, Element[AL] Wines, World of Hyatt®, IMDb, MACRO, Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Rye, University of Utah Health, White Claw Hard Seltzer; Media Sponsors – Deadline Hollywood, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, NPR, Variety, Vulture. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year round programs for independent artists. Please visit festival.sundance.org for more. 

 

Sundance Institute

As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from Sundance advisors and connect with each other in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Through the Sundance Institute artist programs, we have supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Big Sick, Bottle Rocket, Boys Don’t Cry, Boys State, Call Me by Your Name, Clemency, CODA, Drunktown’s Finest, The Farewell, Fire of Love, Flee, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Half Nelson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hereditary, Honeyland, The Infiltrators, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Little Woods, Love & Basketball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Mudbound, Nanny, Navalny, O.J.: Made in America, One Child Nation, Pariah, Raising Victor Vargas, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, RBG, Sin Nombre, Sorry to Bother You, The Souvenir, Strong Island, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Swiss Army Man, Sydney, A Thousand and One, Top of the Lake, Walking and Talking, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Zola. Through year-round artist programs, the Institute also nurtured the early careers of such artists as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Gregg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Lisa Cholodenko, Ryan Coogler, Nia DaCosta, The Daniels, David Gordon Green, Miranda July, James Mangold, John Cameron Mitchell, Kimberly Peirce, Boots Riley, Ira Sachs, Quentin Tarantino, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Chloé Zhao. Support Sundance Institute in our commitment to uplifting bold artists and powerful storytelling globally by making a donation at sundance.org/donate. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

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