Sundance 2017

In less than a week the Sundance Film Festival will be under way and I will be there to cover all the mayhem that is bound to happen in Park City this year.

If you remember last year we had one of the very best editions of the fest, a remarkable lineup: "Manchester by the Sea," "OJ: Made in America," "Love & Friendship," "Sing Street," "Certain Women," "Hunt For the Wilderpeople," "The Fits," "Swiss Army Man," "Weiner," "Captain Fantastic," "Little Men," "Indignation" and even Nate Parker's controversial "The Birth of a Nation."

2014 didn't have too shabby a lineup either: "The Witch," "Brooklyn," "Tangerine," "The End of the Tour," "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," "Mississippi Grind," "Mistress America," "Me, Earl and the Dying Girl," "Dope," "Grandma,"

The more Hollywood goes into crass commercialism the more likely a film festival like Sundance will matter. It's as simple as that. This year I have my eyes on many films, especially world premieres, the NEXT section, Documentary and the Official Competition. These look like the films to look out for, on paper, t but usually the major surprise hit of the fest comes out of left field so it might not even be on this list, which makes the feeling of experiencing Sundance all the more exciting:

I chose these mostly due to the director, already established, but I want something MORE than that. The point of Sundance is to discover the future of cinema and to be blown away by a filmmaker that has directed his or her debut feature.

One can't forget the great movies over the years that gave Sundance its incredible reputation: Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple, Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies & Videotape, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger, Todd Haynes’ Poison, Richard Linklater’s Slacker, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Kevin Smith’s Clerks, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects, David O. Russell’s Spanking the Monkey, Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night, Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, Mary Harron’s American Psycho, Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me, Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale, Duncan Jones’ Moon, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, Lee Daniels’ Precious, Tom McCarthy's The Station Agent, Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station,

Sundance still feels vitally important. Having premiered 9 Best Picture nominees in the last 7 years, it's a continuous hotbed for low-budget indie filmmakers who just want a chance and represent American filmmaking that isn't compromised by greed. Godspeed.