Sundance Film Festival Announces the Top Ten Feature Films From Its First Four Decades As Decided by the Filmmaking Community

2024 Sundance Film Festival’s 40th Edition Kicks Off On Thursday January 18

Park City, Utah – Today, in advance of the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival kicking off on January 18, the nonprofit Sundance Institute is commemorating the four decades of extraordinary independent filmmaking presented at the Festival with the results of a survey taken by the filmmaking communities on their top ten feature films that have screened at the Festival since it began in 1985. 

In honor of this milestone Festival, filmmakers, critics, and industry members shared their personal top 10 lists. Over 500 people participated — pouring over the nearly 4,000 feature films that have been presented at the Festival — and below is the collective top 10 list of the Sundance Film Festival films that have touched hearts and changed lives. 

The 2024 Sundance Film 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. This year marks the 40th edition of the Festival, bringing together audiences in Utah and beyond to celebrate Sundance’s rich history of supporting engaging new stories and groundbreaking independent artists. Tickets are on sale now at festival.sundance.org

What from the 2024 Festival will make the top ten list in the future? 

40th Edition All Time Top Ten Films Selected by the Filmmaking Community

1. Whiplash (2014), Damien Chazelle
2. Reservoir Dogs (1992), Quentin Tarantino
A film still from Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino, an official selection of the From the Collection program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
3. Get Out (2017), Jordan Peele
4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
5. Memento (2001), Christopher Nolan
6. sex, lies and videotape (1989), Steven Soderbergh
7. Before Sunrise (1995), Richard Linklater
8. Boyhood (2014), Richard Linklater
9. Y tu mamá también (2002), Alfonso Cuarón
10. Blood Simple (1985), Joel and Ethan Coen

About the films and the filmmakers whose features were selected as the personal favorite films from the filmmaking community:

  • Blood Simple was the debut feature film of Joel and Ethan Coen and won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.
  • Richard Linklater directed two of the ten films selected.
  • sex, lies and videotape was the debut feature film of Steven Soderbergh and won the Audience Award: Dramatic.
  • Memento won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Christopher Nolan.
  • Get Out was the debut feature film of Jordan Peele.
  • Reservoir Dogs was the debut feature film of Quentin Tarantino.
  • Whiplash won the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic and the Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic.
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