Sundance adds five movies to festival lineup, including a profile of an NBA superstar

Festival also schedules in-person screenings for four movies from the online-only pandemic years.

(Sundance Institute) Basketball star Stephen Curry, seen here fielding interviews in his college days, is the subject of director Peter Nicks' documentary "Stephen Curry: Underrated," an official selection in the Special Screenings program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Five more movies — including a documentary on NBA star Stephen Curry, and a musical from the director of the Oscar-winning “Once” — are being added to the lineup of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

The festival — which runs Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort — also will schedule in-person screenings of four acclaimed movies that premiered at the festival in 2021 and 2022, when they weren’t able to be shown in person in Utah because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These five titles are being added to the festival lineup, bringing the total number of new films to 106:

“Beyond Utopia” (U.S. Documentary competition) • The description from Sundance leaves a big mystery for director Madeleine Gavin’s documentary to reveal, as the filmmaker uses hidden cameras to capture “the perilous high-stakes journey as we embed with families attempting to escape oppression, ultimately revealing a world most of us have never seen.” (Available online.)

(Sundance Institute) An image from director Madeleine Gavin's "Beyond Utopia," an official selection of the U.S. Documentary competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“Earth Mama” (Premieres) • Writer-director Savanah Leaf’s drama stars Tia Nomore as a pregnant single mother with two children in foster care who embraces her Bay Area community in an effort to reclaim her family. The cast includes Erika Alexander, Doechii, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Dominic Fike and Bokeem Woodbine.

(Sundance Institute) Tia Nomore stars in writer-director Savanah Leaf's "Earth Mama," an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“Flora and Son” (Premieres; United States/Ireland) • Writer-director John Carney, who made the music-based movies “Once” and “Sing Street,” centers this story around Flora (Eve Hewson, aka Bono’s daughter), a single mom at war with her teen son, Max (Orén Kinlan) — and how Flora attempts to thwart Max’s petty thievery by giving him a guitar she salvaged from the trash. The film also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jack Reynor.

(Sundance Institute) Eve Hewson, left, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in writer-director John Carney's "Flora and Son," an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“Past Lives” (Premieres) • Nora and Hae Sung are best friends in childhood, until Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Twenty years later, the two (played by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo) meet again over one fateful week in New York. John Magaro also stars in this drama, written and directed by Celine Song.

(Jon Pack | Sundance Institute) Greta Lee, left, and Teo Yoo play two friends from South Korea, reunited after 20 years, in writer-director Celine Song's "Past Lives," an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“Stephen Curry: Underrated” (Special Screenings) • How did Stephen Curry go from being an undersized college player to a four-time NBA champion? The answer is revealed through cinematic video, archival footage and interviews in this documentary for A24 and Apple TV+. Director Peter Nicks has documented other Oakland institutions, including the city’s police (“The Force,” SFF ‘17) and schools (“Homeroom,” SFF ‘21).

The four movies from the 2021 and 2022 festivals will be shown as “Encore Special Screenings,” set for Jan. 25-27. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance, festival organizers say, for post-screening Q&As.

The four films are:

“CODA” • Writer-director Sian Heder’s drama, about a hearing teen (Emilia Jones) in a deaf family. The movie won a record four awards at Sundance 2021, including the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic competition, and went on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture — the first time a Sundance premiere has won the Academy’s biggest award.

“Klondike” (Ukraine/Turkey) • Last year’s Directing Award winner in the World Cinema Dramatic competition, this drama depicts a Ukrainian family living on the Ukraine-Russia border at the start of Russia’s 2014 invasion, and culminating in an air crash of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.

“Navalny” • Director Daniel Roher’s documentary profiles Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, capturing in real time the investigation that links Vladimir Putin’s government to Navalny’s near-fatal poisoning. The documentary, a surprise late addition to the 2022 Sundance lineup, won the Festival Favorite prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary competition. It’s shortlisted for this year’s Oscar in the Documentary Feature category.

“Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” • Musician and producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson made his directing debut with this documentary, which highlighted footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts with such headliners as Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Mavis Staples, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and many more. The movie won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Documentary competition at Sundance 2021, and the Oscar last year for Documentary Feature.

Single tickets for screenings go on sale Jan. 12. For more information, go to festival.sundance.org.