Sundance Adds More Films to the 2023 Line-Up Including John Carney
More films! There's always more to watch, more to discover, at the best film festivals. The 2023 Sundance Film Festival has just announced an additional five new films playing at the festival this year (follow our coverage). These five are also world premieres, and they have secured a last minute spot because they seem to be high profile premieres that Sundance wants to feature at the festival. The two biggest new additions for 2023 are: Flora and Son, the latest musical feature from acclaimed Irish filmmaker John Carney. His big break was at Sundance way back in 2007, where he premiered the iconic film Once before going on to make Begin Again and Sing Street (another musical favorite). The other is Past Lives, the feature debut from filmmaker Celine Song, which seems to have some early Linklater vibes to it already, about two childhood sweethearts meeting up years later. Both of them are priorities on my Sundance schedule! More info below.
Here's the latest additions to the Sundance 2023 line-up - and visit Sundance.org for the entire selection.
U.S. Documentary Competition:
Beyond Utopia / U.S.A. (Director: Madeleine Gavin, Producers: Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Sue Mi Terry) — Hidden camera footage augments this perilous high-stakes journey as we embed with families attempting to escape oppression, ultimately revealing a world most of us have never seen.
Earth Mama / U.S.A (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Savanah Leaf, Producers: Cody Ryder, Shirley O'Connor, Medb Riordan, Sam Bisbee) — A pregnant single mother with two children in foster care embraces her Bay Area community as she fights to reclaim her family. Cast: Tia Nomore, Erika Alexander, Doechii, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Dominic Fike, Bokeem Woodbine.
Flora and Son / U.S.A, Ireland (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: John Carney, Producers: Anthony Bregman, Peter Cron, Rebecca O'Flanagan, Robert Walpole) — Single mom Flora is at war with her teenage son, petty thief Max. Encouraged by the police to find Max a hobby, she rescues a beat-up guitar from a dumpster and finds that one person’s trash can be a family’s salvation. Cast: Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Orén Kinlan, Jack Reynor.
Past Lives / U.S.A (Director and Screenwriter: Celine Song, Producers: Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, David Hinojosa) — Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny and love, and the choices that make a life. Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro.
Stephen Curry: Underrated / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Peter Nicks, Producers: Ryan Coogler, Erick Peyton) — Stephen Curry is one of the most influential, dynamic, and unexpected players in the history of basketball. Intimate cinematic video, archival footage, and on-camera interviews reveal Curry's rise from an undersized college player to a four-time NBA champion.
Sundance is also hosting "Special Encore Screenings" of few other favorites from recent years: CODA (Best Picture winner!), Klondike (set in Ukraine), Navalny (doc about Russia), and Summer of Soul (also an Academy Award winner). These will also play with a few other classic "From the Vault" films at the festival this year. This compliments the other 99 films announced previously for 2023. "These five new films round out our program in an exciting and emotional way. They are cinematic experiences that delight, entertain, & keep us on the edge of our seats. The works introduce us to new voices, along with directors we’re excited to welcome back to the Festival," said Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming. We'll be watching these and many more films at the fest this year. Bring on another year of Sundance. Sundance 2023 runs from January 19th to January 29th, 2023. Visit Sundance.org for more or stay tuned for updates.