At the end of the year, as we celebrate the best of the past 12 months, it’s good to remember just how much we loved in cinema came out of the first month’s granddaddy of independent film fests, Sundance. This January, we saw the premieres of Bo Burnham’s big-screen directorial debut, Eighth Grade, as well as the surreal satire from Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You. 2018 Sundance also debuted David Wain’s National Lampoon biopic of Doug Kenney, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Jason Reitman’s Tully, and Jason Mantzoukas’s first starring vehicle, The Long Dumb Road. That’s not to mention all the great documentaries and horror flicks that held world premieres in Park City.
All great reasons to look forward to January 2019 and what Sundance has to offer this time around. For the 2019 Festival, 112 feature-length films have been selected, representing 33 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. These films were selected from a record high of 14,259 submissions including 4,018 feature-length films.
What’s in store on the comedy tip?
Big Time Adolescence / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jason Orley, Producers: Jeremy Garelick, Mickey Liddell, Pete Shiliamon, Mason Novick, Will Phelps) — A suburban teenager comes of age under the destructive guidance of his best friend, a charismatic college dropout.Cast: Pete Davidson, Griffin Gluck, Jon Cryer, Sydney Sweeney, Emily Arlook, Colson Baker. World Premiere
Brittany Runs A Marathon / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Paul Downs Colaizzo, Producers: Matthew Plouffe, Tobey Maguire, Margot Hand) — A woman living in New York takes control of her life – one city block at a time. Cast:Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, Micah Stock, Alice Lee. World Premiere
Imaginary Order / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Debra Eisenstadt, Producers: Debra Eisenstadt, Cosmos Kiindarius) — The sexual, psychological and moral unraveling of an obsessive-compulsive suburban mom. Cast: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Christine Woods, Max Burkholder, Steve Little, Catherine Curtin, Kate Alberts. World Premiere
Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ben Berman, Producers: Miranda Bailey, Ben Berman, Russell Groves, Amanda Marshall, Jacob Perlin) — What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician — “The Amazing Johnathan” — becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion. Cast: Johnathan Szeles. World Premiere
Late Night / U.S.A. (Director: Nisha Ganatra, Screenwriter: Mindy Kaling, Producers: Ben Browning, Howard Klein, Jillian Apfelbaum, Mindy Kaling) — Legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.Cast: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy Ryan. World Premiere
Greener Grass / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Producer: Natalie Metzger) — A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance. Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden. World Premiere
Mope / U.S.A. (Director: Lucas Heyne, Screenwriters: Lucas Heyne, Zack Newkirk, Producers: Kelly Hayes, Brian Cooper, Kern Saxton, Danny Roth) — Two ‘mopes’ – the lowest-level male performers in the porn industry – set their sights on an impossible dream: stardom. Cast: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey, Max Adler, David Arquette, Tonya Cornelisse. World Premiere
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 24 through Feb. 3, 2019.