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Sundance announces its lineup for drama and documentary films

Sundance announces its lineup for drama and documentary films

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The 2016 Sundance Film Festival is a little more than a month away, so the Sundance Institute is right on time in announcing the core contenders for the event. Today, Sundance unveiled the films vying for grand jury and audience prizes in the US and World Cinema competitions, as well as the out-of-competition NEXT lineup. Altogether, they make up 65 of the total 120 movies debuting at the festival, with more movies due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Today's lineup features a number of first-time filmmakers along with several recognizable names. Scream Queens' own Nick Jonas is set to appear in Goat, a fratboy vengeance story written by Our Brand Is Crisis director David Gordon Green. Birth of a Nation, starring Beyond the Lights' Nate Parker, is almost sure to make a stir, since it concerns Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion. As for documentaries, Holy Hell has the air of mystery that's catnip for festival-goers, featuring the archival footage compiled by an unnamed director about a Hollywood secret society. Finally, Weiner promises to give an uncompromising look into Anthony Weiner's scandalous 2013 mayoral campaign.

Big names and big ideas

Sundance already announced the first nine films debuting at the festival last week. Those nine movies are strictly horror and genre films, and will include Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp's Yoga Hosers, which originally screened at San Diego Comic-Con last summer.

Sundance is the largest indie film festival in the US, and has the distinction of being a launchpad for great films and fresh filmmakers every year. In 2015, the event saw the debuts of such favorites as Dope, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and current Oscar contender Tangerine. Sundance 2016 will run from January 21st to the 31st.

US Dramatic Competition

  • As You Are (Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte | Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton)
  • The Birth of a Nation (Director: Nate Parker | Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer)
  • Christine (Director: Antonio Campos | Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall)
  • Equity (Director: Meera Menon | Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy)
  • The Free World (Director: Jason Lew | Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer)
  • Goat (Director: Andrew Neel | Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer)
  • The Intervention (Director: Clea DuVall | Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders)
  • Joshy (Director: Jeff Baena | Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally)
  • Lovesong (Director: So Yong Kim | Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough)
  • Morris from America (Director: Chad Hartigan | Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson)
  • Other People (Director: Chris Kelly | Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon)
  • Southside With You (Director: Richard Tanne | Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers)
  • Spa Night (Director: Andrew Ahn | Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim)
  • Swiss Army Man (Directors: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan | Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe)
  • Tallulah (Director: Sian Heder | Cast: Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Uzo Aduba)
  • White Girl (Director: Elizabeth Wood | Cast: Morgan Saylor, Brian 'Sene' Marc)

US Documentary Competition

  • Audrie & Daisy (Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk)
  • Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Director: Jeff Feuerzeig)
  • The Bad Kids (Directors: Keith Fulton, Lou Pepe)
  • Gleason (Director: Clay Tweel)
  • Holy Hell (Director: undisclosed)
  • How to Let Go of the World (and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change) (Director: Josh Fox)
  • Jim (Director: Brian Oakes)
  • Kate Plays Christine (Director: Robert Greene)
  • Kiki (Director: Sara Jordenö)
  • Life, Animated (Director: Roger Ross Williams)
  • Newtown (Director: Kim A. Snyder)
  • NUTS! (Director: Penny Lane)
  • Suited (Director: Jason Benjamin)
  • Trapped (Director: Dawn Porter)
  • Uncle Howard (Director: Aaron Brookner)
  • Weiner (Directors: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg)

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

  • Belgica Director: Felix van Groeningen | Cast: Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir
  • Between Sea and Land (Directors: Manolo Cruz, Carlos del Castillo | Cast: Manolo Cruz, Vicky Hernandéz)
  • Brahman Naman (Director: Q, Screenwriter: S. Ramachandran | Cast: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania)
  • A Good Wife (Director: Mirjana Karanovic | Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Boris Isakovic)
  • Halal Love (and Sex) (Director: Assad Fouladkar | Cast: Darine Hamze, Rodrigue Sleiman)
  • The Lure (Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska | Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska)
  • Male Joy, Female Love (Director: Yao Huang | Cast: Nan Yu, Daizhen Ying)
  • Mammal (Director: Rebecca Daly | Cast: Rachel Griffiths, Barry Keoghan)
  • Mi Amiga del Parque (Director: Ana Katz | Cast: Julieta Zylberberg, Ana Katz)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Director: Alejandro Fernández | Cast: Agustín Silva, Alejandro Goic)
  • Sand Storm (Director: Elite Zexer | Cast: Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal-Asfour)
  • Wild (Director: Nicolette Krebitz | Cast: Lilith Stangenberg, Georg Friedrich)

World Cinema Documentary Competition

  • All These Sleepless Nights (Director: Michal Marczak)
  • A Flag Without a Country (Director: Bahman Ghobadi)
  • Hooligan Sparrow (Director: Nanfu Wang)
  • The Land of the Enlightened (Director: Pieter-Jan De Pue)
  • The Lovers and the Despot (Directors: Robert Cannan, Ross Adam)
  • Plaza de la Soledad (Director: Maya Goded)
  • The Settlers (Director: Shimon Dotan)
  • Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (Director: Kevin Macdonald)
  • Sonita (Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami)
  • We Are X (Director: Stephen Kijak)
  • When Two Worlds Collide (Directors: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel)


  • THE 4TH (Director: Andre Hyland | Cast: Andre Hyland, Johnny Pemberton)
  • Dark Night (Director: Tim Sutton | Cast: Robert Jumper, Anna Rose)
  • The Eyes of My Mother (Director: Nicolas Pesce | Cast: Kika Magalhães, Will Brill)
  • First Girl I Loved (Director: Kerem Sanga | Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand)
  • The Fits (Director: Anna Rose Holmer | Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett)
  • How To Tell You're A Douchebag (Director: Tahir Jetter | Cast: Charles Brice, DeWanda Wise)
  • Jacqueline (Argentine) (Director: Bernardo Britto | Cast: Camille Rutherford, Wyatt Cenac)
  • The Land (Director: Steven Caple Jr. | Cast: Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Erykah Badu)
  • Operation Avalanche (Director: Matt Johnson | Cast: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams)
  • Sleight (Director: JD Dillard | Cast: Jacob Latimore, Dulé Hill)