The 2015 Sundance Film Festival kicked off earlier this week featuring an impressive new line of indie films for the film lovers to slobber and speculate over. The Utah-based festival/independent film mecca has once again roused the internet and caused widespread conversation about what sliver screen fans should look for in this years showdown. In what seems to be an even more popular year than last for Sundance, audiences will fill theaters to watch some of the most culturally and thematically significant films of the year.
This year’s lineup will include big name actors and actresses such as James Franco (“I Am Michael,” “True Story”), Ryan Reynolds (“Mississippi Grind”), Jonah Hill (“True Story”), Sarah Silverman (“I Smile Back”), to name just a few.
Though the festival seems to always feature a couple of A-list actors and actresses, they are apparent in spades this year. As many of the actors and actresses, especially the ones listed above, take on hot button roles it will be interesting to see if 2015’s films will reach an audience broader than just the typical indie lovers.
Director Justin Kelly will debut his film, “I Am Michael,” at the festival this year. “I Am Michael,” starring Hollywood heartthrob and thespian James Franco, is sure to be one of the most talked about films at Sundance this year. Taking on themes such as personal identity, homosexuality, and religion, “I Am Michael” will push borders on progressive issues, and will hopefully reach wider audiences with Franco as the lead man.
The taboo themes that seem to be reserved for independent films such as gender issues, orientation, and addiction (just to name a few) are explicit in this year’s lineup. Ryan Reynolds will grapple with a gambling addiction in “Mississippi Grind,” while Sarah Silverman will show a softer side as the strong female lead in “I Smile Back.” “I Smile Back,” another one of this year’s notables, is slated to be one of the festivals most emotional films. Silverman, most known for her raunchy comedic persona, takes a dramatic turn in her new film. Struggling with addiction, depression, and relationships, Silverman is set to shock the entertainment world with her dramatic performance.
The cultural significance of Sundance films is not just earmarked for the dramas. “Cartel Land,” and “How to Dance in Ohio,” are just two of the highly anticipated documentaries headed to Sundance this year. “Cartel Land” provides an investigative look into the hardship and frustration of drug culture and government in Mexico while “How to Dance in Ohio,” purveys a breathtakingly powerful experience centered around autistic teenagers and their struggle with daily life.
Competition will be fruitfully apparent at Sundance this year, with a wide genre variety of films by some of the most talented directors and actors in the world. The festival, which ends February 1, will be capped off with the announcements of the Grand Jury Prize in each category, Sundance’s most coveted accolade.
Check out the full slate of events at Sundance 2015