The Sundance Institute has announced the films selected for their 2024 Festival, which will take place January 18-28, 2024, in person in Utah. A selection of the films are available online across the U.S. from January 25-28.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Between the Temples (Nathan Silver): A cantor in a crisis of faith finds his world turned upside down when his grade school music teacher reenters his life as his new adult bat mitzvah student. World Premiere.
DìDi (弟弟) (Sean Wang): In 2008, during the last month of summer before high school begins, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can’t teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom. World Premiere.
Exhibiting Forgiveness (Titus Kaphar): Utilizing his paintings to find freedom from his past, a Black artist on the path to success is derailed by an unexpected visit from his estranged father, a recovering addict desperate to reconcile. Together, they learn that forgetting might be a greater challenge than forgiving. World Premiere.
Good One (India Donaldson): On a weekend backpacking trip in the Catskills, 17-year-old Sam contends with the competing egos of her father and his oldest friend. World Premiere.
In The Summers (Alessandra Lacorazza): On a journey that spans the formative years of their lives, two sisters navigate their loving but volatile father during their yearly summer visits to his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. World Premiere.
Love Me (Sam and Andy Zuchero): Long after humanity’s extinction, a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love. World Premiere.
Ponyboi (Esteban Arango): Unfolding over the course of Valentine’s Day in New Jersey, a young intersex sex worker must run from the mob after a drug deal goes sideways, forcing him to confront his past. World Premiere.
A Real Pain (Jesse Eisenberg): Mismatched cousins David and Benji reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother. The adventure takes a turn when the pair’s old tensions resurface against the backdrop of their family history. World Premiere.
Stress Positions (Theda Hammel) Terry Goon is keeping strict quarantine in his ex-husband’s Brooklyn brownstone while caring for his nephew — a 19-year-old model from Morocco named Bahlul — bedridden in a full leg cast after an electric scooter accident. Unfortunately for Terry, everyone in his life wants to meet the model. World Premiere.
Suncoast (Laura Chinn): A teenager who, while caring for her brother along with her audacious mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an eccentric activist who is protesting one of the most landmark medical cases of all time. Inspired by a semi-autobiographical story. World Premiere.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
As We Speak (J.M. Harper): Bronx rap artist Kemba explores the growing weaponization of rap lyrics in the United States criminal justice system and abroad — revealing how law enforcement has quietly used artistic creation as evidence in criminal cases for decades. World Premiere
Daughters (Angela Patton, Natalie Rae): Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail. World Premiere.
Every Little Thing (Sally Aitken): Amid the glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles, a woman finds herself on a transformative journey as she nurtures wounded hummingbirds, unraveling a visually captivating and magical tale of love, fragility, healing, and the delicate beauty in tiny acts of greatness. World Premiere.
Frida (Carla Gutiérrez): An intimately raw and magical journey through the life, mind, and heart of iconic artist Frida Kahlo. Told through her own words for the very first time — drawn from her diary, revealing letters, essays, and print interviews — and brought vividly to life by lyrical animation inspired by her unforgettable artwork. World Premiere.
Gaucho Gaucho (Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw): A celebration of a community of Argentine cowboys and cowgirls, known as Gauchos, living beyond the boundaries of the modern world. World Premiere.
Love Machina (Peter Sillen): Futurists Martine and Bina Rothblatt commission an advanced humanoid AI named Bina48 to transfer Bina’s consciousness from a human to a robot in an attempt to continue their once-in-a-galaxy love affair for the rest of time. World Premiere.
Porcelain War (Brendan Bellomo, Slava Leontyev): Under roaring fighter jets and missile strikes, Ukrainian artists Slava, Anya, and Andrey choose to stay behind and fight, contending with the soldiers they have become. Defiantly finding beauty amid destruction, they show that although it’s easy to make people afraid, it’s hard to destroy their passion for living. World Premiere.
Skywalkers: A Love Story (Jeff Zimbalist): To save their career and relationship, a daredevil couple journey across the globe to climb the world’s last super skyscraper and perform a bold acrobatic stunt on the spire. World Premiere.
Sugarcane (Julian Brave NoiseCat): An investigation into abuse and missing children at an Indian residential school ignites a reckoning on the nearby Sugarcane Reserve. World Premiere.
Union (Stephen Maing, Brett Story): The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island — takes on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize. World Premiere.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Brief History of a Family (Jianjie Lin): A middle-class family’s fate becomes intertwined with their only son’s enigmatic new friend in post one-child policy China, putting unspoken secrets, unmet expectations, and untended emotions under the microscope. World Premiere.
Girls Will Be Girls (Shuchi Talati): In a strict boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, 16-year-old Mira discovers desire and romance. But her sexual, rebellious awakening is disrupted by her mother who never got to come of age herself. World Premiere.
Handling the Undead (Thea Hvistendahl): On a hot summer day in Oslo, the newly dead awaken. Three families faced with loss try to figure out what this resurrection means and if their loved ones really are back. Based on the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist. World Premiere.
In the Land of Brothers (Raha Amirfazli, Alireza Ghasemi): Three members of an extended Afghan family start their lives over in Iran as refugees, unaware they face a decades-long struggle ahead to be “at home.” World Premiere.
Layla (Amrou Al-Kadhi): When Layla, a struggling Arab drag queen, falls in love for the first time, they lose and find themself in a transformative relationship that tests who they really are. World Premiere.
Malu (Pedro Freire): Malu — a mercurial, unemployed actress living with her conservative mother in a precarious house in a Rio de Janeiro slum — tries to deal with her strained relationship with her own adult daughter while surviving on memories of her glorious artistic past. World Premiere.
Reinas (Klaudia Reynicke): Surrounded by social and political chaos in Lima during the summer of 1992, Lucia, Aurora, and their mother, Elena, plan to leave and seek opportunities in the United States. Their farewell involves reconnecting with their estranged father, Carlos, adding turbulence to the regrets, hopes, and fears of their emotional departure. World Premiere.
Sebastian (Mikko Mäkelä): Max, a 25-year-old aspiring writer living in London, begins a double life as a sex worker in order to research his debut novel. World Premiere.
Sujo (Astrid Rondero, Fernanda Valadez): When a cartel gunman is killed, he leaves behind Sujo, his beloved 4-year-old son. The shadow of violence surrounds Sujo during each stage of his life in the isolated Mexican countryside. As he grows into a man, Sujo finds that fulfilling his father’s destiny may be inescapable. World Premiere.
Veni Vidi Vici (Daniel Hoesl): The Maynards and their children lead an almost perfect billionaire family life. Amon is a passionate hunter, but doesn’t shoot animals, as the family’s wealth allows them to live totally free from consequences. World Premiere.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Agent of Happiness (Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó) Amber is one of the many agents working for the Bhutanese government to measure people’s happiness levels among the remote Himalayan mountains. But will he find his own along the way? World Premiere.
The Battle for Laikipia (Daphne Matziaraki, Peter Murimi) — Unresolved historical injustices and climate change raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between Indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in Laikipia, Kenya, a wildlife conservation haven. World Premiere.
Black Box Diaries (Shiori Ito): Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Her quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s outdated judicial and societal systems. World Premiere.
Eternal You (Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck): Startups are using AI to create avatars that allow relatives to talk with their loved ones after they have died. An exploration of a profound human desire and the consequences of turning the dream of immortality into a product. World Premiere.
Ibelin (Benjamin Ree): Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer, died of a degenerative muscular disease at the age of 25. His parents mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life, when they started receiving messages from online friends around the world. World Premiere.
Igualada (Juan Mejía Botero): In one of Latin America’s most unequal countries, Francia Márquez, a Black Colombian rural activist, challenges the status quo with a presidential campaign that reappropriates the derogatory term “Igualada” — someone who acts as if they deserve rights that supposedly don’t correspond to them — and inspires a nation to dream. World Premiere.
Never Look Away (Lucy Lawless): New Zealand–born groundbreaking CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth risks it all to show the reality of war from inside the conflict, staring down danger and confronting those who perpetuate it. World Premiere.
A New Kind of Wilderness (Silje Evensmo Jacobsen): In a forest in Norway, a family lives an isolated lifestyle in an attempt to be wild and free, but a tragic event changes everything, and they are forced to adjust to modern society. World Premiere.
Nocturnes (Anirban Dutta, Anupama Srinivasan): In the dense forests of the Eastern Himalayas, moths are whispering something to us. In the dark of night, two curious observers shine a light on this secret universe. World Premiere.
Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat (Johan Grimonprez): In 1960, United Nations: the Global South ignites a political earthquake, musicians Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach crash the Security Council, Nikita Khrushchev bangs his shoe denouncing America’s color bar, while the U.S. dispatches jazz ambassador Louis Armstrong to the Congo to deflect attention from its first African post-colonial coup. World Premiere.
Desire Lines (Jules Rosskam): Past and present collide when an Iranian American trans man time-travels through an LGBTQ+ archive on a dizzying and erotic quest to unravel his own sexual desires. World Premiere.
Kneecap (Rich Peppiatt): There are 80,000 native Irish speakers in Ireland. 6,000 live in the North of Ireland. Three of them became a rap group called Kneecap. This anarchic Belfast trio becomes the unlikely figurehead of a civil rights movement to save the mother tongue. World Premiere.
Little Death (Jack Begert): A middle-aged filmmaker on the verge of a breakthrough. Two kids in search of a lost backpack. A small dog a long way from home. World Premiere.
Realm of Satan (Scott Cummings): An experiential portrait depicting Satanists in both the everyday and in the extraordinary as they fight to preserve their lifestyle: magic, mystery, and misanthropy. World Premiere.
Seeking Mavis Beacon (Jazmin Renée Jones): Launched in the late ’80s, educational software Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing taught millions globally, but the program’s Haitian-born cover model vanished decades ago. Two DIY investigators search for the unsung cultural icon, while questioning notions of digital security, AI, and Black representation in the digital realm. World Premiere.
Tendaberry (Haley Elizabeth Anderson): When her boyfriend goes back to Ukraine to be with his ailing father, 23-year-old Dakota anxiously navigates her precarious new reality, surviving on her own in New York City. World Premiere.
The American Society of Magical Negroes (Kobi Libii): A young man, Aren, is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier. World Premiere.
And So It Begins (Ramona S. Diaz): Amidst the traditional pomp and circumstance of Filipino elections, a quirky people’s movement rises to defend the nation against deepening threats to truth and democracy. In a collective act of joy as a form of resistance, hope flickers against the backdrop of increasing autocracy. World Premiere.
Devo (Chris Smith): Born in response to the Kent State massacre, new wave band Devo took their concept of “de-evolution” from cult following to near–rock star status with groundbreaking 1980 hit “Whip It” while preaching an urgent social commentary. World Premiere.
A Different Man (Aaron Schimberg): Aspiring actor Edward undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost. World Premiere.
Freaky Tales (Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden): In 1987 Oakland, a mysterious force guides The Town’s underdogs in four interconnected tales: Teen punks defend their turf against Nazi skinheads, a rap duo battles for hip-hop immortality, a weary henchman gets a shot at redemption, and an NBA All-Star settles the score. Basically another day in the Bay. World Premiere.
Ghostlight (Kelly O’Sullivan, Alex Thompson): When a construction worker unexpectedly joins a local theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet, the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life. World Premiere.
Girls State (Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss): Teenage girls from wildly different backgrounds across Missouri navigate a week-long immersive experiment in American democracy, build a government from the ground up, and reimagine what it means to govern. World Premiere.
Look Into My Eyes (Lana Wilson): A group of New York City psychics conduct deeply intimate readings for their clients, revealing a kaleidoscope of loneliness, connection, and healing. World Premiere.
Luther: Never Too Much (Dawn Porter): Luther Vandross started his career supporting David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, and more. His undeniable talent earned platinum records and accolades, but he struggled to break out beyond the R&B charts. Intensely driven, he overcame personal and professional challenges to secure his place amongst the greatest vocalists in history. World Premiere.
My Old Ass (Megan Park): The summer before college, bright-yet-irreverent Elliott comes face-to-face with her older self during a mushroom trip. The encounter spurs a funny and heartfelt journey of self-discovery and first love as Elliott prepares to leave her childhood home. World Premiere.
The Outrun (Nora Fingscheidt): After living life on the edge in London, Rona attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. She returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal. Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Amy Liptrot. World Premiere.
Power (Yance Ford): Driven to maintain social order, policing in the United States has exploded in scope and scale over hundreds of years. Now, American policing embodies one word: power. World Premiere.
Presence (Steven Soderbergh): A family moves into a suburban house and becomes convinced they’re not alone. World Premiere.
Rob Peace (Chiwetel Ejiofor): Robert Peace grew up in an impoverished section of Newark and later graduated from Yale with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry while on scholarship. Peace led a dual life in academia and research while also earning six figures selling marijuana. Based on Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling biography. World Premiere.
Sasquatch Sunset (David Zellner, Nathan Zellner): A year in the life of a singular family. World Premiere.
Sue Bird: In The Clutch (Sarah Dowland): In her 21-year professional career, WNBA basketball legend Sue Bird has won five Olympic gold medals and become the most successful point guard to ever play the game. Alongside her fiancée, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Sue confronts her next challenge: retiring from the only life she’s ever known. World Premiere.
Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story (Ian Bonhôte): Never-before-seen home movies and extraordinary personal archives reveal how Christopher Reeve went from unknown actor to iconic movie star as the ultimate screen superhero. He learned the true meaning of heroism as an activist after suffering a tragic accident that left him quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. World Premiere.
Thelma (Josh Margolin): When 93-year-old Thelma Post gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson, she sets out on a treacherous quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her. World Premiere.
Will & Harper (Josh Greenbaum): When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America. World Premiere.
Winner (Susanna Fogel): Reality Winner is a brilliant young misfit from a Texas border town who finds her morals challenged while serving as an NSA contractor. A sarcastic, gun-lovin, vegan, yogi, and CrossFit fanatic, Reality is an unconventional whistleblower who ends up being prosecuted for exposing Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election. World Premiere.
I Saw the TV Glow (Jane Schoenbrun): Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack. World Premiere.
In A Violent Nature (Chris Nash): The enigmatic resurrection, rampage, and retribution of an undead monster in a remote wilderness. World Premiere.
It’s What’s Inside (Greg Jardin): A pre-wedding party descends into an existential nightmare when an estranged friend shows up with a mysterious suitcase. World Premiere.
Kidnapping Inc. (Bruno Mourral): Tasked with what appears to be a simple abduction for hire, two hapless kidnappers find out that it’s anything but and end up in the middle of a political conspiracy. World Premiere.
Krazy House (Steffen Haars, Flip van der Kuil): When Russian workers in Bernie’s house turn out to be wanted criminals, Bernie has to man up and save his ’90s sitcom family. World Premiere.
Love Lies Bleeding (Rose Glass): Reclusive gym manager Lou falls hard for Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder headed through town to Las Vegas in pursuit of her dream. But their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family. World Premiere..
The Moogai (Jon Bell): A young Aboriginal couple bring home their second baby. What should be a joyous time takes a sinister turn as the mother starts seeing a malevolent spirit she is convinced is trying to take her baby. World Premiere.
Your Monster (Caroline Lindy): After her life falls apart, soft-spoken actress Laura Franco finds her voice again when she meets a terrifying, yet weirdly charming, monster living in her closet. World Premiere.
Áma Gloria (Marie Amachoukeli) — Six-year-old Cléo loves her nanny, Gloria, more than anything. When Gloria must return to Cape Verde to care for her own children, the two must make the most of their last summer together.
Hit Man (Richard Linklater): A strait-laced professor discovers his hidden talent as a fake hit man. He meets his match in a client who steals his heart and ignites a powder keg of deception, delight, and mixed-up identities. Inspired by an unbelievable true story.
How to Have Sex (Molly Manning Walker): Three British teenage girls go on a rite-of-passage holiday, drinking, clubbing, and hooking up in what should be the best summer of their lives. As they dance their way across the sun-drenched streets of Malia, they find themselves navigating the complexities of sex, consent, and self-discovery.
The Mother of All Lies (Asmae El Moudir): On a handmade set re-creating her Casablanca neighborhood, a young Moroccan filmmaker enlists family and friends to help unearth the troubling lies built into her childhood.
Out of My Mind (Amber Sealey): Melody Brooks is navigating sixth grade as a nonverbal wheelchair user who has cerebral palsy. With the help of some assistive technology and her devoted, exuberant allies, Melody shows that what she has to say is more important than how she says it. World Premiere.
10 Lives (Christopher Jenkins): A pampered cat takes for granted the lucky hand he has been dealt after he is rescued and loved by Rose, a kind-hearted and passionate student. When he loses his ninth life, fate steps in to set him on a transformative journey. World Premiere.
War Game (Jesse Moss) — A bipartisan group of U.S. defense, intelligence, and elected policymakers spanning five presidential administrations participate in an unscripted role-play exercise in which they confront a political coup backed by rogue members of the U.S. military, in the wake of a contested presidential election. World Premiere.
NEW FRONTIER FILMS
Being (the Digital Griot) (Rashaad Newsome): In this innovative participatory experience, Being, an artificial intelligence digital griot, asks the audience to engage in unifying and challenging discussions. It features a soundscape and movement informed by a dataset from Black communities, theorists, poets, and activists, including bell hooks, Paulo Freire, Dazié Grego-Sykes, and Cornel West.
Eno (Gary Hustwit): Visionary musician and artist Brian Eno — known for producing David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, among many others; pioneering the genre of ambient music; and releasing over 40 solo and collaboration albums — reveals his creative processes in this groundbreaking generative documentary: a film that’s different every time it’s shown. World Premiere.