by Bailey Pennick
It’s been an epic journey to get here, to the end of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and like any good saga, there have been twists and turns along the way. Even with these shifts, our goal to highlight the newest and most innovative voices in independent filmmaking never wavered, and, for the second year in a row, the Festival has taken place all over the world thanks to our online platform and Satellite Screens.
Over the past 11 days we’ve watched the premieres of 85 features, 59 short films, 6 Indie Episodic, and 15 New Frontier projects. On top of that, we played trivia with other cinema buffs, listened in on conversations with rock stars, discussed the climate crisis, and more.
Check out all of our 2022 Fest coverage below and keep an eye out for Sundance Film Festival releases throughout the year.
We kicked off the Fest this year with an unforgettable Opening Night Festival Welcome featuring warm remarks from Robert Redford, Joana Vicente, Shari Frilot, and Tabitha Jackson. These welcomes were accompanied by the short film Spirals, featuring Carrie Mae Weems, and the world premiere of Sam Green’s 32 Sounds.
- Jesse Eisenberg’s “When You Finish Saving the World” Redefines the Family Drama for the Internet Age
- “A Love Song” Remains in Your Head, Long After the Experience
- “Fire of Love”: Would You Die for Science?
- “Emergency” Is a Hilarious Love Story Trapped in the Real World Tragedy of America
- “The Princess” Lets Footage Speak for Itself
- Horror Meets Rom-Com in “FRESH”
- Dueling Identities: “La Guerra Civil” asks, “What is Mexican Enough?”
- Even “The Worst Person in the World” Deserves a Room of Her Own
Once we were in full swing with mesmerizing premieres and dynamic talks and panels, there was no stopping us, especially because we had Tabitha Jackson as our guide for How to Fest: Daily. When we weren’t glued to our screens for film premieres, we were being inspired by “Calling All Artists: The Climate Crisis Is Recruiting” — an online event presented by Women at Sundance and Produced by Doc Society, Climate Story Unit — and a conversation with Meagan Good presented by Shadow and Act.
- “Leonor Will Never Die” Offers a Genre-Bending Ride
- “After Yang” Is All About Being Quietly Sci-Fi
- Emotional Backstory of Irish Pop Star Sinéad O’Connor Revealed in Documentary
- “Living” Reminds Us to Embrace the Present and the Unknown
- “Mija” Amplifies the Voices and Dreams of Daughters of Immigrants
- “Klondike” Offers a Message of Resilience
- “Gentle”: A Journey of Art and Brutal Truths
- “Free Chol Soo Lee”: Seeking Redemption
- “892” is a Timely Reflection on the Legacy of the United States Military
- Haunting Legacy: “Master” Reckons with Racism in Higher Education
- “Watcher”: When You’re Feeling Alone, You’re Probably Not
- With “Speak No Evil,” the Tafdrup Brothers Set Out to Create “the most unpleasant experience ever”
On our first weekend date of the 2022 Film Festival, we ran the gamut when it came to celebrating new voices, especially in the documentary and horror genres. We also previewed our Satellite Screen program with an in-depth conversation with programmer Basil Tsiokos about the lineup that different indie theaters across the country would be showing in one week’s time.
- “Calendar Girls” Dance Against Invisibility
- Riley Stearns’ Deadpan Style Highlights “Dual”
- “You Won’t Be Alone” Questions What it Means to be an Outsider
- W. Kamau Bell’s “We Need to Talk About Cosby” Makes Engaging with a Difficult Conversation Possible
- “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Expands the Definition of Pleasure
- Amy Poehler’s “Lucy and Desi” Brings the Iconic Pair’s Humanity to Life
- “Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power” Is Fueling Female Empowerment
- Motherhood and the Immigrant Experience Intersect in “Nanny”
- “Babysitter” is a Relentless, Surrealist Satire of Sexual Liberation
- Maternal Instincts are Twistedly Tested in Body Horror Film “Hatching”
There was no time to rest on this Sunday, jam-packed with charming films about robots, a treasure trove of music documentaries, and more. We caught up with Este Haim and Christopher Stracey, the composers of Cha Cha Real Smooth, in an ASCAP conversation, and learned who took home the 2022 Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Awards. We also continued our previews of the Satellite Screen theaters by highlighting a/perture cinema in North Carolina.
- Charming and Funny, “Brian and Charles” Builds Excitement at 2022 Festival
- “The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future” Brings Magical Realism to a Wounded Family
- “God’s Country” Features Intense Performance by Thandiwe Newton
- Stellar Performances Fill “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.”
- Post-College Limbo and Seventh Grade Collide in “Cha Cha Real Smooth”
- The Start of “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” Puts Your Faith in Ye
- “Meet Me In The Bathroom” Takes You Back to the Beginning of New York’s Garage Rock Revival
- Through Innocent Eyes, “A House Made of Splinters” Tells Us to Open Our Own
- “TikTok, Boom.” Shines Light on the Digital Native
- Exploring Paranoia and the Paranormal with “Something in the Dirt”
- Where History is Obscured, “Alice” Seeks to Educate
- “My Old School” Unearths a Scottish Scandal
While we’re normally not the biggest fans of Mondays, we were so excited to dive into world cinema gems and coming-of-age stories for people at any age. We continued our spotlight series on our Satellite Screens across the country with our profile on Indie Memphis; brunched with the Native Forum community; and learned a lot from “RIOTSVILLE, USA — Race, Media, and Policing in America,” a panel presented by XRM Media. Oh, yeah, we also surprise-announced the last film in our U.S. Documentary Competition category: Navalny.
- Aubrey Plaza Takes Tense Thriller “Emily the Criminal” to New Heights
- “I Didn’t See You There”: An Autobiographical Story About a Real Invisible Man
- “AM I OK?” Proves That Discovering Yourself has No Expiration Date
- “The Janes” Proves There’s No Time to Waste for Progress
- “Three Minutes – A Lengthening” is a Cinematic Meditation on Memory and Loss
- “LAST FLIGHT HOME” Shows a Different Meaning of Success
- “Palm Trees and Power Lines” Explores Teenage Insecurity and Emotional Manipulation
- “Girl Picture” Says Sexuality Belongs to Everybody
- Bullies Get Their Due in Bold and Bloody “PIGGY”
With nearly all the premieres complete (see below for our final premiere), we decided to dive deep into the world of Indie Episodics and check out our From the Collection restoration film this year: Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. We hopped over to see the incredible After Yang win the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, and we highlighted Amherst Cinema in Massachusetts.
- Swim With Amazing Live Sea Monkeys in the Aquarium of “Instant Life”
- “Navalny” Introduces the World to Alexei Navalny
After the intensity of our surprise film’s premiere, we were excited to continue our journey into the second screenings, New Frontier, and more. We were introduced to the amazing work and coalition of Color Congress and were honored to introduce the Northwest Film Forum to our audiences.
Now that we’d seen a ton of groundbreaking works, it was time to prove our merit at NPR’s Film Trivia. We also were thrilled to unveil the winners of the 2022 Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Awards. San Diego was calling us, so we dropped our profile on Satellite Screen, Digital Gym, and then we were spurred to action by NRDC’s Rewrite the Future initiative’s panel, “More than a Feeling: Climate Emotions in Film & TV”.
- “Utama”: Our Home is Dying
- “Resurrection” Explores Codependency, Manipulation, and Obsession
- Animated Shorts Cover the Angry, the Disenfranchised, the Hungry
Thank god it’s a Festival Friday! We started the day by introducing nomadic micro-cinema mama.film to the Satellite Screen family and we ended it by announcing the winners of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival awards! Check out all the winners, who were presented in real time on Twitter, now.
- Festival’s “blood” Listens in on One Woman’s Reluctance to Release Her Grief
- “Dos Estaciones” Is a Visual Love Letter to Jalisco
- “The Territory” Paints a Beautiful and Devastating Portrait of the Past, Present, and Future
- “Framing Agnes”: A Film That “Crosses Gender and Genre”
Just like everyone else, we spent our final Sundance Film Festival Saturday catching up on the few award winners that we missed earlier. We also kicked off the Satellite Screens IRL and couldn’t wait to see who showed up on each of their press lines!
- “All That Breathes” Soars Into the Skies of the Black Kite
- “The Exiles” Uncovers the Banished Students of Tiananmen
And just like that, we’ve hit the final hours of the Sundance Film Festival and we could not be more proud of all the projects that premiered and the artists who have put their faith in us. Thank you for joining along with us!