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."
Before You Know It
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.
Traveling While Black
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.
Brittany Runs A Marathon
A woman living in New York takes control of her life one city block at a time in this Paul Downs Colaizzo-written and -directed drama. Jillian Bell leads a cast that includes Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Get Out's Lil Rel Howery.
To The Stars
Under small town scrutiny, a withdrawn farmer's daughter forges an intimate friendship with a worldly-but-reckless new girl in 1960s Oklahoma. The drama stars Kara Hayward, Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, and Tony Hale among others.
This Is Not Berlin
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 Leon, Jose Antonio Toledano, and Roma's Marina de Tavira.
This documentary from Liza Mandelup stars 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the live-broadcast ecosystem as he tries to escape a dead-end life in rural Tennessee. In it, Tester grapples with the costs of the fame he desparately desires.
Where's My Roy Cohn?
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 expose reveals how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current American nightmare.
The Disappearance of My Mother
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.
Rhys Ernst helms this comedy based on Ariel Schrag's 2014 novel of the same name, about a straight cis teenage guy who pretends to be a trans man in order to get girls. It stars Nicholas Alexander, India Menuez, Leo Sheng, Chloe Levine, and Margaret Qualley.
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 Frederic 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.
Work In Progress
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.
Desires of the Flesh
This Brazilian short from director and screenwriter Rafaela Camelo with the logline: "Blessed be the Sunday, that it is the day to see Giovana." It runs 19 minutes.
Celine Held and Logan George's 12-minute short follows a 14-year-old Marie struggling with feeling for her best friend.
Ask Dr. Ruth
Remember that old white woman who used to have that sex call-in show? Her name is Dr. Ruth Westheimer and she's got a doc centering on her life as a Holocaust survivor, who later became America's most famous sex therapist.
Kado (A Gift)
In Aditya Ahmad's short film, Isfi can wear her comfortable pants among her male friends, but has to wear a hijab to be accepted at Nita's house. With two days until Nita's birthday, all Isfi wants is to prepare the best gift in Nita's room.
A young gay man grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple in Matthew Puccini's short. From director Matthew Puccini, this short stars Ken Barnett (Mozart in the Jungle), Michael Hsu Rosen, and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty).
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.
How Does It Start
With her self-absorbed parents distracted by their recent divorce, 12-year-old Rain is left alone to navigate the complexities of love and adulthood, and learns to do it her own way in Amber Sealey's short.
Fran This Summer
Mary Evangelista's short highlights teenage lovebirds Fran and Angie who are spending the summer at home while Fran begins their transition. The pair must face who and what they mean to each other when they visit the beach, their love on display for all to see.
Anette Sidor's short follows Alice who is in a relationship with Johannes but doesn't have enough space to be herself. On a night out with friends, she steals a strap-on and challenges her boyfriend's thoughts about girls.
The (ART) oF BE(i)NG
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.
Trevor Anderson reflects on his fear of dating in this four-minute short. It furthers his aesthetic of pushing the boundaries of personal essay documentary filmmaking.
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.