Sundance ’20: “Crip Camp”, “Miss Americana” among doc premieres

Sundance Institute has revealed the showcase of independent feature films selected for its flagship festival, with Miss Americana, Crip Camp, Us Kids and Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story ...
December 4, 2019

Sundance Institute has revealed the showcase of independent feature films selected for its flagship festival, with Miss Americana, Crip Camp, Us Kids and Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story among the documentaries premiering.

The U.S. Documentary Competition of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival comprises 16 world premieres, including Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s Crip Camp (pictured), while the World Cinema Documentary Competition comprises 12 titles having their world or international premieres.

Crip Camp tells the story of a 1970s ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers; while Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana offers a “raw and emotionally revealing look” at the musician during a transformation period in her life. Kim A. Snyder’s Us Kids, meanwhile, sees the teenage survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting mobilize to “take back democracy”; and Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood’s Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story explores the rise and fall of animated series Ren & Stimpy and its controversial creator, John Kricfalusi.

A selection of 118 feature films across all categories announced today (Dec. 4) were culled from a record 15,100 submissions. The slate represents 27 countries and 44 first-time filmmakers. Of the 65 directors in all four competition categories, 46% are women, 38% are people of color and 12% are LGBTQ+.

In this year’s U.S. documentary competition, 45% of directors are women; 23% are people of color; 23% are LGBTQ+.

The festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, 2020.

Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute, said: “At this year’s festival, we’ll explore the theme of ‘imagined futures,’ inside the theaters and in the conversations sparked by the work we are presenting. We believe diverse stories from independent artists around the world open us up to new perspectives and possibilities – at a time when fresh thinking and dialogue is urgently needed.”

Below is a list of 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary slate. To see a full list of films, visit the Sundance Institute website.


Aggie (U.S.)
Director and screenwriter: Catherine Gund
Producers: Catherine Gund, Tanya Selvaratnam

Assassins (U.S.)
Director: Ryan White
Producers: Jessica Hargrave, Ryan White

Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen (U.S.)
Director: Sam Feder
Producers: Amy Scholder, Sam Feder

The Dissident (U.S.)
Director: Bryan Fogel
Screenwriters: Mark Monroe, Bryan Fogel
Producers: Bryan Fogel, Jake Swantko, Mark Monroe, Thor Halvorssen

Giving Voice (U.S.)
Directors: James D. Stern, Fernando Villena
Producers: James D. Stern, Karen Bove, Fernando Villena, Schoen Smith, Craig Piligian

The Go-Go’s (U.S., Ireland, Canada)
Director: Alison Ellwood
Producers: Trevor Birney, Corey Russell, Eimhear O’Neill

Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (U.S.)
Directors and Screenwriters: Ron Cicero, Kimo Easterwood
Producer: Ron Cicero

Miss Americana (U.S.)
Director: Lana Wilson
Producers: Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Christine O’Malley

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (U.S.)
Director: Laurent Bouzereau
Producers: Natasha Gregson Wagner, Manoah Bowman, Laurent Bouzereau

Okavango: River of Dreams (Director’s Cut) (Botswana)
Directors and Producers: Dereck Joubert, Beverly Joubert
Screenwriter: Dereck Joubert

Rebuilding Paradise (U.S.)
Director: Ron Howard
Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Xan Parker, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes

Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film (U.S.)
Directors: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Screenwriters: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, Sara Newens
Producers: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Amy Herdy, Jamie Rogers

Vivos (Germany, Mexico)
Director and Producer: Ai Weiwei


A Thousand Cuts (U.S., Philippines)
Director and screenwriter: Ramona S. Diaz
Producers: Ramona S. Diaz, Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Chris Clements, Carolyn Hepburn

Be Water (U.S., UK)
Director: Bao Nguyen
Producer: Julia Nottingham

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (U.S.)
Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Producers: Michael Gottwald, Chere Theriot

Boys State (U.S.)
Directors: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
Producers: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

Code for Bias (U.S., UK, China)
Director, screenwriter and producer: Shalini Kantayya

The Cost of Silence (U.S.)
Director: Mark Manning
Producers: Mark Manning, Langdon Page, Reuben Aaronson

Crip Camp (U.S.)
Directors: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht
Producers: Sara Bolder, Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham

Dick Johnson Is Dead (U.S.)
Director: Kirsten Johnson
Screenwriters: Nels Bangerter, Kirsten Johnson
Producers: Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness

Feels Good Man (U.S.)
Director: Arthur Jones
Producers: Giorgio Angelini, Caryn Capotosto, Aaron Wickenden

The Fight (U.S.)
Directors: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres
Producers: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres, Maya Seidler, Peggy Drexler, Kerry Washington

Mucho Mucho Amor (U.S.)
Directors: Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch
Producer: Alex Fumero

Spaceship Earth (U.S.)
Director: Matt Wolf
Producers: Stacey Reiss, Matt Wolf

Time (U.S.)
Director: Garrett Bradley
Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn, Garrett Bradley

Us Kids (U.S.)
Director: Kim A. Snyder
Producers: Kim A. Snyder, Maria Cuomo Cole, Lori Cheatle

Welcome to Chechnya (U.S.)
Director: David France
Producers: Alice Henty, David France, Askold Kurov, Joy A. Tomchin

Whirlybird (U.S.)
Director: Matt Yoka
Producers: Diane Becker, Matt Yoka


Acasa, My Home (Romania, Germany, Finland)
Director: Radu Ciorniciuc
Screenwriters: Lina Vdovii, Radu Ciorniciuc
Producer: Monica Lazurean-Gorgan

The Earth Is Blue as an Orange (Ukraine, Lithuania)
Director: Iryna Tsilyk
Producers: Anna Kapustina, Giedrė Žickytė

Epicentro (Austria, France, U.S.)
Director and screenwriter: Hubert Sauper
Producers: Martin Marquet, Daniel Marquet, Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Paolo Calamita

Influence (South Africa, Canada)
Directors and Screenwriters: Diana Neille, Richard Poplak
Producers: Bob Moore, Neil Brandt

Into the Deep (Denmark)
Director: Emma Sullivan
Producers: Mette Heide, Roslyn Walker

The Mole Agent (Chile)
Director and screenwriter: Maite Alberdi
Producer: Marcela Santibañez

Once Upon A Time in Venezuela (Venezuela, UK, Brazil, Austria)
Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
Screenwriters: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos, Sepp R. Brudermann
Producer: Sepp R. Brudermann

The Painter and the Thief (Norway)
Director: Benjamin Ree
Producer: Ingvil Giske

The Reason I Jump (UK)
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow

Saudi Runaway (Switzerland)
Director and screenwriter: Susanne Regina Meures
Producer: Christian Frei

Softie (Kenya)
Director and screenwriter: Sam Soko
Producers: Toni Kamau, Sam Soko

The Truffle Hunters (Italy, U.S., Greece)
Directors: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.