Park City, Utah, is about to be flush with cash -- and we're not talking about buying apres-ski gear. Here are the most promising sales titles of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
"Brigsby Bear" Kyle Mooney ("SNL") leads an impressive ensemble in what seems to be a millennial take on "The Truman Show." The title refers to a children's TV show made for an audience of one -- a boy named James, whose life changes after the show's abrupt end. Dave McCary directs from a script by Mooney and Kevin Costello. Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear and Michaela Watkins co-star.
"The Big Sick" Socially relevant fare that's based on a true story is often a winning combination for Sundance features. "Silicon Valley" star Kumail Nanjiani and girlfriend Emily V. Gordon wrote this true tale of bridging cultural divides among their families while navigating their careers and romance.
"Beach Rats" Multiple programmers, sales agents and content buyers told TheWrap they're all keen to see this thoroughly modern drama from Eliza Hittman. The movie stars Harris Dickinson as a Brooklyn teen with a grim home life, a budding romance with a female friend and a predilection for meeting up with older men he connects with online.
"A Ghost Story" David Lowery reunites with his "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck for a chamber drama about a man who dies, and is forced to watch his loved one grieve over expanses of time.
"The Hero" Sam Elliott stars as an aging country legend confronting his demons (territory that netted Jeff Bridges an Oscar in 2010 for “Crazy Heart”). The film also stars "Orange Is the New Black" star Laura Prepon, which may make it hard for Netflix to resist scooping it up.
"Roxanne, Roxanne" As he keeps chugging along the road to the Academy Awards, "Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali comes to Park City with "Roxanne, Roxanne" -- the story of Lolita "Roxanne Shanté" Gooden, who became a fierce rap battle queen at age 14. Chante Adams stars in this real-life story from writer-director Michael Larnell.
"The Yellow Birds" Alexander Moors ("Blue Caprice") offers up this tale of young Iraq war veterans, which boasts hot up-and-coming stars Alden Ehrenreich (the new Han Solo) and Tye Sheridan. The tale unfolds as a mystery, with a fallen hero's mother (Jennifer Aniston) and a tough-as-nails military official (Jason Patric) searching for answers in a young man's death.
"Step" One of numerous hot docs in Park City, Amanda Lipitz’s opus follows a team of step dancers in Baltimore — an inspiring group of inner-city girls living in the midst of social unrest.
"To the Bone" Marti Noxon, a longtime symbol of female empowerment in TV for her work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "UnREAL," makes her feature directorial debut with a pitch-black comedy about her own struggle with anorexia. The film stars Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves.
"Landline" Director Gillian Robespierre reunites with her "Obvious Child" star Jenny Slate for a tale of lying, cheating and Manhattanite family bonds. Slate produces; Edie Falco, John Turturro, Finn Wittrock and Jay Duplass co-star.
"The Polka King" Jack Black descends on Utah with a meaty role as a Bernie Madoff for the indie music scene. In Maya Forbes’ indie Black plays Polish immigrant Jan Lewan — who became the “King of Pennsylvania Polka” in the 1990s, bribing and cheating investors along the way.
"The Little Hours" Director Jeff Baena continues to surprise, this time with a quiet riot of a film about extremely misbehaving nuns in an Italian hamlet. Reunited with his real-life girlfriend and star Aubrey Plaza ("Life After Beth") and producer Liz Destro, "Little Hours" sees a medieval convent go insane after a sexy day laborer (Dave Franco) moves in.
"Golden Exits" Director Alex Ross Perry and star Emily Browning help bring two infighting New York families together. A prototypical indie drama with pedigree, it co-stars Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloe Sevigny, Adam Horowitz and Analeigh Tipton.
"Newness" Drake Doremus ("Like Crazy") returns to Sundance with another drama about young romance. This time, his "Equals" star Nicholas Hoult and newcomer Laia Costa play a contemporary L.A. couple navigating "a social media-driven hookup culture," whose relationship pushes multiple boundaries.