Twelve additional documentaries are part of the upcoming Park City, Utah-based festival across the Documentary Premieres and Spotlight categories.
Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell’s Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (Spotlight); Susan Froemke, John Hoffman and Beth Aala’s Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman (Documentary Premieres); and Michelle Latimer‘s forthcoming Viceland series Rise (Special Events) have been selected as part of the festivals new environmental awareness program titled The New Climate.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (pictured) marks her return to Sundance with the world premiere of This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, a film that tests a family’s love by profiling an Olympic-bound diver’s transition into a woman.
Elsewhere, Sundance will play host to the world premiere of Primetime Emmy-winner Stanley Nelson‘s latest film Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, which reveals the impact of Black colleges and universities in America over their 150-year history.
Fresh off an Oscar nomination for 2015′s Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, American filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky will return to the festival circuit with the world premiere of Cries from Syria, in which the European migrant crisis and ongoing hostilities in Syria are reexamined and recontextualized.
“Powerful visions of our times — past, present and future — resound throughout these sections. Inspired storytellers are shining a light on urgent issues or providing an exhilarating escape from them,” said Trevor Groth, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, in a statement. “From citizen journalists to robust and powerful roles for women — in front of and behind the camera — these projects are a testament to the force and value of the individual.”
Sundance will unveil its Short Film program in the coming days.
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort from Jan. 19-29.
The full list of 2017 documentary premieres follows, with descriptions provided by the festival.
500 Years / U.S.A. (Director: Pamela Yates) — From a historic genocide trial to the overthrow of a president, the sweeping story of mounting resistance played out in Guatemala’s recent history is told through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to reimagine their society. World Premiere
Cries from Syria / U.S.A., Syria, Czech Republic(Director: Evgeny Afineevsky) — This documentary attempts to recontextualize the European migrant crisis and ongoing hostilities in Syria, through eyewitness and participant testimony. Children and parents recount the revolution, civil war, air strikes, atrocities and ongoing humanitarian aid crises, in a portrait of recent history and the consequences of violence. World Premiere
Give Me Future: Major Lazer in Cuba / U.S.A., Cuba (Director: Austin Peters) — In the spring of 2016, global music sensation Major Lazer performed a free concert in Havana, Cuba—an unprecedented show that drew an audience of almost half a million. This concert documentary evolves into an exploration of youth culture in a country on the precipice of change. World Premiere
Legion of Brothers / U.S.A. (Director: Greg Barker) — Afghanistan, immediately post-9/11: Small teams of Green Berets arrive on a series of secret missions to overthrow the Taliban. What happens next is equal parts war origin story and cautionary tale, illuminating the nature and impact of 15 years of constant combat, with unprecedented access to U.S. Special Forces. World Premiere
Oklahoma City / U.S.A. (Director: Barak Goodman) — The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995 is the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history; this documentary explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement—including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco—led to it. World Premiere
Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman / U.S.A. (Directors: Susan Froemke, John Hoffman, Beth Aala) — From the Montana Rockies to the wheat fields of Kansas and the Gulf of Mexico, families who work the land and sea are crossing political divides to find unexpected ways to protect the natural resources vital to their livelihoods. These are the new heroes of conservation, deep in America’s heartland. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE
Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton / U.S.A. (Director: Rory Kennedy) — This is the remarkable story of an American icon who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Transcending the surf genre, this in-depth portrait of a hard-charging athlete explores the fear, courage and ambition that push a man to greatness—and the cost that comes with it. World Premiere
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities / U.S.A. (Director: Stanley Nelson) — A haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries—and path of promise toward the American dream—Black colleges and universities have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. They have been unapologetically Black for 150 years. For the first time ever, their story is told. World Premiere
This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous / U.S.A. (Director: Barbara Kopple) — Are there limits to your love for your family? One family’s acceptance is tested when a champion diver, destined for the Olympics, announces he’s transitioning into a woman—and invites his YouTube followers along for every moment. It’s a story about unconditional love and finding the courage to be yourself. World Premiere
Untitled Lucy Walker / Buena Vista Social Club Documentary / U.S.A., United Kingdom, Cuba (Director: Lucy Walker) — The musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club exposed the world to Cuba’s vibrant culture with their landmark 1997 album. Now, against the backdrop of Cuba’s captivating musical history, hear the band’s story as they reflect on their remarkable careers and the extraordinary circumstances that brought them together. World Premiere
Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry / U.S.A. (Directors: Laura Dunn, Jef Sewell) — This cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture is seen through the mind’s eye of farmer and writer Wendell Berry. THE NEW CLIMATE
RISE/ Canada (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Latimer) — This vibrant and immersive documentary series explores the front lines of indigenous resistance. Episodes Apache Stronghold, Sacred Water and Red Power examine factors that threaten indigenous liberation in the 21st century. A series of contrasts, this series is both a condemnation of colonialism and a celebration of indigenous peoples. Continuing Sundance Institute’s ongoing commitment to presenting bold stories from within the Native American and Indigenous communities, we are proud to debut three episodes: “Apache Stronghold,” “Sacred Water“ and “Red Power,” followed by an extended Q&A. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE