Alice Englert
The Aussie newcomer was only 12 when she made her film debut in Jane Campion’s 2006 short, “The Water Diary.” And while she may have got her first break thanks to her famous mother, she’s since proved herself in such films as “Ginger & Rosa” to be a versatile and compelling talent unafraid of a challenge. “I’m attracted to projects that make me nervous, that keep me on my toes,” says Englert, who carries midnight movie “In Fear,” a psychological exercise in which she grows increasingly paranoid that something’s out to get her. “We shot in chronological order, which allowed me to play out my character from beginning to end through every twist, an experience like nothing I’ve had before.” Next up is “Beautiful Creatures.”

Julia Garner
You could say that Garner’s career began at Sundance. Her first job, at 16, was playing the youngest cult member in “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which premiered in competition in 2011. Now 18, Garner returns to Sundance with “We Are What We Are.” An English-language remake of a Mexican thriller, the film revolves around a family’s “toxic secret, which affects everyone in the film,” says Garner, who plays the family’s middle child. The busy New York-based actress attracted attention on the festival circuit with last year’s “Electrick Children,” and is now poised for wider acclaim, thanks to several upcoming projects, including the period piece “You Can’t Win” and “The Last Exorcism 2.” “I love doing thrillers,” she says. “It’s easier for me to make them than watch them.”

Jonathan Groff
Over the past few years, the “Glee” thesp has amassed numerous credits, including Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” (his bigscreen debut), Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” Starz drama series “Boss” and the Broadway musical “Spring Awakening” (which earned him a Tony nom). Now the 27-year-old Pennsylvanian boosts his indie cred with “C.O.G.,” based on a short story by David Sedaris. Chanelling — “but not impersonating,” he insists — the scribe, Groff stars as a “know-it-all college kid who spends a summer picking apples in Oregon, and ends up having a funny, surprising religious experience.” The versatile actor, who splits his time between L.A. and New York, next voices a role in Disney’s animated “Frozen.” “My goal is to keep doing film, TV and theater,” he says. “I love it all.”

Michael B. Jordan
Audiences already know Jordan from such shows as “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights,” but true-life Sundance drama “Fruitvale” gives the 25-year-old actor a complex leading role in which to shine. The New Jersey native admits feeling “a lot of pressure and responsibility” playing Oscar Grant, the 2008 victim of a police shooting on a San Francisco BART platform. “It was so emotional for me, as I met all his family and friends, and he represents the countless nameless victims of gun violence in our society. It’s such a timely film.” But Jordan, whose credits include “Redtails” and “Chronicle,” isn’t all seriousness. He’s shooting the indie “Are We Officially Dating?” which he describes as “a wacky comedy with Zac Efron.”

Kaya Scodelario
The charismatic Brit, who burst on the scene at 14 in the first series of “Skins,” and then found her way to Sundance playing Catherine in “Wuthering Heights,” returns with a role sure to spark post-screening discussion in “Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes.” “It’s quite dark and a bit of a thriller,” hints Scodelario, who plays the troubled title character, a teen totally obsessed with a new neighbor (Jessica Biel) who looks just like her dead mother. “It’s all about their relationship and how they ultimately save each other,” she says. Though the Londoner also appeared in “Clash of the Titans,” she reports she’s more interested in smaller, edgier fare. “I love working with young, up-and-coming directors and d.p.’s. That’s what excites me.”

Sundance Film Fesitval 2013
Filmmakers flex options | Target titles | Grindhouse meets arthouse | Labs offer Mid East voice lessons | Five’s who’ll thrive