The Sundance Film Festival has always been a great way to start the year for film buffs. And — after two years of being a completely virtual event due to the pandemic — in 2023, the festival has returned with a new hybrid format. That means there’s still an online portion, but the in-person part is back, with attendees descending on Park City, Utah, to catch movies in theaters. In the past few years, notable films like Hereditary and After Yang have made a splash at the festival, and in 2023, there will be premieres like The Pod Generation, Infinity Pool, and Cat Person (based on the New Yorker short story) to keep an eye on.
The Verge will be watching as many Sundance movies as humanly possible and bringing you the latest and most interesting developments right here.
Feb 4Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore
11 great movies from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
It was a busy festival filled with gruesome horror, inventive sci-fi, and plenty more films that will be coming to theaters and streaming services in the coming months.
Mami Wata is a breathtaking modern myth about faith and technological progress
Director C.J. Obasi’s Mami Wata is a monochromatic feast for the eyes that wants you to think about what it means to believe in something larger than yourself.
Talk To Me is a potent dose of unrelenting teen horror
A familiar premise is elevated by a combination of brutal violence and urgent pacing.
Jonathan Majors is a bodybuilder yearning to be truly seen in Magazine Dreams
Jonathan Majors delivers an electrifying performance in director Elijah Bynum’s gut-wrenching Sundance drama about an amateur bodybuilder who dreams of more than just fame.
In My Mother’s Skin is a truly frightening and gruesome fairy tale
The Philippine horror film premiered at Sundance, and Amazon is bringing it to Prime Video later in 2023.
The Pod Generation envisions the future as an egalitarian dystopia of the soul
The Pod Generation wants you to really think about what ‘having it all’ means in a society defined by workplace productivity and an obsession with technology.
Landscape With Invisible Hand imagines an alien invasion as a financial disaster
A low-budget sci-fi flick where the aliens bring wealth inequality instead of warfare.
Birth/Rebirth takes the Frankenstein myth back to its feminist horror roots
Director Laura Moss’ Birth/Rebirth taps into the spirit of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to tell a haunting story about motherhood, mortality, and reproductive autonomy.
- AApple jumps into the Sundance frenzy.
Not be outdone by Amazon and Netflix, both of which have scooped up new films at Sundance, Apple is now getting in on the action. Deadline reports that the company has acquired the rights to the musical drama Flora and Son from director John Carney. It’s particularly notable because a previous Sundance acquisition from Apple, CODA, went on to win best picture at the 2022 Oscars.
Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out has a long name and a lot of heart
A family-friendly sci-fi feature that gives a charming, goofy spin on some familiar beats.
- ANetflix keeps shopping at Sundance.
After picking up the rights to the horror film Run Rabbit Run, Netflix has made another acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, snagging the psychological thriller Fair Play, helmed by writer and director Chloe Domont. Deadline reports the deal is “in the $20 million range.”
Infinity Pool is a surreal and chaotic descent into depravity
Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth help carry this brutal mashup of sci-fi and horror from director Brandon Cronenberg.
- CPolite Society looks like it might be Sundance’s most kick-ass debut.
Out of context, the concept of bending it like John Wick might not make all that much sense, but that’s exactly the energy all throughout a new trailer for director Nida Manzoor’s debut film Polite Society premiering at Sundance this year.
Set in London, Polite Society tells the story of a young woman who sees her sister’s sudden and inexplicable impending wedding as an opportunity to finally become an action movie stuntwoman — the kind capable of saving a loved one from a marriage they don’t really want.
- CHey so, Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out?
There might not actually be any extraterrestrials in director Jake Van Wagoner’s Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out. But a new trailer that’s dropped ahead of its Sundance debut makes the movie’s story about a space-obsessed boy convinced that his parents have been taken off-planet, and a neighbor who’s willing to hear him out seem like a heartwarming, Spielbergian sort of affair.
- CNetflix is calling dibs on Daina Reid’s Run Rabbit Run.
Ahead of its midnight premiere at this year’s Sundance, the rights to XYZ Films’ Run Rabbit Run from director Daina Reid (The Handmaid’s Tale, Space Force) have reportedly been acquired by Netflix.
The Australian psychological horror tells the story of a woman and her daughter struggling to hold onto one another after a mysterious and ominous rabbit turns up one set, and a series of strange happenings begin to tear the family apart.
- ALet the Sundance acquisitions begin.
The Sundance Film Festival isn’t just a great place to catch the latest indie films, it’s also where companies — include the big streaming services — go shopping for new content. This year’s edition just started, and we already have one acquisition: Amazon bought the rights to Filipino horror fairy tale In My Mother’s Skin, which is due to hit Prime Video by the end of 2023.
- AThe 2023 Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow.
And I’ll be covering it alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, so expect plenty of reviews and thoughts over the next 10 days, as we gorge ourselves on movies. One of the premieres I’m most excited about is Birth/Rebirth, from director Laura Moss, a reimagining of Frankenstein that just got a very cool poster that has me even more intrigued.