Five of the Best Films from Sundance Film Festival

Held every year in Park City, Utah, Sundance Film Festival showcases the best in new independent film from America and around the world. This is a festival that famously propels filmmakers and their creations into the spotlight, having seen the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Darren Aronofsky receive their big break at Sundance. As always, the 2017 edition of Sundance Film Festival debuted some of the biggest new releases you’ll come across this year, but these are the five you should be looking out for.

Crown Heights

crown heights sundance film festival

Directed by Matt Ruskin, Crown Heights is based on the true story of wrongfully-convicted Colin Warner (played by LaKeith Stanfield) who spends 20 years in prison, leaving his friend Carl King (Nnamdi Asomugha) to fight to prove his innocence.


landline sundance film festival

Gillian Robespierre returns to Sundance with her second directorial effort, following the success of 2014’s Obvious Child. Landline follows the story of two sisters (Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn) in 1995 Manhattan and their family full of secrets.


colossal sundance film festival

First shown at Toronto International Film Festival last year, Colossal is the latest from director Nacho Vigalondo, who has previously brought us Timecrimes and Extraterrestrial. The film sees Gloria (played by Anne Hathaway) move back to her hometown after finding herself jobless and single, only to realise her drunk actions one night may be linked to a giant creature attacking Seoul, South Korea.

Casting JonBenét

casting jonbenet sundance film festival

From director Kitty Green comes an experimental documentary based on the unsolved case of JonBenét Ramsey, the six-year-old US pageant queen who was murdered in 1996. Green holds auditions for a drama (which may or may not exist), where locals try out to play the various characters involved – and give details of their theories over the case in the process.

God’s Own Country

gods own country sundance

From Britain comes the Francis Lee-directed God’s Own Country. The film follows Johnny (Josh O’Connor), an angry young sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is turned around by the arrival of Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu). It’s been described as the British answer to Brokeback Mountain; think wild Yorkshire landscapes, unspoken emotions and not an ounce of sentimentality.  

Words by Angharad Jones. Images property of the Sundance Institute

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert