The prestigious Sundance Film Festival has announced its lineup for its 2022 program. Festival opening night highlights will include Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut, When You Finish Saving the World, a romantic comedy. The Princess, a documentary on the late Diana, which comes shortly after the Oscar contender Spencer that imagines one holiday weekend in the life of the people’s princess. Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler will also premiere new films.
In all, a total of 82 films were selected for this year’s festival out of an international field of 3762 features and documentaries. 75 of those films will premiere for the first time anywhere at this year’s festival.
This year’s festival will be a hybrid event that will combine virtual and in-person screenings in a reflection of current COVID policies throughout the industry. Last year’s virtual-only festival received praise.
Some standouts among the dramatic entries include Cha Cha Real Smooth, a Dakota Johnson produced and starring effort about a college graduate and a young single mother who go into a bar mitzvah business together; W. Kamau Bell’s We Need to Talk about Cosby, a documentary dealing with the famed entertainer and alleged serial rapist’s fall from grace; Sharp Stick, a new project by Lena Dunham which involves a younger woman becoming involved with her older boss; and 892, featuring John Boyega and, in one of his last roles, the late Michael K Williams.
Though noted for its art-house and Oscar quality fare, Sundance has also been the launching point for many genre films such as Donnie Darko, Saw, and The Blair Witch Project, and this year is no exception. Several standouts among this year’s lineup include Alice, in which a woman who believes herself to be a slave on a plantation learns that she is actually alive in the year 1973, The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future, about a woman visited by her mother’s ghost as she cares for her ailing father, Dual, starring Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul, about a woman who clones herself, Hatching, about a young woman who finds a strange egg and, well, hatches it, and After Yang, starring Colin Farrell as a man, his daughter, and their robot named Yang.
Hopefully, that the hybrid nature of this year’s fest will provide a draw to people despite the recent Omicron variant of COVID. Producers have revealed that members of the film and TV community reserved several packages. However, it remains to be seen if any future travel restrictions will affect the festival turnout.
Sundance Film Festival will take place between Jan. 20 to Jan. 30, 2022, with ticket packages on sale on Dec. 17 and single tickets for sale on Jan. 6. Festival-goers will have to provide proof of vaccination to attend any of the festival’s non-virtual events. You can find a complete listing of the films and events on the official festival website.