The Sundance Institute completes the slate of bold independent work set for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with additional feature films, a VR experience, the NEXT Innovator’s Award juror, and hosted retrospectives joining the lineup.
RuPaul will convene a retrospective of VH1’s Emmy-winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on the heels of its 10th season, and host a panel with executive producers and Sundance Film Festival veterans Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, along with Tom Campbell and Pamela Post, senior vice president of Original Programming for MTV, VH1, and Logo. RuPaul will also serve as the Festival’s inaugural and sole NEXT Innovator Award juror and will present the award to her favorite film in that category, which showcases pure, bold works distinguished by innovative, forward-thinking approaches to storytelling.
These latest additions are joined by archive film “Smoke Signals,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998, and a selection of early work by gay filmmaker Todd Haynes, whose feature film directorial debut “Poison” won the Grand Jury Prize in 1991.
The Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 18–28, with screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort. Out of the 121 independent films from 29 countries, QSaltLake’s own Flick Dick (aka Detective) Tony Hobday has compiled a number of this year’s movies with LGBT themes and/or by LGBT filmmakers, writers, and cast members. He also took it upon himself to add a few films that just tickled his fancy.
For full list of films, ticketing, theater locations and more, visit sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/
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American Animals / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bart Layton, Producers: Derrin Schlesinger, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Mary Jane Skalski) — The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier. World Premiere
Eighth Grade/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bo Burnham, Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub) — Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school. Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton. World Premiere
The Kindergarten Teacher / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo, Producers: Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler) — Lisa Spinelli is a Staten Island teacher who is unusually devoted to her students. When she discovers one of her five-year-olds is a prodigy, she becomes fascinated with the boy, ultimately risking her family and freedom to nurture his talent. Based on the acclaimed Israeli film. Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Barynishikov, Michael Chernus, Gael Garcia Bernal. World Premiere
Lizzie / U.S.A. (Director: Craig William Macneill, Screenwriter: Bryce Kass, Producers: Naomi Despres, Liz Destro, Chloë Sevigny) — Based on the 1892 murder of Lizzie Borden’s family in Fall River, MA, this tense psychological thriller lays bare the legend of Lizzie Borden to reveal the much more complex, poignant and truly terrifying woman within — and her intimate bond with the family’s young Irish housemaid, Bridget Sullivan. Cast: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare. World Premiere
The Miseducation of Cameron Post / U.S.A. (Director: Desiree Akhavan, Screenwriters: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele, Producers: Cecilia Frugiuele, Jonathan Montepare, Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub) — 1993: after being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel. Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle. World Premiere
Minding the Gap / U.S.A. (Director: Bing Liu, Producer: Diane Quon) — Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. World Premiere
Seeing Allred / U.S.A. (Directors: Sophie Sartain, Roberta Grossman, Producers: Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain, Marta Kauffman, Robbie Rowe Tollin, Hannah KS Canter) — Gloria Allred overcame trauma and personal setbacks to become one of the nation’s most famous women’s rights attorneys. Now the feminist firebrand takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight. World Premiere
Our New President / Russia, U.S.A. (Director: Maxim Pozdorovkin, Producers: Maxim Pozdorovkin, Joe Bender, Charlotte Cook) — The story of Donald Trump’s election told entirely through Russian propaganda. By turns horrifying and hilarious, the film is a satirical portrait of Russian media that reveals an empire of fake news and the tactics of modern-day information warfare. World Premiere
Shirkers / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sandi Tan, Producers: Sandi Tan, Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph) — In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan shot Singapore’s first indie road movie with her enigmatic American mentor Georges – who then vanished with all the footage. Twenty years later, the 16mm film is recovered, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal odyssey in search of Georges’ vanishing footprints. World Premiere
A Kid Like Jake / U.S.A. (Director: Silas Howard, Screenwriter: Daniel Pearle, Producers: Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Eric Norsoph, Paul Bernon, Rachel Song) — As married couple Alex and Greg navigate their roles as parents to a young son who prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what’s best for their child, and each other. Cast: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker. World Premiere
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot / U.S.A. (Director: Gus Van Sant, Screenwriters: Gus Van Sant (screenplay), John Callahan (biography), Producers: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar, Steve Golin, Nicolas Lhermitte) — John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes…and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black. World Premiere
The Happy Prince/ Germany, Belgium, Italy (Director and screenwriter: Rupert Everett, Producers: Sébastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer, Jörg Schulze) — The last days of Oscar Wilde—and the ghosts haunting them—are brought to vivid life. His body ailing, Wilde lives in exile, surviving on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him as the transience of lust is laid bare and the true riches of love are revealed. Cast: Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Rupert Everett. World Premiere
Believer / U.S.A. (Director: Don Argott, Producers: Heather Parry, Sheena M. Joyce, Robert Reynolds) — Imagine Dragons’ Mormon frontman Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate among teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path for acceptance and change. World Premiere
Half The Picture / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Adrion, Producers: Amy Adrion, David Harris) — At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally. World Premiere
Jane Fonda in Five Acts/ U.S.A. (Director: Susan Lacy, Producers: Susan Lacy, Jessica Levin, Emma Pildes) — Girl next door, activist, so-called traitor, fitness tycoon, Oscar winner: Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy and transformation — and she’s done it all in the public eye. An intimate look at one woman’s singular journey. World Premiere
Quiet Heroes/ U.S.A. (Director: Jenny Mackenzie, Co-Directors: Jared Ruga, Amanda Stoddard, Producers: Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, Amanda Stoddard) — In Salt Lake City, Utah, the socially conservative religious monoculture complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients in the entire state and intermountain region relied on only one doctor. This is the story of her fight to save a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die. World Premiere
STUDIO 54 / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Tyrnauer, Producers: Matt Tyrnauer, John Battsek, Corey Reeser) — Studio 54 was the pulsating epicenter of 1970s hedonism: a disco hothouse of beautiful people, drugs, and sex. The journeys of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell — two best friends from Brooklyn who conquered New York City — frame this history of the “greatest club of all time.” World Premiere
The Mortified Guide/ U.S.A. (Director: Michael Mayer, Executive Producers: David Nadelberg, Neil Katcher) — A comedic look at the biggest issues of adolescence – from first loves to fitting in – as adults share their childhood writings and art in front of total strangers. Based on the Mortified stage shows, books, podcast and film, this docuseries celebrates the awkward insecurities that shaped us all. Cast: Robert Woo, Katie Westerfield, Adam Ruben. World Premiere
FROM THE COLLECTION
An Evening with Todd Haynes / In the thirty years since he burst onto the indie scene, openly gay director Todd Haynes has established himself as one of most distinctive voices in American cinema. A special conversation with Haynes and longtime collaborator, producer Christine Vachon, explores Haynes’ early work, including clips from notable, recently restored gems.
Smoke Signals / U.S.A. (Director: Chris Eyre, Screenwriter: Sherman Alexie, Producers: Larry Estes, Scott Rosenfelt) — When Victor’s estranged father Arnold dies in Arizona, he must leave his home on an Idaho reservation to retrieve Arnold’s ashes. Victor’s friend Thomas offers to fund the trip, but only if he can accompany Victor. Together they undertake a journey filled with discovery about their personal and cultural identities. Cast: Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal.
The Climb / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Covino) — Kyle is depressed and a weekend bike ride with his best friend, Mike, should help. Fresh air. Camaraderie. Exercise. But Mike has something to say that might ruin the ride.
Men Don’t Whisper/ U.S.A. (Director: Jordan Firstman, Screenwriters: Jordan Firstman, Charles Rogers) — After being emasculated at a sales conference, gay couple Reese and Peyton set out to do the most masculine thing they can think of – sleep with some women.
Wyrm/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christopher Winterbauer) — Wyrm has two days to get his first kiss or he’ll be held back as part of the school district’s No Child Left Alone program and forced to wear his My.E.Q. Remote Monitoring collar through high school.
Careful How You Go/ United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Emerald Fennell) — A darkly comic three-part short film about malevolent women.
For Nonna Anna/ Canada (Director and screenwriter: Luis De Filippis) — A trans girl cares for her Italian grandmother. She assumes that her Nonna disapproves of her – but instead discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability.
Set me as a Seal Upon Thine Heart / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Omer Tobi) — A gay sauna encounter between a young man and an older man becomes an unexpected lesson about love.
Would You Look at Her / Macedonia (Director and screenwriter: Goran Stolevski) — A hard-headed tomboy spots the unlikely solution to all her problems in an all-male religious ritual.
I Like Girls/ Canada (Director and screenwriter: Diane Obomsawin) — Charlotte, Mathilde, Marie, and Diane reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves, sharing funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments and fumbling attempts at sexual expression.
Manivald/ Estonia, Croatia, Canada (Director: Chintis Lundgren, Screenwriters: Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić) — Manivald is still living at home with his retired mother. The day before his 33rd birthday a hot young wolf named Toomas comes to fix their washing machine. A love triangle develops, which leaves Manivald increasingly frustrated.
PLUR/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Julie Fliegenspan) — A claymation adaptation of a series of actual voicemails received after making out with someone at a rave.
Sundance 2018 Box Office Hours & Locations
Salt Lake City Main Box Office, Trolley Square, 700 E. 500 South
Park City Main Box Office, 136 Heber Ave.
Park City Pass & Package Office, 136 Heber Ave.
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