Sundance and Slamdance have released the lineups for their 2022 film festivals. The dueling events—one which has grown since its inception into an international spectacle and the other which adheres strictly to its independent, DIY ethos—will take place concurrently in Park City, beginning on Jan. 20, 2022. Last year’s Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals were derailed by Covid, but organizers and attendees are banking on vaccination and testing protocols to return the 2022 editions to their former glory with in person screenings and an interactive, welcoming atmosphere.
The Sundance Film Festival, which hardly needs an introduction at this point, has been a midwinter mainstay in Park City since 1981 and returns to the community from Jan. 20-30. Sundance’s profile has risen over the years as the film industry’s glitz, glamour and funding have become part of the production, but the festival’s always been a breeding ground for independent film that would go on to gain wider acclaim. The first edition of what was then called the Utah/U.S. Film Festival included canonical films such as “Deliverance,” “Mean Streets,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Midnight Cowboy,” after all.
Audiences in 2022 can get excited about an enormous variety of independent film genres and visions. Highly anticipated selections from the lineup include IFC Midnight’s “Hatching,” a suspenseful feature about a young gymnast hiding a mysterious giant egg from her domineering mother, “Living,” a reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru (To Live),” “Lucy and Desi,” a documentary examining the enduring legacy of the unlikely partners from director Amy Poehler and “Master,” a horror tinted psychological thriller about an elite New England university built on the site of a Salem-era gallows hill. Typical cinema fare these films certainly are not. For more details about the festival schedule and lineup, visit the Sundance website.
Slamdance has become, in its way, the antithesis of Sundance, eschewing the creep of Hollywood influence in favor of an unwavering independent spirit. To be eligible for Slamdance’s competition lineup, the 23 features chosen from more than 1,100 submissions are all directorial debuts with budgets under $1 million and without U.S. distribution.
“We are anti-algorithm. That’s always been true, but it’s more urgent than ever as we continue to celebrate truly unique voices that defy simple classification and transcend analytics,” said Slamdance President and co-founder Peter Baxter. “This year our programmers gravitated towards films that embody the true DIY spirit of guerrilla filmmaking and push the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling.”
Films audiences can look forward to run the gamut from “Facing Monsters,” a feature-length documentary about West Australian ‘slab wave’ surfer Kerby Brown, to “Killing the Eunuch,” a horror feature about a serial killer using his victims to kill further victims, to “Forget Me Not,” the story of a family fighting for their son with down syndrome to be included in the country’s most segregated school system. Click here to see the full festival lineup, and visit the Slamdance website to purchase passes for the January 20-23 in person portion and January 20-30 online portion of the festival.
We’ll have plenty more film festival coverage as Sundance and Slamdance take over Park City in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.