The Sundance Film Festival has always been known for premiering some of the most original and award-winning indie titles of the year. This year’s festival, which is back in person in Utah from Jan. 19 to 29, continues to feature queer titles in their lineup, celebrating queer filmmakers and themes. Many of the films, including all of the competition titles, will also be available online from Jan. 24 to 29.
The Premieres section, as usual, features many of the year’s most high-profile films, including those from queer creators and featuring queer storylines. One of the most notable films, “Cassandro,” pairs Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Roger Ross Williams with auteur muse Gael García Bernal. In the scripted film, Bernal plays real-life gay luchador Saúl Armendáriz, an American-born wrestler who became a lucha libre legend competing under the flamboyant persona Cassandro.
Another film, “Eileen,” directed by William Oldroyd, is an adaptation of novelist Ottessa Moshfegh’s debut novel of the same name, and centers on the friendship between the titular antiheroine, Eileen, and Rebecca, a new hire at the prison whose presence promises to insert some much-needed fun into Eileen’s life – until things take a sinister turn.
The documentary “It’s Only Life After All” also features in the Premieres section. The film, directed by Alexandria Bombach, covers three decades of the iconic queer musicians Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, collectively known as the Indigo Girls, and their career and activism.
Other notable films include “Passages,” directed by Ira Sachs and centers on a contemporary love triangle between a filmmaker, his husband and a new female love interest, and “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” a sleeper hit of the festival.
Whether you’re in Utah or not, this year’s Sundance Film Festival promises to be another memorable, post-pandemic year of filmmaking, showcasing the best of queer cinema.