Sundance Film Festival added several new titles, including a documentary about NBA star Stephen Curry and A24’s sentimental drama “Past Lives,” to its 2023 lineup.
Other newest inclusions are “Beyond Utopia,” a documentary about families escaping oppression, as well as feature films including “Earth Mama” and Flora and Son,” which will screen in the premieres section. “Stephen Curry: Underrated” will play in the special screenings section.
This year’s Sundance Film Festival will take place from Jan. 19-29 in Utah, marking its first return to Park City since the pandemic.
Sundance is also hosting encore screenings of “CODA,” which premiered at the 2021 virtual festival and won the Oscar for best picture, as well as “Klondike,” “Navalny” and “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised).” It will be the first time those Sundance award winners will screen at the festival in person, with many of the filmmakers in attendance for post-screening panels. Those films were among the many that debuted during the two years in which Sundance took place online.
“These five new films round out our program in an exciting and emotional way. They are cinematic experiences that delight, entertain, and keep us on the edge of our seats. The works introduce us to new voices, along with directors we’re excited to welcome back to the Festival,” said Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival’s director of programming. “Having four encore films play in Utah is truly a homecoming. While they reached audiences around the world, wherever they were, this year they will return to fuel the energy and excitement at the heart of the Sundance community.”
With the latest additions to the 2023 slate, 110 feature-length films will play at the festival. Nearly 90% of those movies will be world premieres, and 36% come from first-time feature directors.
See more information about the late entries:
Beyond Utopia / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Gavin, Producers: Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Sue Mi Terry) — Hidden camera footage augments this perilous high-stakes journey as we embed with families attempting to escape oppression, ultimately revealing a world most of us have never seen. World Premiere.
Earth Mama / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Savanah Leaf, Producers: Cody Ryder, Shirley O’Connor, Medb Riordan, Sam Bisbee) — A pregnant single mother with two children in foster care embraces her Bay Area community as she fights to reclaim her family.Cast: Tia Nomore, Erika Alexander, Doechii, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Dominic Fike, Bokeem Woodbine.World Premiere. Fiction.
Flora and Son / U.S.A, Ireland (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: John Carney, Producers: Anthony Bregman, Peter Cron, Rebecca O’Flanagan, Robert Walpole) — Single mom Flora is at war with her teenage son, petty thief Max. Encouraged by the police to find Max a hobby, she rescues a beat-up guitar from a dumpster and finds that one person’s trash can be a family’s salvation. Cast: Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Orén Kinlan, Jack Reynor. World Premiere. Fiction.
Past Lives / U.S.A (Director and Screenwriter: Celine Song, Producers: Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, David Hinojosa) — Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny and love, and the choices that make a life. Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro. World Premiere. Fiction.
Stephen Curry: Underrated / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Peter Nicks, Producers: Ryan Coogler, Erick Peyton) — Stephen Curry is one of the most influential, dynamic, and unexpected players in the history of basketball. Intimate cinematic video, archival footage, and on-camera interviews reveal Curry’s rise from an undersized college player to a four-time NBA champion. World Premiere. Documentary.
CODA / U.S.A, France (Director and Screenwriter: Siân Heder, Producers: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger) — As a CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, Marlee Matlin. World Premiered in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition section, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, and U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast.
Klondike / Ukraine, Turkey (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Maryna Er Gorbach, Producers: Mehmet Bahadir Er, Sviatoslav BulakovskyI) — The story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia – Ukraine during the start of war. Irka refuses to leave her house even as the village gets captured by armed forces. Shortly after they find themselves at the center of an air crash catastrophe on July 17, 2014. Cast: Oxana Cherkashyna, Sergey Shadrin, Oleg Scherbina, Oleg Shevchuk, Artur Aramyan, Evgenij Efremov. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section, where it won the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic.
Navalny / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Roher, Producers: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris) — Anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny recovers in Berlin after nearly being poisoned to death with the nerve agent Novichok. He makes shocking discoveries about his assassination attempt and bravely decides to return home – whatever the consequences. World Premiered in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition section, where it won Festival Favorite and the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary.
Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) / U.S.A. (Director: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Producers: David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Joseph Patel) — An epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion shines a light on the importance of history and the healing power of music during times of unrest. World Premiered in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition section, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary and Audience Award: U.S. Documentary.