While we are in the midst of Awards Season 2018, the Sundance Film Festival is here to take us into 2019. More than 120 films will make their debuts in Park City, high above Salt Lake in the Wasatch Mountains.
Some films will premiere at the festival just ahead of designated releases. They already have distribution and are looking for an audience. Others hope to leave with deals in hand. Today, we look at ten films opening at Sundance 2019.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
9“Ask Dr. Ruth”
Director: Ryan White
Status: Purchased by Magnolia Pictures, US release date not set
Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a pop culture icon in the 1980s and 90s with her no-nonsense advice as a radio host who specialized in sex therapy. Now at age 90, Dr. Ruth still doles out her sage wisdom at events around the world. This documentary from Ryan White looks at Dr. Ruth’s life and legacy, as well as presenting a portrait of the woman who is still going strong.
US Dramatic Competition
Director: Lulu Wang
Written by: Lulu Wang
Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Jim Liu
Status: Looking for distribution
Awkwafina made her mark on the industry in 2018 with comedic roles in both “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Now, she takes on a slightly more serious, though still comedic, role in “The Farewell.” Writer/director Lulu Wang follows up her 2014 film, “Posthumous,” with this tale of a family who learns their grandmother doesn’t have long to live. Hoping to hide the bad news from her, they plan a wedding to gather everyone back together before she dies. What could possibly go wrong?
5“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”
US Documentary Competition
Director: Todd Douglas Miller
Status: Produced by CNN Films, US release date not set
To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, director Todd Douglas Miller incorporates NASA archival footage, interviews, and even recordings of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins from inside the command module. Much of the footage and the recordings have never been released by NASA before and haven’t been seen in 50 years.