Every year, Sundance welcomes and presents a slew of movies generating festival buzz in Park City, Utah. In the past, Sundance has presented venerated films, such as Fruitvale Station, Winter’s Bone, Cutie and the Boxer, Whiplash, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, to name a few. Safe to say, Sundance is one of the festivals to watch for upcoming standouts. Sundance 2015 was no different. Many films came out on top and grabbed the attention of both critics and audiences. Aside from bringing compelling stories to the screen, these films show innovative and refreshing visual artistic talent.
Here are some of the winners and definite movies to keep in mind as they are released in this upcoming year:
Me & Earl & the Dying Girl | Winner: U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic
The film took two of the most coveted awards of the night. Don’t underestimate this film for its coming of age storyline; there’s much more to it. Critics claim this film has a lot of heart and wit. Keep this one on your radar!
The Wolfpack | U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Past winners in this category include Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory (2014), Senna (2011), and The Cove (2009). The Wolfpack tells the story of the Angulo brothers from the Lower East Side of Manhattan and their creative relationship to the films they watch. Director Crystal Moselle is given access to dozens of home movies to explore how films have a powerful way to shape the identity of a family.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl | U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography, Brandon Trost
The film sold to Sony Pictures Classics at the festival and was one of the most buzzed about films in the press. This film is an interesting feat for cinematographer Brandon Trost, given that the story is based on Phoebe Glockener’s graphic novel. The transition from graphic novel to feature film is definitely something to look forward to.
Cartel Land | U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography, Matthew Heineman
One of the hardest genres to capture expertly and beautifully is documentary because it is all about perfect timing. The dark and dangerous subject matter of Mexican cartels definitely does not make circumstances any easier. This film dives into a Mexican anti-cartel group that comes face to face with drug violence and corruption in Arizona.
This film is making a big splash in the headlines. Why? It’s completely shot on an iPhone 5. Writer-director Sean Baker and co. talk about the process of story and shooting techniques.
There are many other films from Sundance this year that are a definite must see so look forward to all the releases coming your way in 2015.