Sundance 2017: Films Guaranteed To Find Buyers This Year
This year’s Sundance film lineup is full of gems that are bound to be bought up by distributors.
SUNDANCE HOTTEST FILMS TO WATCH
While last year’s The Birth of a Nation went for $17.5 million, no movie this year should expect to go for that much. New players in the game are lining up to purchase films, from Annapurna Pictures and Neon, to even Facebook and Apple. “It will be a seller’s market for one or two films and a buyer’s market for everything else,” guesses Howard Cohen of Roadside Attractions, who was responsible for releasing Manchester by the Sea.
A few films have already been picked up prior to the festival, including Casey Affleck‘s Manchester follow-up A Ghost Story (by A24), gay love story Call Me by Your Name (Sony Pictures Classic), Charlie McDowell‘s The Discovery, and doc Casting JonBenet (both by Netflix).
Below are the eleven feature films and six documentaries that are sure to in a big price tag at the festival, running from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29.
- 78-52, by Alexandre Philippe. This doc reconstructs the Psycho shower scene, as told from the perspective of Norman Bates.
- Beatriz at Dinner, by Miguel Arteta. This follows a Mexican immigrant, played by Salma Hayak, as she is pitted against a billionaire, played by John Lithgow.
- The Big Stick, by Michael Showalter. This Judd Apatow produced romance follows the true-story love between Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani and The Carmichael Show writer Emily V. Gordon, as they maneuver their way between Nanjiani’s traditional Muslim parents and Gordon’s life-threatening disease.
- City of Ghosts, by Matthew Heineman. Heineman takes us into the middle east to examine ISIS and its resistance. His last film Cartel Land got an Oscar nom and Emmy award.
- Fun Mom Diner, by Alethea Jones. This comedy follows Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett, and Molly Shannon as four moms whose girls’ night takes an unexpected turn.
- Icarus, by Bryan Fogel. The inside story of the Russian Olympic doping scandal.
- Landline, by Gillian Robespierre. A comedy set in pre-cellphone days of the 90s, starring Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, and Finn Wittrock.
- Long Strange Trip, by Amir Bar-Lev. A doc about The Grateful Dead, featuring never-before-seen interviews and footage.
- Mudbound, by Dee Rees. A follow-up to Rees’ Pariah, this film is set in the post-WWII South, a black and white family go up against the country’s social hierarchy. Stars include Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, Jason Mitchell, and Garrett Hedlund.
- The New Radical, by Adam Bhala Lough. This documentary explores millennials who use high tech to attack and change the political landscape.
- Newness, by Drake Doremus. Drama about millennials, dating apps, and hookup culture. Exec produced by Ridley Scott.
- Novitiate, by Maggie Betts. Margaret Qualley stars as a young girl from a secular Tennessee family who joins a convent in the 1950s.
- The Polka King, by Mary Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky. Jack Black stars in this offbeat film as Jan Lewan, Polish immigrant who created a polka Ponzi scheme.
- Rebel in the Rye, by Danny Strong. This drama follows author J.D. Salinger as he develops his classic The Catcher in the Rye. Stars Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Sacey, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch, Hope Davis, and Victor Garber.
- Step, by Amanda Lipitz. This film follows a group of African-American women in Baltimore who use dance to help their daughters get into better colleges. Sundance programming director Trevor Groth thinks it could win the Audience Award.
- Wind River, by Taylor Sheridan. Jeremy Renner plays a fish and game employee who comes across the body of a teenage girl.
- The Yellow Birds, by Alexandre Moors. This film follows 21-year-old Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and 18-year-old Murph (Tye Sheridan) as they train for war in Iraq. Possibly one of the festival’s most anticipated.
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