Out of 3,901 submitted feature films, programmers for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival have chosen 110 movies, representing 29 countries and 47 first-time filmmakers, 30 of them in competition.
The Sundance Institute, which puts on the annual festival in Park City and venues in Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort, announced its feature-film slate Wednesday. Six of them will screen on the festival’s opening night, Jan. 18, in Park City.
How to Sundance<br>When • Jan. 18-28<br>Where • Park City and venues in Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort in Provo Canyon.<br>Passes and ticket packages • On sale at sundance.org/festivals. <br>Individual tickets • Go on sale starting Jan. 16; $25 for the first half of the festival in Park City (Jan. 18-23), $20 for Salt Lake City screenings and for the second half in Park City (Jan. 24-28).<br>Information • sundance.org/festivals
Here, divided by category, are the titles for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival:
U.S. Dramatic Competition
“American Animals” • Four young men (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson), who mistake their life for a movie, try to pull off one of the biggest heists in U.S. history in this crime drama written and directed by Bart Layton (“The Imposter,” SFF ’12). Ann Dowd and Udo Kier also star.
“Blaze” • Musician Ben Dickey makes his movie debut playing Texas Outlaw songwriter Blaze Foley in this biopic directed by actor Ethan Hawke, who co-wrote the script with Foley’s longtime love, Sybil Rosen (who’s played by Alia Shawkat). Josh Hamilton and Charlie Sexton also star.
“Blindspotting” • “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs and his friend Rafael Casal co-wrote this drama, loosely based on their lives growing up in Oakland. The feature directing debut of Carlos Lopez Estrada. DAY ONE
“Burden” • Writer-director Andrew Heckler’s drama, inspired by true events, follows a Klansman (Garrett Hedlund) who falls in love with a single mom (Andrea Riseborough), who makes him reconsider his racist views — ultimately leading him to an African-American reverend (Forest Whitaker). Tom Wilkinson and Usher Raymond also star.
“Eighth Grade” • Comedian Bo Burnham wrote and directed this coming-of-age comedy, centering on 13-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher, the voice of Agnes in the “Despicable Me” movies), trying to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving middle school forever for high school. Josh Hamilton also stars. DAY ONE
“I Think We’re Alone Now” • Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning star in this post-apocalyptic story of a recluse who finds order after all of humanity is wiped out — until a second survivor shows up. Directed by Reed Morano, who won an Emmy for directing the first episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and written by Mike Makowsky.
“The Kindergarten Teacher” • Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a Staten Island teacher who discovers one of her 5-year-old students (Parker Sevak) is a prodigy and risks all to foster the boy’s talent. Writer-director Sara Colangelo (“Little Accidents,” SFF ’14) adapted this from a 2014 Israeli film.
“Lizzie” • Chloë Sevigny stars as Lizzie Borden, who infamously killed her family in 1892, in a period crime drama that focuses on her relationship with the family’s Irish housemaid (played by Kristen Stewart). Directed by Craig William Macneil, written by Bryce Kass. Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare also star.
“The Miseducation of Cameron Post” • Emily Danforth’s controversial teen novel gets a movie adaptation, set in 1993, with Chloë Grace Moretz as a Montana teen forced into a gay-conversion therapy center after getting caught having sex with the prom queen. Director Desiree Akhavan (“Appropriate Behavior,” SFF ’14) co-wrote the script with Cecilia Frugiuele. Sasha Lane and Jennifer Ehle also star.
“Monster” • Seventeen-year-old honors student Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is charged with a felony murder he says he didn’t commit in a drama that follows his complex legal battle. Directed by Anthony Mandler, with writers Radha Blank, Cole Wiley and Janice Shaffer adapting Walter Dean Myers’ 1999 young-adult novel. Also starring Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Rakim Mayers, Jennifer Ehle and Tim Blake Nelson.
“Monsters and Men” • The police killing of a black man has aftereffects on the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school basketball star in this drama directed and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. The cast includes John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie and Rob Morgan.
“Nancy” • Christina Choe writes and directs this psychological drama, centering on Nancy (Andrea Riseborough), who’s convinced she was kidnapped as a child — and when she encounters a couple (Ann Dowd, Steve Buscemi) whose daughter went missing 30 years earlier, Nancy’s belief threatens to overwhelm rationality. John Leguizamo also stars.
“Sorry to Bother You” • Rapper Boots Riley makes his writing and directing debut in this near-future satire about a black telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield) who comes across a secret key to business success. Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer and Omari Hardwick also star.
“The Tale” • Laura Dern stars as a journalist who must re-examine her first sexual relationship in a story based on the life story of writer-director Jennifer Fox (whose documentary “Beirut: The Last Home Movie” won the Grand Jury Prize at SFF ’87). The cast includes Isabelle Nélisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn and Common.
“Tyrel” • Jason Mitchell stars as Tyler, who arrives at a weekend birthday party in a secluded cabin to learn he’s the only black person on the guest list. Director/writer Sebastian Silva won the Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema Dramatic for “The Maid” (SFF ’09) and the Directing Award for “Crystal Fairy” (SFF ’13), and directed “Nasty Baby” (SFF ’15).
“Wildlife” • Actor Paul Dano makes his directing debut, adapting (with co-writer Zoe Kazan, his significant other) Richard Ford’s novel about a Montana family in crisis, circa 1960. The cast includes Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp and Jake Gyllenhaal.
U.S. Documentary Competition
“Bisbee ’17” • Experimental documentarian Robert Greene (“Kate Plays Christine,” SFF ’16) enlists locals from border town of Bisbee, Ariz., to re-enact one of the town’s darkest chapters: the deportation, exactly 100 years ago, of 1,200 immigrant miners.
“Crime + Punishment” • Black and Latino cops blow the whistle on illegal policing quotas in New York City, filing a landmark lawsuit that puts their careers and safety at risk. Director Stephen Maing got rare access to capture the story as it happened.
“Dark Money” • Writer-director Kimberly Reed examines the influx of “dark money” after the Citizens United ruling, focusing on one state — Montana — that is trying to solve the problem of unlimited anonymous money in politics.
“The Devil We Know” • West Virginia residents take on a powerful corporation when they discover the company knowingly dumped a toxic chemical in the local water supply in this documentary by director Stephanie Soechtig (“Fed Up,” SFF ’14; “Under the Gun,” SFF ’16). THE NEW CLIMATE
“Hal” • Director Amy Scott looks at the legendary filmmaker Hal Ashby, who made a string of acclaimed movies in the 1970s — “Harold and Maude,” “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” “Bound for Glory,” “Coming Home” and “Being There” — but whose uncompromising nature kept him from the commercial successes of his contemporaries, like Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” • A story of “coming of age in the Black Belt of the American South,” told in an immersive style by artist-turned-filmmaker RaMell Ross that “[allows] the viewer to complete the film,” according to the Sundance Institute.
“Inventing Tomorrow” • Director Laura Nix follows some of the world’s brightest young minds as they prepare for the latest gathering of high-school scientists in the world — the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair — and facing the threats of environmental problems and their own adolescence. THE NEW CLIMATE
“Kailash” • Derek Doneen directs this profile of Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist in India who has liberated more than 80,000 children from slavery, trafficking and forced labor. DAY ONE
“Kusama - Infinity” • Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her Pop Art style and the abundant use of polka dots, is profiled in a film by director Heather Lenz that details how she overcame her rigid upbringing, sexism, racism and mental illness to build her artistic vision — and how, at 88, she lives in a mental hospital and still creates art.
“The Last Race” • Filmmaker Michael Dweck takes a cinematic approach to this story of a small-town stock-car track and the drivers who call it home.
“Minding the Gap” • Three young men bond at the skate park in a Rust Belt town, escaping violent families, but adult responsibilities and revelations threaten their long friendship, in director Bing Liu’s personal documentary.
“On Her Shoulders” • Human-rights activist Nadia Murad, 23, tells her story — of being the survivor of a Yazidi genocide and sexual slavery at the hands of the so-called Islamic State — around the world, and is profiled in this documentary directed by Alexandria Bombach.
“The Price of Everything” • Director Nathaniel Kahn gets deep inside the contemporary art world, getting rare access to major artists and the market that surrounds them, in a movie that looks at our age in which everything can be bought and sold.
“Seeing Allred” • Famed attorney Gloria Allred, known for taking up women’s-rights cases, goes after two of the biggest adversaries of her career — Bill Cosby and Donald Trump — as sexual misconduct becomes a national topic. Directed by Sophie Sartain and Rebecca Grossman.
“The Sentence” • Director Rudy Valdez examines the issue of mandatory-minimum sentences through the intimate story of his sister Cindy Shank, a mother of three serving 15 years for her tangential involvement in a Michigan drug ring years earlier, in a story told over 10 years.
“Three Identical Strangers” • Director Tim Wardle chronicles the case of three 19-year-olds who, in 1980 in New York, learned that they were identical triplets separated at birth — and how their story unlocked a disturbing secret that could change how we understand human nature.
World Cinema Dramatic Competition
“And Breathe Normally” (Iceland/Sweden/Belgium) • The lives of two women — an Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau — intersect briefly on the edge of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula in this drama written and directed by Ísold Uggadottír.
“Butterflies” (Turkey) • Three strangers with one thing in common — the same father — come to a Turkish village to bury him, and learn about him and each other, in writer director Tolga Karaçelik’s drama.
“Dead Pigs” (China) • A pig farmer, a busboy, a salon owner, an expat architect and a jaded rich girl cross paths as thousands of dead pigs float down the Yangtze River toward Shanghai in writer-director Cathy Yan’s drama, based on true events.
“The Guilty” (Denmark) • A dispatcher gets an emergency call from a kidnapped woman, but when the call is disconnected, he begins a desperate search to find the woman and her kidnapper, with a phone his only tool. Director Gustav Möller co-wrote with Emil Nygaard Albertsen.
“Holiday” (Denmark/Netherlands/Sweden) • A small-time drug lord and his trophy girlfriend are part of a love triangle in this gangster story set on the Turkish Riviera. Director Isabella Eklof co-wote with Johanne Algren.
“Loveling” (Brazil/Uruguay) • Director Gustavo Pizzi and star Karine Telepits co-wrote this story of an anxiety-ridden woman on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro who in a few days must send her oldest son (Otavio Muller) out into the world. DAY ONE
“Pity” (Greece/Poland) • A lawyer (Yannis Drakopoulos) who is addicted to sadness — and needs pity so much he’s willing to do anything to evoke it from others — is at the center of this drama, directed by Babis Makridis, who co-wrote with Efthimis Filippou (who co-wrote “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”).
“The Queen of Fear” (Argentina/Denmark) • Argentine star Valeria Bertuccelli stars in, co-directed (with Fabiana Tiscornia) and wrote this comedy, centering on an acclaimed actress who is anxiously preparing for the premiere of her long-awaited solo show, throwing her privileged life into tumult in the process.
“Rust” (Brazil) • A love story that may be over before it started centers on two teens, Tati and Renet, whose story is told from both points of view by director Aly Muritiba, who co-wrote with Jessica Candel.
“Time Share (Tiempo Compartido)” (Mexico/Netherlands) • Two men team up to rescue their families from a tropical resort after becoming convinced an American timeshare company has an evil plan to take away their loved ones. Director Sebastián Hofmann co-wrote with Julio Chavezmontes.
“Un Traductor” (Canada/Cuba) • A Russian lit professor at the University of Havana is forced to work as a translator for child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident who have been sent to Cuba for medical treatment. Based on a true story, the film is directed by Rodrigo Barriuso and Sebastián Barruiso and written by Lindsay Gossling.
“Yardie” (United Kingdom) • Actor Idris Elba makes his feature directing debut with this story set in Jamaica, 1973, adapted by writers Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman from Victor Headley’s novel. It centers on a boy who witnesses his brother’s assassination and is given a home by a powerful don — but 10 years later, when he’s sent to London, his past catches up to him.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
“Anote’s Ark” (Canada) • Director Matthieu Rytz examines the plight of the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati, which is sinking into the ocean because of rising sea levels, population growth and climate change. THE NEW CLIMATE
“The Cleaners” (Germany/Brazil) • Writer-directors Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block dive into the hidden industry of digital cleaning, which rids the Internet of unwanted violence, porn and political content — in a movie that raises issues of who controls what we see and think.
“Genesis 2.0” (Switzerland) • A well-preserved mammoth carcass is found in the remote New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean, opening up the possibility of a world-changing “Jurassic Park” moment in genetics. Directed by Christian Frei, whose “Space Tourists” won the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary (SFF ’10) and Maxim Arbugaev.
“Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.” (Sri Lanka/United Kingdom/United States) • A documentary profile of Maya Arulpragasam, better known as the confrontational rapper/pop star M.I.A., drawn from never-before-seen personal footage. Directed by Stephen Loveridge.
“Of Fathers and Sons” (Germany/Syria/Lebanon) • Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki, whose “The Return to Homs” won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary (SFF ’14), goes back to live for two years with a radical Islamist family, focusing on two sons growing up in the shadow of the Islamic State’s “caliphate.”
“The Oslo Diaries” (Israel/Canada) • The true story of how a group of Israelis and Palestinians met, in secret and illegally, in Oslo in 1992 to try to find peace. The film is directed and written by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan.
“Our New President” (Russia/U.S.A) • Talk about “fake news” — director Maxim Pozdorovkin tells the story of Donald Trump’s election using only Russian propaganda, creating a satirical look at Russian media and the tactics of modern information warfare.
“A Polar Year” (France) • A Danish teacher takes a job in Greenland and tries to overcome the animosity of the tight-knit locals through a series of errors that help him embrace the snow-covered life. Director Samuel Collardey co-wrote with Catherine Paillé.
“Shirkers” (United States) • As a teen, Sandi Tan and some friends shot an indie road movie in Singapore with her American mentor Georges Cardona — who then disappeared with all the footage. Twenty years later, the footage is found in New Orleans, and Tan, now a novelist based in Los Angeles, goes on an odyssey across two continents and many different media to learn what happened.
“This Is Home” (United States/Jordan) • The lives of four Syrian families, resettled in Baltimore and under a deadline to become self-sufficient in eight months, are chronicled by director Alexandra Shiva (“How to Dance in Ohio,” SFF ‘15).
“Westwood” (United Kingdom) • Director Lorna Tucker profiles iconoclastic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood as she fights to maintain her brand’s integrity, her principles and her legacy.
“A Woman Captured” (Hungary) • A European woman has been kept for 10 years as a family’s domestic slave — until she decides to escape, drawing courage from the presence of filmmaker Bernadett Tuza-Ritter (who wrote and directed).
“A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.” • An L.A. club promoter (Omari Hardwick) and a Midwestern visitor (Meagan Good) share an emotional encounter on the night of the 2016 presidential election in a drama directed by Qasim Basir, who co-wrote with Samantha Tanner.
“Clara’s Ghost” • Writer-director-star Bridey Elliott plays Clara, who finds comfort and advice from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her, after being fed up by the teasing of her show-business family (including Elliott’s comedian father, Chris, and comedian sister, Abby). Paula Niedert Elliott, Haley Joel Osment and Isidora Goreshter also star.
“An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn” (United Kingdom) • Aubrey Plaza stars as Lulu Danger, whose unhappy marriage to Shane (Emile Hirsch) takes a fortunate turn when a mysterious man from her past (Craig Robinson) returns to perform a one-night event. Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry and Maria Bamford also star in this comedy, directed by Jim Hosking (“The Greasy Strangler,” SFF ’16), who co-wrote with David Wike.
“Madeline’s Madeline” • Hard to beat the description Sundance sent for this one: “Madeline got the part! She’s going to play the lead in a theater piece! Except the lead wears sweatpants like Madeline’s. And has a cat like Madeline’s. And is holding a steaming hot iron next to her mother’s face — like Madeline is.” Writer-director Josephine Decker’s drama stars Helena Howard, Molly Parker and Miranda July.
“Night Comes On” • Actor Jordan Spiro makes her directing debut with this drama, centering on Angel (Dominique Fishback), released from juvenile detention just shy of her 18th birthday, going on a journey with her 10-year-old sister, Abby (Tatum Hall), that could destroy their future. Spiro co-wrote with Angelica Nwandu. Also staring John Earl Jelks, Max Casella and James McDaniel.
“Search” • A thriller that plays out entirely on computer screens, as a desperate father (John Cho) breaks into his missing daughter’s laptop for clues to find her. Also starring Debra Messing. Director Aneesh Chaganty co-wrote with Sev Ohanian. (Winner of this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Prize, for movies about science and technology.)
“Skate Kitchen” • Crystal Moselle, whose “The Wolfpack” won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary (SFF ’15), makes her narrative directing debut, co-writing with Ashlihan Unaldi, with this story about a suburban teen (Rachelle Vinberg) who befriends a group of girl skateboarders and dives deep into this New York City subculture. The cast also includes Dede Lovelace and Jaden Smith.
“306 Hollywood” (United States/Hungary) • Blending documentary and magical realism, siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarin (who wrote and directed) begin an “archaeological excavation” of their late grandmother’s Newark, N.J., house — beginning a journey that considers what life is left in the objects we leave behind. DAY ONE
“We the Animals” • Three brothers grow up pushing against their parents’ volatile love, with two of them growing up like their father and the youngest embracing his own imagined world. Director Jeremiah Zagar (“Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart,” SFF ’14) co-wrote with Daniel Kitrosser.
“White Rabbit” • A Korean-American performance artist (Vivian Bang) fights to be authentically heard and seen through her multiple personalities in this dramatic comedy directed by Daryl Wein, who co-wrote with Bang and Nana Ghana (who co-stars).
“Beirut” • Jon Hamm stars as a U.S. diplomat who flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragedy at his home, but who is called back 10 years later by the CIA to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. Directed by Brad Anderson (“The Darien Gap,” SFF ’96; “Next Stop Wonderland,” SFF ’98; “Happy Accidents,” SFF ’00; “Transsiberian,” SFF ’08), written by Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”). Also starring Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham and Dean Norris.
“The Catcher Was a Spy” • Ben Lewin (“The Sessions,” SFF ’12) directs this real-life thriller about Moe Berg (Paul Rudd), who followed up his baseball career by working as a spy for the OSS, helping the U.S. win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb. Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan”) adapted Nicholas Dawidoff’s book. The cast includes Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce and Paul Giamatti.
“Colette” • Keira Knightley plays the famed French novelist, a young country woman who marries a literary entrepreneur (Dominic West) and begins writing novels published under his name — but ultimately transforms herself, her marriage and the world. Directed by Wash Westmoreland (“Quinceañera,” SFF ’06 Grand Jury Winner, U.S. Dramatic), and written by Westmoreland and his late husband and filmmaking partner, Richard Glatzer. Also starring Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough and Elinor Tomlinson.
“Come Sunday” • The true story (adapted from a 2005 “This American Life” story) of Carlton Pearson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a well-known pastor and protégé of Oral Roberts (Martin Sheen) who stopped believing in hell — a change of heart that left him labeled a heretic. Directed by Joshua Marston (“Maria Full of Grace,” SFF ’04 U.S. Dramatic Audience Award winner; “Complete Unknown,” SFF ’16), written by Marcus Hinchey. Also starring Danny Glover, Condola Rashad, Jason Segel and Lakeith Stanfield.
“Damsel” • Robert Pattinson stars as Samuel, a pioneer crossing the American frontier to marry Penelope (Mia Wasikowska) — but when he meets up with Parson Henry (David Zellner), a drunkard, and a miniature horse named Butterscotch, the journey becomes treacherous, and the lines between hero, villain and damsel become blurred. Written and directed by brothers David and Nathan Zellner (“Goliath,” SFF ’08; “Kid-Thing,” SFF ’12; “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” SFF ’14). Also starring Robert Forster, Nathan Zellner and Joe Billingiere.
“Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” • Gus Van Sant (“Gerry,” SFF ’02) wrote and directed this biographical drama of John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix), whose drinking problem leads to a car crash that leaves him paralyzed — and who finds cartooning an outlet for his rage and his absurdist sense of humor. Also starring Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black.
“A Futile and Stupid Gesture” • Will Forte stars as Doug Kenney, the comedy wunderkind who co-created the National Lampoon, “Caddyshack” and “Animal House” — and was at the center of the ‘70s comedy movement that gave the world “Saturday Night Live” and a new way to look at the world. Directed by David Wain (“Wet Hot American Summer,” SFF ’01); written by John Aboud and Michael Colton. The cast includes Martin Mull, Domhnall Gleeson, Matt Walsh, Joel McHale and Emmy Rossum.
“The Happy Prince” • Actor Rupert Everett makes his writing and directing debut, playing Oscar Wilde in his later years — ailing, living in exile, haunted by ghosts of his past, surviving on his brilliant wit. The cast includes Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Colin Morgan and Edwin Thomas.
“Hearts Beat Loud” • A Brooklyn father (Nick Offerman) and his college-bound daughter (Kiersey Clemons) form an unlikely songwriting duo in this music-fueled drama, directed by Brett Haley (“I’ll See You In My Dreams,” SFF ’15; “The Hero,” SFF ’17), who co-wrote with Marc Basch.
“Juliet, Naked” (United Kingdom) • Jesse Peretz (“Our Idiot Brother,” SFF ’11) directs this adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel that focuses on Annie (Rose Byrne), long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), who strikes up a correspondence with Duncan’s favorite rock star, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). The screenplay is credited to Tamara Jenkins, Jim Taylor, Phil Alden Robinson and Evgenia Peretz.
“A Kid Like Jake” • As they prepare to put their son into kindergarten, Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg (Jim Parsons) disagree on how to handle the fact that their Jake prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe. Directed by Silas Howard; written by Daniel Pearle, based on his play. The cast includes Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd and Amy Landecker.
“Ophelia” (United Kingdom) • Looking at Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the perspective of Ophelia (played by Daisy Ridley), lady-in-waiting to Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts) and ill-fated crush to the Prince of Denmark (George MacKay). Claire McCarthy directs a screenplay by Semi Chellas. The cast includes Clive Owen, Tom Felton and Devon Terrell.
“Puzzle” • A suburban mother (Kelly Macdonald) discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles, which draws her into a world that changes her life, in this drama directed by Marc Turtletaub and written by Oren Moverman. The cast includes Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams and Liv Hewson.
Untitled Debra Granik Project • Debra Granik (“Down to the Bone,” SFF ’04; “Winter’s Bone,” SFF ’10) directed and co-wrote (with Anne Rosellini) this adaptation of Salt Lake City native Peter Rock’s novel “My Abandonment,” about a father (Ben Foster) and daughter (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) living off the grid in a nature reserve near Portland, Ore., until a small mistake sends them on an increasingly erratic journey to find a new home. Also starring Jeff Kober and Dale Dickey.
“What They Had” • A woman (Hilary Swank) is prompted by her brother (Michael Shannon) to come home to Chicago to deal with their mother (Blythe Danner), who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and their father (Robert Forster), who can’t let go of their life together. This drama is the writing and directing debut of actor Elizabeth Chomko.
“Bad Reputation” • A profile of rock pioneer Joan Jett, from her early days in The Runaways to now. Directed by Kevin Kerslake, written by Joel Marcus.
“Believer” • Dan Reynolds, frontman for the rock band Imagine Dragons and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, takes up the cause of how his church treats its LGBTQ members. With the suicide rate rising for teens in Utah, Reynolds begins a journey of advocating for acceptance and change. Directed by Don Argott (“Rock School,” SFF ’05; “The Atomic States of America,” SFF ’12).
“Chef Flynn” • At 10 years old, Flynn McGarry had transformed his living room into a supper club, using his classmates as line cooks and creating a tasting menu from items foraged from his neighbors’ backyards. Now 19, he’s out to challenge the culinary world’s hierarchy. Directed by Cameron Yates.
“The Game Changers” • Director/activist Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove,” SFF ’09; “Racing Extinction,” SFF ’15) returns with the story of James Wilks, elite special-forces trainer and “The Ultimate Fighter” winner, who is on a mission to uncover the world’s most dangerous nutrition myth. Written by Mark Monroe and Joseph Pace.
“Generation Wealth” • Director and photographer Lauren Greenfield (“Thin,” SFF ’06; “The Queen of Versailles,” SFF ’12) expands her look at America’s obsessions of money and materialism with a movie that’s part historical essay and part personal memoir. DAY ONE
“Half the Picture” • A well-timed look at discrimination in hiring practices against women in Hollywood. Director Amy Adrion interviews such creative women as Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”), Miranda July (“Me and You and Everyone We Know”), Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”), Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and Brenda Chapman (“Brave”).
“Jane Fonda in Five Acts” • Director Susan Lacy (“Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time,” SFF ’93) takes an intimate look at the many phases in the very public life of Jane Fonda: girl next door, activist, so-called traitor, fitness icon and Oscar winner.
“King in the Wilderness” • A profile of Martin Luther King Jr., between the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and his assassination in 1968, holding his commitment to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country. Directed by Peter Kunhardt.
“Quiet Heroes” • Utah director Jenny Mackenzie and co-directors Jared Ruga and Amanda Stoddard tell the story of Dr. Kristen Ries and her physician assistant, Maggie Snyder, who became the only medical practice in Mormon-dominated Utah to take HIV patients during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
“RBG” • An intimate look by director/producers Betsy West and Julie Cohen at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who fought early legal battles for women’s rights — and, at 84, does push-ups and writes scathing dissents that have earned her the nickname “Notorious RBG.”
“Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” • Using his own voice and a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage, director Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” SFF ’08; “Water & Power: A California Heist,” SFF ’17) explores the life of comedian Robin Williams and the spark of madness that kept him going.
“Studio 54” • A profile of Ian Shrager and Steve Rubell, best friends from Brooklyn who launched the country’s most famous and infamous disco, a place for beautiful people, drugs and sex in the ‘70s. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”).
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” • Fred Rogers used puppets and make-believe to explore serious social issues — race, disability, equality and tragedy — and help form the American idea of childhood. Director Morgan Neville (“Troubadours,” SFF ’11; “20 Feet From Stardom,” SFF ’13; “Best of Enemies,” SFF ’15; “Abstract: The Art of Design,” SFF ’17) examines Mr. Rogers’ legacy and whether we have lived up to his ideal of being good neighbors. (This is the Salt Lake City opening-night film.)
“Arizona” • Cassie (Rosemarie DeWitt), a single mom and struggling real-estate agent during the 2009 housing crisis, witnesses a murder in this dark comedy, directed by Jonathan Watson and written by Luke Del Tredici. The cast includes Danny McBride, Luke Wilson, Lolli Sorenson, Elizabeth Gillies and Kaitlin Olsen.
“Assassination Nation” • Four teen girls become the focus of unwanted global attention when their personal information leaks online in this dark tale by writer-director Sam Levinson, who won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for “Another Happy Day” (SFF ’11). Starring Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hair Nef, Abra, Bill Skarsgård and Bella Thorne.
“Mandy” (Belgium/United States) • Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) live in a haven in the Pacific Northwest, 1983. But when a cult destroys their home, Red goes on a bloody revenge spree. Director Panos Cosmatos co-wrote with Aaron Stewart-Ahn. The cast includes Linus Roche, Olsen Fouéré, Richard Brake and Bill Duke.
“Never Goin’ Back” • Two high-school dropout friends (Maia Mitchell, Came Morrone) just want to chill at the beach, but when their house is robbed, with rent due and they’re about to lose their jobs, they have to get money at all costs. Written and directed by Augustine Frizzell, with a cast that includes Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith and Matthew Holcomb.
“Piercing” • Writer-director Nicolas Pesce (“The Eyes of My Mother,” SFF ’16) adapts Ryu Murakami’s novel, a twisted psycho-thriller love story about a man (Christopher Abbott) who needs a stranger to purge him of his dark torments, but finds a woman (Mia Wasikowska) with ideas of her own. Also starring Laia Costa, Marin Ireland, Maria Dizzia and Wendell Pierce.
“Revenge” (France) • Three rich married men go on their annual hunting trip in a desert canyon — only this time, one of them brought his young mistress (Matilda Lutz), which radically changes the game. Directed and written by Coralie Fargeat, the movie also stars Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede and Jean-Louis Tribes.
“Summer of ’84” (Canada/United States) • Davey (Graham Verchere), 15, suspects his police-officer neighbor is the serial killer stalking their town in the summer of 1984 and leads his three best friends on an investigation that soon turns dangerous. Directed by Francois Simard and Anouk and Yoann Whissell; written by Matt Leslie and Stephen J. Smith. The cast includes Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Grüler-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye and Rich Sommer.
“Beast” (United Kingdom) • A troubled young woman (Jessie Buckley) in a small island town is torn between her oppressive mother (Geraldine James) and the handsome stranger (Johnny Flynn) — who’s a suspect in a series of brutal murders. Written and directed by Michael Pearce, the movie also stars Trystan Gravelle and Charlie Palmer Rothwell.
“The Death of Stalin” (France/United Kingdom/Belgium) • Director Armando Iannucci (“Veep,” “In the Loop”), co-writing with David Schneider and Ian Martin, sets this satire in the days after Josef Stalin’s fall, when his ministers jostle for control — with motives good and bad — as they try to stay alive in the upheaval. The cast includes Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko and Jason Isaacs.
“Foxtrot” (Israel) • An Israeli couple (Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler) plunge into chaos when they are told their son (Yonathan Shiray) has been killed during his military service in this drama by writer-director Samuel Maoz.
“I Am Not a Witch” (United Kingdom) • In an African village, a 9-year-old named Shula (Margaret Mulubwa) is exiled to witch camp and told that if she escapes, she’ll be turned into a goat. Shula must decide whether to accept her new life or risk escape. Written and directed by Rungano Nyoni, the movie also stars Henry B.J. Phiri, Nancy Mulilo and Margaret Sipaneia.
“The Rider” • Chloe Zhao (“Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” SFF ’15) wrote and directed this drama — already nominated for four Film Independent Spirit Awards — about a rodeo cowboy (Brady Jandreau) who suffers a career-ending head injury and goes on a search to redefine himself. Also starring Tim Jandreau, Lily Jandreau, Lane Scott and Cat Clifford.
“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” • Director Morgan Spurlock is back to take on the food industry, this time opening his own fast-food restaurant to test how the industry has rebranded itself since he took on McDonalds in his 2004 movie “Super Size Me.” Spurlock co-wrote the film with Jeremy Chilnick.
“Lu Over the Wall” (Japan) • A boy named Kai befriends Lu, a mermaid with a hypnotic singing voice. But mermaids are considered bad luck in Kai’s fishing village, in this animated tale directed by Masaaki Yuasa.
“Science Fair” • Directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster follow nine high-school students from around the world as they journey to compete in an international science fair against 1,700 other smart, quirky teens from 78 countries.
“White Fang” • Jack London’s classic novel about a wild wolf-dog gets an animated update from director Alexandre Espigares, who won an Oscar for co-directing the 2013 short “Mr. Hublot.” The voice cast includes Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears and Paul Giamatti.