Returning for its seventh year, Sundance Film Festival has leapt on to London’s cultural map like its movie namesake into a mountain gorge. Every May-dash-June, it delivers a fresh array of indie gems Londoners may not be totally familiar with, but soon will be – and in a big way (take ‘The Big Sick’, ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Leave No Trace’ as three recent examples).
2019’s festival line-up, exclusively revealed here, is no exception. Opening the show on Thursday, May 30 is ‘Late Night’, a chat-show-centred dramedy written by confirmed self-professed Anglophile Mindy Kaling that co-stars ‘The Office’ (the US edition) actor and London’s very own, and very excellent, Emma Thompson.
The closing gala on Sunday, June 2 is ‘Hail Satan?’, a provocative doc that won’t necessarily convert you to actual devil worship but does promise to tackle some thorny questions of religious hypocrisy and cant in modern-day America.
But why have you got a picture of Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat on this story? we hear you ask. The pair are the co-leads of Time Out’s own gala screening at the festival, ‘Animals’. It’s a deliriously energised and rawly authentic depiction of female friendship adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth’s 2014 novel and we think you’ll love it.
Other films to look out for include Brit director Shola Amoo’s ‘The Last Tree’, a coming-of-age story set in London and Lincolnshire, and buzzy Awkwafina-starring drama ‘The Farewell’, which we caught (and loved) in Sundance, Utah.
There’s seven other potential gems, including an as-yet-unannounced surprise screening. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday April 23, with Picturehouse members able to book theirs from Friday April 19.
Sundance Film Festival: London runs May 30-Jun 2. Head to www.picturehouses.com/sundance for more info.