Every Women-Led Feature Film Heading to Sundance 2020

As the year is closing out, many are focusing on compiling their end of year best and worst lists, as well as their top ten films of the decade. However, 2020 is nearly upon us and wants to be anticipated. Sundance just announced its 2020 slate, which is chock-full of exciting new stories to experience this coming year.

Of the 118 feature films announced, 52% are directed by one or more women! So, here is your guide to all the films written and directed by women at Sundance 2020, thus far. To see the full Sundance 2020 line-up click here.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

The 40-Year-Old Version (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Radha Blank

“A down-on-her-luck New York playwright decides to reinvent herself and salvage her artistic voice the only way she knows how: by becoming a rapper at age 40.”

The Evening Hour (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Braden King

“Cole Freeman maintains an uneasy equilibrium in his rural Appalachian town, looking after the old and infirm while selling their excess painkillers to local addicts. But when an old friend returns with plans that upend the fragile balance and identity he’s so painstakingly crafted, Cole is forced to take action.”

Farewell Amor (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Ekwa Msangi

“Reunited after a 17-year separation, Walter, an Angolan immigrant, is joined in the U.S. by his wife and teenage daughter. Now absolute strangers sharing a one-bedroom apartment, they discover a shared love of dance that may help overcome the emotional distance between them.”

Save Yourselves! (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Eleanor Wilson, Alex Huston Fischer

“A young Brooklyn couple head upstate to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with themselves. Cut off from their devices, they miss the news that the planet is under attack.”

Miss Juneteenth (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Channing Godfrey Peoples

“Turquoise, a former beauty queen turned hardworking single mother, prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the “Miss Juneteenth” pageant, hoping to keep her from repeating the same mistakes in life that she did.”

Shirley (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Josephine Decker

“A young couple moves in with the famed author, Shirley Jackson, and her Bennington College professor husband, Stanley Hyman, in the hope of starting a new life but instead find themselves fodder for a psycho-drama that inspires Shirley’s next novel.”

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Eliza Hittman

“An intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark on a brave, fraught journey across state lines to New York City.”

Wander Darkly (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Tara Miele

“New parents Adrienne and Matteo are forced to reckon with trauma amidst their troubled relationship. They must revisit the memories of their past and unravel haunting truths in order to face their uncertain future.”

Zola (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir, Janicza Bravo

“2015: @zolarmoon tweets “wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Two girls bond over their “hoeism” and become fast friends. What’s supposed to be a trip from Detroit to Florida turns into a weekend from hell.”

U.S. Documentary Competition

A Thousand Cuts (U.S.A. and the Philippines) – World Premiere dir. Ramona S. Diaz

“Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.”

Boys State (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine

“In an unusual experiment, a thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up.”

Crip Camp (U.S.A.) World Premiere dir. Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht

“Down the road from Woodstock in the early 1970s, a revolution blossomed in a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers, transforming their young lives and igniting a landmark movement.”

Dick Johnson Is Dead (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Kirsten Johnson

“With this inventive portrait, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilising moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humour, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.”

The Fight (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres

“Inside the ACLU, a team of scrappy lawyers battle Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.”

Mucho Mucho Amor (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch

“Once the world’s most famous astrologer, Walter Mercado seeks to resurrect a forgotten legacy. Raised in the sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico, Walter grew up to become a gender non-conforming, cape-wearing psychic whose televised horoscopes reached 120 million viewers a day for decades before he mysteriously disappeared.”

Us Kids (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Kim A. Snyder

“Determined to turn unfathomable tragedy into action, the teenage survivors of Parkland, Florida catalyse a powerful, unprecedented youth movement that spreads with lightning speed across the country, as a generation of mobilised youth take back democracy in this powerful coming-of-age story.”

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Charter (Sweden) – World Premiere dir. Amanda Kernell

“After a recent and difficult divorce, Alice hasn’t seen her children in two months as she awaits a custody verdict. When her son calls her in the middle of the night, Alice takes action, abducting the children on an illicit charter trip to the Canary Islands.”

Cuties (France) – World Premiere dir. Maïmouna Doucouré

“Amy, 11 years old, meets a group of dancers called “Cuties.” Fascinated, she initiates herself to a sensual dance, hoping to join their band and escape family dysfunction…”

High Tide (Argentina) – World Premiere dir. Verónica Chen

“Laura is spending a few days at her beach house to supervise the construction of a barbecue shed. One afternoon, she seduces the chief builder, who never returns. Over the following days, the builders continually invade her home – until Laura grows ferocious.”

Jumbo (France, Luxembourg, and Belgium) – World Premiere dir. Zoé Wittock

“Jeanne, a shy young woman, works in an amusement park. Fascinated with carousels, she still lives at home with her mother. That’s when Jeanne meets Jumbo, the park’s new flagship attraction…”

Luxor (Egypt and United Kingdom) – World Premiere dir. Zeina Durra

“When British aid worker Hana returns to Luxor, a sleepy city on the banks of the Nile, she comes across Sultan, a talented archaeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.”

Sin Señas Particulares (Mexico and Spain) – World Premiere dir. Fernanda Valadez

“Magdalena makes a journey to find her son, gone missing on his way to the Mexican border with the US. Her odyssey takes her to meet Miguel, a man recently deported from the U.S. They travel together, Magdalena looking for her son, and Miguel hoping to see his mother again.”

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Acasa, My Home (Romania, Germany, and Finland) – World Premiere dir. Radu Ciorniciuc

“In the wilderness of the Bucharest Delta, nine children and their parents lived in perfect harmony with nature for 20 years–until they are chased out and forced to adapt to life in the big city.”

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange (Ukraine and Lithuania) – World Premiere dir. Iryna Tsilyk

“To cope with the daily trauma of living in a war zone, Anna and her children make a film together about their life among surreal surroundings.”

Influence (South Africa and Canada) – World Premiere dir. Diana Neille, Richard Poplak

“Charting the recent advancements in weaponised communication by investigating the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious public relations and reputation management firm: the British multinational Bell Pottinger.”

Into the Deep (Denmark) – World Premiere dir. Emma Sullivan

“In 2016, a young Australian filmmaker began documenting amateur inventor Peter Madsen. One year in, Madsen brutally murdered Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine. An unprecedented revelation of a killer and the journey his young helpers take as they reckon with their own complicity and prepare to testify.”

The Mole Agent (Chile) – World Premiere dir. Maite Alberdi

“When a family becomes concerned about their mother’s well-being in a retirement home, private investigator Romulo hires Sergio, an 83-year-old man who becomes a new resident–and a mole inside the home, who struggles to balance his assignment with becoming increasingly involved in the lives of several residents.”

Once Upon A Time in Venezuela (Venezuela, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Austria) – World Premiere dir. Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

“Once upon a time, the Venezuelan village of Congo Mirador was prosperous, alive with fisherman and poets. Now it is decaying and disintegrating–a small but prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.”

Saudi Runaway (Switzerland) – World Premiere dir. Susanna Regina Meures

“Muna, a young, fearless woman from Saudi Arabia, is tired of being controlled by the state and patronized by her family. With an arranged marriage imminent, a life without rights and free will seems inevitable. Muna decides to escape. An unprecedented view inside the world’s most repressive patriarchy.”

Next

I Carry You With Me (U.S.A. and Mexico) dir. Heidi Ewing

“An epic love story spanning decades is sparked by a chance encounter between two men in provincial Mexico. Based on a true story, ambition and societal pressure propel an aspiring chef to leave his soulmate and make the treacherous journey to New York, where life will never be the same.”

La Leyenda Negra (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Patricia Vidal Delgado

“In Compton, a soon-to-be undocumented teenager fights for her right to stay in America while risking her family, her friendships, and her first love.”

Omniboat: A Fast Boast Fantasia (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. The Daniels, Hannah Fidell, Alexa Lim Haas, Lucas Leyva, Olivia Lloyd, Jillian Mayer, The Meza Brothers, Terence Nance, Brett Potter, Dylan Redford, Xander Robin, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Celia Rowlson-Hall

“It’s not just a speed boat ride, it’s a Miami adventure.”

Premieres

The Glorias (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Julie Taymor

“An equal rights crusader, journalist and activist: Gloria Steinem embodies these and more. From her role in the revolutionary women’s rights movement to her travels throughout the U.S. and around the world, Steinem has made an everlasting mark on modern history. A nontraditional chronicle of a trailblazing life.”

Herself (Ireland and United Kingdom) – World Premiere dir. Phyllida Lloyd

“Struggling to provide her daughters with a safe, happy home, Sandra decides to build one – from scratch. Using all her ingenuity to make her ambitious dream a reality, Sandra draws together a community to lend a helping hand to build her house and ultimately recover her own sense of self.”

Horse Girl (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Jeff Baena

“A socially awkward woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life.”

Kajillionaire (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Miranda July

“Low-stakes grifters, Old Dolio and her parents invite a chipper young woman into their insular clan, only to have their entire world turned upside down.”

The Last Thing He Wanted (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Dee Rees

“A veteran D.C. journalist loses the thread of her own narrative when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break. Adapted from the Joan Didion novel of the same title.”

Lost Girls (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Liz Garbus

“When Mari Gilbert’s daughter disappears, police inaction drives her own investigation into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Committed to finding the truth, her search brings attention to over a dozen murdered sex workers Mari will not let the world forget. Inspired by true events.”

Promising Young Woman (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Emerald Fennell

“Everyone said Cassie was a promising young woman… until something abruptly derailed her future. Nothing in Cassie’s life is as it appears: she’s smart, cunning, and living a double life by night. Now, Cassie has a chance to right the wrongs of the past in this thrilling take on revenge.”

Wendy (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Benh Zeitlin

“Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up. The classic story of Peter Pan is wildly reimagined in this ragtag epic.”

Worth (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Sara Colangelo

“Kenneth Feinberg, a powerful D.C. lawyer appointed Special Master of the 9/11 Fund, fights off the cynicism, bureaucracy, and politics associated with administering government funds and, in doing so, discovers what life is worth. Based on true events.”

Documentary Premieres

Aggie (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Catherine Gund

“An exploration of the nexus of art, race, and justice through the story of art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund who sold Roy Lichtenstein’s painting “Masterpiece” in 2017 for $165 million to start the Art for Justice Fund to end mass incarceration.”

The Go-Go’s (U.S.A., Ireland, and Canada) – World Premiere dir. Alison Ellwood

“As the first all-female band to play their instruments, write their songs and have a No. 1 album, The Go-Go’s made history. Underpinned by candid testimonies, this film chronicles the meteoric rise to fame of a band born in the LA punk scene who became a pop phenomenon.”

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Laurent Bouzereau

“Exploring actor Natalie Wood’s life and career through the unique perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and others who knew her best. An examination of her personal and professional triumphs and challenges, which have often been overshadowed by her tragic death at age 43.”

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Lana Wilson

“A raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.”

Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film ( U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering

“A brilliant former hip hop executive grapples with whether to go public about her rape by one of the most powerful men in the music industry. A gripping and profound examination of race, gender, intersectionality, and the toll sexual abuse takes on survivors and on society at large.”

Midnight

Amulet (United Kingdom) – World Premiere dir. Romola Garai

“Tomaz, an ex-soldier now homeless in London, is offered a place to stay at a decaying house, inhabited by a young woman and her dying mother. As he starts to fall for Magda, Tomaz cannot ignore his suspicion that something insidious might also be living alongside them.”

The Nowhere Inn (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Bill Benz

“When St. Vincent sets out to make a documentary about her music, the goal is to both reveal and revel in the unadorned truth behind her on-stage persona. But when she hires a close friend to direct, notions of reality, identity, and authenticity grow increasingly distorted and bizarre.”

Relic (Australia) – World Premiere dir. Natalie Erika James

“When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.”

Run Sweetheart Run (U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Shana Feste

“A blind date turns violent and the woman has to get home through Los Angeles, with her date in pursuit.”

Spotlight

The Assistant (U.S.A.) dir. Kitty Green

“A day in the life of Jane, an assistant to a high-powered film executive.”

The Perfect Candidate (Germany and Saudi Arabia) dir. Haifaa Al Mansour

“A determined young Saudi doctor’s surprise run for office in the local city elections sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town’s first female candidate.”

Kids

Come Away (United Kingdom and U.S.A.) – World Premiere dir. Brenda Chapman

“Before Alice found Wonderland, and Peter became Pan, they were brother and sister. When their brother dies in an accident, they seek to save their parents from downward spirals until finally they’re forced to choose between home and imagination, setting the stage for their iconic journeys into Wonderland and Neverland.”

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