The 2017 Sundance Film Festival kicks off this weekend — and its offerings are as queer as ever. The festivities, which run January 19-29 in Park City, Utah, feature LGBT films, Q&As, and events like Armie Hammer’s Call Me By Your Name, Jill Soloway’s I Love Dick, and documentaries whose subjects range from civil rights icon Bayard Rustin to transgender YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous. See a preview ahead, and find out more information at Sundance.org.
Beach Rats /USA (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman)
An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online. Cast:Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff. World Premiere
Out of Exile: Daniel's Story (USA) Lead Artist: Nonny de la Peña
In August 2014, Daniel Ashley Pierce's family verbally and physically accosted him before kicking him out of the house because they disapproved of his sexuality. Built directly around audio Daniel recorded from that encounter, this project includes thoughts of hope and triumph from Daniel and three other LGBTQ youths. Cast: Daniel Ashley Pierce, Kyle Wills, Julene Renee, Cyntia Domenzain, Angel VanStark, Phoebe VanCleefe
If Not Love (USA) Lead Artist: Rosemarie Troche, Key Collaborator: Bruce Allan
A conflicted Christian man carries out a mass shooting. In his past: a same-sex hookup and self-loathing. What if events had unfolded differently? What if his partner had convinced him to face himself? Could that simple act change the course of history? Cast: Zachary Booth, Mitchell Winter
Gente-fied (USA) Creator: Marvin Lemus, Executive Producers: Charles D. King, Aaliyah Williams, America Ferrera
Seven characters deal with the effects of change in Los Angeles's Boyle Heights. Bicultural millennials and old-school business owners hustle to create spaces that celebrate their Latino identities — even while faced with rent hikes, a housing crisis, and a steady stream of outsiders threatening to gentrify their barrio. The festival will debut three episodes of this short-form episodic series. Cast: Edsson Morales, Alicia Sixtos, Victoria Ortiz, Yareli Arizmendi, Salvador Velez Jr., Rafael Sigler
I Love Dick (USA) Directors: Jill Soloway, Andrea Arnold, Kimberly Peirce, Executive Producers: Jill Soloway, Sarah Gubbins, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu
Chris and Sylvere, a married couple in the intellectual community of Marfa, Texas, become obsessed with a charismatic artist named Dick. What follows is the unraveling of a marriage, the deification of a reluctant messiah, and the awakening of the female gaze. The festival will present the first three episodes of this Amazon original series, followed by an extended Q&A. Cast: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne, Roberta Colindrez, India Menuez, Phoebe Robinson
Strangers (USA) Directors: Mia Lidofsky, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Executive Producers: Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub, Jesse Peretz, Mia Lidofsky
Newly single and bisexual Isobel rents out her spare room in a last-ditch effort to keep the home she loves. Along with her lesbian best friend, she navigates the most complicated time in her life — emotionally, sexually, and professionally — while sharing her home with a new stranger each episode. The festival will debut the first three episodes of this short- form episodic series executive produced by Refinery29 and Beachside Productions. Cast: Zoë Chao, Meredith Hagner, Jemaine Clement, Breeda Wool, Matthew Oberg, Shiri Appleby
Call Me by Your Name (Italy, France) Director: Luca Guadagnino, Screenwriters: James Ivory, Luca Guadagnino
The sensitive and cultivated Elio, only child of the American-Italian-French Perlman family, is facing another lazy summer at his parents’ villa in the beautiful and languid Italian countryside when Oliver, an academic who has come to help with Elio’s father’s research, arrives. Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois
This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (USA) Director: Barbara Kopple
A groundbreaking film that portrays the journey of Gigi Lazzarato, a fearless woman who began life as Gregory, posting fashion videos to YouTube from his bedroom, only to later come out as a transgender female. With never-before-seen personal footage, the film spotlights a family’s unwavering love for a child.
The Little Hours (USA) Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena
A young servant fleeing his master takes refuge at a dysfunctional convent in medieval Tuscany. Cast: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon
God's Own Country (United Kingdom) Director and screenwriter: Francis Lee
Springtime in Yorkshire: Isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path. Cast: Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones
The Wound (South Africa) Director: John Trengove, Screenwriters: John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu
Xolani, a lonely factory worker, joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani's entire existence begins to unravel. Cast: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini
I Dream in Another Language (Mexico, Netherlands) Director: Ernesto Contreras, Screenwriter: Carlos Contreras
The last two speakers of a millennia-old language haven’t spoken in 50 years, when a young linguist tries to bring them together. Yet hidden in the past, in the heart of the jungle, lies a secret concerning the fate of the Zikril language. Cast: Fernando Álvarez Rebeil, Eligio Meléndez, Manuel Poncelis, Fátima Molina, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Hoze Meléndez
Axolotl Overkill (Germany) Director and screenwriter: Helene Hegemann
Mifti, age 16, lives in Berlin with a cast of characters including her half-siblings; their rich, self-involved father; and her junkie friend Ophelia. As she mourns her recently deceased mother, she begins to develop an obsession with Alice, an enigmatic and much older white-collar criminal. Cast: Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Arly Jover, Mavie Hörbiger, Laura Tonke, Hans Löw, Bernhard Schütz
Dawn of the Deaf (United Kingdom) Director and screenwriter: Rob Savage
When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of deaf people must band together to survive.
How's Your Prostate? (France) Directors: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Screenwriters: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Cécile Mille
One friend tells the other about the very strange time when, beside a swimming pool, she learned about her father's prostate, his erectile function, and his nighttime fantasies.
Pedro (Portugal) Directors and screenwriters: André Santos, Marco Leão
Pedro gets home at dawn. Before the young boy falls asleep, his lonely mother drags him to the beach.
Bayard & Me (U.S.A.) Director: Matt Wolf
Walter Naegle’s boyfriend, Bayard Rustin, was a famous civil rights activist 30 years Walter’s senior. In the 1980s, Bayard decided to adopt Walter for legal protection. This love story is about a time when gay marriage was inconceivable.