Based on the movies set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival, the coming year of cinema is about comedians and coming of age.
On Monday, festival organisers announced their selections of dramas and documentaries to debut at the independent film showcase, which runs from January 22-31.
“It really does feel like we kick off the year in film,” said Trevor Groth, the festival’s director of programming. “We’re launching all these films out there into the cinematic universe and then watching them trickle out throughout the year.”
Movies that debut at the Sundance festival often secure distribution deals that will bring them to cinemas, TV screens or web-streams near you.
Lily Tomlin and Blythe Danner each play women coming of age later in life in the dramas Grandma and I'll See You in My Dreams. Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie inspire each other to grow up a decade after college graduation in Sleeping With Other People. Ethan Hawke heads a whole family coming of age in Ten Thousand Saints; Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez play grieving mothers in Lila & Eve; while Ryan Reynolds is a poker player who learns from his protégé in Mississippi Grind.
Notable documentaries making their debut at the festival include The Hunting Ground by Kirby Dick, whose 2012 documentary about sexual assault in the military, The Invisible War, won the Sundance Audience Award and was nominated for an Oscar. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, whose first documentary screened at the festival in 2011, returns with an exploration of masculinity in The Mask You Live In.
Another documentary, Tig, explores how the comedian Tig Notaro used stand-up to cope with the death of her mother, her own cancer diagnosis and the challenges of love.
Sarah Silverman takes a dramatic turn as a drug-using mother on the edge in I Smile Back, while Jack Black is a man struggling to shed his high-school insecurities in time for his 20th reunion in The D Train.