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Here's What to Be Excited About as Sundance Begins

Big names including Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda featured
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2020 11:00 AM CST
This image shows a scene from "Taylor Swift: Miss Americana," which will kick off the Sundance Film Festival Thursday.   (Sundance Institute via AP)

(Newser) – Plenty of change is in the air at the Sundance Film Festival, where some 118 feature films are set to premiere over the next 10 days beginning Thursday, the AP reports. Streaming companies are now among the most likely companies to scoop up buzzed-about breakthroughs. The marquee event of opening day will belong to a Netflix film: the feverishly anticipated Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana. And for the first time in decades, the annual ski town festival is kicking off without a few opening words from its founder, Robert Redford. Sundance is forgoing its traditional opening day press conference where Redford, the festival's ever-sunny face, has presided since the 1980s. Last year, Redford made only a brief cameo at the press conference and said he would be stepping back. "We're at a point where I can move on to a different place," Redford said then.

Redford, 83, who last year also said he was withdrawing from acting, will still have a presence at Sundance. Aside from being on hand at the festival, he appears in two documentaries playing at Sundance, including one co-directed by his grandson, Dylan Redford. Still, opening day won't lack for star power. Over the next week and a half, many more big names will be at Sundance, including Hillary Clinton (the subject of a new Hulu documentary series), Lin-Manuel Miranda (a subject in three documentaries at the festival), Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell (stars of the Force Majeure remake Downhill), and many more. Discovery, though, is in many respects the main event at Sundance, where countless film distributors will be scouring theaters for the next big thing. (One documentary that may break out will also premiere Thursday; click to read more about Crip Camp.)


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