Just to remind everyone what a bellwether of LGBT cinema it is—last year’s Sundance Film Festival brought us the U.S. (and often World) premieres of such exciting LGBT films of 2014 as Appropriate Behavior, The Foxy Merkins and the Oscar-shortlisted The Case Against 8, just to mention a few. So basically you can expect that many of the films listed below will become the hits of 2015 !
This year’s festival runs January 22-February 1 in Park City, Utah. Nearly 120 films will be shown (selected from amongst the more than 12,000 submissions the festival received this year: approximately 4,000 features and 8,000 shorts). Here’s a quick A-Z list (these are the festival’s official descriptions from their LGBT film list), click thru on the titles to investigate further. And if you are actually going to attend the festival don’t miss the annual Outfest Queer Brunch on Sunday, January 25th from 11-1 at the Grubsteak Restaurant (but be sure to email Outfest to get on the list so you can actually get in).
The Amina Profile / Canada (Director: Sophie Deraspe) — During the Arab revolution, a love story between two women—a Canadian and a Syrian American—turns into an international sociopolitical thriller spotlighting media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet. World Documentary section.
Grandma / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Paul Weitz) — Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott. Premieres section.
Larry Kramer in Love and Anger / U.S.A. (Director: Jean Carlomusto) — Author, activist, and playwright Larry Kramer is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America, a political firebrand who gave voice to the outrage and grief that inspired gay men and lesbians to fight for their lives. At 78, this complicated man still commands our attention. U.S. Documentary section.
The Royal Road / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson) — This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes. Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. New Frontier section.
The Summer of Sangaile / Lithuania, France, Holland (Director and screenwriter: Alanté Kavaïté) — Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her age at the summer aeronautical show, nearby her parents’ lakeside villa. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process finds in her teenage love, the only person that truly encourages her to fly. Cast: Julija Steponaitytė, Aistė Diržiūtė. World Dramatic section.
Tig / U.S.A. (Directors: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York, Screenwriter: Jennifer Arnold) — This documentary explores comedian Tig Notaro‘s extraordinary journey as her life unfolds in grand and unexpected ways, all while she is battling a life-threatening illness and falling in love. Documentary Premieres section.
For complete information about all the other great movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival please visit the official website.
Jenni Olson (@JenniOlsonSF) is VP of e-commerce at WolfeVideo.com and has been writing about LGBT film since 1986. She is a card-carrying Sundance Film Festival member and is now a five-time festival alum as she will be attending this year with the world premiere of her new film, The Royal Road. This piece is cross-posted on FilmmakerMagazine.com, Queerty.com and AfterEllen.com—whichever of these you’re NOT currently reading warrants your attention as well.