Sundance Film Festival 2024: 10 audiences: from Kristen Stewart in Love Lies and Blood and Pedro Pascal in Freaky Tales to Saoirse Ronan in Outrun

The film is set in the post-one-child era in China, and the cast is led by Zu Feng and Guo Keyou. The film puts a middle-class family under the microscope as tensions rise after their only son brings home a new friend.

Zu Feng (left) and Guo Keiyu in a still from the film “A Brief History of a Family.” Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

The director notes that his exploration of the family aims to “intensify their hidden fears, desires and tensions… the closer we get, the more mysterious they become.”

2. Black Box Diaries

In 2020, journalist and writer Shiori Ito was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for her contributions to Japan’s #MeToo movement. Now she’s adding documentary filmmaker to her list of accomplishments. Black Box Diarieswhich makes its debut in the world cinema documentary category.

Shiori Ito in a still from his documentary The Black Box Diaries. Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

The film follows her own attempt to investigate the sexual assault she suffered as she tries to catch a high-profile criminal. Already famous in Japan, Ito gained notoriety as she sought to expose the country’s outdated judicial system and social norms.

This film is destined to become one of the most talked about films of the festival.

3. Agent of happiness

What is implementation? What does this mean for each person? These questions occupy Agent of Happinessa kind of popular science film, which is shown in the documentary genre of World Cinema.

Amber Kumar Gurung, Gunaraj Kuikel and Kinley Tshering in a scene from the documentary “Agent of Happiness.” Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Directed by Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Surbaugh, the film follows Amber, a Bhutanese government agent tasked with measuring the happiness of people in a Himalayan mountain kingdom.

Searching for love while also trying to find her place in society as a member of Bhutan’s Nepalese minority, Amber explores what it means to be happy through the stories of various families in a remote kingdom.

It’s a fascinating look at a little-documented country.

4. Nocturnes

It’s rare for a nature documentary to make it to Sundance, but two filmmakers from New Delhi, India have created this deeply spiritual and surprising non-fiction film.

Still from Nocturnes. Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Premiere in the line of World Cinema documentaries. NocturnesDirected by Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan, the film takes us into the forests of the Eastern Himalayas and into the secret world of moths.

These most mysterious insects are painted on a large canvas in the forest with bright light, allowing viewers to observe them in their habitat.

The experimental work, filled with immersive sound, provides a unique look at how moths are a vital part of ecosystems.

5. Love lies that bleed

British director Rose Glass has received acclaim for her well-crafted debut horror feature. Saint Maud, back in 2019. Now, five years later, she’s back with Love, lies, bleedingher first adventure in America, which combines love and loyalty with hedonistic violence.

Kristen Stewart plays Lou, a reclusive gym manager who falls in love with Jackie (Katie O’Brien), an aspiring bodybuilder heading to Las Vegas. But as their relationship progresses, the Lu crime family gets involved, turning their world upside down.

Playing at Midnight Festival, she’s covered in iconic tattoos all over.

6. And so it all begins

Ramona Diaz is an acclaimed Filipino-American documentary filmmaker whose credits include the 2003 film. ImeldaA look at former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos.

Still from the film “And So It Begins.” Photo: Sin Diaz; Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Now she’s back with And that’s how it startedThe story is set against the backdrop of national elections at the end of Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial presidency, as a popular movement is formed to fight attacks on truth and democracy.

As the US election campaign heats up, Diaz’s film will be a stark reminder of the fragile nature of electoral systems around the world.

7. Freaky Tales

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are no strangers to the Sundance Festival after their 2006 debut. Half Nelsonstarring Ryan Gosling exploded at the festival. More recently, they plunged into the universe of superheroes with Captain MarvelBut Freaky Tales brings them back to the independent scene.
Pedro Pascal in a scene from Freaky Stories. Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.
Pedro Pascal (ur.Last of us) stars alongside Ji Yeon Yoo, who will also soon be seen in a TV drama set in Hong Kong. Emigrants, as a tribute to the eighties. The action takes place in Oakland, California. Teen punks, Nazi skinheads, hip-hop artists and more join forces in this wild series of interconnected stories, shown in the Premieres section.

8. Presence

Steven Soderbergh, who began his career at the Sundance Film Festival in 1989. sex, lies and videotape, is back with what may be his first straight-up horror film.

presence also marks his second collaboration with David Koepp, famed screenwriter Jurassic Park, following their 2022 tech thriller, Kimi.

Kallina Liang in a scene from the film “Presence.” Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Located in one place presence stars Lucy Liu and Julia Fox (who previously starred in Soderbergh’s underrated film) No sudden movement) in a creepy story about a family who moves into a country house and discovers that they are not alone.

Screening as part of the Premieres festival, you can expect this to be no run-of-the-mill haunted house tale, given Soderbergh and Koepp’s track records.

9. Overtaking

German director Nora Fingscheidt made an opening impression with her 2019 film. System failure, a film about a naughty child who is forced into social institutions. Since then she has achieved Unforgivable with Sandra Bullock, released on Netflix. Now she’s coming back with Outran.

Saoirse Ronan in a scene from the film “Overtaking”. Photo: The Outrun Film Ltd – Roy Eamer; Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Co-directed with the brilliant Saoirse Ronan, the film is an adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s memoir about addiction and recovery. Ronan plays Rona, a drug addict and alcoholic who flees London, where her life has spiraled out of control, to the wilds of Orkney, Scotland, where she grew up.

Expect a deeply personal, poignant journey played out fiercely by Ronan.

10. Winner

By the end of 2023 reality with Sydney Sweeney, Suzanne Vogel Winner This is the second film in a year dedicated to real-life whistleblower Reality Winner.

This time it’s Briton Emilia Jones, who starred in Vogel’s recent film. Cat Mantakes on the role of a US National Security Agency contractor brought to justice for exposing Russian hacking of the 2016 US elections.

Emilia Jones in a scene from the movie “Winner”. Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Bye reality focused on Winner’s initial FBI interrogation using transcripts of her arrest, Winner will offer a broader perspective on its history. Considering Winner’s controversial nature—she’s a fitness freak from Texas who also kept a gun at home—it should be exciting.

The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 18 to 28.

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