Siân here. With my 10th Sundance kicking off tomorrow (eeep!), I thought it was about time I put together some sort of list. Here’s a list of the 10 films I’m most looking forward to seeing, which is actually 12 films because I’m terrible at lists and making decisions.
Ever since I started MUFF, I’ve been focusing on seeing films by women and POC when I go to festivals. These are the filmmakers I want to support and be able to champion online later when their films (hopefully) get some sort of release. All of the buzzy films in the premiere category are going to be out in the world soon, people; go see something new and unknown!
This year Sundance was fairly transparent in announcing their numbers and the competition categories comprise of: 40% women, 39% POC, and 32% LGBTQIA and I could really feel it as I was going through and starring films. I definitely won’t be able to see everything I want to see (you know, because I have to do pesky things like work and sleep), but I’m going to start with the below list at least.
And be sure to read all about the incredible directors behind the films with Women and Hollywood’s annual Sundance director interviews. They’ve got eight up already and more are being added daily!
Always In Season – Jacqueline Olive
In her Sundance interview, Jacqueline Olive says that “people like to think that there’s a wall between ourselves and history,” and documentaries like hers are important because they shatter that illusion of a wall.
The Farewell – Lulu Wang
I can already tell this is going to be one of my faves at Sundance; there’s nothing I love more than a heartfelt family story.
Hala – Minhal Baig
What I need—nay, what the world—needs desperately are more coming of age stories from women of colour and Minhal Baig’s Hala is just that.
Hail Satan? – Penny Lane
After seeing what Penny Lane did with goat testicles in Nuts!, I can’t wait to see what she does with the Satanic Temple.
MERATA: How Mum Decolonised The Screen – Hepi Mita
A film about the first Māori woman to write and direct a feature film? Yes please.
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements – Irene Taylor Brodsky
I’m currently taking ASL classes and learning more about the Deaf community so this doc in particular jumped out at me.
The Nightingale – Jennifer Kent
I still can’t look at a pop-up book without getting scared, thanks Jennifer Kent! I’m definitely not alone in dying to see her follow-up to The Babadook.
One Child Nation – Nanfu Wang
Nanfu Wang is probably one of my favourite documentary directors right now. If you haven’t seen her prior films (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You), do yourselves a favour and see them as soon as possible.
Paraside Hills – Alice Waddington
Pump this movie directly into my veins. If the description and stills don’t get you jazzed (those white dresses! Milla Jovovich as Duchess!!), peek the trailer for Alice Waddington’s prior short Disco Inferno to get a taste of what we can expect with Paradise Hills.
Selah and the Spades – Tayarisha Poe
There’s nothing I love more than a sharp movie about teen politics and it looks like Tayarisha Poe is going to deliver something unique and refreshing with Selah and the Spades.
The Souvenir – Joanna Hogg
Isn’t it wild that a filmmaker the BFI considers “one of the UK’s leading auteurs” hasn’t had a film released since 2013? Can’t. Imagine. Why. In any case, at least now we can rejoice with The Souvenir and its upcoming sequel (!!!).
Throat Singing in Kangirsuk – Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland
Canada represent! First-time Indigenous filmmakers crafted this short documentary about the art of throat singing with help from Wapikoni, which is a mobile studio that visits Indigenous communities to teach youth the art of filmmaking.