It is Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper’s last year as the helm, but it looks like he’s done a lot to achieve the festival’s goal of gender parity.
The 35th incarnation of the indie film festival is set to run January 23–February 2 in Park City, but first the highly anticipated lineup.
The lineup of 118 feature films was announced Wednesday and it is packed with features by female filmmakers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s lineup features 44 first-time feature filmmakers. Of the 65 directors in the four competition categories, comprising 56 films, 46 percent are women, 38 percent are people of color and 12 percent are LGBTQ+.
“We have lots of returning alumni this year, which really says a lot about the community that we create,” said festival director John Cooper, also explaining that with newcomers, “We’re seeing a lot more of how they tell a story, even if it’s an old story, with a lot more creativity.”
He added: “There is no Michael Jackson film this year. Not like last year with Leaving Neverland. That was truly controversial. But there will be films that will shock people and change their perception.”
Kicking off the festival is a Taylor Swift documentary. Other titles announced in the Premieres section include Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Downhill, a remake of Golden Globe-nominated Swedish dramedy Force Majeure; Worth, with Michael Keaton as 9/11 Fund appointee Kenneth Feinberg; Four Good Days, starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis; and Julie Taymor’s The Glorias, featuring Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander as activist Gloria Steinem.