The 2022 Sundance Film Festival is almost here. Similar to last year’s event, this year’s festival will host screenings and programming online and at arthouses around the U.S.
Originally, Sundance had planned to host a hybrid festival with in-person events this year in Park City, Utah; however, those plans were scrapped in early January due to the surge in omicron cases. The change has forced filmmakers and journalists to refocus on a virtual experience, though as proven last year, the Sundance Film Festival has an established online infrastructure.
The Sundance Film Festival was already the nation’s largest independent film festival, but last year grew its numbers to see its largest-ever audience, thanks to its virtual platform, which allowed fans to join the experience at a lower cost, and without geographic barriers. The event launched acclaimed movies like Summer of Soul and Flee, as well as CODA, which was bought by Apple for $25 million, setting the record for a Sundance acquisition.
There are plenty of buzzy films for audiences to enjoy this year, kicking off another awards season. Find out everything you need to know about the 2022 Sundance Film Festival below.
When Is It?
The 2022 Sundance Film Festival will take place virtually from Jan. 20-30. Those wanting to view films on the big screen still have an opportunity to do so as part of the festival’s Satellite Screens program, which will continue as planned from Jan. 28-30 at theaters in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Kansas, San Diego, Memphis, Seattle and Baltimore.
What Is This Year’s Theme?
According to Sundance Film Festival director of programming Kim Yutani, many of this year’s films follow the theme of “fighting the system.”
“The films we saw this year were really made against the odds, under challenging circumstances, (with filmmakers) being inventive in how they’re telling their stories, in the way they explore intimacy, just creating films in a way that is imaginative,” Yutani said in a recent Zoom interview.
The stresses and events of the past two years seem to have inspired – or at the very least impacted – filmmakers, though Yutani assured audiences that this year’s films also offer a much-needed escape.
“We want films that entertain because it’s a festival,” Yutani shared. “I go to festivals to be entertained, but also to have those very significant, meaningful moments… where the conversations are inspired by the films that we are seeing, the filmmakers we are discovering, the work that is launched at Sundance that we will continue to talk about throughout the year through, hopefully, awards season.”
Which Films Will Be Screened?
Films that fit within the “fighting the system” theme include Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, a documentary by Rory Kennedy that explores two deadly Boeing 737 crashes and the cost of human life through corporate greed; God’s Country, which stars Thandiwe Newton as a Black college professor fighting prejudice at every turn; and Master, a drama following three Black women at an elite New England university.
The festival will also premiere Resurrection, a suspenseful film starring Rebecca Hall as a single mother haunted by her past, as well as a collection of films by first-time feature film directors.
Audiences looking to get their documentary fix won’t be disappointed, as this year’s lineup includes Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chize Ozah; The Princess by Ed Perkins on Princess Diana; La Guerra Civil by Eva Longoria Bastón on the rivalry between boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez; Lucy and Desi by Amy Poehler on how the groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy changed Hollywood; and We Need to Talk About Cosby by W. Kamau Bell, which looks at the public and private persona of Bill Cosby.
How Can I Get Tickets?
Tickets to the virtual festival are available starting at $20, for a single day ticket, to a $300 package for access to eight award-winning feature film screenings during Awards Weekend, with several other options in between. (The $750 Festival Package, which includes 10 tickets to feature film screenings, is sold out.) Get more information on how to purchase, transfer and select tickets with Sundance’s helpful guide.