In the middle of awards season, film enthusiasts are breaking out our parkas, snow boots, and ear muffs to head to the annual Sundance Film Festival this week. While the Park City, Utah gathering will screen 112 features from 33 countries Jan. 24 to Feb. 3 — including projects starring Hollywood heavyweights Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, and Mindy Kaling among others — we’ve got you covered on everything queer.
Below are all the titles — shows, films, virtual reality experiences, and shorts — by LGBTQ+ filmmakers or with queer themes. And check out the ones I’m particularly excited about, listed as “Editor’s Picks.”
Directed by Hannah Pearl Utt, and co-written by Utt and Jen Tullock, this film follows Rachel and Jackie Gurner, thirty-something sisters who are thrust into a literal soap opera by a long-kept family secret. It stars Utt and Tullock along with Judith Light, Mandy Patinkin, Mike Colter, and Alec Baldwin.
The Oscar-nominated Roger Ross Williams leads a team confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America through a virtual reality documentary that immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for Black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.
Set in a 1986 Mexico City, 17-year-old Carlos doesn't fit in anywhere, not in his family nor with the friends he has chosen in school. But everything changes when he is invited to a mythical nightclub where he discovers the underground nightlife scene: punk, sexual liberty, and drugs. It stars Xabiani Ponce de León, José Antonio Toledano, and Roma’s Marina de Tavira.
Matt Tyrnauer’s (Studio 54) latest documentary focuses on Roy Cohn, the late lawyer who personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues – from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald J. Trump. This thriller-like exposé reveals how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current American nightmare.
Director and writer Beniamino Barrese brings us an intimate portrait of his mother, an aging fashion model who wants to escape the world of images and disappear for good. But her son's determination to make a final film about her sparks an unexpected collaboration and confrontation with the camera's gaze.
Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann co-wrote and co-directed this 1926 picture about America’s most famous evangelist who’s looking for a way out. Fed up with her own success, she gets swept up in her lover’s daydreams about Mexico and finds herself on a wild road trip towards the border. The story stars Anna Margaret Hollyman, Michael Mosley, and Andrea Suarez Paz among others.
After a decade of partying, Laura and Tyler's friendship is strained by Laura’s new love and her focus on her novel. Based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s novels of the same name, it’s dubbed snapshot of a modern woman with competing desires, at once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroads. The cast includes Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat.
The Mindy Kaling-written, Nisha Ganatra-directed comedy stars Emma Thompson and Kaling in a story about a legendary late-night talk show host whose world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this Dan Gilroy-Netflix thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. It’ll be on Netflix Feb. 1.
Another to add to the list of recents docs about fashion's greatest, French-born director Frédéric Tcheng brings us this film about the eponymous designer. From Iowa to Studio 54, the documentary investigates his rags-to-riches story and uncovers the cautionary tale of an artist who sold his name to Wall Street.
After her therapist dies mid-session and she begins to date a trans man, Abby is forced to re-evaluate her life choices, her dating options, and whether or not to confront the woman responsible for "ruining her life," SNL's Julia Sweeney. The indie series also stars Abby McEnany, Theo Germaine, Karin Anglin, Celeste Pechous, and Alison Gates.
In this indie episodic, Tricia is a woman struggling with her identity while living in a fiercely Catholic household. She leads a double life, selling drugs to make ends meet and carrying on an affair. She fights for the courage to embrace her future as the first of many delivery girls. It stars Kate Krieger, Adam LeFevre, Liz Larsen, and Joe Holt.
From director and screenwriter JB Ghuman, Jr. comes this visual-sonic journey meant to expand one's consciousness and emotional capacity through hand-crafted art and multi-dimensional storytelling. It’s an existential story that loosely follows Ariel of The Little Mermaid. The cast includes Ghuman, Maraqueen Reznor, Jake Shears, iRAWniQ, Drag Race alumnus Mayhem Miller, and Hillary Tuck.
Kyra Sedgwick directs this series about a queer daughter who returns home to Las Vegas for a “girls weekend” with her estranged homophobic sister and people-pleasing mother. But when her gun-toting dad lets it slip that her mother’s cancer is back with a vengeance, she’s forced to decide whether or not she can rejoin her family. Ali Liebegott stars alongside Linda Lavin, Amy Landecker, and Ken Jenkins.
Starz’s new Gregg Araki-co-written and -directed series follows Ulysses and his friends who are trying to navigate Los Angeles as they pursue love, sex, and fame. Between dating app adventures, Ulysses grows increasingly troubled as foreboding dreams make him paranoid — or maybe he's just smoking too much weed. Either way, this show is very, very gay and stars Avan Jogia, Kelli Berglund, Beau Mirchoff, and Roxane Mesquida. It will hit the network in March.