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The 15 Best Films From the Sundance Film Festival

CODA
CODA/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

In a normal year, it’s easy to gauge the buzz at Sundance simply by eavesdropping on filmgoers waiting in line or riding the shuttles around Park City. Festival organizers tried to shift the energy online this year, packing nearly 20 world premieres a day into a tightened schedule, and while a record-breaking acquisition ($25 million for “CODA”) suggests that the model may be working, it can be challenging to recognize a genuine crowd-pleaser without a crowd. Even so, the encouraging thing about the 2021 edition has been the clear sign that when cinemas do reopen, there are strong offerings in the pipeline, most of which seem to work just fine via streaming, should that be the way distributors choose to release them.