Every year, the Sundance Film Festival marks the beginning of a new year for cinema. It’s where must-see flicks become future classics and where indie director darlings become household names. The fest has introduced us to movies like Mosquita y Mari, El Mariachi and Real Women Have Curvesas well as to filmmakers like Alejandro Landes, Alfonso Gómez-Rejón and Patricia Riggen. Held in Park City, Utah, the renowned fest is always a coveted destination for any kind of cinephile. And this year, whether you’re looking to catch a new film on Walter Mercado or a new Wagner Moura starring vehicle, or perhaps even a new doc on Lin-Manuel Miranda, the exhaustive film program has got you covered.

As usual, we scoured the entirety of Sundance’s offerings to find any and all kinds of projects you should have on your radar, the ones you’ll be hearing about for months to come and which you should begin adding to your 2020 must-watch list. See them all below where you’ll find our comprehensive list of everything from U.S. Latino and Latin American talent that’s playing the chilly fest this year.

Sundance Film Festival runs January 23 — February 2, 2020.

FEATURE FILMS

Blast Beat

Director Esteban Arango
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Mateo Arias, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero, and Moises Arias appear in 'Blast Beat' by Esteban Arango. Photo by Brian Douglas. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

On the cusp of the year 2000, Colombian brothers Carly (Mateo Arias) and Mateo (Moises Arias) prepare to move to the United States for their last years of high school. Metalhead Carly has his heart set on attending the Georgia Aerospace Institute and working for NASA, while his supportive parents (Diane Guerrero and Wilmer Valderrama) seize the chance to escape the political turmoil in Colombia and chase the American dream. At first, Mateo is the only one to express any cynicism, but when the reality of their new life sinks in, the family struggles to adapt as their expectations are shattered. When events threaten to derail their future, Carly’s dream becomes his only lifeline. Esteban Arango’s blazing debut feature cracks open a sibling rivalry in an isolating time predating social media. Real-life brothers Mateo and Moises bring honesty and brazenness to this energetic, metal-fueled coming-of-age story that unapologetically confronts the reality of growing up between cultures. Blast Beast is a Latinx anthem for a displaced generation — and it’s the anthem we’ve been waiting for.


Film Details

Director: Esteban Arango
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Esteban Arango, Erick Castrillon
Producer: Poppy Hanks, Erick Castrillon, Ty Walker, Charles D. King
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 110

Charm City Kings

Director Angel Manuel Soto
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Jahi appears in Charm City Kings by Angel Manuel Soto, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by William Gray.
Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Mouse (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. His older brother, Stro, was their top rider before his tragic death — a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for bikes. Mouse’s mom (Teyonah Parris) and his police mentor, Detective Rivers (William Catlett), work overtime to help the charismatic teen reach his full potential, but when the Midnight Clique’s leader, Blax (Meek Mill), takes the boy under his wing, the lure of revving his own dirt bike skids Mouse toward a road way past the straight and narrow. Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto directs an astonishingly talented cast to create a narrative bursting with pitch-perfect performances and intoxicating emotion. Inspired by the bike culture seen in the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, Charm City Kings is one boy’s unforgettable journey toward manhood.


Film Details

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Sherman Payne
Producer: Caleeb Pinkett, Marc Bienstock, Clarence Hammond
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 125

Palm Springs

Director Max Barbakow
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti appear in Palm Springs by Max Barbakow, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Chris Willard.
Synopsis

Stuck in Palm Springs for her younger sister Tala’s destination wedding, family black sheep and reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Miloti) meets carefree Nyles (Andy Samberg), the date of a vapid bridesmaid. After Nyles bails Sarah out of giving a wedding toast, she quickly realizes that he is actually not a sentimental fool at all and feels drawn to his offbeat nihilism. After their impromptu tryst is thwarted by a surreal, unexpected interruption, Sarah joins Nyles in embracing the idea that nothing really matters, and they begin wreaking spirited havoc on the wedding celebration. Director Max Barbakow’s ambitious and playful dramatic feature debut, Palm Springs is a lighthearted romp peppered with thoughtful realizations about the nature of love and loneliness. A terrific ensemble cast, including Peter Gallagher and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons alongside rising stars like Riverdale‘s Camila Mendes deliver memorable supporting turns as the colorful guests at the seemingly endless wedding.


Film Details

Director: Max Barbakow
Country: United States
Genre: Comedy
Writer: Andy Siara
Producer: Andy Samberg, Becky Sloviter, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Dylan Sellers, Chris Parker
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 87

Wander Darkly

Director Tara Miele
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Sienna Miller and Diego Luna appear in 'Wander Darkly' by Tara Miele. Photo by Carolina Costa. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

In the aftermath of a traumatic incident, Adrienne (Sienna Miller) finds herself in a disorienting state of limbo, unstuck in time and witnessing life from a distance. Forced to confront her troubled relationship with her longtime partner, Matteo (Diego Luna), and the future of their infant daughter, Adrienne must relive and renegotiate the events of the recent past — and solve the mystery of the accident. Stepping into the shadows with Matteo, Adrienne looks for clues about what went wrong between them. Gently moving between the enigmatic and the romantic, Wander Darkly traverses genre borders, taking us on a journey that is both uncanny and emotionally resonant. Miller gives a wonderfully layered performance, navigating the film’s demanding tonal shifts. Luna is both elusive and engaged, walking the line between the film’s ethereal and earthly planes. Writer-director Tara Miele’s highly affecting existential drama deftly explores how we build narratives of love and loss from the fragmented memories of our lives.


Film Details

Director: Tara Miele
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Tara Miele
Producer: Samantha Housman, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Lynette Howell Taylor
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 97

Zola

Director Janicza Bravo
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Riley Keough and Taylour Paige appear in Zola by Janicza Bravo, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Anna Kooris.
Synopsis

“You wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Zola meets Stefani at a restaurant where Zola waitresses, and the two immediately click over pole dancing. Only a day after they exchange numbers, Stefani invites Zola on a cross-country road trip, where the goal is to make as much money as possible dancing in Florida strip clubs. Zola agrees, and suddenly she is trapped in the craziest, most unexpected trip of her life. US.-Panamanian filmmaker Janicza Bravo directs this outrageously unique and eccentrically animated saga that was first chronicled in 144 tweets posted by A’ziah King on October 27, 2015. Written by Bravo and playwright Jeremy O. Harris, Zola frames the protagonist’s narrative in a groundbreaking exchange that plays with and questions perspective. Bravo’s luscious atmosphere and impeccable attention to detail is unequaled and further confirms the sophomore director as a visionary voice of American independent cinema.


Film Details

Director: Janicza Bravo
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Jeremy O. Harris, Janicza Bravo
Producer: Vince Jolivette, Elizabeth Haggard, Dave Franco, Gia Walsh, Kara Baker, David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 90

Nine Days

Director Edson Oda
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz appear in Nine Days by Edson Oda, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Wyatt Garfield.
Synopsis

What if being born is not the beginning but the goal? In a house distant from the reality we know, a reclusive man named Will interviews prospective candidates—personifications of human souls—for the privilege he once had: to be born. Five contenders emerge. During the course of nine days, Will tests each of them, but he can choose only one. The victor will be rewarded with a coveted opportunity to become a newborn in the real world, while the others will cease to exist—nine days is everything they’ll ever experience. Supernatural, metaphysical, and packed with the deepest, most human emotions, this spiritual child of Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry will hit you in the head and the heart. Propelled by an extraordinary performance from Winston Duke as Will and buoyed by a stunning supporting cast of highly accomplished actors, Nine Days marks not only the feature debut but the cinematic birth of Brazilian writer-director Edson Oda, a singular, visionary artist.


Film Details

Director: Edson Oda
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Edson Oda
Producer: Jason Michael Berman, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Matthew Lindner, Laura Tunstall, Datari Turner
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 110

Mucho Mucho Amor

Director Kareem Tabsch, Cristina Costantini
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Walter Mercado appears in Mucho Mucho Amor by Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Giovan Cordero
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Walter Mercado appears in 'Mucho Mucho Amor' by Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch. Photo by Giovan Cordero. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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Walter Mercado appears in Mucho Mucho Amor by Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch. Photo by Giovan Cordero. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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'Mucho Mucho Amor' photo by Giovan Cordero. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world for over 30 years with his televised horoscopes. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter was a celebrated daily part of Latino culture — until one day in 2007 he mysteriously disappeared. Over a decade later, the filmmakers find Walter and invite us into his home and interior world as he prepares to restore his legacy in the public eye. The film explores Walter’s complex story from the rural sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico to international astrology superstardom, rising above homophobia and the heteronormative beliefs of Latino society with a message of love and hope. From Latinx co-directors Kareem Tabsch and Cristina Costantini, Mucho Mucho Amor is a love letter to Walter Mercado. The filmmakers, who grew up watching him with their abuelos, craft a film with levity and a playful spirit. Light-years ahead of his time, Walter has become a nostalgic cult icon of self-expression and positivity for the gender-fluid youth of today.

Read Remezcla’s review.


Film Details

Director: Kareem Tabsch, Cristina Costantini
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Kareem Tabsch, Alex Fumero, Cristina Costantini
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 96

Us Kids

Director Kim A. Snyder
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Emma Gonzalez, Jaclyn Corin, and Matt Deitschand appear in Us Kids by Kim A. Snyder, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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David Hogg appears in Us Kids by Kim A. Snyder, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

After a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School claims 17 lives, a number of students rally themselves around the tragedy as an opportunity to speak out against the national gun-violence epidemic. As their adrenaline propels a dive into full-on activism, their movement catalyzes, and students impacted by gun violence nationwide join in, giving voice to a generation of traumatized but determined youth. Director Kim A. Snyder carefully chronicles 18 pivotal months in the development of the March For Our Lives movement through a deeply personal lens. With extended access to the young activists (including Emma González) not only on stage but in their homes and among their friends, Us Kids allows us to see them through one another’s eyes — as “normal-ass kids” bravely dealing with the weight of their traumas. Snyder tells the touching coming-of-age story of this group of driven, resilient, empathetic individuals all navigating the personal consequences of their remarkable choice to dedicate their own lives to honor the fallen and take back democracy.


Film Details

Director: Kim A. Snyder
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Kim A. Snyder, Maria Cuomo Cole, Lori Cheatle
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 98

Boys State

Director Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
Country United States
Production Year 2020
Boys State — Still 1
Steven Garza appears in Boys State by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Thorsten Thielow.
Synopsis

Strap up your saddle and get ready for a wild ride. Boys State is a political coming-of-age story, examining the health of U.S. democracy through an unusual experiment: a thousand 17-year-old boys from across the state of Texas gather together to build a representative government from the ground up. High-minded ideals collide with lowdown dirty tricks as four boys of diverse backgrounds and political views navigate the challenges of organizing political parties, shaping consensus, and campaigning for the highest office at Texas Boys State — governor. Documenting impeachment threats, dramatic debates, underdog victories, and even nefarious internet memes, filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine chart the dramatic twists and turns of these intersecting stories to reveal profound truths about our political choices and civic obligations and to remind us, ultimately, that democracy is not a spectator sport. With cunning insight that will have audiences buzzing, Boys State holds a mirror up to our divided country. This is a film for the ages in every sense of the term.


Film Details

Director: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 105

Marea alta

Director Verónica Chen
Country Argentina
Production Year 2020
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Cristian Salguero appears in High Tide by Verónica Chen, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fernando Lockett.
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Mariana Chaud appears in High Tide by Verónica Chen, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fernando Lockett.
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Héctor Bordoni appears in High Tide by Verónica Chen, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fernando Lockett.
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Gloria Carr appears in High Tide by Verónica Chen, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fernando Lockett.
Synopsis

Laura has lost control. After she sleeps with Weisman, the lead contractor building a barbecue shed in the backyard of her beach house, the other two workers on the job cross a boundary, making Laura feel that her space has been encroached upon. As Weisman disappears, sheltered and privileged Laura must manage the laborers herself. Her admonishments fall flat, forcing her to retreat behind the pristine glass windows—keeping watch and being watched simultaneously. Tensions churn, the workers become more unruly, and Laura ignores calls from her husband while downing bottles of red wine, waiting for Weisman to reappear. By escalating the tension from one scene to the next, writer/director Verónica Chen relentlessly pushes her story—and Laura—to the breaking point. Using light and shadow, expansive overhead shots, and tight close-ups, Chen builds an unsettling atmosphere situated on differences of class and power. Gloria Carrá is brilliant as Laura, igniting the character with a quiet ferocity that undermines her serene life. Before you know it, Marea alta (High Tide) envelops you, pulling you under until you can’t breathe.


Film Details
High Tide
Director: Verónica Chen
Country: Argentina
Genre: Drama
Writer: Verónica Chen
Producer: Esteban Mentasti, Hori Mentasti
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 103

Sin señas particulares

Director Fernanda Valadez
Country Spain, Mexico
Production Year 2020
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Mercedes Hernández appears Sin Señas Particulares by Fernanda Valadez, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Claudia Bercerril.
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Sin Señas Particulares by Fernanda Valadez, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Claudia Bercerril.
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David Illescas appears Sin Señas Particulares by Fernanda Valadez, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Claudia Bercerril.
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Mercedes Hernández appears Sin Señas Particulares by Fernanda Valadez, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Claudia Bercerril.
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Juan Jesús Varela appears Sin Señas Particulares by Fernanda Valadez, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Claudia Bercerril.
Synopsis

Magdalena hasn’t heard from her son in months — not since he left their town to cross the border into the United States. The authorities want her to sign her son’s death certificate, but an encounter with a bereaved parent makes Magdalena realize that she cannot live without knowing his fate. She begins an odyssey across Mexico, though areas of violence and desolation, chasing any available lead despite being warned not to publicly ask such questions. Along the way, she meets and travels with recently deported Miguel, who finds himself journeying home through a changed country. Grappling with the painful issue of migrants disappearing on their way to the U.S., writer-director Fernanda Valadez’s ambitious feature debut employs a tremendous economy of film language as it traverses across a varied contemporary Mexican landscape, expanding as our emotional experience of Magdalena’s journey swells to meet her own. The solemn Sin Señas Particulares punctuates its contemplation of family and loss with fleeting moments of human connection, allowing one woman’s aching personal story to encapsulate the weight of a tremendous real-world humanitarian crisis.


Film Details
Identifying Features
Director: Fernanda Valadez
Country: Spain, Mexico
Genre: Drama
Writer: Fernanda Valadez, Astrid Rondero
Producer: Astrid Rondero, Jack Zagha, Yossy Zagha, Fernanda Valadez
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 95

Blanco de verano

Director Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson
Country Mexico
Production Year 2020
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
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Adrian Rossi appears in Summer White (Blanco de Verano) by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Natalia Bermudez.
Synopsis

Rodrigo is an introverted 13-year-old who spends much of his time alone — except when he is with his mother, Valeria, who happens to be his best friend, his protector, and his entire world. Rodrigo believes their relationship is intimate and anchored in trust, until one morning he wakes up to a stranger in the house: Fernando, his mother’s new boyfriend, who had spent the night. Immediately Rodrigo’s domain is completely disrupted, and he is left with no choice but to fight back and reconstruct the solace he once had. Mexican writer/director Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson offers an outstanding debut that dives into a complex story of a boy coming of age as he grapples with sharing his mother’s love for the first time. Propelled by intimate yet powerful performances from Adrián Rossi as Rodrigo, Sophie Alexander-Katz as Valeria, and Fabián Corres as Fernando, Blanco de verano (Summer White) builds a psychological, testosterone-driven battle between a man perceived as an intruder and a child testing his limits.


Film Details
Summertime White
Director: Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson
Country: Mexico
Genre: Drama
Writer: Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, Raúl Sebastián Quintanilla
Producer: Alejandro Cortés Rubiales
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 87

Epicentro

Director Hubert Sauper
Country Austria, France, United States
Production Year 2019
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A still from Epicentro by Hubert Sauper, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Hubert Sauper.
Synopsis

Waves crashing over a breakwater at the edge of the sea—this dramatic opening image conveys the vital spirit of a place that has withstood decades of external pressure. On the streets of Havana, residents of all ages share their views on living under such impositions by outsiders, as well as on the internal freedom they experience in spite of the repercussions of harsh sanctions. Descriptions of the waves of imperialism that have shaped this country’s history provide a deeper understanding of the impact of long-term oppression and the powerful desire to exist without outside forces weighing in. Academy Award–nominated director Hubert Sauper explores contemporary perspectives from citizens of the golden isle accompanied by images of another time—reflecting how Cuba still sits partially frozen in time, delicately suspended between the modern era and a time before technology seeped into all facets of life. A visual meld of geopolitical, cinematic, and personal connections, Epicentro enchants and suggests a new perspective on an old world.


Film Details

Director: Hubert Sauper
Country: Austria, France, United States
Genre: Documentary
Writer: Hubert Sauper
Producer: Martin Marquet, Daniel Marquet, Paolo Calamita, Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 107

The Mole Agent

Director Maite Alberdi
Country Chile
Production Year 2020
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A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes.
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A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes.
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A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes.
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A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes.
Synopsis

Sergio is a Chilean spy. Sort of. At least, he is offered the role of one after a casting session organized by Detective Romulo, a private investigator who needs a credible mole to infiltrate a retirement home. Romulo’s client, the concerned daughter of a resident, suspects her mother is being abused and hires him to find out what is really happening. However, Sergio is 83, not 007, and not an easy trainee when it comes to technology and spying techniques. But he is a keen student, looking for ways to distract himself after recently losing his wife. What could be a better distraction than some undercover spy action? While gathering intelligence, Sergio grows close to several residents and realizes that the menacing truth beneath the surface is not what anyone had suspected. Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent is a stylish combination of an observational documentary and a spy movie, with sleek camerawork and wonderfully watchable characters. It’s a unique meditation on compassion and loneliness that will infiltrate your heart and never let go.


Film Details

Director: Maite Alberdi
Country: Chile
Genre: Documentary
Writer: Maite Alberdi
Producer: Marcela Santibañez
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 84

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela

Director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
Country Austria, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Brazil
Production Year 2020
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A still from Once Upon A Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Photo by John Marquez. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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A still from Once Upon A Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Photo by John Marquez. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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A still from Once Upon A Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Photo by John Marquez. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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A still from Once Upon A Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Photo by John Marquez. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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A still from Once Upon A Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Photo by John Marquez. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Once upon a time, the Venezuelan village of Congo Mirador, floating on stilts just inches above the deep Lake Maracaibo, was prosperous, alive with fishermen and poets. In recent years, it has decayed and disintegrated, rotting beneath pollution and neglect—a small but prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself. At the center of the village’s existential fight for survival stand two female leaders—Mrs. Tamara, the Chavista government coordinator of the village, and Natalie, a vocal teacher and opponent of Mrs. Tamara and her state-approved practices of bribery and intimidation. As the contentious national elections approach, fear within the community extends beyond the partisan divide of Venezuelan politics; the villagers’ homes are quite literally vanishing into the sedimented water, displacing families with no means of surviving elsewhere. Director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’s striking and mournful ode to her country bears firsthand witness to the irreversible consequences of government corruption, while simultaneously capturing the resilient spirit of those most directly affected by Venezuela’s profound economic and political crises.


Film Details

Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
Country: Austria, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Brazil
Genre: Documentary
Writer: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos, Sepp R. Brudermann
Producer: Sepp R. Brudermann
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 99

Ema

Director Pablo Larrain
Country Chile
Production Year 2019
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'Ema' still courtesy of TIFF
Ema still 02
Courtesy of TIFF
Synopsis

Set in the scenic seaport city of Valparaíso, the latest from Pablo Larraín reunites the visionary Chilean auteur with Mexican superstar Gael García Bernal (No, Neruda) for an incendiary drama about art, desire, and family. Ema (Mariana di Girolamo) is a talented young dancer whose roots lie in the carnal reggaeton grooves she and her friends perform to in the city streets, but she’s forged a career as part of a more cerebral modern-dance ensemble helmed by her husband, choreographer Gastón (García Bernal). As the film opens, the couple is reeling from a terrible crisis: their adopted 12-year-old son Polo has set fire to their home, severely burning the face of Ema’s sister in the process. With her child taken from her and her marriage crumbling, Ema sets out on a strange, secretive, and risky quest to reset her life.

Read Remezcla’s review.


Film Details

Director: Pablo Larrain
Country: Chile
Genre: Music, Drama
Writer: Alejandro Moreno, Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón
Producer: Juan de Dios Larraín
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 106

La Llorona

Director Jayro Bustamante
Country Guatemala, France
Production Year 2019
La Llorona 01
Courtesy of TIFF
La Llorona 02
Courtesy of TIFF
Synopsis

The story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), concerns a Medea-like figure who drowns her children after being abandoned by her husband. She’s thereafter condemned to wander the earth, bringing misfortune to all who cross her path. A perennial myth in Latin American culture, La Llorona has appeared in countless works of music, literature, and cinema — but she’s never been re-imagined with the level of trenchancy found in the latest work from writer-director Jayro Bustamante. Transplanting the ancient tale to a contemporary Guatemala still struggling to find justice for the victims of its Civil War, La Llorona is a horror story whose deepest chills are generated by real-life atrocities. Once a fearsome commanding officer, General Enrique Monteverde is now an elderly man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Decades after the Civil War, Monteverde is belatedly brought to trial and found guilty of genocide, but his conviction is swiftly overturned on judicial technicalities. Accompanied by his wife and daughter — as well as their faithful housekeeper and her mysterious new subordinate — Monteverde is brought home. While demonstrators clamor daily for retribution outside the walls of his property, Monteverde begins to hear and see strange things transpiring within his home during the wee hours.


Film Details

Director: Jayro Bustamante
Country: Guatemala, France
Genre: Drama
Writer: Lisandro Sánchez, Jayro Bustamante
Producer: Gustavo Matheu, Georges Renand, Jayro Bustamante, Marina Peralta
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 96

Sylvie’s Love

Director Eugene Ashe
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha appear in 'Sylvie's Love' by Eugene Ashe. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

The jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the New York summer of 1957. Sylvie helps around her father’s record store as she waits for her fiance to return from war — until sweet saxophonist Robert walks in looking for a day job to subsidize his residency at the Blue Morocco lounge. This chance meeting kindles a deep passion in each of them unlike anything they’ve felt before. Sylvie’s mother immediately disapproves and reminds Sylvie of her engagement, while Robert’s band books their first big gig overseas. As time passes, the sexual revolution begins, and Motown becomes king, the two fall in and out of each other’s arms, but never out of love. Writer-director Eugene Ashe delicately melds romance and music into a sweeping romantic story that transcends changing times, geography, and professional success. Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson shines as unapologetic, confident Sylvie in a groundbreaking role of a woman who takes control of her life in unexpected ways. With exquisite costumes and a timeless soundtrack, Sylvie’s Love is an ode to the unstoppable force of love in our lives. The rest of the cast includes Nnamdi Asomugha, Eva Longoria, Aja Naomi King, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jemima Kirke.


Film Details

Director: Eugene Ashe
Country: United States
Genre: Music, Romance
Writer: Eugene Ashe
Producer: Nnamdi Asomugha, Gabrielle Glore, Jonathan Baker, Matthew Thurm
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 114

Kajillionaire

Director Miranda July
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger appear in Kajillionaire by Miranda July, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matt Kennedy.
Synopsis

Con artists Theresa and Robert have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a kind stranger, Melanie (Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez), into joining their next scheme, completely shaking up Old Dolio’s routine. Her unlikely connection with Melanie begins to challenge Old Dolio’s odd and stoic reality — and she finds herself suddenly caught between the only family she has ever known and the prospect of total freedom. Writer-director Miranda July has created this absurd comedy bursting with uncanny sweetness and lyrical charm. Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez’s chemistry is undeniable as they hatch a plan to free Old Dolio from her deceptive parents’ control. July’s playful portrait of self-discovery unfolds the profound and beautiful experience of true connection.


Film Details

Director: Miranda July
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Miranda July
Producer: Youree Henley, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 106

Black Bear

Director Lawrence Michael Levine
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott appear in Black Bear by Lawrence Michael Levine, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Rob Leitzell.
Synopsis

At a remote lake house in the Adirondack Mountains, a couple entertains an out-of-town guest looking for inspiration in her filmmaking. The group quickly falls into a calculated game of desire, manipulation, and jealousy, unaware of how dangerously convoluted their lives will soon become in the filmmaker’s pursuit of a work of art, which blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention. The lives and sentiments of three artists (played by Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon and Aubrey Plaza, who’s half-Puerto Rican) interlock and are pushed to provocative limits in this enthralling drama that rejoices in subverting expectations and exploring the layers of a fragmented world. Writer-director Lawrence Michael Levine lures us into a tense and intrepid tale of gender dynamics and temptation, using the complexity of relationships to detonate the thin line separating art from life. Gadon, Abbott, and Plaza star as ideal players in this dark game of deception, navigating self-awareness and vulnerability as stakes pile higher and the suspicion grows that victory may elude all of them.


Film Details

Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Lawrence Michael Levine
Producer: Julie Christeas, Jonathan Blitstein, Richard J Bosner, Aubrey Plaza, Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Jai Khanna
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 109

I Carry You With Me

Director Heidi Ewing
Country Mexico, United States
Production Year 2020
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Christian Vásquez and Armando Espitia appear I Carry You With Me by Heidi Ewing, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alejandro López.
Synopsis

As a young aspiring chef in Mexico, Iván works at a restaurant, hoping to land a spot in the kitchen while supporting the mother of his child. One night he meets Gerardo, a handsome teacher who, unlike Iván, is out as a gay man. Their chemistry is instant. The discovery of their romance, however, causes conflict, and he is told he can no longer see his son. In despair, Iván makes the arduous decision to cross the border to advance his culinary career, promising his son and newfound love he will return. This bittersweet American Dream is based on an acclaimed New York City chef, whose cuisine pays homage to his beloved country. Lensed by the impressive and fast-rising Mexican cinematographer Juan Pablo Ramírez, Iván’s memory is rendered indelible, making Iván’s predicament of not being able to return to Mexico all the more heartrending. The film is a tender romance and a complicated journey beautifully captured.


Film Details

Director: Heidi Ewing
Country: Mexico, United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Heidi Ewing, Alan Page Arriaga
Producer: Mynette Louie, Heidi Ewing
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 111

La leyenda negra

Director Patricia Vidal Delgado
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Irlanda Moreno and Dana Hathaitham appear in La Leyenda Negra by Patricia Vidal Delgado, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matt Maio.
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Monica Betancourt and Kailei Lopez appear in 'La Leyenda Negra' by Patricia Vidal Delgado, Photo by Matt Maio. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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Kailei Lopez appears in La Leyenda Negra by Patricia Vidal Delgado, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matt Maio.
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Monica Betancourt and Kailei Lopez appear in 'La Leyenda Negra' by Patricia Vidal Delgado. Photo by Matt Maio. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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Monica Betancourt appears in La Leyenda Negra by Patricia Vidal Delgado, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matt Maio.
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Monica Betancourt appears in 'La Leyenda Negra' by Patricia Vidal Delgado. Photo by Matt Maio. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Teenage Aleteia has just transferred to a new high school in Compton and struggles to make friends. As a Salvadoran immigrant who has grown up in the United States, Aleteia has made underground activism her foundation for making her voice heard, but everything is thrown into jeopardy when her temporary protection status is compromised and her future becomes uncertain. She unexpectedly befriends Rosarito, a popular girl who is tired of her vapid clique and drawn to Aleteia’s resilience, much to queen bee Monica’s annoyance. As the girls grow closer, Aleteia becomes more determined than ever to fight for her right to stay in the home she has always known. First-time feature filmmaker Patricia Vidal Delgado lovingly crafts a poignant and emotional coming-of-age story that unfolds against a tense and divided social backdrop. Equally capturing the political turbulence affecting communities and the prickliness of teenage dynamics, La Leyenda Negra examines the price of sacrifices and the rarity of true connection. Drawing on striking black-and-white photography and raw emotion, this quietly bold film marks Delgado as an exciting new cinematic voice.


Film Details

Director: Patricia Vidal Delgado
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Patricia Vidal Delgado
Producer: Alicia Herder, Marcel Perez
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 84

Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia

Director Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Olivia Lloyd, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Jillian Mayer appears in Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia by The Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Lucas Leyva, Olivia Lloyd, Phil Lord, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Celia Rowlson-Hall, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daniel Fernandez.
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Tallie Medel appears in Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia by The Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Lucas Leyva, Olivia Lloyd, Phil Lord, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Celia Rowlson-Hall, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ryan Booth.
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Mel Rodriguez appears in Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia by The Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Lucas Leyva, Olivia Lloyd, Phil Lord, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Celia Rowlson-Hall, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daniel Fernandez.
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Jillian Mayer appears in Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia by The Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Lucas Leyva, Olivia Lloyd, Phil Lord, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Celia Rowlson-Hall, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daniel Fernandez.
Synopsis

Big-time real estate developer Jim Cummings is seeking investments in his new Miami condo skyscraper designed to fulfill people’s hopes and desires. He explains that Miami was once total swampland at the edge of the country before it was willed into a metropolis of endless summer: the perfect setting for a wild adventure. For over a decade, Borscht Corporation has produced and commissioned hundreds of short films. For their feature film debut, they assembled 15 filmmakers—including Lucas Leyva, The Meza Brothers, and Julian Yuri Rodriguez—to create a symphony inspired by and made in Miami. What emerges is a crazy boat ride that navigates everything from talking dolphins to unconventional love. At the core of the film is the boat (bought specifically to make this film)—a vessel of ingenuity that carries the hilariously surreal, uncanny stories, defying expectations and rules of filmmaking. Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia uniquely engages with the constant destruction and reconstruction of Miami and proposes to celebrate the people brave enough to create under circumstances that were never meant to yield success.


Film Details

Director: Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Olivia Lloyd, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer
Country: United States
Genre: Anthology
Writer: Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Olivia Lloyd, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Phil Lord, Lucas Leyva
Producer: Olivia Lloyd, Taylor Shung, Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 120

Summertime

Director Carlos Lopez Estrada
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Bryce Banks and Austin Antoine appear in Summertime by Carlos Lopez Estrada, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by John Schmidt.
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Tyris Winter appears in Summertime by Carlos Lopez Estrada, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by John Schmidt.
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Raul Herrera, Jason Alvarez, Benet Benton, Amaya Blankenship, Tyris Winter, Gordon Ip, Lydia Ip, Maia Mayor, and Marquesha Babers appear in Summertime by Carlos Lopez Estrada, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by John Schmidt.
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Olympia Miccio appears in Summertime by Carlos Lopez Estrada, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by John Schmidt
Synopsis

Over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, the lives of 25 young Angelenos intersect. A skating guitarist, a tagger, two wannabe rappers, an exasperated fast-food worker, a limo driver — they all weave in and out of each other’s stories. Through poetry they express life, love, heartache, family, home, and fear. One of them just wants to find someplace that still serves good cheeseburgers. Inspired by a spoken-word showcase featuring 25 diverse high school performers, Mexican filmmaker Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting) proposed a collaboration to develop the performers’ work into a loose, interconnected narrative, allowing the nonactors to express themselves and their relationship to the city. With its Slacker-inspired structure, fanciful form, and exuberant magical realism, Summertime is a free-verse poem — of the kids, by the kids, for the kids. The young poets radiate vitality, honesty, and profound emotion.


Film Details

Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada
Country: United States
Genre: Experimental, Drama
Writer: Dave Harris, 27 Get Lit Poets
Producer: Kimberly Stuckwisch, Jeffrey Soros, Alisa Tager, Simon Horsman, Diane Luby Lane
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 95

Four Good Days

Director Rodrigo Garcia
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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Glenn Close and Mila Kunis appear in Four Good Days by Rodrigo Garcia, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Igor Jadue Lillo.
Synopsis

When Deb (Glenn Close) gets a surprise visit from her daughter Molly (Mila Kunis), she is less than thrilled. She is, in fact, terrified. At first, it may seem like Deb is being cruel, initially refusing to let Molly into her house. But Molly is a drug addict with a decadelong history of failed detox programs, who repeatedly swore she wanted to get better but then lied to and stole from the family. Deb’s refusal to give Molly yet another chance gradually fades when she sees glimpses of the child she knew in this deeply broken young woman. Something about this time feels different — or does she just want it to feel different? Colombian filmmaker Rodrigo García is a master of empathy, whose confident direction guides two exceptionally nuanced performances by Close and Kunis in this tense story of hope and codependency. A true emotional roller coaster, Four Good Days showcases the desperate decisions of a family destroyed by Molly’s addiction to drugs and her mother’s guilt-ridden compulsion to save her.


Film Details

Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Rodrigo Garcia, Eli Saslow
Producer: Jon Avnet, Marina Grasic, Jake Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Jai Khanna
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 100

The Last Thing He Wanted

Director Dee Rees
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Anne Hathaway appears in The Last Thing He Wanted by Dee Rees, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Journalist and single mother Elena McMahon (Anne Hathaway) has rigorously investigated Contra activity in Central America for years. Frustrated when her coverage is censored, relief comes in an unexpected package: her acerbic father (Willem Dafoe) falls ill and leaves her a series of unfinished and unsavory arms deals in that very region. Now a pawn in a risky and unfamiliar game, surrounded by live ammunition in more ways than one, and alongside a U.S. state official (Ben Affleck) with whom she has a checkered past, Elena needs to parse her own story to survive. With her disenchanting life awaiting her back home, she is forced to consider what she really wants. Director Dee Rees co-wrote this adaptation of Joan Didion’s novel by the same name with Marco Villalobos. Seasoned performances by Hathaway, Affleck, Dafoe and Rosie Perez match the sobriety of the subject matter and convey the questionable intentions, inscrutable connections, and bitter fates of these complex characters.


Film Details

Director: Dee Rees
Country: United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Dee Rees, Marco Villalobos
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 115

Sergio

Director Greg Barker
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Wagner Moura and Ana de Armas appear in Sergio by Greg Barker, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Brazilian United Nations diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello has an extensive resume: assistant high commissioner for refugees, special representative of the secretary-general in Kosovo, transitional administrator in East Timor. It’s 2003 and his latest role as high commissioner for human rights sees him traveling to Iraq to lead peace efforts under President George W. Bush. As he tries to balance heightening tensions on the ground with his desire to spend more time with his partner, Carolina Larriera (Cuban actress Ana de Armas), the unexpected and tragic happens, forcing Sergio to reflect on his 34 years of service to the UN and, more importantly, on the woman he loves. Greg Barker transforms his documentary of the same name into a gripping work of fiction that honors Sergio’s legacy by portraying him in his fullness. Interlacing memories of Sergio’s past with his last moments of life, Barker uses a nonlinear framework to articulate significant moments of Sergio’s personal and professional life. Brazilian actor Wagner Moura delivers one of his finest performances, embodying Sergio with grace, dignity, and courage.


Film Details

Director: Greg Barker
Country: United States
Genre: Biography, Drama
Writer: Craig Borten
Producer: Brent Travers, Daniel Dreifuss, Wagner Moura
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 118

The Glorias

Director Julie Taymor
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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Julianne Moore appears in The Glorias by Julie Taymor, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daniel McFadden.
Synopsis

Journalist, fighter, and feminist Gloria Steinem is an indelible icon known for her world-shaping activism, her guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and her writing that has impacted generations. In this nontraditional biopic, against the backdrop of a lonely bus on an open highway, five Glorias trace Steinem’s influential journey to prominence—from her time in India as a young woman, to the founding of Ms. magazine in New York, to her role in the rise of the women’s rights movement in the 1960s and beyond. In her hotly anticipated new film, Julie Taymor (Frida, Across the Universe) brings her signature inventiveness and audacity to craft a complex tapestry of one of the most iconic and legendary figures of modern history, based on Steinem’s own memoir My Life on the Road. Remarkable performances by Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander steer an engaging cast with strong supporting turns from Janelle Monáe, Bette Midler and Monica Sanchez (who plays Dolores Huerta). Taymor makes her own rules in this dazzling ode to self-reflection, exploring the importance of forging your own path and embracing the challenge of the open road.


Film Details

Director: Julie Taymor
Country: United States
Genre: Biopic, Drama
Writer: Julie Taymor, Sarah Ruhl
Producer: Lynn Hendee, Alex Saks
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 139

Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen

Director Sam Feder
Country United States
Production Year 2020
Disclosure- Trans Lives on Screen
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Synopsis

This unprecedented documentary offers an eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, share their personal reactions and resistance to gender stereotypes in some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. Grappling with films like A Florida Enchantment, Dog Day Afternoon, and Boys Don’t Cry, and with shows like All in the Family, The L Word, and Pose, Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen traces a history that is dehumanizing yet also evolving, complex, and at times humorous. Examining this collective narrative provides a striking view of how our perceptions of trans characters have been shaped through the decades. Insightful trans director Sam Feder confronts unexamined assumptions, reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters through a new lens. Where Jerry Springer and Ace Ventura once captured the American imagination, they now elicit new feelings. Disclosure provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people—but also media itself.


Film Details

Director: Sam Feder
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Sam Feder, Amy Scholder
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 100

Vivos

Director Ai Weiwei
Country Germany, Mexico
Production Year 2019
Vivos - Still 5
A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Vivos - Still 1
A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Vivos - Still 2
A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
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A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Vivos - Still 4
A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Vivos - Still 3
A still from Vivos by Ai Weiwei, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ai Weiwei.rrAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Synopsis

On a late-September day in 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College were brutally attacked by police forces and other masked assailants as they were traveling through the town of Iguala, Guerrero. Six people were killed and 43 students were abducted and never heard from again. Since then, the families of the students have lived in limbo with their unanswered questions — and the psychological and emotional toll of the endemic violence currently plaguing Mexican society. With meditative, breathtaking photography and intimate interviews, renowned artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei details the void stories of the Ayotzinapa victims. Focusing on the families directly affected by the deaths and disappearances, Ai Weiwei gives visual expression to an unsolved humanitarian crisis aligning with his known dissent against repressive governments. Vivos is a lyrical and unique approach to the tragedy that beautifully humanizes each and every victim as an individual and affirms they are forever alive in the constant and present consciousness of their loved ones.


Film Details

Director: Ai Weiwei
Country: Germany, Mexico
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Ai Weiwei
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 112

Siempre, Luis

Director John James
Country United States
Production Year 2019
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A still from 'Siempre, Luis' by John James. Photo by Carlos Garciade Dios. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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A still from 'Siempre, Luis' by John James. Photo by Carlos Garciade Dios. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

When Luis A. Miranda Jr. left Puerto Rico for New York City in the 1970s, he had big dreams — but little did he know how far he’d go. Landing an influential position in New York City mayor Ed Koch’s administration as the director of Hispanic affairs, he built a career representing Latinx (and largely, due to their prevalence in the city, Puerto Rican) communities, helping to elect some of the most powerful politicians in the country. Over the course of an intense year, Luis’s devotion to family and country propel him forward despite recent health issues. He finds that there is always more to do, especially when his beloved Puerto Rico is in need. Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, he helps plan relief efforts and, to raise money and awareness, manages the logistics behind bringing his son Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning production of Hamilton to the island. With humor and a lot of heart, Siempre, Luis tells the story of a unique and proud American.


Film Details

Director: John James
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: John James, Katie Taber, Carlos Garcia de Dios
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 95

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme

Director Andrew Fried
Country United States
Production Year 2020
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A still from 'We Are Freestyle Love Supreme' by Andrew Fried. Photo by Bryant Fisher. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

Well before the world knew of the award-winning Broadway musicals In The Heights and Hamilton, a young, bright-eyed Lin-Manuel Miranda was in an improv hip-hop group called Freestyle Love Supreme, along with director Thomas Kail and performers Christopher Jackson and Anthony Veneziale. Freestyle Love Supreme was a way for these carefree artists out of college to experiment with theatre and craft their own unique musical sound. This film chronicles a 15-year journey of twists and turns, friendship, and unprecedented musical talent — culminating with much-anticipated reunion performances in New York City in 2019. Filmmaker Andrew Fried began with a small SD camera in the summer of 2005, capturing the early days of Freestyle Love Supreme beatboxing on the sidewalks — unaware of how their story would unfold. Fourteen years later, after directing famed series like Chef’s Table and 7 Days Out, Fried revisits old footage to craft this fated story. Both poignant and inspired, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme recalls the creative dreams of youth and why this project still means so much to these accomplished performers.


Film Details

Director: Andrew Fried
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Producer: Andrew Fried, Sarina Roma, Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jill Furman, Jon Steingart, Jenny Steingart
Production Year: 2020
Running Time: 90

SERIES

The Trade

Director Matthew Heineman
Country United States
Production Year 2017
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A still from The Trade by Matthew Heineman, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ross McDonnell.
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A still from The Trade by Matthew Heineman, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ross McDonnell.
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A still from The Trade by Matthew Heineman, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ross McDonnell.
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A still from The Trade by Matthew Heineman, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Max Preiss.
Synopsis

The Trade is a vérité, character-driven docuseries that focuses on the illicit trades of human smuggling and trafficking. The series tracks the cycle of Central American migrants coming to the United States and being deported back to their home countries, focusing on the shadow industries that surround them at every step of the journey. By documenting smugglers who prey on the migrant’s vulnerability, traffickers who exploit their status to abuse them and law enforcement who try to catch them at the border, the series will take audiences inside the underbelly of the migrant world. Shot with unparalleled access in the gang ridden slums of Honduras, stash houses of Mexico, and the riverbeds of the Texas border, The Trade journeys beyond the headlines to tell a complex, nuanced story of the dark side of the American dream.


Film Details

Director: Matthew Heineman
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary Series
Producer: Myles Estey, Brent Kunkle, Damon Tabor
Production Year: 2017
Running Time: 125

McMillion$

Director James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte
Country United States
Production Year 2019
McMillions - Still
A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
McMillions - Still
A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
McMillions - Still
A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
McMillions - Still
A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
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A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
McMillions - Still 1
A still from McMillions by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeff Dolen.
Synopsis

In the 1990s, the McDonald’s Monopoly game was ubiquitous, with widespread marketing drawing millions into the restaurants, everyone hoping to win prizes that ranged from sandwiches to vacations to cash prizes. Less well known is the network of players who were arrested on charges of defrauding McDonald’s out of more than $24 million by manipulating the Monopoly game. An investigation set in motion by an anonymous tip reveals memorable FBI agents, strange and hilarious prizewinners, and a remarkably complex scheme that mirrored the game itself. Latino directors James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte present a forgotten American story, whose first wave of indictments took place just days before September 11, 2001 — after which, headlines and hearts were focused elsewhere. Presented with humor and compassion, what initially seems like a victimless crime is ultimately revealed to be a conspiracy that continues to affect the lives of the people involved.


Film Details

Director: James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary Series
Writer: James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 162