Sundance Festival Announces 2016 Slate

by Ana Maria Bahiana December 2, 2015

Clockwise from top left: Mi Amiga Del Parque,The Free World, The Birth Of a Nation, Goat.

Anyone who ever had the urge to see Daniel Radcliffe as a dead body being carried by Paul Dano should get a ticket to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival right away –Swiss Army Man, the debut feature film of writing/directing duo Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan is one of the intriguing offers scheduled for Park City this coming January. The US Competition, World Competition and Next sidebar slates were announced this Wednesday and, as usual, present the healthy mix of current themes, provocative narratives, independent filmmakers and well known stars that attracts film fans, media hounds and industry honchos alike to the Park City streets.

In addition to the Radcliffe/Dano duo, audiences will find Nick Jonas in director Andrew Neel’s fraternity-abuse thriller Goat, produced by James Franco; Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer and Boyd Holbrook in life-after-prison drama The Free World; Uzo Aduba, Ellen Page and Allison Janney in writer/director Sian Heder’s family exploration Tallulah; Silicon Valley’s Josh Woods and Fargo’s Jesse Plemons in the festival opener, Chris Kelly’s Other People; and James Purefoy and Anna Gunn in the post-financial-crisis study Equity.

Always a fertile ground for discovery, Sundance 2016 has its share of exciting titles poised to follow notable predecessors such as Whiplash, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station in launching careers and making their mark on the year. Such is the case of writer/director Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which follows an enslaved, cultured preacher (Parker himself) through the antebellum South. Or the coming-of-age/fish-out-of-water dramedy Morris From America, written and directed by Chad Hartigan and starring young Markees Christmas as the 13 year old rap enthusiast Morris as he navigates the brave new world of Heidelberg, Germany.

Latin America and Europe take the lead in the World Cinema Competition, with, a mong others, titles from Mexico (Plaza de la Soledad), Peru (When The Worlds Collide), Colombia (Between Sea and Land) Chile (Much Ado About Nothing), Argentina ( Mi Amiga Del Parque), the UK (We Are X, The Lovers And The Despot), Germany (Wild), Belgium (The Land of the Enlightened) , Poland (All These Sleepness Nights, The Lure), Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia (A Good Wife).

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival will run from 21 to 31 of January.

Ana Maria Bahiana