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  • Romy Kraus

Sundance 2024: Hot Titles

16 Films Poised for Bidding Frenzy

Love Me

Hollywood heads to Park City this week, braving snowy conditions and high altitudes in pursuit of indie gems, potential Oscar nominees, and sought-after horror flicks.

Sundance is back in full force, nestled in the mountains, bringing with it hopes that persistence and hefty investments could secure films like "Little Miss Sunshine," "Brooklyn," "Manchester by the Sea," or "The Big Sick," all past festival hits that ignited fierce bidding wars.

However, not all Sundance sensations translate to box office triumphs or Oscar wins, as seen with "Hamlet 2" and "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl." Some 2023 films with big deals, like John Carney's "Flora and Son" or "Eileen" featuring Anne Hathaway, received lukewarm receptions.

Today's independent film market faces unprecedented challenges. Although streaming has eased box office pressures, the sheer volume of available content makes standing out difficult. So, these anticipated sales come with a cautionary note.

Nevertheless, here are 16 films at this year's Sundance that appear promising:

A Real Pain

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin, Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan, Liza Sadovy, Daniel Oreskes

Director: Jesse Eisenberg

Sales Agent: CAA/WME Appeal: Eisenberg and Culkin, known for their nuanced portrayals, star in a story about cousins clashing during a tour in Poland to honor their grandmother, promising an engaging family drama.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story

Directors: Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui

Sales Agent: Cinetic Media

Appeal: This documentary, blessed by Reeve's family and rich in personal archives, offers a comprehensive look at his inspiring life, from his Superman fame to his activism after a paralyzing accident. It's anticipated to be a major festival draw with significant award potential.

Between the Temples

Cast: Carol Kane, Jason Schwartzman, Dolly De Leon, Robert Smigel

Director: Nathan Silver

Sales Agent: CAA/Anonymous Content

Appeal: Kane and Schwartzman's comedic chemistry shines in this tale of a cantor and his older bat mitzvah student, offering both actors a rare chance to lead.


Directors: Natalie Rae and Angela Patton

Sales Agent: CAA/ Submarine

Appeal: This touching documentary follows girls preparing to dance with their incarcerated fathers, balancing emotional depth with lighter moments.

Exhibiting Forgiveness

Cast: André Holland, John Earl Jelks, Andra Day, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor

Director: Titus Kaphar

Sales Agent: UTA

Appeal: Holland, acclaimed for "Moonlight," stars in this tale of an artist confronting his past, directed by Titus Kaphar.


Director: Gary Hustwit

Sales Agent: Submarine

Appeal: This documentary on musician Brian Eno, featuring AI-generated visuals, presents a unique viewing experience, appealing to unconventional buyers.

Freaky Tales

Cast: Pedro Pascal, Jay Ellis, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Dominique Thorne, Ben Mendelsohn, Angus Cloud

Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Sales Agent: WME

Appeal: Directed by the duo behind "Half Nelson" and "Captain Marvel," this film tells four interlinked stories set in Oakland, featuring a stellar cast.

Gaucho Gaucho

Directors: Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw

Sales Agent: Submarine

Appeal: From the makers of "The Truffle Hunters," this film explores the lives of Argentine Gauchos, promising breathtaking visuals and deep cultural insights.

Little Death

Cast: David Schwimmer, Gaby Hoffmann, Dominic Fike, Talia Ryder, Jena Malone

Director: Jack Begert

Sales Agent: CAA

Appeal: A dark Hollywood satire featuring Schwimmer as a screenwriter in crisis, produced by Darren Aronofsky and directed by music video sensation Jack Begert.

Love Me

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun

Directors: Sam and Andy Zuchero

Sales Agent: WME/ 2AM

Appeal: Stewart and Yeun star in this sci-fi romance about a buoy and a satellite falling in love, directed by promising filmmakers Sam and Andy Zuchero.

My Old Ass

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Maddie Ziegler

Director: Megan Park

Sales Agent: CAA

Appeal: Plaza stars in this quirky coming-of-age comedy about a girl meeting her older self, supported by Margot Robbie's LuckyChap.


Cast: Lucy Liu, Julia Fox, Chris Sullivan, Callina Lang

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Sales Agent: Sugar 23

Appeal: Soderbergh returns with a twisty haunted house thriller, promising another innovative narrative experience.


Cast: June Squibb, Richard Roundtree, Fred Hechinger, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg

Director: Josh Margolin

Sales Agent: CAA

Appeal: Squibb leads this revenge comedy about a grandmother confronting phone scammers, offering a starring role for the Oscar-nominated actress.

The Outrun

Cast: Saoirse Ronan

Director: Nora Fingscheidt

Sales Agent: CAA/ Protagonist

Appeal: Ronan stars in this adaptation of Amy Liptrot's memoir, a departure from her usual period dramas, portraying a recovering alcoholic returning to Scotland.

Will & Harper

Cast: Will Ferrell, Harper Steele

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Sales Agent: Submarine/ UTA

Appeal: Ferrell reveals a personal side in this intimate documentary about a cross-country road trip with his trans best friend, directed by Josh Greenbaum.

Veni Vidi Vici

Cast: Laurence Rupp, Ursina Lardi, Olivia Goschler, Markus Schleinzer

Directors: Daniel Hoesl and Julia Niemann

Sales Agent: Magnify

Appeal: A satirical take on the ultra-rich, this film promises controversy and a compelling narrative.

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