Sundance Unveils The 2019 Line-Up

Nov 29, 2018

Credit Sundance Institute

The Sundance Film Institute has unveiled its line-up of 112 feature films scheduled for the 2019 Film Festival.

Next year’s festival is scheduled to run from January 24th to February 3rd, in Park City and other locations around the Wasatch Front.

As usual, the heart of the festival is the slate of Competition films for both Dramatic and Documentary categories—with 32 films on hand from the U.S. and 24 in the foreign program.

One documentary likely to attract attention is “Knock Down the House” about a new generation of insurgent political contenders. One of those featured is a Bronx bartender named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Other documentaries are dealing with, for instance, the legacy of lynching in the south; a cult called the Satanic Temple, the Mafia, life in the Gaza Strip, and the polarized politics of Brazil.

One theme that emerges in multiple films is wildlife preservation. “Tigerland” is about efforts to save the last Siberian tigers; “Honeyland” is about bees in Macedonia; and “Sea of Shadows” set in Mexico, shows the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, in jeopardy.

Among the historical or biographical films, entries deal with David Crosby, Mike Wallace, Roy Cohn (whose last client, the program observes, was Donald Trump) and The Amazing Johnathan, a dying magician whose story may be mixing truth and illusion. A foreign documentary “Cold Case Hammerskjold” looks at the 1961 plane crash death of the UN Secretary-General and promises to reveal a larger crime.

In the Narrative section, the characters range from a man who works as a “house turner” to a female prison warden burdened by years of death-row executions, to a couple of puppeteers “Judy and Punch” headed for inevitable tragedy. Some of the unique titles include “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”, “We Are Little Zombies” about Japanese orphans who firm a kick-ass band; and “Brittany Runs a Marathon”, featuring a woman who finds herself “one city block at a time.”

Performers in the films include Alec Baldwin, Jon Cryer, Danny Glover and Tilda Swinton, with some, like Jim Gaffigan and Awkwafina appearing in more than one film.

And the Next program comprises ten films that aim for bold subject matter and cutting-edge style. The films include “Selah and the Spades” about the internecine warfare at a prestigious boarding school; “Light from Light” featuring a single mom/paranormal sleuth; and “The Infiltrators” about a group of undocumented Dreamers who go undercover at a detention center.

Sundance’s announcement Wednesday said the films were chosen from over 4,000 submissions.

Details on other programs in the festival in later editions of KPCW news.