Sundance Film Festival’s 2021 Lineup Includes Films From Robin Wright, Questlove and Edgar Wright

50% of the 140 features, shorts and episodic projects were directed by women, and 51% by artists of color

Last Updated: December 15, 2020 @ 12:07 PM

AWARDS BEAT

The directorial debuts of actress Robin Wright and musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and a documentary from Edgar Wright will be among the new films screening at the largely virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Sundance organizers announced on Tuesday.

Robin Wright’s “Land,” starring Wright, Demian Bichir and Kim Dickens and set in the Rocky Mountains, will premiere at Sundance in advance of its Feb. 12 release from Focus Features. Questlove’s “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” is a documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival, which drew 300,000 people in the summer of 1969. Edgar Wright’s “The Sparks Brothers” is about Ron and Russell Mael, the two brothers who founded the rock band Sparks.

The Sundance lineup, which was revealed in its entirety, will consist of 72 feature films, 50 shorts, four indie episodic series and 14 “new frontier” projects. The films will screen on Sundance’s online platform, with each one having a live online premiere, and also in “Satellite Screens” in more than two dozen cities around the country.

The slate of 140 films is fewer than usual for Sundance, but the festival itself was shortened to seven days from its usual 11-day run.

As usual, Sundance will present a small number of films on opening night, which is Jan. 28. Those include two narrative features in competition, Sian Heder’s “CODA” and Baz Poonpiriya’s “One for the Road”; the documentaries “Summer of Soul,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee” and Nanfu Wang’s “In the Same Breath”; and a midnight film, Prano Bailey-Bond’s “Censor.”

Across the full Sundance slate of 140 features, shorts and episodic projects, 50% of the selections were directed by women. Artists of color were responsible for 51% of the selections, while 15% came from filmmakers who identify as LGBTQ.

The Premieres section, which includes some of Sundance’s highest-profile films, includes Robin Wright’s “Land,” as well as Edgar Wright’s “The Sparks Brothers,” a documentary about Ron and Russell Mael and the rock band Sparks; Ben Wheatley’s “In the Earth,” set in a time when a virus is spreading across the planet; Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones’ “How It Ends,” with Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen and Helen Hunt; Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s “My Name Is Pauli Murray,” a doc about the non-binary, Black lawyer and activist; Marilyn Agrelo’s “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street”; and Lucy Walker’s “Bring Your Own Brigade,” a documentary investigating historically large

wildfires.

It also includes “Any Tan: Unintended Memoir,” a doc about writer Amy Tan from director James Redford, the son of Sundance founder Robert Redford.

The U.S. Dramatic Competition section consists of 10 films, including work by Nikole Beckwith (“Together Together,” with Ed Helms), Rebecca Hall (“Passing,” with Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga) and Jerrod Carmichael (“On the Count of Three,” with Tiffany Haddish and Christopher Abbott).

The 10 films in the U.S. Documentary Competition include Jamila Wignot’s “Ailey,” about choreographer Alvin Ailey; Pedro Kos’s “Rebel Hearts,” about nuns standing up to the Catholic Church; and Mariem Perez Riera’s biographical documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It.”

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will run from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. Tickets and passes will go on sale on Jan. 7.

Additional information about the programming, as well as a list of all the shorts in the festival lineup, is available at sundance.org/festival.

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
CODA / U.S.A., Sian Heder. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.

I Was a Simple Man / U.S.A., Christopher Makoto Yogi. Cast: Steve Iwamoto, Constance Wu, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai, Tim Chiou, Boonyanudh Jiyarom.

Jockey / U.S.A., Clint Bentley. Cast: Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias.

John and the Hole / U.S.A., Pascual Sisto. Cast: Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Ehle, Taissa Farmiga

Mayday / U.S.A., Karen Cinorre. Cast: Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Havana Rose Liu, Soko, Theodore Pellerin, Juliette Lewis

On the Count of Three / U.S.A., Jerrod Carmichael. Cast: Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Tiffany Haddish, J.B. Smoove, Lavell Crawford, Henry Winkler

Passing / U.S.A., Rebecca Hall. Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Alexander Skarsgard, Bill Camp

Superior / U.S.A., Erin Vassilopoulos. Cast: Alessandra Mesa, Ani Mesa, Pico Alexander, Jake Hoffman, Stanley Simons

Together Together / U.S.A., Nikole Beckwith. Cast: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Tig Notaro, Julio Torres, Anna Konkle

Wild Indian / U.S.A., Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. Cast: Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Jesse Eisenberg, Kate Bosworth, Phoenix Wilson, Julian Gopal.

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Ailey / U.S.A., Jamila Wignot
All Light, Everywhere / U.S.A., Theo Anthony
At the Ready / U.S.A., Maisie Crow
Cusp / U.S.A., Parker Hill, Isabel Bethencourt
Homeroom / U.S.A., Peter Nicks
Rebel Hearts / U.S.A., Pedro Kos
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It / U.S.A., Mariem Perez Riera
Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) / U.S.A., Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Try Harder! / U.S.A., Debbie Lum
Users / U.S.A., Natalia Almada

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet / Argentina, Ana Katz. Cast: Daniel Katz, Julieta Zylberberg, Valeria Lois, Mirella Pascual, Carlos Portaluppi
El Planeta / U.S.A., Spain, Amalia Ulman. Cast: Amalia Ulman, Ale Ulman, Nacho Vigalondo, Zhou Chen, Saoirse Bertram
Fire in the Mountains / India, Ajitpal Singh. Cast: Vinamrata Rai, Chandan Bisht, Mayank Singh Jaira, Harshita Tewari, Sonal Jha
Hive / Kosovo, Switzerland, Macedonia, Albania, Blerta Basholli. Cast: Yllka Gashi, Cun Lajci, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi, Kaona Sylejmani
Human Factors / Germany, Italy, Denmark, Ronny Trocker. Cast: Sabine Timoteo, Mark Waschke, Jule Hermann, Wanja Valentin Kube, Hannes Perkmann, Daniel Sejourne
Luzzu / Malta, Alex Camilleri Cast: Jesmark Scicluna, Michela Farrugia, David Scicluna
One for the Road / China, Hong Kong, Thailand. Baz Poonpiriya. Cast: Tor Thanapob, Ice Natara, Violette Wautier, Aokbab Chutimon, Ploi Horwang, Noon Siraphun
The Pink Cloud / Brazil, Iuli Gerbase. Cast: Renata de Lelis, Eduardo Mendonca
Pleasure / Sweden, Netherlands, France, Ninja Thyberg. Cast: Sofia Kappel, Revika Anne Reustle, Evelyn Claire, Chris Cock, Dana DeArmond, Kendra Spade
Prime Time / Poland, Jakub Piatek. Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Magdalena Poplawska, Andrzej Kłak, Malgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Dobromir Dymecki, Monika Frajczyk

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Faya Dayi / Ethiopia, U.S.A., Jessica Beshir
Flee / Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Inconvenient Indian / Canada, Michelle Latimer
Misha and the Wolves / United Kingdom, Belgium, Sam Hobkinson
The Most Beautiful Boy in the World / Sweden, Kristina Lindstroom, Kristian Petri
Playing With Sharks / Australia, Sally Aitken, Producer: Bettina Dalton
President / Denmark, U.S.A., Norway, Camilla Nielsson
Sabaya / Sweden, Hogir Hirorisex
Taming the Garden / Switzerland, Germany, Georgia, Salome Jashi
Writing With Fire / India, Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh

NEXT
The Blazing World / U.S.A., Carlson Young. Cast: Udo Kier, Carlson Young, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, John Karna, Soko
Cryptozoo / U.S.A., Dash Shaw. Cast: Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Angeliki Papoulia, Zoe Kazan, Peter Stormare, Grace Zabriskie
First Date / U.S.A., Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp. Cast: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Ryan Quinn Adams, Brandon Kraus
Ma Belle, My Beauty / U.S.A., France, Marion Hill. Cast: Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guignard, Sivan Noam Shimon
R#J / U.S.A., Carey Williams. Cast: Camaron Engels, Francesca Noel, David Zayas, Diego Tinoco, Siddiq Saunderson, Russell Hornsby
Searchers / U.S.A., Pacho Velez
Son of Monarchs / Mexico, U.S.A., Alexis Gambis. Cast: Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Alexia Rasmussen, Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez, Noe Hernandez, Paulina Gaitan, William Mapother
Strawberry Mansion / U.S.A., Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley. Cast: Penny Fuller, Kentucker Audley, Grace Glowicki, Reed Birney, Linas Phillips, Constance Shulman
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair / U.S.A., Jane Schoenbrun. Cast: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers

PREMIERES
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir / U.S.A., James Redford
Bring Your Own Brigade / U.S.A., Lucy Walker
Eight for Silver / U.S.A., France, Sean Ellis. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran, Aine Rose Daly
How it Ends / U.S.A., Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister-Jones. Cast: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny, Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris
In The Earth / United Kingdom, Ben Wheatley. Cast: Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires, Reece Shearsmith
In The Same Breath / U.S.A., Nanfu Wang
Land / U.S.A., Robin Wright. Cast: Robin Wright, Demian Bichir, Kim Dickens
Marvelous and The Black Hole / U.S.A., Kate Tsang. Cast: Miya Cech, Rhea Perlman, Leonardo Nam, Kannon Omachi, Paulina Lule, Keith Powell
Mass / U.S.A., Kranz. Cast: Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Reed Birne
My Name is Pauli Murray / U.S.A., Betsy West, Julie Cohen
Philly D.A. / U.S.A.,Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar,
Prisoners of the Ghostland / U.S.A., Sion Sono. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes, Bill Moseley, Tak Sakaguchi, Yuzuka Nakaya. World Premiere, Narrative
The Sparks Brothers / United Kingdom, Edgar Wright
Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street / U.S.A., Marilyn Agrelo

MIDNIGHT
Censor / United Kingdom, Prano Bailey-Bond. Cast: Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Michael Smiley
Coming Home in the Dark / New Zealand, James Ashcroft. Cast: Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell, Matthias Luafutu
A Glitch in the Matrix / U.S.A., Rodney Ascher
Knocking / Sweden, Frida Kempff. Cast: Cecilia Milocco
Mother Schmuckers / Belgium , Lenny Guit, Harpo Guit. Cast: Harpo Guit, Maxi Delmelle, Claire Bodson, Mathieu Amalric, Habib Ben Tanfous
Violation / Canada, Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli. Cast: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe, Obi Abili, Jasmin Geljo, Cynthia Ashperger

SPOTLIGHT
Night of the Kings / France, Ivory Coast, Canada, Senegal, Philippe Lacote. Cast: Kone Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Digbeu Jean Cyrille, Rasmane Ouedraogo, Issaka Sawadogo, Denis Lavant.
The World to Come / U.S.A., Mona Fastvold. Cast: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck, Christopher Abbott

SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Life in a Day 2020 / United Kingdom, U.S.A., Kevin Macdonald

NEW FRONTIER
4 Feet High VR / Argentina, France; Lead Artists: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardon. Cast: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti.
7 Sounds / U.S.A.; Lead Artist: Sam Green
Beyond the Breakdown / U.S.A.; Lead Artists: Tony Patrick, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Grace Lee, Key Collaborators: Jesse Cahn Thompson, Aldo Velasco
The Changing Same: Episode 1 / U.S.A.; Lead Artists: Michele Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat,
Fortune! / France, Canada; Lead Artists: Brett Gaylor, Nicolas Bourniquel, Arnaud Colinart, Key Collaborators: Marianne Levy-Leblond, Rob McLaughlin, Dash Spielgeman, Rolito, Clement Cheriot. Cast: Frank Bourassa.
Namoo / U.S.A.; Lead Artist: Erick Oh,
Nightsss / Poland; Lead Artists: Weronika Lewandowska, Sandra Frydrysiak
Prison X – Chapter 1 : The Devil and The Sun / Australia, Bolivia, India; Lead Artists: Violeta Ayala, Alap Parikh, Maria Corvera Vargas, Roly Elias. Cast: Violeta Ayala, Genesis Owusu, Celina Debassey, Anamaria Gomez Jaramillo, Jesse Odom, Nicole Ukelele
Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran / United Kingdom, Iran; Lead Artists: Javaad Alipoor, Kirsty Housley, Key Collaborator: Nick Sweeting. Cast: Javaad Alipoor, Peyvand Sadeghian.
Secret Garden / U.S.A.; Lead Artist: Stephanie Dinkins. Cast: Dayne Board, Erlene Curry, Tianna Mendez, Melissa Moore, Brandi Porter, Lisa Sainville
Tinker / U.S.A.; Lead Artist: Lou Ward. Cast: Randy Dixon.
To Miss The Ending / United Kingdom; Lead Artists: Anna West, David Callanan. Cast: Charlotte Berry, Michael Dodds, Houmi Miura, Ben Kulvichit, Anna West.
Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler / U.S.A.; lead Artists: Sophia Nahli Allison, idris brewster, Stephanie Dinkins, Ari Melenciano, Terence Nance
Weirdo Night / U.S.A.; Lead Artists: Jibz Cameron, Mariah Garnett. Cast: Patti Harrison, Smiling Beth, Morgan Bassichis, Sarah Squirm, Hedia Maron, Blasia Discoteca

INDIE SERIES PROGRAM
4 Feet High / Argentina, France, Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan. Cast: Marisol Agostina Irigoyen, Florencia Licera, Marcio Ramses, Natalia Di Cienzo, Francisca Spinotti
Seeds of Deceit / Netherlands, Miriam Guttmann
These Days / U.S.A., Adam Brooks. Cast: Marianne Rendon, William Jackson Harper, Amy Brenneman, Parker Young
Would You Rather / France, Germany, Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret. Cast: Fanta Kebe, Shirel Nataf, Zakaria Lazab, Mouctar Diawara. North American Premiere