Sundance Film Festival comes to Utah

By: Grant Vance ~Managing Editor~

Photo courtesy of | Nick Jonas (right) hangs out on set on Xavier’s campus for “Goat,” an upcoming American drama film that will be at SFF.

The Sundance Film Festival has premiered many notable independent films, such as “Reservoir Dogs,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Memento.” Initially created to draw filmmakers to Utah, Sundance has become a staple for up-andcoming independent filmmakers to get a chance to showcase their work. The festival will return for its 38th year Jan. 21-31, with many exciting entries on the slate.

Sundance is an exciting experience for all lucky enough to spend the week in Park City, Utah, watching fresh, original works. With a variety of categories, attendees are treated to shorts, documentaries and midnight showings.

The films this year offer no shortage of diversity, with everything from Sundance veteran Kevin Smith’s (“Clerks,” “Dogma”) follow-up to “Tusk,” “Yoga Hosers,” to several profile documentaries, including “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off the Wall’” and “Eat That Question – Frank Zappa in his Own Words.”

Some other notable entries include Kenneth Lonergan (“You Can Count on Me,” “Gangs of New York”) returning with his third directorial entry, “Manchester by the Sea.” This film stars Casey Affleck, who is called back to his hometown in order to raise his nephew after his brother’s death. Many of the entries deal with very dark content, including “Goat,” “Dark Knight” and “Christine.”

“Goat,” starring Nick Jonas, exploits the dangers of hazing in fraternities and was filmed at Xavier. Entering the realm of reality, “Dark Knight” focuses on the 2012 shooting in Aurora, CO., during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” showcasing the evil it takes to commit such an act. “Christine” is a film about 1970’s reporter Christine Chubbuck, who famously committed suicide on live television.

On a lighter note, former Sundance winner Ira Sachs (“Love is Strange,” “Keep the Lights On”) is returning to Sundance with his charming coming-of-age film, “Little Men.” Though not everyone is given the opportunity to see these films at the festival during their premiere, many of them will make it to theaters for a wide release, with the hope that some will make it to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.