The 2024 Sundance Film Festival recently came to a close. As the largest independent film fest in the country, all eyes are on Park City, Utah every January. Major successes from Sundance in recent years include Coda in 2021 – which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars – as well as the beloved Past Lives, Celine Song’s beautiful directorial debut which received a couple nods from the Academy this year, including Best Picture. If the festival’s history is any indication, we can expect to be hearing a lot more in the coming months from some of the 2024 Sundance selections. Keep an eye out for some of these titles.
In the Summers
Alessandra Lacorazza’s semi-autobiographical film In the Summers was awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, as well as the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic for Lacorazza in her debut feature. Film critic Rosa Parra of The Latino Slant says that In the Summers, “beautifully depicts how people change, learn and grow throughout multiple stages of their lives while also depicting the reality many Latino families experience.”
A Real Pain
Jesse Eisenberg continues his foray into a career behind the camera with A Real Pain, in which he writes, directs, produces, and stars. Co-starring Emmy-winner Kieran Culkin, this family dramedy explores the journey of cousins David (Eisenberg) and Benji Kaplan (Culkin) as they travel to Poland in the wake of their grandmother’s death and reckon with unresolved trauma from their lives. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic at Sundance, Searchlight Pictures acquired rights for Eisenberg’s film, set for a 2024 theatrical release.
Winner of the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble and the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Didi is written, directed, and produced by Sean Wang in his first feature-length picture. (Wang was also recently nominated for an Oscar for his documentary short Nai Nai & Wài Pó). Focus Features scooped up Wang’s coming-of-age flick Didi on the heels of its Sundance success.
I Saw the TV Glow
Written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun and produced by Emma Stone and Dave McCrary, the psychological horror drama I Saw the TV Glow has been picked up for release by A24. Film critic Brian Tallerico of the Chicago Film Critics Association and RogerEbert.com praised “some of the strongest visuals I’ll see this year” in this “mesmerizing and unsettling” film starring Justice Smith and Brigitte Lundy-Paine.
The feature film directorial debut from India Donaldson Good One has been lauded as a brilliant character study embodied by the breakout lead performance from Lily Collias. The filmmaking vision of Donaldson has drawn comparisons to the works of Kelly Reichardt (whose debut film River of Grass was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1994).
Other notable films from Sundance 2024:
Love Lies Bleeding, directed by Rose Glass, co-written by Glass and Weronika Tofilska, and starring Kristen Stewart, Katy M. O’Brian, and Ed Harris.
Thelma, written and directed by Josh Margolin, starring June Squibb.
My Old Ass, written and directed by Megan Park, starring Aubrey Plaza and Maddie Ziegler.
Presence, directed by Steven Soderbergh, written by David Koepp, and starring Lucy Liu and Julia Fox.
Love Me, written and directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero, starring Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun.