12 Queer Films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Every year the Sundance Film Festival shares an abundance of new film content with the world, spotlighting fascinating stories and up-and-coming talent. Among the host of screenings, 12 of these films are particularly LGBT-friendly. The festival will run from January 21-31 in Park City, Utah, but you can learn more about the dozen queer movies below.
First Girl I Loved / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kerem Sanga) — Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her L.A. public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend, Clifton—who has always harbored a secret crush on her—he does his best to get in the way. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand, Mateo Arias, Jennifer Prediger, Tim Heidecker, Pamela Adlon. World Premiere
Kiki / U.S.A., Sweden (Director: Sara Jordenö) — Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring lens, Kiki offers a riveting, complex insight into a safe space created and governed by LGBTQ youths of color, who are demanding happiness and political power. The film is an exciting coming-of-age story about agency, resilience, and the transformative art form of voguing.World Premiere
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures / U.S.A. (Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato) — This examination of Robert Mapplethorpe's outrageous life is led by the artist himself, speaking with brutal honesty in a series of rediscovered interviews about his passions. Intimate revelations from friends, family, and lovers shed new light on this scandalous artist who ignited a culture war that still rages on. World Premiere
Other People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chris Kelly) — A struggling comedy writer, fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and younger sisters, David feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother worsens, he tries to convince everyone (including himself) he's "doing okay." Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, June Squibb. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM
PARTNERS / U.S.A. (Director: Joey Ally, Screenwriters: Jen Tullock, Hannah Utt) — Work and life partners Kate and Leigh share everything, from their apartment to the bar they co-own. When a sex life slump forces them to reconsider their relationship, they must confront how intertwined their lives have become, to humorous ends.
Peace in the Valley / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher) — Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to both the largest outdoor Passion Play in the United States and an important vote on LGBT rights. This film follows the town's inhabitants as they prepare for the historic vote.
Peacock / Czech Republic (Director: Ondřej Hudeček, Screenwriters: Jan Smutny, Ondřej Hudeček) — A twisted queer romance set in picturesque 19th-century Bohemia tells the true story of the birth of one of the nation's most influential writers, with suspense, laughter, violence, hope, nudity, sex, and a happy ending—mostly a happy ending.
Spa Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at Korean spas in Los Angeles. Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim, Youn Ho Cho, Tae Song, Ho Young Chung, Linda Han. World Premiere
Suited / U.S.A. (Director: Jason Benjamin) — Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company, makes custom suits for a growing legion of gender-nonconforming clients. World Premiere
The Saint of Dry Creek / U.S.A. (Director: Julie Zammarchi) — Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. Here, he remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.
Uncle Howard / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Aaron Brookner) — Howard Brookner's first film, Burroughs: The Movie, captured the cultural revolution of downtown New York City in the early '80s. Twenty-five years after his promising career was cut short by AIDS, his nephew sets out to discover Howard's never-before-seen films to create a cinematic elegy about his childhood idol. World Premiere
Viva / Ireland (Director: Paddy Breathnach, Screenwriter: Mark O'Halloran) — In contemporary Cuba, a father and son struggle to escape from each other’s expectations, duty, and the burden of past sins. Cast: Héctor Medina, Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García.
*Synopses courtesy of Sundance film descriptions