Sundance 2019 Includes 'Native Son,' Viola Davis In 'Troupe Zero,' Lupita Nyong'o In 'Little Monsters' And More

November 28th 2018

Sundance Institute announced the feature films that will be screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Salt Lake City, at Sundance Mountain Resort from January 24 - February 3.

One hundred twelve films will screen across 10 categories including the U.S. competition, world competition and NEXT.

Of note, given Shadow and Act's specific interests, we're listing the feature films that are from Black filmmakers or feature Black talent in prominent roles.

Check them out below and view the full list here.


Native Sondirected by Rashid Johnson and written by Suzan Lori-Parks

WHO STARS: Ashton Sanders, Sanaa Lathan, Kiki Layne, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Bill Camp, Lamar Johnson, Jerod Haynes

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: In this modern reimagining of Richard Wright’s seminal novel, a young African-American man named Bigger Thomas takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family, a decision that will change the course of his life forever.

Troupe Zero

WHO STARS: Allison Janney, Viola Davis, McKenna Grace, Mike Epps

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troupe of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond.

Little Monsters

WHO STARS: Lupita Nyong'oJosh Gad

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: A film dedicated to all the kindergarten teachers who motivate children to learn, instill them with confidence and stop them from being devoured by zombies.

Relive

WHO STARS: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson, Alfred Molina, Bryan Tyree Henry

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: After a man’s family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He’s not sure if she’s a ghost or if he’s going mad — but as it turns out, he’s not. Instead, her calls help him rewrite history.

Lucedirected by Julius Onah

WHO STARS: Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Tim Roth, Astro Bradley, Marsha Stephanie Blake

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:   A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Winddirected by Chiwetel Ejiofor (directorial debut)

WHO STARS: Ejiofor, Noma Dumezweni

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. Based on the true story of William Kamkwamba.

Selah and the Spadesdirected by Tayarisha Poe

WHO STARS: Lovie Simone, Jesse Williams, Gina Torres, Jharrel Jerome 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Five factions run the underground life of the prestigious Haldwell boarding school. At the head of the most powerful faction - The Spades - sits Selah Summers. By turns charming and callous, she chooses whom to keep close and whom to cut loose, walking the fine line between being feared and loved.

The Mustang

WHO STARS: Matthias Schoenaerts, Connie Britton, Bruce Dern, Jason Mitchell

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: While participating in a rehabilitation program training wild mustangs, a convict at first struggles to connect with the horses and his fellow inmates, but learns to confront his violent past as he soothes an especially feisty horse.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

WHO STARS: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Tichina Arnold, Mike Epps, Danny Glover, Finn Wittrock

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:  Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.

Clemencydirected by Chinonye Chukwu

WHO STARS: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Brooks, LaMonica Garrett, Wendell Pierce 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Years of carrying out executions has taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another death row inmate, she confronts the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

Sweetheartdirected by JD Dillard

WHO STARS: Kiersey Clemons 

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Jenn has washed ashore a small tropical island, and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night.

Brittany Runs A Marathon

WHO STARS: Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, Micah Stock, Alice Lee.

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: A woman living in New York takes control of her life – one city block at a time.

Prematuredirected by Rashad Ernesto Green

WHO STARS: Zora Howard, Joshua Boone, Michelle Wilson, Alexis Marie Wint, Imani Lewis, Tashiana Washington

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah; her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love against a changing Harlem landscape.

The Last Tree, directed by Shola Amoo

WHO STARS: Sam Adewunmi, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Tai Golding

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Femi is a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take.

Mope

WHO STARS: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey, Max Adler, David Arquette, Tonya Cornelisse.

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Two 'mopes' – the lowest-level male performers in the porn industry – set their sights on an impossible dream: stardom.

The Wolf Hour

WHO STARS: Naomi Watts, Emory Cohen, Jennifer Ehle, Kelvin Harrison Jr.

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: Once a known counterculture figure, June E. Leigh now lives in self-imposed exile in her South Bronx apartment during the incendiary '77 Summer of Sam. When an unseen tormentor begins exploiting June’s weaknesses, her insular universe begins to unravel.

Honey Boy

WHO STARS: Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, FKA Twigs

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION A child TV star and his ex-rodeo clown father face their stormy past through time and cinema.

The Sound of Silence

WHO STARS:  Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones, Tony Revolori, Austin Pendleton

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: A successful "house tuner" in New York City, who calibrates the sound in people's homes in order to adjust their moods, meets a client with a problem he can't solve

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am    

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career. Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cooldirected by Stanley Nelson

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:  A visionary, innovator, and originator who defied categorization and embodied the word cool: a foray into the life and career of musical and cultural icon Miles Davis.

Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins as the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

Pahokee

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year.

by Trey Mangum on November 28th 2018

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