Sundance 2022 Preview: A Now All-Virtual Fest (Again) Kicks Off

Editor, Festivals; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)

After a wildly successful virtual Sundance Film Festival 2021, Sundance 2022 was all set to experiment with a hybrid model that would include all of the clever innovations from the '21 fest (increased inclusivity of home access, smaller program, fun online/VR interactivity) and marry them with a triumphant return to the winter wonderland homebase of Park City. Alas, best laid plans and all... we're going back to virtual!

The pivot to virtual cost the festival the world premiere of Michel Hazanavicius's (The Artist) One Cut of the Dead remake Final Cut -- but other than some non-refundable hotel reservations and bummed-out Main Street merchants, that seems to be the extent of the collateral damage. Meanwhile, we all benefit from getting to watch 11 days of indie film goodness from the comfort of our couches with zero risk of FOMO (and, you know, less risk of other viruses).

We've poured through the program, taken a sneak peak at a few of the titles, and are here to direct you to a few of the standout-looking films. But as Sundance is always a discovery fest, we recommend you just dive on in and take a chance with something that you may not expect to enjoy. Chances are, it will be worth the watch.

Though this is his third feature film, Dual marks Riley Stearns' first return to Sundance since his 2013 short The Cub (so worth a watch). If you have seen that or either of his previous features, Faults and The Art of Self Defense, you'll know that Stearns' idiosyncratic sense of black-as-night humor promises plenty of bizarre goodness. The plot description -- a woman (Karen Gillan) must fight her clone to the death after determining she didn't need said clone to take over her life after all -- seems right up his alley. Aaron Paul joins the party as the woman's trainer. The film is produced by XYZ Films.

US Dramatic Competition

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